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Alexander I of Epirus (c. 370 BC - c. 331 BC), also known as Alexander Molossus was a king of Epirus (350 BC-331 BC) of the Aeacid dynasty.

He was the son of Neoptolemus and brother of Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great. He came at an early age to the court of Philip II of Macedon, and after the Grecian fashion became the object of his attachment. Philip in requital made him king of Epirus, after dethroning his cousin Arymbas. When Olympias was repudiated by her husband, 337 BC, she went to her brother, and endeavoured to induce him to make war on Philip.

Philip, however, declined the contest, and formed a second alliance with him by giving him his daughter Cleopatra in marriage (336 BC). At the wedding Philip was assassinated by Pausanias. In 334 BC, Alexander, at the request of colony of Taras (Magna Graecia) and the people the Tarentines, crossed over into Italy, to aid them against the Italic populations, Lucanians and Bruttii. After a victory over the Samnites and Lucanians near Paestum, 332 BC, he made a treaty with the Romans. Success still followed his arms. He took Heraclea from the Lucanians, and Terina and Sipontum from the Bruttii. Through the treachery of some Lucanian exiles, he was compelled to engage under unfavourable circumstances near Pandosia, on the banks of the Acheron, and was killed by the hand of one of the exiles, as he was crossing the river. He left a son, Neoptolemus, and a daughter, Cadmea.


References

  • Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, viii. 6, ix. 6, xii. 2
  • Livy, Ab urbe condita, viii. 3, 17, 24
  • Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, xvii. 21

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