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Cynane (in Greek Kυνανη or Kυνα; killed 323 BC) was half-sister to Alexander the Great, and daughter of Philip II by Audata, an Illyrian woman. Audata trained her in riding, hunting, and fighting in the Illyrian tradition. Her father gave her in marriage to her cousin Amyntas, by whose death she was left a widow in 336 BC. In the following year Alexander promised her hand, as a reward for his services, to Langarus, king of the Agrianians, but the intended bridegroom was carried off by sickness. Cynane continued unmarried, and employed herself in the education of her daughter, Adea or Eurydice, whom she is said to have trained, after the manner of her own education, to martial exercises. When Philip Arrhidaeus was chosen king, 323 BC, Cynane determined to marry Eurydice to him, and crossed over to Asia accordingly. Her influence was probably great, and her project alarmed Perdiccas and Antipater, the former of whom sent his brother Alcetas to meet her on her way and put her to death. Alcetas did so in defiance of the feelings of his troops, and Cynane met her doom with an undaunted spirit. In 317 BC, Cassander, after defeating Olympias, buried Cynane with Eurydice and Arrhidaeus at Aegae, the royal burying-place.1

Further information: When she went on a military campaign with her father, she killed Caeria, an Illytian leader, in hand to hand combat. After Alexander the Great's death in 323 BCE., she, as one of his heirs hired an army to fight the rest of the contenders.


  • Leon, Vicki. (1995) Uppity Women of Ancient Times. Publishers Group West. Page 182-183. ISBN 1-57324-010-9
  • Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Cynane", Boston, (1867)


1 Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri, i. 5; Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 92; Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, xiii. 5; Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xix. 52; Polyaenus, Stratagemata, viii. 60; Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 36


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1867).

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