Eurydice (in Greek Eυρυδικη; died 317 BC) was daughter of Amyntas IV, son of Perdiccas III, king of Macedonia, and Cynane, daughter of Philip II. Her real name appears to have been Adea1; at what time it was changed to that of Eurydice we are not told. She was brought up by her mother, and seems to have been early accustomed by her to those masculine and martial exercises in which Cynane herself delighted.2 She accompanied her mother on her daring expedition to Asia; and when Cynane was put to death by Alcetas, the discontent expressed by the troops, and the respect with which they looked on Eurydice as one of the surviving members of the royal house, induced Perdiccas not only to spare her life, but to give her in marriage to the unhappy king Philip Arrhidaeus.3 We hear no more of her during the life of Perdiccas; but after his death her active and ambitious spirit broke forth: she demanded of the new governors, Peithon and Arrhidaeus, to be admitted to her due share of authority, and by her intrigues against them and the favour she enjoyed with the army, she succeeded in compelling them to resign their office. But the arrival of her mortal enemy, Antipater, disconcerted her projects: she took an active part in the proceedings at Triparadisus in 321 BC, and even delivered in person to the assembled soldiery an harangue against Antipater, which had been composed for her by her secretary Asclepiodorus; but all her efforts were unavailing, and Antipater was appointed regent and guardian of the king.4 She was now compelled to remain quiet, and accompanied her husband and Antipater to Macedonia. But the death of Antipater in 319 BC, the more feeble character of Polyperchon, who succeeded him as regent, and the failure of his enterprises in Greece, and above all, the favourable disposition he evinced towards Olympias, determined her again to take an active part: she concluded an alliance with Cassander, and, as he was wholly occupied with the affairs of Greece, she herself assembled an army and took the field in person. Polyperchon advanced against her from Epirus, accompanied by Aeacides, the king of that country, and Olympias, as well as by Roxana and her infant son. But the presence of Olympias was alone sufficient to decide the contest: the Macedonian troops refusedtd fight against the mother of Alexander the Great, and wen over to her side. Eurydice fled from the field of battle to Amphipolis, but was seized and made prisoner. She was at first confined, together with her husband, in a narrow dungeon, and scantily supplied with food; but soon Olympias, becoming alarmed at the compassion excited among the Macedonians, determined to get rid of her rival, and sent the young queen in her prison a sword, a rope, and a cup of hemlock, with orders to choose her mode of death. The spirit of Eurydice remained unbroken to the last; she still breathed defiance to Olympias, and prayed that she might soon be requited with the like gifts; then, having paid as well as she could the last duties to her husband, she put an end to her own life by hanging, without giving way to a tear or word of lamentation.5 Her body was afterwards removed by Cassander, and interred, together with that of her husband, with royal pomp at Aegae.6


Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Eurydice (3)", Boston, (1867)


  • 1 Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 92
  • 2 Polyaenus, Stratagemata, viii. 60; Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, xiii. 10
  • 3 Photius, ibid.
  • 4 Photius, ibid.; Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xviii. 39
  • 5 Diodorus, xix. 11; Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, xiv. 5; Athenaeus, ibid.; Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 36
  • 6 Diodorus, xix. 52; Athenaeus, iv. 41


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

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