Alexander of Pherae

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Alexander (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος) was tagus or despot of Pherae in Thessaly, and ruled from 369 BC to 358 BC.[1]

Contents

Reign

The accounts of his usurpation vary somewhat in minor points. Diodorus Siculus tells us that on the assassination of his father, the tyrant Jason of Pherae, in 370 BC, his brother Polydorus ruled for a year, and was then poisoned by Alexander, another brother.[2] According to Xenophon, Polydorus was murdered by his brother Polyphron, and Polyphron, in 369 BC[3][4][5] murdered by Alexander—his nephew, according to Plutarch, who relates also that Alexander worshiped the spear he slew his uncle with as if it were a god.[5][6] Alexander governed tyrannically, and according to Diodorus,[2] differently from the former rulers, but Polyphron, at least, seems to have set him the example.[3] The states of Thessaly, however, which had acknowledged the authority of Jason of Pherae,[2] were not so willing to submit to the oppression of Alexander the tyrant, and they applied therefore (and especially the old family of the Aleuadae of Larissa, who had most reason to fear him) to Alexander II of Macedon.

The tyrant, with his characteristic energy, prepared to meet his enemy in Macedonia, but the king anticipated him, and, reaching Larissa, was admitted into the city, obliged the Thessalian Alexander to flee to Pherae, and left a garrison in Larissa, as well as in Crannon, which had also come over to him.[2] But the Macedonian having retired, his friends in Thessaly feared the vengeance of Alexander, and sent for aid to Thebes, the policy of which was to check a neighbor who might otherwise become formidable, and Pelopidas was accordingly dispatched to aid them. On the arrival of the latter at Larissa, whence according to Diodorus he dislodged the Macedonian garrison, Alexander presented himself and offered submission, but soon after escaped by flight, alarmed by the indignation Pelopidas expressed at the tales of his cruelty and tyrannical profligacy.[7][8]

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