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The Making of a King: Antigonus Gonatas of Macedon and the Greeks
by Robin Waterfield
University of Chicago Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-226-61140-2 | Cloth: 978-0-226-61137-2
Library of Congress Classification DF237.A6W38 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 938.08092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In the third century BCE, the ancient kingdom of Macedon held dominion over mainland Greece, but it was rapidly descending into chaos. After Alexander the Great’s death, several of his successors contended for the Macedonian throne, and amid the tumult the Celts launched a massive invasion, ravaging and plundering Macedon and northern Greece for years. The Celts finally met their defeat at the hands of Antigonus Gonatas, son of one of Alexander’s successors. An exceptional statesman and artful strategist, Antigonus protected Macedon and its Greek territories against aggressors coming from every direction. After almost fifty years of chaos brought on by Alexander’s death, Antigonus stabilized Macedon and Greece and laid the foundation for a long but troubled reign. 

In this book, distinguished historian Robin Waterfield draws on his deep understanding of Greek history to bring us into the world of this complicated, splintered empire. He shows how, while Antigonus was confirming his Macedonian rule through constitutional changes, the Greeks were making moves toward independence. Two great confederacies of Greek cities emerged, forming powerful blocs that had the potential to resist the power of Macedon. The Making of a King charts Antigonus’s conflicts with the Greeks and with his perennial enemy, Ptolemy of Egypt. But Antigonus’s diplomatic and military successes were not enough to secure peace, and in his final years he saw his control of Greece whittled away by rebellion and the growing power of the Greek confederacies. Macedon’s lack of firm control over Greece ultimately made it possible for Rome to take its place as the arbiter of the Greeks’ future.
 
The Making of a King is Waterfield’s third volume about the Greeks in the era after Alexander the Great. Completing the story begun in his previous two books, Dividing the Spoils and Taken at the Flood, it brings Antigonus and his turbulent era to life. With The Making of a King—the first book in more than a century to tell in full the story of Antigonus Gonatas’s reign—this fascinating figure finally receives his due.
 

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