Perdikkas II - Macedonian King: 454-413 B.C.
Silver Tetrobol 14mm (2.06 grams) Struck in Macedonian Kingdom circa 454-413
NGC Slabbed and Graded F Strike: 5/5 Surface: 2/5
Reference: Sear 1490 var.; SNG ANS 47
Mounted warrior on horse pacing right, holding two spears; plant growing
Forepart of lion right within shallow incuse square.
Son and successor of Alexander I, Perdikkas was instrumental
in the formation of the Chalkidian League, in 432, following the Athenian
foundation of Amphipolis four years earlier.
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Perdiccas II (Greek:
Περδίκκας Β) was King of
Macedonia from about 454 BC to about 413 BC. He
was the son of
After the death of Alexander in 452, Macedon began to fall apart. Macedonian
tribes became almost completely autonomous, and were only loosely allied to the
king. By 434, Perdiccas' brother, Philip, had challenged Perdiccas for the
throne, and enlisted the support of
Athens and King Derdas of Elimea. Perdiccas
responded by stirring up rebellion in a number of Athenian tribute cities,
Athens responded with force, and sent 1000
hoplites and 30 ships to Macedonia where they
captured Therme. They went on to besiege Pydna, where they were met by
reinforcements of a further 2000 hoplites and 40 ships. However, as the
Athenians were besieging Pydna, they received news that Corinth had sent a force
of 1600 hoplites and 400 light troops to support Potidaea.
In order to combat this new threat, Athens made an alliance with Perdiccas,
and proceeded to Potidaea. Perdiccas immediately broke the treaty and marched to
Potidaea, while the Athenians were eventually victorious, the battle (along with
Battle of Sybota) directly led to the
Peloponnesian War which would ultimately
In 431, Athens entered into an alliance with King
Thrace, after Nymphodorus, an Athenian, married
Sitalkes’ sister. Nymphodorus then negotiated an agreement between Athens and
Perdiccas, where Perdiccas regained Therme. As a result of this, Athens withdrew
her support for Philip, and the Thracians promised to assist Perdiccas in
capturing him. In return, Perdiccas marched on the Chalcidians, the people he
had originally persuaded to revolt.
However, Perdiccas once again betrayed the Athenians and sent 1000 troops to
support a Spartan assault on Acarnania in 429 but they arrived too late to help
(Thucydides 2.80). In response to this, Sitalkes invaded Macedonia with the
promise of support from Athens. This support never materialized, and Perdiccas
once again used diplomacy to ensure the survival of Macedonia. He promised the
hand of his sister in marriage to the nephew of Sitalkes, who then persuaded
Sitalkes to leave.
After this, Perdiccas was allied to the
Spartans and, in 424, helped the Spartan
Brasidas to take Amphipolis from the Athenians,
one of her most important colonies, mainly for its ready access to timber for
her fleets. This was a severe blow to Athens, and would tie them to Macedonian
timber for years to come, which strengthened Macedonia’s bargaining power
considerably. In return for this, the Spartans helped Perdiccas secure his
borders, by leading an assault on King Arrhabaeus of Lyncus, with the promise of
support from the
Illyrians. However, the Illyrians switched
sides and attacked Perdiccas and his Spartan allies. The poorly trained
Macedonian troops fled, and so the Spartans also retreated and attacked the
Macedonian baggage train in anger. This soured relations between Macedonia and
the Peloponnese for years to come, and pushed Perdiccas closer to Athens,
allying himself with them in 423.
By 417, Perdiccas had left the Athenians and joined the Spartan-Argive
alliance. Just four years later, bowing to Athenian pressure, Perdiccas broke
Peloponnese, and aided Athens in their attack
In 413 BC he died and left his son
Archelaus as king.