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Perdiccas was the name of three kings of Macedonia, who reigned respectively c. 700 BC, c. 454-413 BC, and 364-359 BC, and of one of Alexander the Great's generals, son of Orontes, a descendant of the independent princes of the province of Orestis.

The last named distinguished himself at the conquest of Thebes (335 BC), and held an important command in the Indian campaigns of Alexander. In the settlement made after Alexander's death (323) it was finally agreed that Philip Arrhidaeus, an insane son of the great Philip, and Roxana's unborn child (if a son) should be recognized as joint kings, Perdiccas being appointed, according to one account, guardian and regent, according to another, chiliarch under Craterus. He soon showed himself intolerant of any rivals, and acting in the name of the two kings (for Roxana gave birth to a son, Alexander IV) sought to hold the empire together under his own hand.

His most loyal supporter was Eumenes, governor of Cappadocia and Paphlagonia. These provinces had not yet been conquered by the Macedonians, and Antigonus (governor of Phrygia, Lycia and Pamphylia) refused to undertake the task at the command of Perdiccas. Having been summoned to the royal presence to stand his trial for disobedience, Antigonus fled to Europe and entered into alliance with Antipater, Craterus and Ptolemy, the son of Lagus. Perdiccas, leaving the war in Asia Minor to Eumenes, marched to attack Ptolemy in Egypt.

He reached Pelusium, but failed to cross the Nile. A mutiny broke out amongst the troops, disheartened by failure and exasperated by his severity, and Perdiccas was assassinated by some of his officers (321).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.