Commands heldArgyraspides

Antigenes (Ancient Greek: Ἀντιγένης; died 316 BC) served as an officer under Philip II of Macedon and continued his service rising to the rank of general under Alexander the Great. He was a commander of the Silver Shields.[1]

Antigenes had uncertain origins but he is said to have been born sometime in 380 possibly in Pella or Pallene.[1] He was noted for his bravery in battle but according to an account by Plutarch, he was a slave to pleasure and vice.[1] In 331, he came second in a contest of bravery and was promoted as a chiliarch of the Silver Shields and in command of 1,000 hypaspists.[2]

Antigenes lost his eye in a battle. It was hit by an arrow and was said to have fought on while the arrow was lodged to his face until the battle was won.[3] Plutarch provided several unflattering accounts, which included the claim that he attempted to enroll himself among the sick during Alexander’s campaign in order to return to his wife Telesippa.[1] He also cited an incident when the general attempted to defraud Alexander, when he was paying the debts of his veteran soldiers at Susa.[1] The general presented a false witness to put himself on the debtor’s list so he can obtain the money.[3] When the fraud was discovered, he was relieved of his command. Alexander pardoned him to prevent him from committing suicide.[3]

After the death of Alexander in 323 he obtained the satrapy of Susiana, taking over from the temporary rule of Peucestas.[4] He was one of the commanders of the Argyraspides and, with his troops, took the side of Eumenes. On the defeat of Eumenes in 316, Antigenes fell into the hands of his enemy Antigonus, and was burnt alive in a pit by him. The reason for Antigenes particularly cruel execution method was due to his unit, the Silver Shields, and their exceptional performance against Antigonus’ infantry during the Second War of the Diadochi [5]



  1. ^ a b c d e Heckel, Waldemar (2016). Alexander's Marshals: A Study of the Makedonian Aristocracy and the Politics of Military Leadership. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-38921-7.
  2. ^ Roisman, Joseph (2012). Alexander's Veterans and the Early Wars of the Successors. Austin: University of Texas Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-292-74288-8.
  3. ^ a b c Holt, Frank L. (2016). The Treasures of Alexander the Great: How One Man's Wealth Shaped the World. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-19-995097-3.
  4. ^ Tarn, W. W. (2003). Alexander the Great: Volume 2, Sources and Studies. London: Cambridge University Press. p. 311. ISBN 0-521-22585-X.
  5. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "Alexander", 70, "Eumenes", 13; Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 92; Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xviii. 62, xix. 12, 44

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Antigenes(1)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.