Friday, 29 April 2016

Life of Antigonus Gonatas

Coin of the "Bazileos" Antigonus with head of Poseidon.

319 BC

(1) Antigonus was born around 319 B.C. He was related to the most powerful of the Diadochi, the Macedonian generals of Alexander, who divided the empire after Alexander's death in 323. Antigonus's father was Demetrius, the son of Antigonus Cyclops, who then controlled much of Asia. His mother was Phila, the daughter of Antipater. He controlled Macedonia and Greece and was recognized as regent of the empire, which in theory remained united. In this year, however, Antipater died, leading to further struggles for territory and dominance.

301 BC

(2) The careers of Antogonus's grandfather and father showed great swings in fortune. After coming closer than anyone to reuniting the empire of Alexander, Antigonus Cyclops was defeated and killed in the great Battle of Ipsus in 301 and the territory he formerly controlled was divided among his enemies, Cassander, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Seleucus.

(3) The fate of Antigonus Gonatas, now 18, was closely tied with that of his father Demetrius who escaped from the battle with 9,000 troops. Jealousy among the victors eventually allowed Demetrius to regain much of the power his father had lost. He conquered Athens and much of Greece and in 294 he seized the throne of Macedonia from Alexander, the son of Cassander.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Guardian: Britain entering first world war was 'biggest error in modern history'

Historian Niall Ferguson says Britain could have lived with German victory and should have stayed out of war

Britain could have lived with a German victory in the first world war, and should have stayed out of the conflict in 1914, according to the historian Niall Ferguson, who described the intervention as "the biggest error in modern history".

In an interview with BBC History Magazine, Ferguson said there had been no immediate threat to Britain, which could have faced a Germany-dominated Europe at a later date on its own terms, instead of rushing in unprepared, which led to catastrophic costs.