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On this page: Polyphemus – Polyphron – Polypoetes – Polysperchon



POLYPHEMUS (IIoAityiftuos). 1. The ce­lebrated Cyclops in the island of Thrinacia, was a son of Poseidon, and the nymph Thoosa. For an account of him see the article cyclopes.

2. A son of Elatus or Poseidon and Hippea, was one of the Lapithae at Larissa in Thessaly. He was married to Laonome, a sister of Heracles, with whom he was connected by friendship. Pie was also one of the Argonauts, but being left be­hind by them in Mysia, he founded Cios, and fell against the Chalybes. (Horn. //. i. 264 ; Schol. ad Apollon. Mod. i. 40, 1241, iv. 1470 ; Val. Flacc. i. 457 ; Apollod. i. 9. §§ 16, 19.) [L. S.]

POLYPHRON (noAitypcoi/), the brother of Jason of Pherae, Tagus of Thessaly, succeeded to the supreme power along with his brother Polydorus on the death of Jason, in b. c. 370. Shortly afterwards he murdered Polydorus [po­lydorus], and thus became sole Tagus. He exercised his power with great cruelty, and con­verted his office into a tyranny. He murdered Polydamas of Pharsalus [polydamas], but was murdered in his turn, b. c. 369, by his nephew Alexander, who proved, however, a still greater tyrant. [alexander of pherae.] (Xen. If ell. vi. 4. §§ 33, 34 ; Pint, Pelop. c. 29.)

POLYPOETES (rioAuTron-Tjs). 1. A son of Apollo and Phthia. (Apollod. i. 7. § 6 ; comp. aetolus.)

2. A son of Peirithous and Hippodameia, was one of the Lapithae, who joined the Greeks in the Trojan war, commanding the men of Argissa, Gyrtone, Orthe, Elone and Oloosson. (Horn. //. ii. 738, &c., comp. vi. 29, xii. 129.) At the funeral games of Patroclus, he gained the victory in throwing the iron ball. (//. xxiii. 836, &c.) After the fall of Troy, Polypoetes and Leonteus are said to have founded the town of Aspendus in Pamphylia. (Eustath. ad Horn. p. 334.) [L. S.]

POLYSPERCHON (noAwnre'px«*). !• Son of Simmias, a Macedonian of the province of Stymphaea, and a distinguished officer in the ser­vice of Alexander the Great. Of his earlier ser­vices we know nothing, but it is certain that he was already a veteran and experienced warrior in b. c. 332, when he was appointed to succeed Pto­lemy the son of Seleucns in the command of one of the divisions of the phalanx. We afterwards find him occupying the same post in the battle of A?-bela, and lending the weight of his authority and experience to support the proposition of Parmenion before the action to attack the Persian camp by night. (Arr. Anab. ii. 12, iii. 11 ; Diod. xvii. 57 ; Curt. iv. 13. §§ 7, 28, who inaccurately calls him " Dux peregrini militis.") In the subsequent cam­paigns in the upper provinces of Asia and India, he bore an important part, and his name is fre­quently mentioned. Thus we find him associated with Coenus and Philotas at the passage of the Pylae Persicae, and afterwards detached under Craterus against the revolted chiefs in Paraeta-cene, accompanying Alexander on his expedition against the Assaceni, and reducing with his own division only the strong fortress of Nora. His name occurs again at the passage of the Hydaspes, as well as in the descent of that river, on both which occasions he served under Craterus ; and in b. c. 323 he was once more associated with that general as second in command of the army of invalids and veterans, which the latter was ap­pointed to conduct home to Macedonia. (Arr.


Anab. iv. 16, 22, 25, v. 11, 18, vi, 5, vii. 12 j Curt. v. 4. § 20, viii. 5. § 2, 11. § 1 ; Justin. xii. 10, 12.)

In consequence of his absence from Babylon on this service at the time of Alexander's death, he appears to have been passed over in the arrange­ments which followed that event, nor do we find any mention of his name for some time afterwards, but it seems certain that he must have returned with Craterus to Europe, and probably took part with him and Antipater in the Lamian war. In B. c. 321, when the dissensions between Antipater and Perdiccas had broken out into actual hostilities, and the former was preparing to follow Craterus into Asia, he entrusted to Polysperchon the chief command in Macedonia and Greece during his absence. The veteran general proved himself worthy of the charge ; he repulsed the Aetolians who had invaded Thessaly, and cut to pieces a Macedonian force under Polycles, defeated Menon of Pharsalus, and recovered the whole of Thessaly. (Diod. xviii. 38 ; Justin. xiii. 6.) Though we do not learn that he obtained any reward for these services during the lifetime of Antipater, it is evi­dent that he enjoyed the highest place in the con­fidence of the regent, of which the latter gave a striking proof on his deathbed, b. c. 319, by ap­pointing Polysperchon to succeed him as regent and guardian of the king, while he assigned to his own son Cassander the subordinate station of Chi-liarch. (Id. ib. 48.)

Polysperchon was at this time one of the oldest of the surviving generals of Alexander, and enjoyed in consequence the highest favour and popularity among the Macedonians ; but he was aware that both Cassander and Antigonus were jealous of his elevation, and were beginning to form secret designs for the overthrow of his power. In order to strengthen himself against them he now made overtures to Olympias, who had been driven from Macedonia by Antipater, as well as to Eumenes, whom he sought to raise up as a rival to, Antigo­nus in Asia. At the same time he endeavoured to conciliate the Greek cities by proclaiming them all free and independent, and abolishing the oligarchies which had been set up_by Antipater. Nor were these measures unsuccessful: Olympias, though she still remained in Epeirus, lent all the support of her name and influence to Polysperchon, while Eumenes, who had escaped from his mountain fastness at Nora, and put himself at the head of the Argyraspids, prepared to contend with Anti­gonus for the possession of Asia. While his most formidable rival was thus occupied in the East, it remained for Polysperchon himself to contend with Cassander in Greece. The restoration of the democracy at Athens had attached that city to the cause of the regent, but Nicanor held possession of the fortresses of Munychia and the Peiraeeus for Cassander, and refused to give them up notwith­standing the repeated orders of Olympias. Here­upon Polysperchon sent forward an army under his son Alexander into Attica, while he himself followed with the royal family. They had already advanced into Phocis when they were met by deputies from Athens, as well as by Phocion and others of the oligarchical party who had fled from the city. Both parties obtained a public hearing in the presence of the king, which ended in Phocion and his companions being given up to the opposite party by the express order of Poly-

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