ARRIDAIOS was the offspring of King Philip II’s Thessalian war-bride, Philinna, from Larissa, who he had married in order to consolidate the Thessalian nation. Arridaios was two years younger than Alexander, born a normal healthy child, but at some point he was poisoned. Not enough to kill him, but enough to make him mentally deficient. It was always believed that Olympias was responsible for this as she would not let another male heir survive to take the place of her son, Alexander.reteks
Arridaios (named Philip after his father) was normal in looks and resembled his father enough so that when he was an adult, anyone who did not know about his mental capacity might think he was just like Philip who was highly esteemed by the soldiers.
At one point, Philip tried to marry Arridaios off to a Carian princess. This caused Alexander to be jealous and he and his Companions tried to way-lay the plans. Little did they realize that the princess was still a mere child. When Philip found out he was furious and banished some of the Companions.
After Philip’s assassination Alexander engaged Arridaios by proxy to his niece Adeia, whose father had been executed for treason in Philip’s death. Later, when Alexander left on campaign to Asia Minor he took Arridaios along to protect him from Olympias and from others who might use the dullard prince to their own advantage.
When Alexander died in Babylon, some of the generals wanted to name Arridaios as king. This was plainly a ploy to use him to their own advantage. Alexander’s Soghdian wife, Roxana, had given birth to a male child, Alexander IV (Iskander) who was the legal heir. But he was not pure Macedonian and many of the generals resented a foreign child claiming the throne. One of the generals, Meleager, and his phalanx troops, insisted that Arridaios should be king. They formed a faction against Perdikkas who had taken control of the army. The coup was ended with the instigators being put to death including Meleager. To keep peace in the army, Perdikkas named Philip Arridaios and Alexander IV (Islander) as joint-kings.
Meanwhile, Alexander’s neice Adeia and her mother Kynna (one of Philip’s daughters) disguised as men, made their way to Asia Minor to make good on the proxy engagement (even though it had been annulled by the Regent). Supposing they were brigands, Perdikkas men attacked them and killed Kynna. When Adeia revealed her identity they rallied around her and insisted that Perdikkas allow the marriage to take place.
Adeia adopted the royal name Eurydike. Her main intention was to marry Arridaios so she could get a hold on the throne to avenge her father Amyntas and her mother’s deaths. She treated Arridaios kindly, and played the role of the dutiful wife. Meanwhile she had formed her own faction against Perdikkas.
Poor Arridaios was cared for and led about by a kindly Keeper. He was prone to seizures and had only the intelligence of a three-year old in spite of his manly size and ‘normal’ appearance. In studying about Arridaios I did research on epilepsy and observations of the mentally disabled in order get a clear picture of him and what his abilities might be. He is a loveable but tragic character in the novel. He was manipulated and used by both the generals and his wife, Adeia, and in the end it could only mean tragedy for him.
In Part Two of SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES the story tells of Arridaios’ pathetic life and his unfortunate ending.