Introducing General Perdikkas

  2133609418_f31e86632e-003   WHO WAS PERDIKKAS?

There isn’t a lot written about Alexander’s Companion and general Perdikkas who was one of the Successors.  From what I did read (in histories) he seemed like a self-serving individual who grasped onto the power in order to better his own status. In his career he was known to have made several tactical errors that cost Macedonian lives. And in fact, his final act, a forced crossing of the crocodile-infested Nile River, cost him his own life.

Perdikkas was the son of Orontes, one of the tribal lords of the Macedonian province of Orestis. He distinguished himself during the conquest of Thebes (335 BC) where he was severely wounded.  He was 4 years older than Alexander and had been a Companion since Alexander’s youth serving as one of the generals in the campaigns of Asia. After Hephaestion’s unexpected death, he was appointed as commander of the Companion cavalry and chiliarch. At the marriage nuptials encouraged by Alexander at Susa, Perdikkas married the  daughter of Atropates, a Persian satrap. During the campaigns in India he held an important command.


When Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC Perdikkas seized the opportunity to interpret Alexander’s dying words to mean that he should serve as the supreme commander of the army.  When we first meet Perdikkas in SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON he is 37 years old.  His actions, claiming the power, were rejected by a number of the generals who felt that Alexander meant his beloved commander Krateros should be declared supreme commander, however Krateros had been sent back to Macedonia shortly before. Perdikkas then took over as official guardian of the royal family and had Alexander’s idiot half-brother Arridaios named joint-king along with Alexander’s newborn son and legitimate heir, Iskander (Alexander IV). He was intolerant of anyone who opposed his position and further alienated himself by brutally killing any of these opponents.

Once they royal family had left Babylon en route back to Macedonia, Perdikkas furthered his quest to seize control of the throne by agreeing to marry the Regent’s daughter Nikaea.  However, true to form, when he was also offered the hand of Alexander’s sister Kleopatra, he broke off his marriage to Nikaea and sent her home.  Perdikkas knew that because of Arridaios mental deficiency and Iskander’s part-Persian heritage, he would stand a good chance of seizing the throne himself. When the other generals and the Regent learned of this they set out to stop him.


As Perdikkas marched south in pursuit of Ptolemy who had hijacked Alexander’s funeral carriage and taken the body to Egypt, Perdikkas actions created friction in the army who complained against his severe orders.  When he ordered troops to cross the crocodile infested river that was the final disaster of his career.  After seeing hundreds of their companions drowned and killed by these vicious river beasts, a group of his officers plotted to kill him. Led by Peithon and Seleukos, a group of  generals raided Perdikka’s tent and stabbed him to death.  He was 39 years old.



There is no monument for Perdikkas.  No bust of him has been found (at least there is no record that I have found) so there is no physical image of him.  He left behind his legacy of corruption and the tragic consequences of his quest for power.




Who Was Philip II of Macedonia?Высокогорья

Although Philip II is only mentioned in the two volumes of SHADOW OF THE LION, he is still an important character because he was Alexander the Great’s father and one of the greatest warrior kings of the ancient world.

Philip was born about 383 to King Amnytas II and queen Eurydike (one of his two known wives). When he was a youth, Philip was sent as a “hostage” (guest-friend) to Thebes where he learned battle skills from the famous Thracian warrior Epaninandos. He came to power in Macedon in 359 BCE just after Macedonia had suffered a defeat at the hands of the Illyrians. At the time, the country was in political and military turmoil. Philip set out to gain control. Two years later, he defeated the Illyrians and sought to bring all of that area under control. He married the daughter of the Illyrian war-lord Bardylis. They later had a daughter, Kynane, who was married to Philip’s nephew Amyntas. Their daughter, Adeia-Eurydike, is the young warrior woman featured in SHADOW OF THE LION.

Philip had possibly seven wives in total. One of them, Philinna from Larissa, was the mother of Philip Arridaios. His third wife, Olympias, a young princess from Epiros, became the mother of Alexander and Kleopatra. Four years later he married a woman from Pherae and they had a daughter, Thessaloniki.

Alexander was marked early on as Philip’s successor partly due to his promise and partly by the unscrupulous deeds of his powerful mother. (Olympias was suspected as being behind the poisoning of Arridaios at an early age thus rendering her own son’s possible rival, incapacitated). Philip groomed Alexander, giving him the best education under the tutelage of the eminent Aristotle.

In 338 Philip’s army defeated the Athenian and Theban forces at the Battle of Chaeronea even though his own army was greatly outnumbered. Thebes and Athens were forced to become subjects of Philip and garrisons were established with Philip’s allies in control. (This included the garrison at Athens which features in Volume 2 of Shadow of the Lion, THE FIELDS OF HADES. Sparta was the only Greek state not under his domination. At the Council of Corinth the following year, Philip gave freedom and autonomy to all the city states and established a network that would be loyal to him.

Then, with the support of Greece, he declared war on Persia (spring 336). He sent an advance troop over to Asia Minor to begin liberating the Greek cities along the coast. But just before Philip was to travel to Asia himself, he was assassinated.

He was at the old palace of Aigai hosting a wedding reception for his daughter, Kleopatra, to her uncle, the King of Epiros. It was to be an extravagant affair held in the theatre with statues of the twelve Olympic gods and one of Philip. At the moment Philip entered the theatre and alit from his horse, he was stabbed to death by his bodyguard, Pausanias.  It was said that Pausanias sought revenge from Philip because he had been shunned and demeaned as a result of a love affair he’d had with the king. There was suspicion, however, that Pausanias was paid off by the Persians and most probably by Olympias who wanted to get rid of Philip because he had recently married the young daughter of his friend Attalus. To compound this suspicion, after Philip’s death, Olympias had the girl and her newborn child murdered. Philip’s nephew, Amyntas (father of Adeia-Eurydike) was accused of treason in the plot and was executed. To appease the family, later Alexander had Adeia-Eurydike engaged to his mentally deficient brother Arridaios.

During his twenty-three years as ruler Philip took Macedonia from a weak, divided state to one of great military and political eminence. Philip had devoted great attention to his army, training it in advanced skills and arming it with the most effective weapons. By the end of his reign he had increased the size of the army to about 30,000 foot and 3,000 horse. This was the outstanding army inherited by Alexander who was his father’s successor at the age of eighteen.

Unlike his more famous son, Philip was not always invincible in battle. He suffered two severe defeats by the Phocians and failed in his sieges of Perinthus and Byzantium. He suffered serious war wounds in these battles. One reason he succeeded in the end was the way he used bribery. He was a master of deception and his victims were usually unaware of his true intentions. He used his wealth to gain his political allies. Philip’s self-indulgent life style was criticized by his Greek contemporaries – his heavy drinking and wanton sexual desires were expected of Macedonian nobles and kings. Polygamy was practiced. Nearly all his wives were daughters of neighbouring warlords. This led to bitter jealousies and intrigues in the Macedonian court. Philip’s last marriage, in 337, to a young Macedonian nobleman’s daughter was part of his downfall. Olympias was vindictive and dangerous and this union created serious domestic strife, incited by Alexander who opposed his father. What happened at Kleopatra’s wedding was the final rift.



 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.



amazon_women_warriorsHer birth name was “Adeia”. The name, “Eurydike” was the dynastic name bestowed on her after her marriage to Philip Arridaios, Alexander’s half-brother.Выбор материалов для ремонта кровли с учетом их совместимости.


Adeia was the granddaughter of two kings, Philip II and his brother, Perdikkas III. Her mother, Kynane, was the offspring of one of Philip II’s war-brides, who was the daughter of Bardylis, an Illyrian warrior-chieftain Philip had defeated when he won Illyria, a tribal country with rugged terrain north-west of the Macedonian border. Kynane was married to one of Philip’s brothers, Amyntas, who as later executed on the charge of treason after Philip’s assassination.


To appease this unpleasant family situation after his father’s death, Alexander engaged Adeia by proxy to her uncle, Arridaios. The engagement was later annulled by Antipater, Regent of Macedon. That did not stop Kynane and Adeia from pursuing the chance to marry into the royal household after Alexander had died, in order to claim the right to the throne and avenge Amyntas’ unjust execution.

Disguised as men, they set off for Asia Minor in the hope of convincing General Perdikkas that the engagement was legitimate. They confronted Perdikkas’ soldiers near Sardis and in the skirmish, Kynane was killed.  When the soldiers realized they had killed Philip II’s daughter, they nearly revolted, so Perdikkas was forced to allow the marriage of Adeia and Arridaios.


Very little (if anything) is written about Adeia-Eurydike so it required imagination and research to develop her character. As she was from a family of warriors on both sides of the family, especially women warriors on her mother’s side, I saw her as a young girl of strong character. She was ambitious, charismatic and tough, often emulating her uncle Alexander. As she had been brought up in the mountains she had likely been taught the skill of a swordwoman, although she was tutored in court manners because she was royalty. She dreamt of being like the famous Scythian swordswoman, Penthathelia mentioned in Homer’s Illiad.  I saw her as a-sexual, usually dressed in boy’s clothes and frequently hanging out with the foot-soldiers. In no time she formed her own faction against Perdikkas.


She made the best of her marriage to Arridaios, who had the mental capacity of a child. In fact, she was using him as her stepping-stone to the throne. Her conflicts with Perdikkas (in Volume One, BLOOD ON THE MOON) and later with Olympias in Volume Two, THE FIELDS OF HADES, have dire consequences.


Ancient Writing Materials and ImplementsA lot of my readers have mentioned the names in SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON. For many of the names of the characters I used common spellings you might see in history books but for others I had to used the correct Greek names. In addition, the glossary was accidently left out of the volume (hopefully it will be included in Volume II  THE FIELDS OF HADES, which will be published I 2016). So I have attached it here so readers can make reference to words they might not be familiar with.focuz

Here’s a quick lesson in pronouncing the Greek and Persian names:

There are only five vowel sounds in Greek, all of which are easy to produce, though they are not stressed as long as in English. On the other hand unstressed vowels are more clearly pronounced.

ai, I, n, u, oi, ei, ui are pronounced like ea in seat  ADEIA= Adea  NIKAIA=Nikea

oi and ai are pronounced like e or i

ou  like through

eu like ev  PEUKESTAS=Pevkestas EUMENES=Evmenes SELEUKOS=Selevkos

y like in sit  KYNNA=Kinna

ph like in fall  DEMETRIOS OF PHALIRON= Demetrios of Faliron

pt like in tall  PTOLEMY (PTOLEMEIOS)= (p)Tolemy  or Tolemeos (barely say the ‘p’)

Most of the names are pronounced as they look.


 Agema           the elite corps within a military body

Ankush          a hook or goad used by a mahout

Arcon             political leader or military commander

Argeadae (also Argeads)   descendants of Argaeus. The Macedonian royal house.

Ashlar                        hewn or squared stone

Astrigali         knucklebones (a bone – metatarsis – of a sheep, used in games

Aulos              a wind instrument like a flute

Bema              speaker’s platform, altar

Bireme          a ship with two banks of oars

Bitumen        an asphalt of Asia Minor used as a cement or mortar

Bothy             a hut

Bouletarian  Council house for citizens (boule) of Athens

Byssos                        a fine linen cloth

Carhanas       a type of long horn used by Persians

Chiliarch      commander of a thousand.

Chiton                        a tunic

Chlamys        an oblong mantle

Daimon         demon

Dhotis          loincloth worn by Hindu men

Ephebe           a young man  (or cadet in the army)

Epigone         successor or descendants (particularly the barbarian troops recruited and    trained to replace discharged Macedonian veterans.

Epitaphion    eulogy to the dead

Eremenos      a man’s male lover

Eyrines          the Furies,  Greek goddesses of retribution

Galis               wrath, bitterness of spirit

Greaves          armor for the leg below the knee

Gatha             twelve hymns from the sacred text of the Zorastrian faith

Goule             a monstrous creature

Hegamon      a leader (a general or commander-in-chief)

Helot              a serf, slave

Hetaera           a woman companions, high-class, cultivated courtesan

Himation      a rectangular cloth draped over the left should and around the body, worn   as a garment in ancient Greece

Hipparch        a cavalry commander

Hoplites         heavily armed infantry soldier

Hypaspist (pl. hypaspistai) shield bearers

Karwan          caravan

Khotal         a boy who assists the mahouts

Knucklebones          see Astrigali

Kodjah           old eunuch who tends the harem

Komos           a ritualistic drunken procession

Kopis              a slightly carved sword used for striking downwards (used by cavalrymen)

Kore               relating to Persephone,  or Cycladic marble statues of  men

Krater               a jar or vase used for mixing wine

Kukuvia         small owl

Kyrbasia        a Persian head dress

Maidan          a square or field

Metic              a resident alien, one who did not have citizenship

Mitra              headdress worn by royalty

Moira             destiny

Mole               earth laid in the sea as a pier or breakwater

Mystai                mystics, those related to mystery

Oligarchy       a government in which a small group exercises control

Orisons          prayers

Paean             a joyous song or hymn of praise

Palaistra        a school for wrestling

Parados          entrance for the chorus in the theatre

Peltasts          shield bearers

Peripatetics   ‘walking’ philosopher who pace while discoursing  (from the school of  Aristotle)

Peristyle        a colonnade surrounding a courtyard

Pezatairoi     phalanx soldiers

Phalanx         a body of heavily armed infantry formed in close, deep ranks

Pilaster          an upright column

Pithoi             pots, storage jars

Pothos           an urge, or longing

Polis               city state

Posset             a hot drink of spiced milk curdled with wine

Proskynesis  the Persian practice of obeisance (from blowing a kiss to groveling before  the Great King)

Rython           a vessel for pouring ritual libations

Satrap             provincial governor

Satrapy           province of Persian Empire

Sarissas          Macedonian pike (15 – 18 ft in length)

Sistrum         a percussion instrument like a rattle

Shahziad        Persian princess

Shahryar       wife of the Shah (or king)

Shikaris         big game hunter

Skene             building behind playing area in theatre

Skolion          a celebratory song

Stater             a gold or silver coin

Stoa                ancient Greek porticoe

Stragile          an metal instrument for scraping oil off an athlete’s body

Strategos (pl. Strategoi)  a general, also military overseer in a city or province

Taxiarches (pl. Taxiarchoi) commander of a taxis

Taxis (pl. Taxeis)  a unit (size can vary) phalanx battalion which numbered 1500 men  each

Temenos       a piece of land marked off from common people, especially for kings

Thyrsos          a staff of giant fennel covered with ivy leaves, topped with a pine cone,   carried by followers of Dionysus

Trierarch       the commander of a trireme

Trireme         warship with three banks of oars

Xenophobia  fear and hatred of strangers and foreigners











1-alexander   Perdikkas was the son of an Orestian nobleman from the mountainous lake district between Macedonia and Illyria (today’s Albania). His exact age isn’t known but he is believed to have been about the same age as Alexander. He served as a cadet and young officer under Philip II and was one of Alexander’s chosen Companions.dekor-okno


His first known military action was in 334 BC with Alexander when they attacked a group of rebels in Illyria. At that time he was a phalanx commander. When a rumor circulated that Alexander had died during the Illyrian campaign it stirred up a rebellion in Thebes and they killed the Macedonian garrison officers stationed there. Alexander went south. After a short siege, Perdikkas’ men stormed the city, breaking the official line of command. The assault had not been planned and it was reported that his men had been drunk.  In this attack Perdikkas was severely wounded. Ptolemy wrote later that the attack was due to the lack of discipline in Perdikkas’ phalanx, however it was well-known that Perdikkas and Ptolemy were at odds with each other. In retaliation for the rebellion, Thebes was razed to the ground, the male population killed, and women taken into slavery all except the family of Pindar the poet, a favorite of Alexander, was saved by Alexander.

When Alexander, now in his early 20’s, launched his long-planned campaign against Persia the following year (May 334 BC) Perdikkas was again in command of the heavy phalanx infantry. That summer there was an attack on a Persian naval base which suffered a big defeat, Ptolemy cited that Perdikkas’s soldiers were drunk, though this may have been an attempt by Ptolemy to again discredit Perdikkas.


At the time of the Battle of Issus later that year, Perdikkas was in command of the army when Alexander was occupied with the siege of Tyre. Again, a year later, he was in command of a phalanx battalion at Guagemela.

During Alexander’s pursuit of the Persian king Darius III, Perdikkas disappears from records as the phalanx wasn’t involved. But later, when the army reached the Hindu Kush, Perdikkas took part in one of the sieges.


When Alexander invaded the Punjab in 327/326 BC, Perdikkas, along with Alexander’s closest Companion, Hephaestion, captured an important city. During the Indian campaign, Perdikkas was a cavalry commander. Eventually, when Alexander was seriously wounded at the siege of Mallia, Perdikkas was said to have been the only one who dared help rescue him.

After the army returned to Susa, Alexander married the Persian princess, Stateira, and insisted his soldiers marry Persian wives. Perdikkas had married the daughter of the satrap of Media, a Persian woman named Atrophates.  Not long afterwards, Hephaestion unexpectedly died and Perdikkas was appointed commander of the Companion Cavalry and made Chiliarch (vizier), the highest ranking officer in the army.


Shortly after this when Alexander lay dying in Babylon (323 BC) after being ill for several days, he gave his royal signet ring to Perdikkas sayng that he was giving his empire kratistoi “to the strongest”. It could have also meant “to Krateros” who was Alexander’s supreme commander who had been sent back to Macedon in an important mission.  When Alexander died, Perdikkas proposed that they way until Alexander’s pregnant first wife, Roxana, give birth. If it were a son, he’d be chosen as the new king. This proposal meant that Perdikkas would have command of the boy until he grew up.

At the time of Alexander’s death, both Roxana and Stateira were pregnant. It is alleged that Perdikkas aided Roxana in having the princess and her sister murdered to make sure no Persian royalty would be in line for the throne.


Roxana gave birth to her son Alexander IV (who she named Iskander) a month later. The commander of the phalanx, Meleager, argued that Alexander’s half-brother, Philip Arridaios, should be first in line of succession in spite of the fact that Arridaios was mentally unfit. Meleager attemped a coup and a rebellion ensued. The instigators including Meleager were killed and Perdikkas was named guardian and regent of the two joint kings.

Now Perdikkas was in charge of Alexander’s army and in control of Babylonia, but he sought to command the two centres of the empire _ Macedonia and Babylon. So he set out on conquests of Asia Minor. During this time he became engaged to Nikaia, the daughter of Macedon’s regent, Antipater. But Perdikkas broke off the engagement when he was offered the opportunity to marry Alexander’s sister Kleopatra. This would make him a member of the Macedonian royal house and as Arridaios was a misfit and the other child, Alexander IV still too young,  Perdikkas would stand to claim the regency and the crown.

Perdikkas unfortunately didn’t live to see his aspirations realized. When Ptolemy hijacked Alexander’s funeral carriage and had it diverted to Egypt, Perdikkas decided to invade Egypt. By the time his army reached the Nile, his soldiers, were ready to revolt, resenting his harsh discipline and the fool-hardy commands that had left many of them dead in the Nile.  Perdikkas was assassinated by several of his commanders. His once dazzling career was finished

herodotus4_mapHe died near Pelusium at the Nile.


640px-Lataband_Road_mountainsAuthor’s note: I’m going to present a series of introductions to the main characters in SHADOW OF THE LION, first those in “Blood on the Moon” and later those who appear in volume 2 “The Fields of Hades”.


Roxana (also spelled Roxane): Her Sogdian name was ROSHANAK which meant “Little Star”. Her father was a Sogdian nobleman and warlord named Oxyartes. His fortress was atop the formidable Rock of Ariamazes in Sogdiana near the Oxus River, known as “The Sogdian Rock” in the Hindu Kush mountains, today’s northern Afghanistan.  Roxana was about fifteen years old when Alexander’s elite troop of mountaineers scaled the heights of the Rock and stormed the fortress.


It is said that Alexander fell in love at first sight when he met this spirited Soghdian girl who was described as ”the most beautiful lady in all Asia”. All agreed that Alexander was entranced by her. He was 29 and had never been married. An obvious candidate had been Barsine, widow of Memnon of Rhodes, who had been his concubine since the Battle of Issus, but instead he chose Roxana. They had a lavish wedding and symbolized their union before the guests with the Persian custom of cutting a loaf of bread with a sword and each eating half as bride and groom. Of course his marriage was political move as Oxyartes was one of the most powerful chieftains in Sogdiana.  Roxana was a fierce-tempered mountain woman. Her three brothers were warriors and were later conscripted into Alexander’s army. One of them, Itanes, became the commander of a special squadron.


Alexander’s marriage to Roxana was a noble step, his first marriage was meant to secure Soghdiana as part of his empire, so perhaps this was more of a reality and not romance when he married her. His father, Philip II always took wives from the tribes he conquered. And to maintain the Soghdians’ loyalty marrying a local princess was a logical step. The marriage provoked his generals. Alexander had begun to adopt Persian customs, including the proskynesis (bowing in obeisance to the king), and the men were outraged and bitter toward Persian royalty.


After the marriage, Roxana followed Alexander to India where she gave birth to a child that died soon after. She accompanied Alexander to Babylon and when he died on June 10, 323 BC she was again pregnant. So was Alexander’s second wife, Stateira, the daughter of Shah Darius. In a fit of jealousy, and with General Perdikkas’ help, Roxana allegedly murdered her female rival.

Unlike most of the other Persian noblewomen who were quickly swept from sight after the Macedonians repudiated the marriages that had been arranged for them by Alexander, Roxana managed to survive, but she and her newborn son were never truly accepted. The child, Alexander IV (in the novel named Iskander) born a month after Alexander’s death, was of Soghdian blood, not a true-born Macedonian. Because the generals insisted there should be a Macedonian on the throne, they made Alexander’s mentally challenged half-brother Arridaios, joint kings with Alexander’s infant heir.

Roxana’s life after Alexander’s death was not an easy one. Despised by most of the generals and known for her angry outbursts, she was isolated and mostly friendless.  In the novel, I created a fictional character, Nabarzanes the Persian Court Advisor, as a sympathetic character who she could rely on.  Her life became a struggle as she tried to survive the maelstrom of Macedonian politics and intrigues of the Macedonian court. She could trace her bloodlines to an Assyrian queen and was used to a rich, indulged lifestyle, known for her temper, selfishness and arrogance. Alexander’s generals considered her a mere campaign wife.  After the death of General Perdikkas who manipulated the joint-kings in hopes of gaining his own hold on the throne, Roxana and her child were placed in the guardianship of Polyperchon, one of the officers who had served Alexander in Soghdiana.


For a woman who had grown up in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, traveled to exotic India and lived in the posh palaces of Persia and Babylonia, it must have been a strange experience for Roxana when she and her child were finally transported to Macedon to be placed in the care of the aging regent, Antipater.


Who are the characters in “Shadow of the Lion: Blood on the Moon”?  Although I tried to be careful when I was developing them, drawing them out as best I could so they would seem as ‘real’ to the reader as they did to me, I’ve had a few requests to post visual pictures of


There are a few marble busts or faces on coins that show more-or-less what they looked like in person.  And for the fictional characters I’ve found a few drawings of costumes etc.  In the cases of some characters I pin-pointed real live people who I thought might resemble the person and drew my descriptions from observing those people and describing their body-language, facial features etc.


I have been told by most of my readers that the characters are very ‘real’.  In fact one of my critique readers called me up some time after she’d read the manuscript and asked “How is everyone?”  I thought she meant our friends. But no, she meant the characters in the book.  “I miss them,” she said. And frankly, I miss them too. As I wrote about them they became more real to me.  And of course, most of them really were living people at the time of Alexander.

Here’s a few of the characters who I found portraits or sculptures of:

ALEXANDER the GREAT:  King of Macedon, conqueror of the eastern world. imagesCA5JOYVY

ALEXANDER & HEPHAESTION:  The busts of Alexander and his faithful friend and companion Hephaestion.


OLYMPIAS: Alexander’s mother coin_olympias_mus_theski_s

PHILIP II: Alexander’s father  220px-Filip_II_Macedonia

ROXANE:  Alexander’s Soghdian widow, mother of Iskander.roxanna-achaemenid-princess-003


ISKANDER: (Alexander IV) little is know about him but I did find this one cartouche drawing evidently in a Paris museum.


ARRIDAIOS:  Alexander’s mentally challenged half-brother who became joint-king with Alexander IV (Iskander) arridaeus_bust

ADEIA-EURYDIKE:  This is actually a portrait of young Alexander but to me it looks like what I imagined Adeia to resemble. 3879864-3x4-700x933

PTOLEMY:  Alexander’s illegitimate half-brother who later became the first Ptolemaic Pharoah of Egypt.PtolemyISoter

SELEUKOS:  Alexander’s companion and general who took over the satrapy of Babylon 250px-Seleuco_I_Nicatore

KASSANDROS:  Alexander’s enemy, son of the Regent Antipater, and villain of the novel. 637px-Coin_of_Cassander

NABARZANES: The Persian Court Advisor (he was patterned from a real person but may have looked like this.)imagesCAAKS2OV


DEMITRIOS: The arrogant young son of Antigonos the One-Eyed.

THE CHALDEAN MAGUS: This is the picture of a Zorastrian priest but I imagine the Magus to look like this.full86371



SADU & OLD PEARL: The mahout from the Punjab and his elephant Old Pearl who guarded the royal tent.







From the time Alexander the Great set out on his campaign to conquer the Persians to the day in June, 323 BC when he died in Babylon, ten years had passed.  In Volume One of SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON, the journey of the joint-kings from Babylon after Alexander’s death took four years. It was also a long journey!

This map shows the extent of Alexander’ conquests and the routes they took. Some of the same route was taken by the escort of the joint-kings including an unexpected side-trip to Egypt. But can you imagine that on this journey was a tiny child, still an infant when the entourage left Babylon, and barely five years old by the time he reached Macedon.

Can you imagine spending your early childhood being carted from army camp to army camp? Can you imagine that you were the only child, surrounded by soldiers, with no playmates and an over-protective mother?

In some of the research I did for the novel, I read that this was a case of child-abuse and exploitation.Iit was, because the Successors where using this innocent child,Iskander (Alexander IV). as a puppet king by naming him Alexander’s successor along with his dim-witted Uncle Arridaios. And because many of the Macedonian disliked her, every day his mother, Roxana who was Alexander’s Soghdian widow, wondered if someone would murder them because they didn’t want a non-Macedonian inheriting Alexander’s throne.

Nevertheless, the journey was made successfully, even though they had come through a battle at the Nile and various disruptions along the way. And when Iskander arrives at Amphipolis, although he has some trepidations, he is encouraged by his mother who insists that once they get to Pella, the royal city, all will be well, because Alexander’s mother, Olympias, will meet them and welcome them.  But will she? Olympias had a notorious reputation. Would she welcome her son’s widow and her grandson? And will Alexander’s son one day inherit his father’s throne?

Volume One of SHADOW leaves you with these questions.  How much longer will this journey take before it is really over? What will happen when they arrive in the royal city?

Volume Two: SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES addresses these questions. Watch for it to be published in 2016.

In the front of the book there is a map, drawn by my artist J. Patrick McFarlane, but unfortunately it was printed too small for readers to follow. I’ve put it here so it may be clearer, and it will definitely be enlarged for Volume 2.

newmap a