Get to Know Ancient Macedonians II

From clever strategists and romantic poets, ancient Macedonia produced a wealth of warriors, leaders, and contributors to the arts that are still revered in time. This article focuses on representatives of this ancient culture, including Leon of Pella, who wrote “On the Gods in Egypt” and a comic poet with a reputation so grand , a statue of him is found in the Vatican.

Leon of Pella

Also known as Leo the Egyptian, Leon of Pella lived during the days of 4th century BC. As a historian, priest, and theologian, he was equipped with the knowledge and experiences that allowed him to write the book titled “On the Gods in Egypt.” He formulated the book to convey the thoughts of one of the greatest leaders in history, which he took from a letter attributed to Alexander the Great, which he supposedly penned to his mother Olympias.


The son of Antipater, Cassander (355 to 297 BC), did not become King of Macedonia in the fashion that he had expected. While his father ruled over Macedonia and Greece, Cassander stayed behind in Europe while the Macedonian army invaded Asia. This may have played a role in his father’s choice for his successor, which was not his son, but instead , Polyperchon. Cassander harbored resentment and decided to make plans to remove his rival from his appointment. He looked for help in this matter and found it with Antigonus of Asia Minor. Later on, when Antigonus died in 301, Cassander was able to safeguard the kingship over Macedonia for himself. With the marriage to Alexander the Great’s sister Thessalonica, he became in greater favor of the people. In her honor, he was known for founding a city in her name, which centuries later , gained a reputation for greatness.


When it comes to Greek drama, Menander led the way with the Athenian New Comedy movement. Born into a family of wealth , his father was associated with the military and a governorship. During his lifetime, Menander penned more than 100 comedies, taking the coveted prize at the Lenaia festival about eight times.

Poseidippus of Cassandreia

Poseidippus called Athens his home and later made a name for himself as a comic poet with a reputation for leading the way in New Comedy , the last period in time associated with the progression of dramatists in ancient times. His first play was produced a few years after the well-known Menander had passed on in 289 BC. When he wrote, he placed cooks in significant roles. Over the years, he was the writer to imitate and according to Aulus Gellius , Poseidippus was a favorite amongst Latin comic poets. He was so well liked that a striking portrait and sitting statue of the poet resides in the Vatican , looked upon as a glorious example of Classical Art.