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Alexander II of Epirus

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Title: Alexander II of Epirus  
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Subject: 270s BC, Maurya Empire, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Lanassa (wife of Pyrrhus), Battle of the Strait of Messina
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Alexander II of Epirus

Illustration of silver coin of Alexander

Alexander II was a king of Epirus, and the son of Pyrrhus and Lanassa, the daughter of the Sicilian tyrant Agathocles.[1]


He succeeded his father as king in 272 BC, and continued the war which his father had begun with Antigonus II Gonatas, whom he succeeded in driving from the kingdom of Macedon.[2] He was, however, dispossessed of both Macedon and Epirus by Demetrius II of Macedon, the son of Antigonus II; upon which he took refuge amongst the Acarnanians. By their assistance and that of his own subjects, who entertained a great attachment for him, he recovered Epirus. It appears that he was in alliance with the Aetolians.

Alexander married his paternal half-sister Olympias, by whom he had two sons, Pyrrhus, Ptolemy and a daughter, Phthia. On the death of Alexander, around 242 BC, Olympias assumed the regency on behalf of her sons, and married Phthia to Demetrius.[3] There are extant silver and copper coins of this king. The former bear a youthful head covered with the skin of an elephant's head. The reverse represents Pallas holding a spear in one hand and a shield in the other, and before her stands an eagle on a thunderbolt.[4][5][6]

Relations with India

Alexander II of Epirus on a cameo in agatha

Alexander is apparently mentioned in the Edicts of Ashoka, as one of the recipients of the Indian Emperor Ashoka's Buddhist proselytism.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ Universal Pronouncing Dictionary of Biography and Mythology, by Joseph Thomas - 1908 - page 90
  4. ^ Justin, xvii. 1, xxvi. 2, 3, xxviii. 1
  5. ^ Polybius, ii. 45, ix. 34
  6. ^ Plutarch, Pyrrhus 9
  7. ^ "The conquest by Dharma has been won here, on the borders, and even six hundred yojanas (5,400-9,600 km) away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni (Sri Lanka)." (Edicts of Ashoka, 13th Rock Edict, S. Dhammika).
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain


Preceded by
Pyrrhus I
King of Epirus
272–242 BC
Succeeded by
Pyrrhus II
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