Among Alexander's successors, Lysimachus is the forgotten man; when he is recalled it is usually as brutal oppressor of the Greeks, or conversely, as a mediocre little man spurred into action only late in life by a domineering woman. As the first full-length study of Lysimachus in the English language, this book aims to reassess Lysimachus' achievements, which although ephemeral, foreshadowed the growth of the Pergamene and Byzantine empires.
Helen Lund sets Lysimachus' actions against the background of the early Hellenistic world, marked by extreme political instability and constant warfare, but also by great developments in city building, portraiture and numismatics. Lysimachus' practice in warfare, kingship, and government is compared and contrasted with that of his contemporaries, his predecessors, and his successors in order to set his achievements in the context of a continuum of imperial rule in Asia Minor. The evidence for Lysimachus's rule is set in its literary, political and social context. Covering Lysimachus's rise from governor of the obscure satrapy of Thrace to ruler of a vast Hellespont-centered kingdom, this book analyzes his skills as warrior and diplomat, and examines the factors which motivated him at each stage of his career.
Helen Lund discusses images of Lysimachus in literature, his contribution to early Hellenistic kingship ritual and royal propaganda, offering a completely fresh approach to the dynastic struggle which ended his career. The book is written in a clear and lively style, and it is of interest to all students of ancient Greek history.