Battle of Ipsus

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Battle of Ipsus
ConflictWars of the Diadochi
Date301 BC
PlacePhrygia
ResultMacedonian victory
Combatants
Antigonids Macedonians
Seleucids
Commanders
Antigonus the One-Eyed
Demetrius
Cassander
Lysimachus
Seleucus
Strength
Unknown infantry
75 elephants
60 000 infantry
400 elephants
Casualties
Unknown Unknown

The battle of Ipsus was fought between some of the successors of Alexander the Great in 301 BC near the village of that name in Phrygia. Antigonus the One-Eyed and his son Demetrius were pitted against the coalition of three other companions of Alexander: Cassander, ruler of Macedonia; Lysimachus, ruler of Thrace; and Seleucus, ruler of Babylonia and Persia.

Antigonus was 80 years old and the ruler of (modern day) Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Judea. His army was huge, victorious over many enemies and he had 75 war elephants. His enemies had a somewhat smaller force (believed to be around 60,000 men) but they had Seleucus and some 400 elephants. This was the only major European battle in which both sides employed Indian war elephants.

Almost no histories have survived with an account of the battle, only Plutarch's life of Demetrius. We know that Demetrius was initially successful on his side of the battle (on the right wing with heavy cavalry) but his force became separated from the center of the Antigonid army. When he attempted to rejoin the main body, his cavalry was blocked by a huge mass of war elephants (we assume under the command of Seleucus).

The main body, the Antigonid phalanx, was destroyed by missile fire from light troops that attacked from at least one flank. Antigonus himself died in battle from thrown javelins.

The battle resulted in the division of the short-lived Alexandrian Empire into three main power centers: Macedon in the west, Syria and Babylonia (under the Seleucids) in the center, and Egypt (under the Ptolemies) to the south. Ipsus is an important battle but it finalized the breakup of an empire, not the creation of one, which may account for its obscurity.

External links

pl:Bitwa pod Ipsos fi:Ipsoksen taistelu

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