Heracles (Macedon)
Heracles of Macedon was a reputed illegitimate son of Alexander the Great of Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

 by Barsine
Barsine was daughter of Artabazus, satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, and wife of Mentor of Rhodes and after his death, Mentor's brother, Memnon...

, daughter of Satrap
Satrap was the name given to the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as the Sassanid Empire and the Hellenistic empires....

Artabazus of Phrygia
Artabazus was a Persian general and satrap. He was the son of the Persian satrap of Phrygia, Pharnabazus, and younger kinsman of Ariobarzanes of Phrygia who revolted against Artaxerxes II around 366 BC.-Revolt by Ariobarzan:In 362 BC, Artabazus was sent by Artaxerxes II to capture Datames, the...

 of Phrygia
In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges , changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the...

. Heracles was named after the Greek mythological hero
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

 of the same name, from whom the Argeads
Argead dynasty
The Argead dynasty was an ancient Greek royal house. They were the ruling dynasty of Macedonia from about 700 to 310 BC. Their tradition, as described in ancient Greek historiography, traced their origins to Argos, in southern Greece...

 claimed descent.

It cannot be established definitively whether Heracles was Alexander’s son or not. Of the ancient sources, both Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 and Justin mention Barsine and Heracles but Arrian
Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon , known in English as Arrian , and Arrian of Nicomedia, was a Roman historian, public servant, a military commander and a philosopher of the 2nd-century Roman period...

 in the Anabasis Alexandri
Anabasis Alexandri
Anabasis Alexandri , the Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian, is the most important source on Alexander the Great.The Greek term anabasis referred to an expedition from a coastline into the interior of a country. The term katabasis referred to a trip from the interior to the coast...

 mentions neither. Plutarch recounts that Alexander took Barsine as his mistress, but on the arguably spurious grounds that she was recommended to him by Parmenion
Parmenion was a Macedonian general in the service of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, murdered on a suspected false charge of treason....

 (despite the many disagreements between him and Alexander, and Alexander's apparent contempt for his judgement). Of Barsine, Mary Renault
Mary Renault
Mary Renault born Eileen Mary Challans, was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece...

 states that:
If Heracles was Alexander’s illegitimate child, then it also raises the pointed question as to why he, as Alexander’s only living son at the time of his death, was not immediately drawn into the succession disputes, and why he was passed over in favour of Philip Arrhidaeus - himself illegitimate - who was only a son of Alexander’s father Philip
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon "friend" + ἵππος "horse" — transliterated ; 382 – 336 BC), was a king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.-Biography:...

, and thus a more distant claimant than Heracles. Renault concludes that the romance with Barsine was invented retrospectively to validate Heracles' parentage.

However, it should be remembered that Heracles would have been half-Persian on his mother’s side, and would have had a Persian family behind him who were already well accustomed to the exercise of power; both of which would hardly have recommended him to the Macedonian military elite as a pliable successor to Alexander. Equally, at the time of his birth, there would have been no particular reason to consider Heracles a possible candidate for the throne - Alexander was still only twenty-nine years old, and about to marry Roxana
Roxana sometimes Roxane, was a Bactrian noble and a wife of Alexander the Great. She was born earlier than the year 343 BC, though the precise date remains uncertain....

 of Bactria
Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

, and there would have been little doubt then that in time they would produce legitimate heirs to the throne.

Either way, Heracles lived in obscurity until Alexander IV's
Alexander IV of Macedon
Alexander IV Aegus was the son of Alexander the Great and Princess Roxana of Bactria.-Birth:...

 murder by Cassander
Cassander , King of Macedonia , was a son of Antipater, and founder of the Antipatrid dynasty...

 in 310 BC or 309 BC. At that point Polyperchon
Polyperchon , son of Simmias from Tymphaia in Epirus, was a Macedonian general who served under Philip II and Alexander the Great, accompanying Alexander throughout his long journeys. After the return to Babylon, Polyperchon was sent back to Macedon with Craterus, but had only reached Cilicia by...

, a regent of Macedon who had been replaced by Cassander and had all but disappeared for the previous six years, began championing Heracles as Alexander's true heir, and Polyperchon began forming an army. Instead of fighting, Cassander negotiated with Polyperchon. By offering Polypercon various bribes such as a sinecure
A sinecure means an office that requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service...

 and a large number of talents, Cassander persuaded him to murder Heracles, and Polyperchon retired to obscurity once more.

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