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Epeirus, Neoptolemus returned home by land, because he had been forewarned of the dangers which the Greeks would have to encounter at sea. Some again state that from Troy he first went to Molossia, and thence to Phthia, where he recovered the throne which had in the mean time been taken from Pelens by Acastus (Diet. Cret. vi. 7, &c. ; Eurip. Troad. 1125 i comp. Horn. Od. iv. 9). Others, that on his return to Scyros, he was cast by storm on the coast of Ephyra in Epeirus, where Andromache gave birth to Molossus, to whom, the Molossian kings traced their descent (Pind. Nem. iv. 82, vii. 54, &c.). Others lastly say that he went to Epeirus of his own accord, because he would or could not return to Phthia in Thessaly (Paus. i. 11. § 1 ; Virg. Aen. iii. 333 ; Justin. xvii. 3). In Epeirus he is also said to have carried off Lanassa, a granddaughter of Heracles, from the temple of the Dodonean Zeus, and to have become by her the father of eight children (Justin. I. c.). Shortly after his marriage with Hermione, Neopto lemus went to Delphi, some say to plunder the temple of Apollo, who had been the cause of the death of Achilles, or to take the god to account for his father ; and according to others to take offerings of the Trojan booty to the god, or to consult him about the means of obtaining children by Hermione (Schol. ad Pind. Nem. vii. 54, 58, ad Eurip. Or. 1649, Androm. 51). It is owing to this uncer tainty that some ancient writers distinguish be tween two different journeys to Delphi, where he was slain, either by the command of the Pythia (Paus. i. 13. § 7), or at the instigation of Orestes, who was angry at being deprived of Hermione (Eurip. Androm. 891, &c. 1085, &c. ; Virg. Aen. iii. 330) ; and according to others again, by the priest of the temple, or by Machaereus, the son of Daetas (Schol. ad Pind. Nem. vii. 62 ; Paus. x. 24. § 4 ; Strab. p. 421). His body was buried at Delphi, under the threshold of the temple, and remained there until Menelaus caused it to be taken up and buried within the precincts of the temple (Pind. Nem. vii. 62 ; Paus. x. 24. § 5). He was wor shipped at Delphi as a hero, as presiding over sacri ficial repasts and public games. At the time when the Gauls attacked Delphi he is said to have come forward to protect the city, and from that time to have been honoured with heroic worship. (Paus. i. 4. § 4. x. 23. § 3.) [L. S.J
NEOPTOLEMUS I. (NeoTrro'Ae^os), king of Epeirus, was son of Alcetas I., and father of Alex ander I., and of Olympias, the mother of Alex ander the Great. On the death of Alcetas, Neop tolemus and his brother Arymbas or Arrybas agreed to divide the kingdom, and continued to rule their respective portions without any inter ruption of the harmony between them, until the death of Neoptolemus, which, according to Droysen, may be placed about b. c. 360. No further inci dents of his reign have been transmitted to us. (Paus. i. 11. §§ 1, 3 ; Justin. vii. 6. § 10, xvii. 3. § 14 ; Droysen, Hellenismus, vol. i. p. 250, not.) [E.H. B.]
NEOPTOLEMUS II., king of Epeirus, was son of Alexander I. and grandson of the preceding. At his father's death in b. c. 326, he was probably a mere infant, and his pretensions to the throne were passed over in favour of Aeacides. It was not till B. c. 302 that the Epeirots, taking advantage of the absence of Pyrrhus, the son of Aeacides, rose in insurrection against him, and set up Neop-
tolemus in his stead. The latter reigned for the space of six years without opposition, but effectually alienated the minds of his subjects, by his harsh and tyrannical rule. He thus paved the way for the return of Pyrrhus, who landed in Epeirus in b. c. 296, at the head of a force furnished him by Ptolemy, king of Egypt. Neoptolemus, alarmed at the disaffection of his subjects, consented to a compromise, and it was agreed that the two rivals should share the sovereignty between them. But such an arrangement could not last long; at a solemn festival, where the two kings and all the chief nobles of the land were assembled, Neopto lemus had. formed the design to rid himself of his rival by poison, j but the plot was discovered by Pyrrhus, who in return caused him to be assas sinated at a banquet to which he had himself in vited him. (Plut. Pyrrli. 4, 5 ; Droysen, vol. i. p. 250.) [E.H.B.]
NEOPTOLEMUS (Neoirro'Ae^os), historical. 1. A Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great. As we are told by Arrian that he belonged to the race of the Aeacidae, he was probably related to the family of the kings of Epeirus. He is mentioned as serving in the royal guards (ercupot) and distinguished himself particularly at the siege of Gaza, B. c. 332, of which he was the first to scale the walls. (Arr. Anab. ii. 27.) We hear but little of him during the subsequent campaigns of Alexander, but he appears to have earned the re* putation of an able soldier ; and in the division of the provinces, after the death of the king, Neoptolemus obtained the government of Armenia. (Carmania^ in Dexippus, ap. Phot. p. 64, b. is clearly a false reading ; see Droysen, vol. i. p. 50.) It seems, however, that he had already given evidence of a restless and unsettled disposition, which caused Perdiccas to regard him with suspicion, and in b. c. 321, when the latter set out for Egypt, he placed Neoptolemus under the command of Eumenes, who was enjoined to exercise particular vigilance in regard to him. The suspicions of the regent proved not unfounded: Neoptolemus immediately entered into correspondence with the hostile leaders, Antipater and Craterus, and, on being ordered by Eumenes to join him with his contingent, refused to .comply. Hereupon Eumenes immediately marched against him, defeated his army, and compelled all the Macedonian troops in his service to take the oath of fidelity to Perdiccas. Neoptolemus himself escaped with a small body of cavalry and joined Craterus, whom he persuaded to march immediately against Eumenes, while the latter was still elated with his victory, and unprepared for a fresh attack. But their cautious adversary was not to be taken by surprise, and met his enemies in a pitched battle. In this Neoptolemus commanded the left wing, on which he was opposed to Eumenes himself; and the two leaders, who were bitter personal enemies, sought each other in the fight, and engaged in single combat, in which, after a desperate struggle, Neoptolemus was slain by his antagonist. (Diod. xviii. 29—31; Pint. Eum. 4—7 ; Corn. Nep. Eum. 4-;, Justin. xiii. 6, 8 ; Dexippus, ap. Phot. p. 64, b. j Arrian, ap. Phot. p. 70, b., 71, a.)
3. A Macedonian officer, who was killed at the siege of Halicarnassus, b. c. 333. (Diod. xvii. 25.) He is doubtless the ^ame who is called by Arrian,
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