He was the son of Theodore Philes, governor of Thessalonica and the first prominent member of the Philes family. Alexios married Maria Palaiologina Kantakouzene, the second daughter of John Kantakouzenos and Irene-Eulogia, the sister of Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (r. 1259–1282). In 1259, the Byzantine emperor appointed Philes as megas domestikos (commander-in-chief of the army) in succession to Alexios Strategopoulos, who had been promoted to Caesar after his victories against the Despotate of Epirus.
In 1262/1263, Philes was dispatched along with the parakoimomenos John Makrenos to the Morea, in an expedition against the Principality of Achaea headed by the sebastokrator Constantine Palaiologos. The Byzantine forces were defeated at the Battle of Prinitza, and after the sebastokrator departed for Constantinople, Philes and Makrenos were left in charge. They too, however, were defeated and captured by the Achaeans at the Battle of Makryplagi. Philes died in captivity soon after.
- Geanakoplos, Deno John (1959). Emperor Michael Palaeologus and the West, 1258–1282 - A Study in Byzantine-Latin Relations. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
- Guilland, Rodolphe (1967). Recherches sur les Institutions Byzantines, Tome I (in French). Berlin, Germany: Akademie-Verlag.
- Trapp, Erich (1991). "Philes". In Kazhdan, Alexander. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1650–1651. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
|Megas domestikos of the Empire of Nicaea
and the Byzantine Empire (after 1261)
Title next held byMichael Tarchaneiotes