Argaeus I of Macedon

According to Polyaenus' story, Argaeus founded the Dionysus cult with Maenads[1] (latter depicted on a 480 BC vase fragment).

Argaeus (Greek: Ἀργαῖος) or Araeus,[2] was according to 5th-century BC Greek writer Herodotus one of six predecessors of his contemporary, king Alexander I of Macedon (r. 498–454).[3] Alexander I's predecessors, starting from the nearest, were according to Herodotus: Amyntas, Alcetas, Aëropus, Philip I, Argaeus, and Perdiccas I.[3] A rival tradition[3] is held by Livy, Pausanias, Suidas and Junianus Justinus, with Caranus as the first Macedon king.[2]

Argaeus was according to 2nd-century AD Macedonian writer Polyaenus the first king of Macedon, who tricked and won over his superior enemies (the Taulanti king Galaurus[4]) with women dressed as men with wreaths and thyrsi (staffs), closely related to the cult of Dionysus.[5][6] After the victory, Argaeus founded a temple dedicated to Pseudanor (Fake-man).[6]

Only Alexander I's father, Amyntas, is firmly established in historical record.[3] The eponym Argaeus for the dynasty (the Argead dynasty) was used to maintain the myth of origin from Argos.[3] Nevertheless, regnal years have been applied to these legendary predecessors in modern literature; Argaeus has been claimed to have ruled in 678 BC.[7][8]


  1. Thomas H. Carpenter; Christopher A. Faraone (1993). Masks of Dionysus. Cornell University Press. p. 262. ISBN 978-0-8014-2779-4.
  2. 1 2 Isaac Newton; Larry Pierce; Marion Pierce (1 February 2009). Newton's Revised History of Ancient Kingdoms: A Complete Chronology. New Leaf Publishing Group. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-89051-556-3.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Michael Gagarin (31 December 2009). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Oxford University Press. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-19-517072-6.
  4. Polyaenus (1994). Stratagems of War: Books I-V. Ares. p. 315.
  5. Joseph Roisman; Ian Worthington (7 July 2011). A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 432–. ISBN 978-1-4443-5163-7.
  6. 1 2 Mark William Padilla (1999). Rites of Passage in Ancient Greece: Literature, Religion, Society. Bucknell University Press. pp. 185–. ISBN 978-0-8387-5418-4.
  7. The Lincoln Library of Essential Information. Frontier Press. 1949. p. 585. 678
  8. Synchronology of the Principal Events in Sacred and Prefane History: From the Creation of Man, to the Present Time. S. Hawes. 1869. p. 39. 678 Argaeus, first king of Macedon.
Preceded by
Perdiccas I
King of Macedon

Succeeded by
Philip I
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