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This historical, 2,500-year-old love/grief letter is essentially the most romantic factor


No matter which period a love story or a love letter belongs to, it’s not onerous to narrate to it for many people — particularly if it has an impassioned attraction. The letter that you’re going to learn at the moment can be fairly particular as a result of it was written to Antigonos I, a military commander who labored beneath Alexander the Great and later grew to become a king himself.

However, what’s extra attention-grabbing is that no one is aware of who wrote the love letter to Antigonos. 

What’s there within the love letter?

The letter was written to Antigonos after his loss of life and was discovered inscribed on his stone coffin. Also, in a full disclaimer, ZME Science doesn’t wish to learn or reveal different folks’s love letters — it’s one hundred pc dangerous manners. You must also by no means do it. 

However, this explicit letter is a crucial memento of the traditional Macedonia kingdom. Plus, it’s not directly associated to Alexander the Great and extra importantly, for the sake of Greek history college students don’t you suppose all of us need to know what’s written there? Sure, we do. 

So right here is the English translation of the traditional text inscribed on the sarcophagus of Antigonos,:

“I, the unhappy Arete, cry out with all physique and soul from the tomb of Antigonos. I pull my hair out from grief and I specific myself by crying. This in poor health luck, the loss of life, has captured me as an alternative of emancipating this valuable man.”

The letter describes the sorrow, ache, and trauma an individual went by after Antigonos’ loss of life. However, after studying this, if you happen to suppose “Arete” is the one who wrote this letter, please hold it to your self and don’t dare to share your ideas with the archaeologists who translated the inscribed textual content. Arete is definitely a Greek phrase that in line with the Collins dictionary means “excellence or advantage, particularly, within the full realization of an individual’s potential.” The phrase doesn’t confer with any particular person named Arete within the inscribed letter.

The legacy of the inscribed love letter

Antigonus I Monophthalmus (additionally referred to as Antigonos I or the “One-Eyed”) was a nobleman and warrior who served each Philip II and his son Alexander the Great. During the latter’s rule, he first grew to become the commander of the Greek infantry forces, and later he was appointed because the satrap (governor) of Phrygia. Antigonos performed a vital function in Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire by successful a number of battles in opposition to the Persian forces in Phrygia.

A sarcophagus in Iznik Museum. Image Credits: IHA

In 323 BC, Alexander the Great died leaving an unlimited territory behind him. At the time of his loss of life, the Macedonian kingdom had 5.17 square km of area (two million sq. miles) unfold throughout three continents, beneath its rule. Soon this kingdom was divided into three elements and Antigonos grew to become the king of Phrygia, Pamphylia, and Lycia (areas in modern-day Turkey). 

He established the Antigonid Empire, and within the years that adopted, he and his son fought a number of battles in opposition to kings who dominated different elements of Alexander’s kingdom. In 301 BC, the 80-year-old one-eyed warrior Antigonos died whereas preventing enemy forces within the Battle of Ipsus. However, the Antigonid dynasty managed to proceed their rule even 20 years after his loss of life.

It is feasible the love letter inscribed on Antigonos’ tomb was from her spouse Stratonice however presently, there is no such thing as a proof to show this concept. 

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