The Hellenistic Period was filled with so many notable figures – many of whom have the same name – so it might be useful to have an overview of some of these VIPS of  Hellenistic history. 




Name Basic Information
Alexander the Great (356-323) Also known as Alexander III, the king of Macedon whose vast empire stretched all the way to India. Conquered many people and founded a lot of new cities, many of which he named after himself.
Alexander IV (323-309) Son of Alexander the Great and his wife Roxane, ruler of Macedon together with Philip IV Arrhidaeus before he was murdered by Cassander 
Agathocles of Syracuse (361–289) Military general and tyrant of Syracuse, known for his ambitious military campaigns.
Antigonos I Monophtalmos (382-301) General under Alexander the Great and later one of the parties vying for a piece of his empire during the Wars of the Diadochi (322-281), claimed to be the king of Western Asia
Antigonos II Gonatas  (319-239) King of Macedon who solidified the rule of the Antigonids in Macedon, ruled between 277 and 239, with a break of a few years due to Pyrrhus’ of Epirus conquests
Antigonos III Doson (263-221) King of Macedon from 229-221 BC, ruled as a regent for the later Philip V but soon married Philip’s mother and given title of king after a successfully curbing several uprisings 
Antiochus III the Great (241-187) King of the Seleucid Kingdom 222-187 BC, waged several wars against the Ptolemies and declared himself the ‘Champion of Greek Freedom’ which led to a War against Rome (192-188)
Antipater (397-319) General of Alexander the Great and hiss father Philip II before that, after Alexander’s death he became the regent of the Alexander’s entire empire in 320 before his death
Antipater of Sidon (2nd century) Greek poet famous for his epigrams and dedicatory poems, often inscribed on monuments.
Anyte of Tegea (3rd century) Greek poet from Tegea who wrote epigrams and elegies
Apama II (3rd century) Daughter of King Spitamenes of Sogdia and wife of Seleucus I Nicator, the founder of the Seleucid Empire
Appolonios of Rhodes (270-235) Poet, head of the library at Alexandria 
Archimedes (287-212) Mathematician, physicist and inventor from Sicily
Aristotle (385-322) Famous philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great
Arsinoe II (316–270) Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, influential in promoting Hellenistic culture.
Attalos I (269-197) First king of Pergamon was an important ally of the Romans against Philip V and established Pergamon as a ruling power in the East
Attalos III (170-133) Las king of Pergamon who handed his kingdom over to the Romans in 133 after a five year rule
Callimachus (305–240) Greek poet, scholar, and librarian at the Library of Alexandria
Callisthenes (360-327) Macedonian historian at the court of Alexander the Great who was executed on suspicion of conspiracy, he was Aristotle’s cousin
Cassander (350-297) One of the Diadochi who fought for control over Alexander’s empire after his death, he became king of Macedon after he had Alexander IV and Philip Arrhidaeus murdered
Cleomenes III (260-222) King of Sparta whose reforms of the polis created a better and stronger position within the Peloponnese, leading to multiple conflicts with the Achaean League
Cleopatra VI (69-30) Last pharaoh and Ptolemaic queen of Egypt who together with her husband Marc Anthony lost the battle of Actium in 30 against Octavian
Diogenes of Sinope (412–323) Influential figure of the Cynic school known for his ascetic lifestyle and rejection of social norms
Demetrius I of Bactria (c. 205–171) Aka Demetrius the Invincible, one of the most prominent Indo-Greek kings. He invaded India and established the Indo-Greek Kingdom, expanding his territory into Punjab and other parts of northern India.
Demetrius I Poliorcetes (337-283) Son of Antigonos I and father of Antigonos II, first of the Antigonids to rule over Macedon after the Succesor Wars from 294-288
Demetrius of Phaleron (347-283) Originally from Phalerum, he was appointed as governor of Athens by Cassander for ten years before being banished by his opponents and ending up in Alexandria where he wrote about history and rethoric
Epicurus (341-270) Athenian philosopher
Erinna of Telos (4th century) An ancient Greek poet, credited with a poem called “The Distaff”
Euclid I (around 300) A prominent mathematician known for his influential work “Elements” on geometry;
Eumenes I (263-241) Dynast of Pergamon, who founded the Attalid dynasty after he rebelled against Seleucid control of the area 
Eumenes II (197-159) King of Pergamon and faithful ally of the Romans until they suspected him of collaboration with the Perseus of Macedon
Hannibal (247-182) General from Carthage who posed a significant threat to Rome and famously crossed the Alps with Elephants
Hieron II (270-215) Tiran of Syracuse
Lysimachos (355-281) Macedonian general and king of Macedon, Thrace and Asia Minor at different intervals during the Successor Wars
Meleager of Gadara (1st century BC) A Greek poet known for his compilation of epigrams called the “Garland,” which collected the works of various poets.
Menander (341-291) Athenian comedy writer
Menander I (155–130) Also known as Milinda, Indo-Greek king known for his patronage of Buddhism. Featured in the ancient Buddhist text “Milindapanha.”
Nossis of Locri (3rd century) A Greek poet known for her epigrams celebrating the lives of women
Nabis (207-192) King of Sparta who waged war against the Achaean League to get control over the Peloponnese 
Olympias (375-316) Princess of Illyria and mother of Alexander the Great
Philip II of Macedon (382-336) King of Macedon and father of Alexander the Great, managed to conquered the Greek states at the battle of Charonea in 338 BC
Philip III Arrhidaeus (359-317) Half-brother of Alexander the Great and son of Philip II, ruler of Macedon with Alexander IV after Alexander the Great’s death
Philip V of Macedon (221-179) King of Macedon who was once seen as the ‘darling of the Greeks’ and waged several wars against Rome
Philopoimen (253-183) Megalopolitan general and statesman, for more info click here
Polybius (200-118) Megalopolitan statesman and historian, for more info click here
Polyperchon (end fourth century) Macedonian general and successor or Antipater
Ptolemy  I Soter (367-283) Macedonian general and the first ruler and pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt 
Ptolemy II Philadelphos (309-246) Second king of Egypt who led wars against the Seleucids and promoted the library of Alexandria, he ruled together with his sister-wife Arsinoe II
Ptolemy  III Euergetes (246-222) Third king of Egypt who again battled against the Seleucids for control of the Aegean and whose reign posed the height of Ptolemaic power
Ptolemy Keraunos (279) Brother of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, briefly king of Macedon and Thrace after he was involved in a plot to kill Lysimachos 
Pyrrhus of Epirus (319-272) King of Epirus whose victories in battle made him an important opponent of Rome, yet the same victories caused him heavy losses (Pyrrhic vitories)
Scipio Aemilianus (185-129) Roman statesman, conqueror of Carthage and friend of Polybius
Seleucos I Nicator (358-281) Macedonian general and founder of the Seleucid dynasty in Asia during the Wars of the Diadochi
Theocritus (315-260) Lyric, epic and pastoral poet from Syracuse
Theophrastus (371-287) Philosopher and scientist from Lesbos
Timon of Phlius (320-230) Playwright, comic and sceptic
Zenon (333-264) Philosopher and founder of Stoicism