Eumenes was born in the area of Cardia in the North of Greece in the year 362 BC. When Philip II invaded this district he took Eumenes in his service and gave him a noble education. On the Macedonian court Eumenes very quickly earned more and more responsibilities and he became a friend of the young Alexander. After Philip's death Alexander nominated him to be the principal secretary of his army. He went along the whole way with Alexander and kept the royal diaries. After Hephaistion´s death he was set in the place of Perdiccas who followed in Hephaistion's rank. That means he was the 3rd highest man of the troops.
When Alexander died Eumenes became one of the most powerful persons of that time. First he fought on the side of Perdiccas (and later alone) against Antipater and Cassander - and later against Antigonos One-Eye.
His rethoric abilities and his cleverness gave him victories over mightier enemies. When his soldiers refused to fight against Krateros, whom they said was the bravest of all Macedonians, Eumenes told them a story so they finally forgot against whom they were fighting. Eumenes defeated Krateros but he was really sad about his death, because they had been real friends.
But before the decisive battle against an army under the leadership of Antigonos and Seleukos, his army which consisted mostly of old aged Macedonians, the unbeaten Argyraspyds refused to fight against other Macedonians. But the real reason was the robbery of their baggage by the troops of Antigonos, which contented all their possessions. Eumenes was captured and should have been treated well, but a traitor assassinated him in his tent. That happened in the year 316.
Maybe his only fault was to be a Greek. The Macedonian soldiers did never really accept him. They disliked a Greek in such a high position. Although Eumenes was a good friend of Alexander he always struggeled with Hephaistion. Eumenes was not really a selfish person but he tried to get his own profit as well as it was possible. When Alexander needed money in India he asked his friends for help and even Eumenes sent him a little amount of money, telling him he can not raise more. Then Alexander let burn down his tent so that everybody could see his richdom. The captain of Alexander's life guard, Neoptolemos was angry about his high ranking position, blaming Eumenes he only followed Alexander with pen and paper, while he did with shield and spear.
But later everybody could see what a brave and clever warrior he was. Probably one of the most noble and mistaken men of this time.
Article submitted by Nico Kirchberger