An epitaph dating to ca. 217 BCE for Antigenes, a fallen soldier from Demetrias, refers to the tomb of Alexander, “whose courage was great.” This article first provides a reading of the epigram as a document that reflects a compressed civic and cultic map of a recent Hellenistic city foundation and grounds Antigenes’ heroic death in the wider ritual landscape of his patris. It then argues for the identification of one point of reference, the tomb of Alexander, with the infamous tyrant of Thessaly, Alexander of Pherai, and for the continued presence of a heroic cult of Alexander in the “new” polis of Demetrias. The commemorative dynamic at work in the epitaph provides insight into contemporary views of fourth-century tyranny, calling the traditional portrait of Alexander into question, and helps to reconstruct the Hellenistic reception of the recent past among civic bodies and individuals operating under dramatically changed political circumstances.
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