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In the aftermath of the death of Alexander the Great his Empire fell into the hands of a series of ambitious warlords who sought to seize as much land and power as they could. The majority of these were former commanders in Alexander’s army and were Macedonian nobles. However, one of the so called, successors or Diadochi of the great conqueror was a Greek by the name of Eumenes of Cardia (361 – 316 BC). He was to become one of the leading players in the first two wars of the Diadochi and he was to show considerable military capabilities. Eumenes is now largely forgotten figure but he had a decisive impact on the Hellenistic World. Despite being one of the few Greeks in the Macedonian army, he attempted to ensure that the Argead dynasty of Macedonia remained the monarchs of a united Empire. If he had succeeded he would have changed the course of the Hellenistic World.
Eumenes was probably born in Cardia and was of Greek origin. His father came into the service of the Macedonian monarchs of the ancient Argead dynasty and it seems likely that Eumenes was a member of the nobility. There are tales that he was the son of a wagoner, but this is not likely to be true. It seems that the young Eumenes came to the attention of King Phillip II and soon became part of his inner circle and became friendly with the young Alexander the Great. Eumenes was to remain close to the greatest of all the Argead kings until his death. Eumenes accompanied Alexander on his conquest of the Persian Empire. He was to eventually become in 330 BC Alexander’s principal secretary and keeper of the Royal Archives. This was not a very glamorous position, but it gave Eumenes real power and he had the trust of Alexander <ref> Anson, Edward. Eumenes of Cardia: a Greek among Macedonians (Amsterdam, Brill, 2015), p 17 </ref>. He played a central role in the administration of the territories conquered by the great king. It seems that during the invasion of India that Eumenes was given command of a military unit and gained invaluable experience. However, he was often in conflict with Alexander’s best friend and probable lover Hephastion, but despite this he remained in the conqueror’s favour <ref> Plutarch, Life of Eumenes, 3, 4, 8</ref>. When the great king died in 323 BC in Babylon, he was present and was appointed as governor of the yet- unconquered province of Cappadocia in what is now northern Turkey. With the support of Peridiccas, the titular head of the Royal army he was able to subdue this area and made it his power base. Perdicas wanted the Macedonian Royal family to continue to rule a united Empire, albeit under his regency. However, many Macedonian generals or satraps had different ideas and wanted to create their own states and ultimately independent kingdoms <ref> Westerfield, Peter. Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great's Empire (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012), p 6</ref>.