Adea Eurydice the 'Warrior Queen'?

Source Bias, Illyrian Gender Norms, and the Political Battlefield of the Diadochi Wars


  • Anna Smythe University of Alberta



Adea Eurydice, The Battle of Euia, Macedonian Queens, Macedonia, Illyria


This paper examines whether or not Adea Eurydice, the teenage Queen of Macedon after the death of Alexander the Great, personally fought in the Battle of Euia. If she did, she would earn the title of ‘Warrior Queen.’ However, only three extant primary sources cover her involvement in this battle: Justin’s Epitome, Diocorus Siculus’ Library of History, and a fragment of Duris of Samos’ writing. All of these sources are contradictory and subject to Greek and/or Roman bias, necessitating further investigation into Adea Eurydice’s involvement in the Battle of Euia. Thus, I examine Adea Eurydice’s political life leading up to the battle and the historical precedent for elite Macedonian women fighting in wars. Then, I look at her Illyrian heritage on her mother’s side and how it may have affected her choice and ability to fight. This involves critically examining the Greek and Roman literary sources on Illyrian women and ‘Warrior Queens’ as well as their modern reception. To explore their validity, I analyze archaeological evidence of Illyrian women’s higher social status and of other Macedonian ‘Warrior Queens.’ Overall, I argue that Adea Eurydice had the ability, precedent, and willingness to fight at Euia, making her a ‘Warrior Queen.’