Another interesting point of view for after Hephaistion died one year earlier, Craterus became Alexander’s second-in-command. Craterus was now the most powerful man after Alexander, at least in the east for Antipater still ruled undisturbed over
and . Greece
Well, maybe Craterus could have kept his high position and could have shaped a new ruling system, although the empire still needed a king. Roxane’s pregnancy may not yet have been established, in which case the more or less obvious appointment of Arrhideus/PhilipIII would have materialized. But simple minded as he was, he too would need a regent to rule in his place. Would the generals present at Babylon have accepted Craterus’ superiority? Maybe in the immediate future but for the next 18 years till Alexander IV was old enough to be king?
It does not sound very probable for meanwhile Arrhideus/Philip III would have picked up momentum together with his wife, the ambitious Adea/Eurydice. The ambition of the generals and their faithful troops is likely to have demanded their share pending the coming of age of Alexander IV. The main difference with what really happened is that Craterus would have been in Babylon with his 10,000 veterans to reinforce the local troops. He had a strong case against Antipater since he had the majority of the troops on his side. This situation could have made the situation more manageable and appeased possible opposition – at least for a while.
On the other hand, however, Craterus could have gained the support of Olympias, but whether that was enough to stop Cassander working out his devilish plans after Antipater’s death in 319 BC depended entirely on the replacement Craterus had in mind. Polyperchon seems to be an excellent candidate since Alexander himself had sent him along with Craterus in the first place, should anything happen to him, Polyperchon, a highly skilled diplomat, was to take over. Craterus was obviously aware of these plans and could have acted accordingly.
We know that Polyperchon in the end, played a foul game as he was responsible for the murder of Heracles and his mother, Barsine. Polyperchon’s dream to rule over
Greece had clashed with Cassander’s ambitions time and again and in 310 BC Cassander promised him peace and the
promotion as military governor of the Peloponnese.
In exchange the 75-years-old Polyperchon
had to kill Heracles
and Barsine. He accepted the deal.