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He was in Babylon at the time of Alexander's death on 10 June 323 BC. Arrhidaeus was the most obvious candidate, but he was mentally unfit to rule.
A conflict then arose between Perdiccas, leader of the cavalry, and Meleager, who commanded the phalanx: the first wanted to wait to see if Roxana, Alexander's pregnant wife, would deliver a male baby, while the second objected that Arrhidaeus was the closest living relative and so should be chosen king.
Golden Larnax (Chrysi Larnaka) (with the Sun of Vergina on the lid) that contains the remains (bones) from the burial of King Philip II of Macedonia and the royal golden wreath.
Formerly located at the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, since 1997) displayed in the underground museum of Vergina, inside the Great Tumulus.
Meleager was killed, and a compromise was engineered: Arrhidaeus would become king, with the name of Philip, and he would be joined by Roxana's yet-unborn child as co-sovereign should that child prove a male.
This eventuality did indeed arise and resulted in Roxana's son, Alexander, becoming with his uncle Phillip III co-sovereign on the throne of Macedon.
Plutarch was of the view that he became disabled by means of an attempt on his life by Philip II's wife, Queen Olympias, who wanted to eliminate a possible rival to her son, Alexander, through the employment of pharmaka (drugs/spells); however, most modern authorities doubt the truth of this claim., both to protect his life and to prevent his use as a pawn in any prospective challenge for the throne.
After Alexander's death in Babylon in 323 BC, the Macedonian army in Asia proclaimed Arrhidaeus as king; however, he served merely as a figurehead and as the pawn of a series of powerful generals.
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In 1977, important excavations were made near Vergina leading to the discovery of a two-chambered royal tomb, with an almost perfectly preserved male skeleton.
Manolis Andronikos, the chief archaeologist at the site, along with a number of other archaeologists, decided it was the skeleton of Philip II, but others have disputed this attribution and instead proposed it to be the remains of Philip Arrhidaeus.
Named Arrhidaeus at birth, he assumed the name Philip when he ascended to the throne.
As Arrhidaeus grew older it became apparent that he had mild learning difficulties.