ANTIGONUS GONATAS (c.319-239 B.C.), Macedonian king, was the son of Demetrius Poliorcetes, and grandson of Antigonus Cyclops. On the death of his father (283), he assumed the title of king of Macedonia, but did not obtain possession of the throne till 276, after it had been successively in the hands of Pyrrhus, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy Ceraunus. Antigonus repelled the invasion of the Gauls, and continued in undisputed possession of Macedonia till 274, when Pyrrhus returned from Italy, and (in 273) made himself master of nearly all the country. On the advance of Pyrrhus into Peloponnesus, he recovered his dominions. He was again (between 263 and 255) driven out of his kingdom by Alexander, the son of Pyrrhus, and again recovered it. The latter part of his reign was comparatively peaceful, and he gained the affection of his subjects by his honesty and his cultivation of the arts. He gathered round him distinguished literary men - philosophers, poets, and historians. He died in the eightieth year of his age, and the forty-fourth of his reign. His surname was usually derived by later Greek writers from the name of his supposed birthplace, Gonni (Gonnus) in Thessaly; some take it to be a Macedonian word signifying an iron plate for protecting the knee; neither conjecture is a happy one, and in our ignorance of the Macedonian language it must remain unexplained.
Plutarch, Demetrius, Pyrrhus, Aratus; Justin xxiv. 1; xxv. 1-3; Polybius ii. 43-45, ix. 29, 34. See Thirlwall, History of Greece, vol viii. (1847); Holm, Griech. Gesch. vol. iv. (1894); Niese, Gesch. d. griech. u. maked. Staaten, vols. i. and ii. (1893, 1899); Beloch, Griech. Gesch. vol. iii. (1904); also Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Antigonos von Karystos (1881).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)