He appears as one of the main characters in the novel Funeral Games by Mary Renault.
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.
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.
Cassander reciprocated by leaving her in full control of the country when he left to campaign in Greece.
But individual circumstances and events at this time were subject to rapid change.
That same year, Polyperchon and Olympias allied with her cousin, Aeacides, king of Epirus, and invaded Macedonia.
The Macedonian troops refused to fight Olympias, the mother of Alexander.
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.
From that moment on, Philip Arrhidaeus was to be under the sway of his bride, a proud and determined woman bent on substantiating her husband's power. The regent died of natural causes the following year, nominating as his successor not his son Cassander, but his friend and lieutenant, Polyperchon.