History of Macedonia
PART I (ca. B.C. 700 to B.C. 323)
From the Commencement of the Monarchy to the Death of Alexander the Great
According to the tradition generally accepted by the Greeks, the Macedonian kingdom, which under Philip and Alexander attained to such extraordinary greatness, was founded by Hellenic emigrants from Argos. The Macedonians themselves were not Hellenes; they belonged to the barbaric races, not greatly differing from the Greeks in ethnic type, but far behind them in civilization, which bordered Hellas upon the north. They were a distinct race, not Paeonian, not Illyrian, not Thracian; but, of the three, their connection was closest with the Illyrians. The Argive colony, received hospitably, gradually acquired power in the region about Mount Bermius; and Perdiccas, one of the original emigrants, was (according to Herodotus) acknowledged as king. (Other writers mentioned three kings anterior to Perdiccas, whose joint reigns covered the space of about a century.) The period which follows is one of great obscurity, little being known of it but the names of the kings (p.164-165)
With Amyntas I., who was contemporary with Darius Hystaspis, light dawns upon Macedonian history. We find that by this time the Macedonian monarchs of this line had made themselves masters of Pieria and Bottiaea, had crossed the Axius and conquered Mygdonia and Anthemus, had dislodged the original Eordi from Eordia and themselves occupied it, and had dealt similarly with the Alm6pes in Almopia, on the Rhaedias. But the advance of the Persians into Europe gave a sudden check to this period of prosperity. After a submission which was more nominal than real, in B.C. 507, the Macedonians, in B.C. 492, became Persian subjects, retaining, however, their own kings, who accepted the position of tributaries. Amyntas I., who appears to have died about B.C. 498, was succeeded by his son, Alexander I., king at the time of the great invasion of Xerxes, who played no unimportant part in the expedition, B.C. 480 to 470.
The repulse of the Persians set Macedonia free; and the career of conquest appears to have been at once resumed. Crestonaea and Bisaltia were reduced, and the Macedonian dominion pushed eastward almost to the Strymon. The authority of the monarchs of Pella was likewise extended over most of the inland Macedonian tribes, as the Lyncestis, the Eleimiots, and others, who however retained their own kings.
But Macedonia was about this time herself exposed to attacks from two unquiet neighbors. The maritime confederacy of Athens, which gave her a paramount authority over the Greek cities in Chalcidice and even over Methone in Pieria, brought the Athenians into the near neighborhood of Macedon, and necessitated relations between the two powers, which were at first friendly, but which grew to be hostile when Athens by her colony at Amphipolis put a check to the further progress of Macedon in that direction; and were still more embittered by the encouragement which Athens gave to Macedonian chiefs who rebelled against their sovereign. About the same time, a powerful Thracian kingdom was formed under Sitalces, B.C. 440 to 420, which threatened destruction to the far smaller Macedonian state with which it was conterminous. Macedonia, however, under the adroit Perdiccas, escaped both dangers; and, on the whole, increased in prosperity.
The reign of Archelaus, the bastard son of Perdiccas H., though short, was very important for Macedon, since this prince laid the foundation of her military greatness by the attention which he paid to the army, while at the same time he strengthened and improved the country by the construction of highways and of forts. He was also the first of the Macedonian princes who endeavored to encourage among his people a taste for Greek literature. Euripides the tragedian was welcomed to his court, as also was Plato the philosopher, and perhaps Hellanicus tile historian. He engaged in wars with some of the Macedonian princes, as particularly with Arrhibaeus; but he was relieved from all hostile collision with Athens by the Sicilian disaster. The character of Archelaus was sanguinary and treacherous; in his habits lie was licentious. After reigning fourteen years, lie was assassinated by the victims of his lust, B.C. 399.
The murder of Archelaus introduced a period of disturbance, both internal and external, which lasted till the accession of Philip, B.C. 359. During this interval the Macedonian court was a constant scene of plots and assassinations. The direct line of succession having failed, numerous pretenders to the crown sprang tip, who at different times found supporters in the Illyrians, the Lacedaemonians, the Thebans, and the Athenians. Civil wars were almost perpetual. Kings were driven from their thrones and recovered them. There were at least two regencies. So violent were the commotions that it seemed doubtful whether the kingdom could long continue to maintain its existence; and, if the Olynthian league had been allowed to constitute itself without interference, it is not unlikely that Macedon would have been absorbed, either by that confederacy or by the Illyrians.
The reign of Philip is the turning-point in Macedonian history. Hitherto, if we except Archelaus, Macedonia had not possessed a single king whose abilities exceeded the common average, or whose aims had about them any thing of grandeur. Notwithstanding their asserted and even admitted Hellenism, the " barbarian " character of their training and associations had its effect on the whole line of sovereigns; and their highest qualities were the rude valor and the sagacity bordering upon cunning which are seldom wanting in savages. But Philip was a monarch of a different stamp. In natural ability lie was at least the equal of any of his Greek contemporaries; while the circumstances under which he grew to manhood were peculiarly favorable to the development of his talents. At the impressible age of fifteen, he was sent as a hostage to Thebes, where he resided for the greater part of three years (B.C. 368 to 365), while that state was at the height of its prosperity under Pelopidas and Epaminondas. He was thus brought into contact with those great men, was led to study their system, and emulate their actions. He learnt the great importance of military training, and the value of inventiveness to those who wish to succeed in war; he also acquired a facility of expressing himself in Greek, which was uncommon in a Macedonian.
The situation of Philip at his accession was one of extreme embarrassment and difficulty. Besides Amyntas, his nephew, for whom he at first professed to be regent, there were at least five pretenders to the throne, two of whom, Pausanias and Argaus, were supported by the arms of foreigners. The Illyrians, moreover, had recently gained a great victory over Perdiccas, and, flushed with success, had advanced into Macedonia and occupied most of the western provinces. Paeonia on the north, and Thrace upon the cast, were unquiet neighbors, whose hostility might be counted on whenever other perils threatened. Within two years, however, Philip had repressed or overthrown all these enemies, and found himself free to commence those wars of aggression by which he converted the monarchy of Macedon into an empire.
Hitherto it had been the policy of Philip to profess himself a friend of the Athenians. Now, however, that his hands were free, it was his first object to disembarrass himself of these near neighbors, who blocked up his coast-line, watched his movements, and might seriously interfere with the execution of his projects. Accordingly, towards the close of B.C. 358, when Athens was already engaged in the " Social War," he suddenly laid siege to Amphipolis. Having taken the town, while he amused Athens with promises, he proceeded to attack and capture Pydna and Potidaea, actual Athenian possessions, making over the latter to Olynthus, to foment jealousy between her and Athens. He then conquered the entire coast district between the Strymon and the Nestus, thus becoming master of the important Thracian gold-mines, from which he shortly derived an annual revenue of a thousand talents!
The year after these conquests we find Philip in Thessaly, where he interferes to protect the Aleuadae of Larissa against the tyrants of Pherae. The tyrants call in the aid of the Phocians, then at the zenith of their power, and Philip suffers certain reverses; but a few years later he is completely victorious, defeats and kills Onomarchus, and brings under his dominion the whole of Thessaly, together with Magnesia and Achaea Phthiotis. At the same time, he conquers Methone, the last Athenian possession on the coast of Macedon, attacks Maroneia, and threatens the Chersonese. Athens, the sole power which could effectually have checked these successes, made only slight and feeble efforts to prevent them. Already Philip had found the advantage of having friends among the Attic orators; and their labors, backed by the selfish indolence which now characterized the Athenians, produced an inaction, which had the most fatal consequences.
The victory of Philip over Onomarchus roused Athens to exertion. Advancing to Thermopylae, Philip found the pass already occupied by an Athenian army, and did not venture to attack it. Greece was saved for the time; but six years later the fully of the Thebans, and the fears of the Athenians, who won driven to despair by the ill success of the Olynthian and Euboic wars, admitted the Macedonian conqueror within do barrier. Accepted as head of the league against the impious Phocians. Philip in a few weeks brought the " Sacred War " to an and, obtaining as his reward the seat in the Amphictyonic Council of which the Phocians were deprived, and thus acquiring a sort of right to intermediate as much as he liked In the affairs of Central and even Southern Hellas.
The main causes of Philip's wonderful success were twofold: -Bettering the lessons taught him by his model in the art of war. Epaminondas, he had armed, equipped, and trained the Macedonian forces till they were decidedly superior to the troops of any state In Greece. The Macedonian phalanx, invincible until it came to be opposed to the Romans, was his conception and his work. Nor was lie content with excellence In one arm of the service. On every branch he bestowed equal care and thought. Each was brought into a state nearly approaching perfection. His cavalry, heavy and light, his peltasts, archers, slingers, darters, were all the best of their kind; his artillery was numerous and effective; his commissariat service was well arranged. At the same time, he was a master of finesse. Taking advantage of the divided condition of Greece, and of the general prevalence of corruption among the citizens of almost every community, he played off state against state and politician against politician. Masking his purposes up to the last moment, promising, cajoling, bribing, intimidating, protesting, he advanced his interests even more by diplomacy than by force, having an infinite fund of artifice from which to draw, and scarcely ever recurring to means which he had used previously.
Philip had made peace with Athens in order to lay hold on Thermopylae a hold which he never afterwards relaxed. But it was far from his intention to maintain the peace an hour longer than suited his, purpose. Having once more chastised the Illyrian and Paeonian tribes, lie proceeded to invade Eastern Thrace, and to threaten the Athenian possessions in that quarter. At tile same time, lie aimed at getting into his hands the command of the Bosphorus, which would have enabled him to starve Greece into submission by stopping the importation of corn. Here, however, Persia (which had at last come to feel alarm at his progress) combined with Athens to resist him. Perinthus and Byzantium were saved, and the ambition of Philip was for the time thwarted.
But the indefatigable warrior, balked of his prey, and obliged to wait till Grecian affairs should take a turn more favorable to him, marched suddenly northward and engaged in a campaign on the Lower Danube against a Scythian prince who held the tract now known as Bulgaria. Victorious here, he recrossed the Balkan with a large body of captives, when he was set upon by the Triballi (Thracians), defeated, and wounded in the thigh, B.C. 339. The wound necessitated a short period of inaction; but while the arch-plotter rested, his agents were busily at work, and the year of the Triballian defeat saw the fatal step taken, which was once more to bring a Macedonian army into the heart of Greece, and to destroy the last remaining chance of the cause of Hellenic freedom.
Appointed by the Amphictyons as their leader in a new Sacred War," Philip once more passed Thermopylae and entered Phocis. But he soon showed that he came on no trivial or temporary errand. The occupation of Nicaea, Cytinium, and more especially of Elateia, betrayed his intention of henceforth holding possession of Central Greece, and roused the two principal powers of the region to a last desperate effort. Thebes and Athens met him at Chaeronea in full force; with contingents from Corinth, Phocis, and Achaea. But the Macedonian phalanx was irresistible; and the complete defeat of the allies laid Greece at Philip's feet. The Congress of Corinth (B.C. 337), attended by all the states except Sparta, which proudly stood aloof, accepted the headship of Macedon; and the cities generally undertook to supply contingents to the force which he designed to lead against Persia.
This design, however, was not executed. Great preparations were made in the course of B.C. 337; and early in B.C. 336 the vanguard of the Macedonian army was sent across into Asia. But, a few months later, the sword of Pausanias terminated the career of the Macedonian monarch, who fell a victim, in part to his unwillingness, or his inability to execute justice upon powerful offenders, in part to the quarrels and dissensions in his own family. Olympias certainly, Alexander probably, connived at the assassination of Philip, whose removal was necessary to their own safety. He died at the age of forty-seven, after a reign of twenty-three years.
It is difficult to say what exactly was the government of Macedonia under this prince. Practically, the monarch must have been nearly absolute; but it would appear that, theoretically, he was bound to govern according to certain long-established laws and customs; and it may be questioned whether he would have dared at any time to transgress, flagrantly and openly, any such law or usage. The Macedonian nobles were turbulent and free of speech. If accused of conspiracy or other crime, they were entitled to be tried before the public assembly. Their power must certainly have been to some extent a check upon tile monarch. And after the formation of a great standing army, it became necessary for the monarch to consult the feelings and conform his acts to the wishes of the soldiers. But there seems to have been no such regular machinery for checking and controlling the royal authority as is implied in constitutional government.
The reign of Alexander the Great has in the history of the world much the same importance which that of his father h in the history of Macedonia and of Greece. Alexander revolutionized the East, or, at any rate, so much of it as was connected with the West by intercourse or reciprocal influence. The results of a conquest effected in ten years continued for as many centuries, and remain in some respects to the present day. The Hellenization of Western Asia and North-eastern Africa, which dates from Alexander's successes, is one of the most remarkable facts in the history of the human race, and one of those most pregnant with important consequences. It is as absurd to deny to the author of such a revolution the possession of extraordinary genius as to suppose that the Iliad could have been written by a man of no particular ability.
The situation of Alexander, on his accession' was extremely critical; and it depended wholly on his own energy and force of character whether lie would retain his father's power or lose it. His position was far from assured at home, where he had many rivals; and among the conquered nations there was a general inclination to test the qualities of the new and young prince by the assertion of independence. But Alexander was equal to the occasion. Seizing the throne without a moment's hesitation, he executed or drove out his rivals. Forestalling any open hostility on the part of the Greeks, he marched hastily, at the head of a large army, through Thessaly, Phocis, and Boeotia, to Corinth, and there required, and obtained, from the deputies whom he had convened to meet him, the same " hegemony," or leadership, which had been granted to his father. Sparta alone, as she had done before, stood aloof. From Corinth, Alexander retraced his steps to Macedon, and thence proceeded to chastise his enemies in the North and West, invading Thrace, defeating the Triballi and the Getae, and even crossing the Danube; after which he turned southward, and attacked and defeated the Illyrians under Clitus and Glaucias.
Meanwhile, in Greece, a false report of Alexander's death induced Thebes to raise the standard of revolt. A general insurrection might have followed but for the promptness and celerity of the young monarch. Marching straight from Illyria south, he appeared suddenly in Boeotia, stormed and took Thebes, and, after a wholesale massacre, punished the survivors by completely destroying their city and selling them all as slaves. This signal vengeance had the effect intended. All Greece was terror-struck; and Alexander could feel that lie might commence his Asiatic enterprise in tolerable security. Greece was now not likely to rebel, unless he suffered some considerable reverse.
In the spring of B.C. 334 Alexander passed the Hellespont with an army numbering about 35,000 men. The usual remissness of the Persians allowed him to cross without opposition. A plan of operations, suggested by Memnon the Rhodian, which consisted in avoiding an engagement in Asia Minor, and carrying the war into Macedonia by means of the overwhelming Persian fleet, was rejected, and battle was given to Alexander, on the Granicus, by a force only a little superior to his own. The victory of the invader placed Asia Minor at his mercy, and Alexander with his usual celerity proceeded to overrun it. Still, he seems to have been unwilling to remove his army very far from the Aegean coast, so long as Memnon was alive. But the death of that able commander, in the spring of B.C. 333, left him free to act; and he at once took the road which led to the heart of the Persian empire.
The conflict at Issus between Alexander and Darius himself was brought on under circumstances peculiarly favorable to the Macedonian monarch. Darius had intended to fight in the plain of Antioch, where his vast army would have had room to act. But, as Alexander did not come to meet him, he grew impatient, and advanced into the defiles which lie between Syria and Cilicia. The armies met, almost without warning, in a position where numbers gave no advantage. Under such circumstances the defeat of the Persians was a matter of course. Alexander deserves less credit for the victory of Issus than for the use lie made of it. It was a wise and farseeing policy which disdained the simple plan of pressing forward on a defeated foe, and preferred to let him escape and reorganize his forces, while the victory was utilized in another way. Once possessed of the command of the sea, Alexander would be completely secure at home. He therefore proceeded from Issus against Tyre, Gaza, and Egypt. Twenty months sufficed for the reduction of these places. Having possessed himself of all the maritime provinces of Persia, Alexander, in B.C. 331, proceeded to seek his enemy in the heart of his empire.
In the final conflict, near Arbela, the relative strength of the two contending parties was fairly tried. Darius had collected the full force of his empire, had selected and prepared his ground, and had even obtained the aid of allies. His defeat was owing, in part, to the intrinsic superiority of the European over the Asiatic solder; in part, and in great part, to the consummate ability of the Macedonian commander. The conflict was absolutely decisive, for it was impossible that any battle should be fought under conditions more favorable to Persia. Accordingly, the three capitals, Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis, surrendered, almost without resistance; and the Persian monarch became a fugitive, was ere long murdered by his servants.
The most remarkable part of Alexander's career now commences. An ordinary conqueror would have been satisfied with the submission of the great capitals, and would have awaited, in the luxurious abodes which they offered, the adhesion of the more distant provinces. But for Alexander rest possessed no attractions. So long as there were lands or men to conquer, it was his delight to subjugate them. The pursuit of Darius and then of Bessus, drew him on to the north-eastern corner of the Persian Empire, whence the way was open into a new world, generally believed to be one of immense wealth. From Bactria and Sogdiana Alexander proceeded through Afghanistan to India, which be entered on the side whence alone India is accessible by land, viz., the northwest. At first he warred with the princes who held their governments as dependencies of Persia; but, when these had submitted, he desired still to press eastward, and complete the subjugation of the continent, which was believed to terminate at no great distance. The refusal of his soldiers to proceed stopped him at the Sutlej, and forced him to relinquish his designs, and to bend his steps homeward.
It was characteristic of Alexander, that, even when compelled to desist from a forward movement, he did not retrace his steps, but returned to the Persian capital by an entirely new route. Following the course of the Indus in ships built for the purpose, while his army marched along the banks, lie conquered the valley as lie descended, and, having reached the ocean, proceeded with the bulk of his troops westward through Gedrosia (Beloochistan) and Carmania into Persia. Meanwhile his admiral, Nearchus, sailed from the Indus to the Euphrates, thus reopening a line of communication which had probably been little used since the time of Darius Hystaspis. Alexander, in his march, experienced terrible difficulties; and the losses incurred in the Gedrosian desert exceeded those of all the rest of the expedition. Still lie brought back to Persepolis the greater portion of his army, and found himself in a position, not only to maintain his conquests, but to undertake fresh ones, for the purpose of rounding off and completing his empire.
It was the intention of Alexander, after taking the measures which lie thought advisable for the consolidation of his empire, and the improvement of his intended capital, Babylon, to attempt the conquest of the peninsula of Arabia-a vast tract inconveniently interposed between his western and his eastern provinces. A fleet, under Nearchus, was to have proceeded along the coast, whilst Alexander, with an immense host ' traversed the interior. But these plans were brought to an end by the sudden death of their projector at Babylon, in the thirteenth year of his reign and the thirty-third of his age, June, B.C. 323. This premature demise makes it impossible to determine whether, or no, the political wisdom of Alexander was on a par with his strategic ability-whether, or no, he would have succeeded in consolidating and uniting his heterogeneous conquests, and have proved the Darius as well as the Cyrus of his empire. Cut off unexpectedly in the vigor of early manhood, he left no inheritor, either of his power or of his projects. The empire which he had constructed broke into fragments soon after his death; and his plans, whatever they were, perished with him.
The policy of Alexander, so far as appears, aimed at complete fusion and amalgamation of his own Greaco-Macedonian subjects with the dominant race of the subjugated countries, the Medo-Persians. He felt the difficulty of holding such extensive conquests by garrisons of Europeans, and therefore determined to associate in the task of ruling and governing the Asiatic race which bad shown itself most capable of those high functions. Ultimately, he would have fused the two peoples into one by translations of populations and intermarriages. Meanwhile, he united the two in the military and civil services, incorporating : 20,000 Persians into his phalanx, appointing many Persians to satrapies, and composing his court pretty equally of Persian and Macedonian noblemen. His scheme had the merits of originality and intrinsic fairness. Its execution would undoubtedly have elevated Asia to a point which she has never yet reached. But this advantage could not have been gained without some counterbalancing loss. The mixed people which It was his object to produce, while vastly superior to ordinary Asiatics, would have fallen far below the Hellenic, perhaps even below the Macedonian type. It is thus not much to be regretted that the scheme was nipped in the bud, and Hellenic culture preserved in tolerable purity to exercise a paramount influence over the Roman, and so over the modern, world.
The death of Alexander has been ascribed by some to poison, by others to habitual drunkenness. But the hardships of the Gedrosian march and the unhealthiness of the Chaldaean marshes sufficiently account for it.
PART II (B.C. 323 to 301)
From the Death of Alexander the Great to the Battle of Ipsus
The circumstances under which Alexander died led naturally to a period of convulsion. He left at his death no legitimate issue, and designated no successor. The Macedonian law of succession was uncertain; and, of those who had the best title to the throne, there was not one who could be considered by any unprejudiced person worthy of it. The great generals of the deceased king became thus, almost of necessity, aspirants to the regal dignity; and it was scarcely possible that their rival claims could be settled without an appeal to arms and a long and bloody struggle. For a time, the fiction of a united Macedonian Empire under the sovereignty of the old royal family was kept up; but from the first the generals were the real depositories of power, and practically a division of authority took effect almost from Alexander's death. Alexander left an illegitimate son named Hercules, who was ten or twelve years old at the time of Alexander's death.
The difficulty with respect to the succession was terminated without bloodshed. The claims of Hercules being passed over, Arrhidaeus, who was at Babylon, was proclaimed king under the name of Philip, and with the understanding that he was to share the empire with Roxana's child, if she should give birth to a boy. At the same time, four guardians, or regents, were appointed-Antipater and Craterus in Europe, Perdiccas and Leonnatus (for whom was soon afterwards substituted Meleager) in Asia. But the murder of Meleager by Perdiccas shortly reduced the number of guardians to three.
The sole command of the great army of Asia, assumed by Perdiccas on the death of Meleager, made his position vastly superior to that of his European colleagues, and enabled him to take the entire direction of affairs on his own side of the Hellespont. But, to maintain this position, it-was necessary for him to content the other great military chiefs, who had lately been his equals, and who would not have been satisfied to remain very much his inferiors. Accordingly, a distribution of satrapies was made within a few weeks of Alexander's death ; and each chief of any pretensions received a province proportioned to his merits or his influence.
It was not the intention of Perdiccas to break up the unity of Alexander's empire. Roxana having given birth to a boy, the government was carried on in the name of the two joint kings. Perdiccas' own office was that of vizier or prime minister. The generals who had received provinces were viewed by Perdiccas as mere governors intrusted with their administration, and answerable to the kings for it. He himself, as prime minister, undertook to give commands to the governors as to their courses of action. But he soon found that they declined to pay his commands any respect. The centrifugal force was greater than the centripetal; and the disintegration of the empire was not to be avoided.
It was probably the uncertainty of his actual position, and the difficulty of improving it without some violent step, that led Perdiccas to entertain the idea of removing the kings, and himself seizing the empire. Though lie had married Nicaea, the daughter of Antipater, lie arranged to repudiate her, and negotiated it marriage with Cleopatra, Alexander's sister. Such a union would have given to his claims the color of legitimacy. The opposition which he had chiefly to fear was that of his colleagues in the regency, Antipater and Craterus, and of the powerful satraps, Ptolemy Lagi and Antigonus. The former lie hoped to cajole, while he crushed the latter. But his designs were penetrated. Antigonus fled to Macedonia, B.C. 322, and warned Craterus and Antipater of their danger. A league was made between them and Ptolemy; and thus, in the war which followed, Perdiccas and his friend Eumenes were engaged on the one side against Antipater, Craterus, Antigonus, and Ptolemy Lagi on the other.
Perdiccas, leaving Eumenes to defend Asia, marched in person against Ptolemy. His army was from the first disaffected; and, when the military operations with which he commenced the campaign failed, they openly mutinied, attacked him, and slew him in his tent. Meanwhile Eumenes, remaining on the defensive in Asia Minor, repulsed the assaults made upon him, defeated and slew Craterus, and made himself a great reputation.
The removal of Perdiccas from the scene necessitated a new arrangement. Ptolemy declining the regency, it was conferred by the army of Perdiccas on Pithon and Arrhidaeus, two of their generals, who with difficulty maintained their position against the intrigues of Eurydice, the young wife of the mock monarch, Philip Arrhidaeus, until the arrival of Antipater in Syria, to whom they resigned their office. Antipater now became sole regent, silenced Furydic6, and made a fresh division of the provinces at Triparadisus, in Northern Syria, B.C. 320.
A war followed between Antigonus and Eumenes. Defeated in the open field through the treachery of Apollonides, whom Antigonus had bribed, Eumenes took refuge in the mountain fastness of Nora, where he defended himself successfully against every attack for many months. Antigonus turned his arms against other so-called rebels, defeated them, and became master of the greater part of Asia Minor. Meanwhile, Ptolemy picked a quarrel with Laomedon, satrap of Syria, sent an army into his province, and annexed it.
The death of the regent Antipater in Macedonia produced a further complication. Overlooking the claims of his son, Cassander, lie bequeathed the regency to his friend, the aged Polyperchon, and thus drove Cassander into opposition. Cassander fled to Antigonus; and a league was formed between Ptolemy, Cassander, and Antigonus on the one hand, and Polyperchon and Eumenes on the other; the two latter defending the cause of unity and of the Macedonian monarchs, the three former that of disruption and of satrapial independence.
Antigonus began the war by absorbing Lydia and attacking Mysia. He was soon, however, called away to the East by the threatening attitude of Eumenes, who had collected a force in Cilicia, with which he menaced Syria and Phoenicia. The command of the sea, which Phoenicia might have given, would have enabled Eumenes and Polyperchon to unite their forces and act together. It was the policy of Antigonus to prevent this. Accordingly, after defeating the royal fleet, commanded by Clitus, near Byzantium, lie marched in person against Eumenes, who retreated before him, crossed the Euphrates and Tigris, and united his troops with those of a number of the Eastern satraps, whom he found leagued together to resist the aggressions of Seleucus and Pithon. Antigonus advanced to Susa, while Eumenes retreated into Persia Proper. Two battles were fought with little advantage to either side; but at last the Macedonian jealousy of a foreigner and the insubordination of Alexander's veterans prevailed. Eumenes was seized by his own troops, delivered tip to Antigonus, and put to death, B.C. 316.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Cassander had proved fully capable of making head against Polyperchon. After counteracting the effect of Polyperchon's proceedings in Attica and the Peloponnese, he had marched into Macedonia, where important changes had taken place among the members of the royal family. Eurydice, the young wife of Philip Arrhidaeus, had raised a party, and so alarmed Polyperchon for his own power that he had determined on making common cause with Olympias, who returned from Epirus to Macedon on his invitation. Eurydice found herself powerless in tile presence of the more august princess, and, betaking herself to flight, was arrested, and, together with her husband, put to death by her rival, B.C. 317- But Cassander avenged her the next year. Entering Macedonia suddenly, he carried all before him, besieged Olympias in Pydna, and, though she surrendered on terms, allowed her to be killed by her enemies. Roxana and the young Alexander lie held as prisoners, while he strengthened his title to the Macedonian throne by a marriage with Thessalonica, the daughter of King Philip.
Thus the rebellious satraps had everywhere triumphed over the royalists, and the Macedonian throne had fallen, though Roxana and the young Alexander were still living. But now the victors fell out among themselves. Antigonus, after the death of Eumenes, had begun to let it be seen that nothing less than the entire empire of Alexander would content him. He slew Pithon, drove Seleucus from Babylonia, and distributed the Eastern provinces to his creatures. He then marched westward, where important changes had occurred during his absence. Cassander had made himself complete master of Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus had firmly established himself in Thrace; and Asander, satrap of Caria, had extended his dominion over Lycia and Cappadocia. These chiefs, fearing the ambition of Antigonus, entered into a league with Ptolemy Lagi and Seleucus, now a fugitive at his court; and when the terms which they proposed were rejected, made preparations for war.
The war of Antigonus against Ptolemy, Cassander, Seleucus, Asander (or the Carian Cassander), and Lysimachus lasted for three years. Antigonus had the assistance of his son Demetrius in Asia, and (at first) of Polyperchon and his son Alexander in Europe. He was, on the whole, moderately successful in Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece; but the recovery of Babylonia by Seleucus, and the general adhesion to his cause of the Eastern provinces, more than counterbalanced these gains.
The terms of the peace negotiated in B.C. 311 were, that each should keep what he possessed; that the Greek cities should be independent; that Cassander should retain his power till the young Alexander came of age. Seleucus was no party to the treaty, and was not mentioned in it. It was probably thought that lie could well hold his own; though had he been seriously menaced, the treaty would have been at once thrown to the winds. As it was, only a few months passed before there was a renewal of hostilities.
The murder of Roxana and the young Alexander by the orders of Cassander was a natural consequence of the third article of the treaty, and was no doubt expected by Antigonus. He gladly saw these royal personages removed out of his way; while it suited him that the odium of the act should attach to one of his adversaries.
Hostilities recommenced in the year following the treaty, B.C. 310. They were precipitated by the breach which took place between Antigonus and his nephew Ptolemy, who had been employed by him against Cassander in Greece. Ptolemy Lagi was the first to take up arms. Complaining that Antigonus had not withdrawn his garrisons from the Greek cities of Asia Minor, he undertook to liberate them. Antigonus, on his side, complained that Cassander did not withdraw his garrisons from tile cities of European Greece. Thus the war was renewed, nominally for the freedom of Greece. In reality, the contest was for supremacy on the part of Antigonus, for independence on that of the satraps; and the only question with respect to Greece was, who should be her master.
The conquerors at Ipsus, Seleucus and Lysimachus, divided the dominions of Alexander afresh. As was natural, they took to themselves the lion's share. The greater part of Asia Minor was made over to Lysimachus. Seleucus received Cappadocia, part of Phrygia, Upper Syria, Mesopotamia, and the valley of the Euphrates. Cilicia was given to Cassander's brother, Pleistarchus. Neither Cassander himself nor Ptolemy received any additions to their dominions.
War had now raged over most of the countries conquered by Alexander for the space of twenty years. The loss of lives and the consumption of treasure had been immense. Greece, Asia Minor, Cyprus, and Syria, which had been the chief scenes of conflict, must have suffered especially. Nowhere had there been much attempt at organization or internal improvements, the attention of the rulers having been continually fixed on military affairs. Still, the evils of constant warfare had been, out of Greece at any rate, partly counterbalanced by the foundation of large and magnificent cities, intended partly as indications of the wealth and greatness of their founders, partly as memorials to hand down their names to after ages; by the habits of military discipline imparted to a certain number of the Asiatics ; and by the spread of the Greek language and of Greek ideas over most of Western Asia and North-eastern Africa. The many dialects of Asia Minor died away and completely disappeared before the tongue of the conqueror; which, even where it did not wholly oust the vernacular (as in Egypt, in Syria, and in Upper Asia), stood beside it and above it as the language of the ruling classes and of the educated, generally intelligible to such persons from the shores of the Adriatic to the banks of the Indus, and from the Crimea to Elephantine. Knowledge rapidly progressed ; for not only did the native histories of Egypt, Babylon, Phoenicia, Judaea, and other Eastern countries become now for the first time really known to the Greeks, but the philosophic thought and the accumulated scientific stores of the most advanced Oriental nations were thrown open to them, and Greek intelligence was able to employ itself on materials of considerable value, which had hitherto been quite inaccessible. A great advance was made in the sciences of mathematics, astronomy, geography, ethnology, and natural history, partly through this opening up of Oriental stores, partly through the enlarged acquaintance with the world and its phenomena which followed on the occupation by the Greeks of vast tracts previously untrodden by Europeans. Commerce, too, in spite of the unsettled state of the newly-occupied countries, extended its operations. On the other hand, upon Greece itself familiarity with Asiatic ideas and modes of life produced a debasing effect. The Oriental habits of servility and adulation superseded the old free-spoken independence and manliness; patriotism and public spirit disappeared; luxury increased; literature lost its vigor; art deteriorated; and the people sank into a nation of pedants, parasites, and adventurers.
PART III (B.C. 323 to 146)
History of Macedonia, and of Greece, from the Death of Alexander to the Roman Conquest
Grecian history had been suspended during the time of Alexander's career of conquest. A slight disturbance of the general tranquillity had indeed occurred, when Alexander plunged into the unknown countries beyond the Zagros range, by the movement against Antipater, which the Spartan king, Agis, originated in B.C. 330. But the disturbance was soon quelled. Agis was defeated and slain; and from this time the whole of Greece remained perfectly tranquil until the news came of Alexander's premature demise during the summer of B.C. 323. Then, indeed, hope rose high; and a great effort was made to burst the chains which bound Greece to the footstool of the Macedonian kings, Athens, under Demosthenes and Hyperides, taking, as was natural, the lead in the struggle for freedom. A large confederacy was formed; and the Lamian War was entered upon in the confident expectation that the effect would be the liberation of Greece from the yoke of her oppressor. But the result disappointed these hopes. After a bright gleam of success, the confederate Greeks were completely defeated at Crannon, B.C. 322, and the yoke of Macedonia was riveted upon them more firmly than ever.
The position of Antipater, as supreme ruler of Macedonia, was far from being safe and assured. The female members of the Macedonian royal family-Olympias, the widow of Philip; Cleopatra, her daughter; Cynane, daughter of Philip by an Illyrian mother; and Eurydice, daughter of Cynane by her husband Amyntas (himself a first cousin of Alexander) -were, one and all, persons of ability and ambition, who saw with extreme dissatisfaction the aggrandizement of the generals of Alexander and the low condition into which the royal power had fallen, shared between an infant and an imbecile. Dissatisfied, moreover, with their own positions and prospects, they commenced intrigues for the purpose of improving them. Olympias first offered the hand of Cleopatra to Leonnatus, who was to have turned against Antipater, if he had been successful in his Grecian expedition. When the death of, Leonnatus frustrated this scheme, Olympias cast her eyes farther abroad, and fixed on Perdiccas as the chief to whom she would betroth her daughter. Meanwhile, Cynan6 boldly crossed over to Asia with Eurydic6, and offered her in marriage to Philip Arrhidaeus, the nominal king. To gratify Olympias, who hated these members of the royal house, Perdiccas put Cynan6 to death; and he would probably have likewise removed Eurydic6, had not the soldiers, exasperated at the mother's murder, compelled him to allow the marriage of the daughter with Philip. Meanwhile, he consented to Olympias' schemes, prepared to repudiate his wife, Nicaea, the daughter of Antipater, and hoped with the aid of his friend, Eumenes, to make himself master of the whole of Alexander's empire. (See Second Period.)
The designs of Perdiccas, and his intrigues with Olympias, having been discovered by Antigonus, and the life of that chief being in danger from Perdiccas in consequence, he fled to Europe in the course of B.C. 322, and informed Antipater and Craterus of their peril. Fully appreciating the importance of the intelligence, those leaders at once concluded a league with Ptolemy, and in the spring of B.C. 321 invaded Asia for the purpose of attacking their rival. Here they found Eumenes prepared to resist them; and so great was the ability of that general, that, though Perdiccas had led the greater portion of his forces against Egypt, be maintained the war successfully, defeating and killing Craterus, and holding Antipater in check. But the murder of Perdiccas by his troops, and their fraternization with their opponents, changed the whole face of affairs. Antipater found himself, without an effort, master of the situation. Proclaimed sole regent by the soldiers, lie took the custody of the royal persons, re-distributed the satrapies (see Second Period), and, returning into Macedonia, held for about two years the first position in the empire. He was now, however, an old man, and his late campaigns had probably shaken him; at any rate, soon after his return to Europe, he died, B.C. 318, leaving the regency to his brother officer, the aged Polyperchon.
The disappointment of Cassander, the elder of the two surviving sons of Antipater, produced the second great war between the generals of Alexander. Cassander, having begun to intrigue against Polyperchon was driven from Macedonia by the regent, and, flying to Antigonus, induced him to embrace his cause. The league followed between Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Cassander on the one hand, and Polyperchon and Eumenes on the other (see Second Period), Antigonus undertaking to contend with Eumenes in Asia, while Cassander afforded employment to Polyperchon in Europe.
In the war which ensued between Cassander and Polyperchon, the former proved eventually superior. Polyperchon had on his side the influence of Olympias, which was great; and his proclamation of freedom to the Greeks was a judicious step, from which he derived considerable advantage. But neither as a soldier nor as a statesman was he Cassander's equal. He lost Athens by an imprudent delay, and failed against Megalopolis through want of military ability. His policy in allowing Olympias to gratify her hatreds without let or hindrance was ruinous to his cause, by thoroughly alienating the Macedonians. Cassander's triumph in B.C. 316 reduced him to a secondary position, transferring the supreme authority in Macedonia to his rival.
The reign of Cassander over Macedonia, which now commenced, lasted from B.C. 316 to 296, a period of twenty years. The talents of this prince are unquestionable, but his moral conduct fell below that of even the majority of his contemporaries, which was sufficiently reprehensible. His bad faith towards Olympias was followed, within a few years, by the murders of Roxana and the infant Alexander, by complicity in the murder of Hercules, the illegitimate son of Alexander the Great, and by treachery towards Polysperclion, who was first seduced into crime and then defrauded of his reward. Cassander, however, was a clever statesman, a good general, and a brave soldier. His first step on obtaining possession of Macedonia was to marry Thessalonice, the sister of Alexander the Great, and thus to connect himself with the family of the conqueror. Next, fearing the ambition of Antigonus, who, after his victory over Eumenes, aspired to rule the whole empire (see Second Period), he entered into the league of the satraps against that powerful commander, and bore his part in the great war, which, commencing B.C. 315, on the return of Antigonus from the East, terminated B.C. 301, at the battle of Ipsus. In this war Cassander, though he displayed unceasing activity, and much ability for intrigue, was on the whole unsuccessful; and he would probably have lost Greece and Macedonia to his powerful adversary, had not the advance of Seleucus from Babylon and the defeat of Antigonus at Ipsus saved him.
Cassander did not live long to enjoy the tranquillity which the defeat and death of Antigonus at Ipsus brought him. He died B.C. 298, three years after Ipsus, leaving the crown to the eldest of his three sons by Thessalonice, Philip. This prince was carried off by sickness before lie had reigned a year; and the Macedonian dominions at his death fell to Tliessalonic6, his mother, who made a division of them between her two surviving sons, Antipater and Alexander, assigning to the latter Western, and to the former Eastern Macedonia.
Antipater, who regarded himself as wronged in the partition, having wreaked his vengeance on his mother by causing her to be assassinated, applied for aid to his wife's father, Lysimachus; while Alexander, fearing his brother's designs, called in the help of Pyrrhus the Epirote and of Demetrius, B.C. 297. Demetrius, after the defeat of Ipsus, had still contrived to maintain the position of a sovereign. Rejected at first by Athens, he had besieged and taken that city, had recovered possession of Attica, the Megarid, and great portions of the Peloponnese, and had thus possessed himself of a considerable power. Appealed to by Alexander, he professed to embrace his cause; but ere long he took advantage of his position to murder the young prince, and possess himself of his kingdom. Antipater was about the same time put it) death by Lysimachus, B.C. 294.
The kingdom of Demetrius comprised, not only Macedonia, but Thessaly, Attica, Megaris, and the greater part of the Peloponnese. Had he been content with these territories, he might have remained quietly in the possession of them, for the families of Alexander the Great and of Antipater were extinct, and the connection of Demetrius with Seleucus, who had married his daughter (see Third Period, Part 1.), would have rendered his neighbors cautious of meddling with him. But the ambition of Demetrius was insatiate, and his self-confidence unbounded. After establishing his authority in Central Greece and twice taking Thebes, he made an unprovoked attack upon Pyrrhus, B.C. 290, from whom he desired to wrest some provinces ceded to him by the late king, Alexander. In this attempt he completely failed, whereupon he formed a new project. Collecting a vast army, he let it be understood that he claimed the entire dominion of his father, Antigonus, and was about to proceed to its recovery, B.C. 288. Seleucus and Lysimachus, whom this project threatened, were induced, in consequence, to encourage Pyrrhus to carry his arms into Macedonia on the one side, while Lysimachus himself invaded it on the other. Placed thus between two fires and finding at the same time that his soldiers were not to be depended upon, Demetrius, in B.C. 287, relinquished the Macedonian throne, and escaped secretly to Demetrias, the city which he had built on the Pagasean Gulf and had made a sort of capital. From hence lie proceeded on the expedition, which cost him his liberty, against Asia. (See Third Period, Part I)
On the flight of Demetrius, Pyrrhus of Epirus became king of the greater part of Macedonia; but a share of the spoil was at once claimed by Lysimachus, who received the tract adjoining his own territories. A mere share, however, did not long satisfy the Macedonian chieftain. Finding that the rule of an Epirotic prince was distasteful to the Macedonians, lie contrived after a little while to pick a quarrel with his recent ally, and having invaded his Macedonian territories, forced him to' relinquish them and retire to his own country, after a reign which lasted less than a year.
By the success of Lysimachus, Macedonia became a mere appendage to a large kingdom, which reached from the Halys to the Pindus range, its centre being Thrace, and its capital Lysimachea in the Chersonese. These circumstances might not by themselves have alienated the Macedonians, though they could scarcely have failed after a time to arouse discontent; but when Lysimachus, after suffering jealousy and dissension to carry ruin into his own family, proceeded to acts of tyranny and violence towards his nobles and other subjects, these last called on Seleucus Nicator to interfere for their preservation; and that monarch, having invaded the territories of his neighbor, defeated him in the battle of Corupedion, where Lysimachus, fighting with his usual gallantry, was not only beaten but slain.
By the victory of Corupedion, Seleucus Nicator became master of the entire kingdom of Lysimachus, and, with the exception of Egypt, appeared to have reunited almost the whole of the dominions of Alexander. But this union was short lived. Within a few weeks of his victory, Seleucus was murdered by Ptolemy Ceraunus, the Egyptian refugee whom lie had protected; and the Macedonians, indifferent by whom they were ruled, accepted the Egyptian prince without a murmur.
The short reign of Ptolemy Ceraunus (B.C. 281 to 279) was stained by crimes and marked by many imprudences. Regarding the two sons of Lysimachus by ArsinoŽ, his half-sister, as possible rivals, he persuaded her into a marriage, in order to get her children into his power; and, having prevailed with the credulous princess, first murdered her sons before her eyes, and then banished her to Samothrace. Escaping to Egypt, she became the wife of her brother, Philadelphus, and would probably have induced him to avenge her wrongs, had not the crime of Ceraunus received its just punishment in another way. A great invasion of the Gauls-one of those vast waves of migration which from time to time sweep over the world-occurring just as Ceraunus felt himself in secure possession of his kingdom, disturbed his ease, and called for wise and vigorous measures of resistance. Ceraunus met the crisis with sufficient courage, but with a complete absence of prudent counsel. Instead of organizing a united resistance to a common enemy, or conciliating it for whom he was too weak to oppose singly, he both exasperated the Gauls by a contemptuous message and refused the proffers of assistance which he received from his neighbors. Opposing the unaided force of Macedon to their furious onset, lie was completely defeated in a great battle, B.C. 279, 1111d, failing into the hands of his enemies, was barbarously put to death. The Gauls then ravaged Macedonia far and wide; nor was it till B.C. 277 that Macedonia once more obtained a settled government.
On the retirement of the Gauls, Antipater, the nephew of Cassander, came forward for the second time, and was accepted as king by a portion, at any rate, of the Macedonians. But a new pretender soon appeared upon the scene. Antigonus Gonatas, the son of Demetrius Poliorcetes, who had maintained himself since that monarch's captivity as an independent prince in Central or Southern Hellas, claimed the throne once filled by his father, and, having taken into his service a body of Gallic mercenaries, defeated Antipater and made himself master of Macedonia. His pretensions being disputed by Antiochus Soter, the son of Seleucus, who had succeeded to the throne of Syria, lie engaged in war with that prince, crossing into Asia and uniting his forces with those of Nicomedes, the Bithynian king, whom Antiochus was endeavoring to conquer. To this combination Antiochus was forced to yield; relinquishing his claims, he gave his sister, Phila, in marriage to Antigonus, and recognized him as king of Macedonia. Antigonus upon this fully established his power, repulsing a fresh attack of the Gatils, and recovering Cassandreia from the cruel tyrant, Apollodorus.
But he was not long left in repose. In B.C. 274, Pyrrhus finally quitted Italy, having failed in all his schemes, but having made himself a great reputation. Landing in Epirus with a scanty force, lie found the condition of Macedonia and of Greece favorable to his ambition. Antigonus had no hold on the affections of his subjects, whose recollections of his father, Demetrius, were unpleasing. The Greek cities were, sonic of them, tinder tyrants, others occupied against their will by Macedonian garrisons. Above all, Greece and Macedonia were full of military adventurers, ready to flock to any standard which offered them a fair prospect of plunder. Pyrrhus, therefore, taken a body of Celts into his pay, declared war against Antigonus, B.C. 273, and suddenly invaded Macedonia. Antigonus gave him battle, but was worsted owing to the disaffection of his soldiers, and, being twice defeated, became a fugitive and a wanderer.
The victories of Pyrrhus, and his son Ptolemy, placed the Macedonian crown upon the brow of the former, who might not improbably have become the founder of a great power, if he could have turned his attention to consolidation, instead of looking out for fresh conquests. But the arts and employment of peace had no charm for the Epirotic knight-errant. Hardly was he settled in his seat, when, upon the invitation of Cleonymus of Sparta, he led an expedition into the Peloponnese, and attempted the conquest of that rough and difficult region. Repulsed from Sparta, which lie had hoped to surprise, he sought to cover his disappointment by the capture of Argos; but here he was still more unsuccessful. Antigonus, now once more at the head of an army, watched the city, prepared to dispute its occupation, while the lately threatened Spartans hung upon the invader's rear. In a desperate attempt to seize the place by night, the adventurous Epirote was first wounded by a soldier and then slain by ' the blow of a tile, thrown from a house-top by an Argive woman, B.C. 271.
On the death of Pyrrhus the Macedonian throne was recovered by Antigonus, who commenced his second reign by establishing his influence over most of the Peloponnese, after which he was engaged in a long war with the Athenians (B.C. 268 to 263), who were supported by Sparta and by Egypt. These allies rendered, however, but little help; and Athens must have soon succumbed, had not Antigonus been called away to Macedonia by the invasion of Alexander, son of Pyrrhus. This enterprising prince carried, at first, all before him, and was even acknowledged as Macedonian king; but ere long, Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, having defeated Alexander near Derdia, re-established his father's dominion over Macedon, and, invading Epirus, succeeded in driving the Epirotic monarch out of his paternal kingdom. The Epirots soon restored him; but from this time he remained at peace with Antigonus, who was able once more to devote his undivided attention to the subjugation of the Greeks. In B.C. 263, he took Athens, and recovered himself complete master of Attica; and, in B.C. 244, nineteen years afterwards, he contrived by a treacherous stratagem to obtain possession of Corinth. But at this point his successes ceased. A power had been quietly growing up in a corner of the Peloponnese which was to become a counterpoise to Macedonia, and to give to the closing scenes of Grecian history an interest little inferior to that which had belonged to its earlier pages. The Achaean League, resuscitated from its ashes about the time of the invasion of the Gauls, B.C. 280, had acquired in the space of thirty-seven years sufficient strength and consistency to venture on defying the puissant king of Macedon and braving his extreme displeasure. In B.C. 243, Aratus, the general of the League and in a certain sense its founder, by a sudden and well-planned attack surprised and took Corinth; which immediately joined the League, whereto it owed its freedom. This success was followed by others. Megara, Troezen, and Epidaurus threw off their allegiance to Antigonus and attached themselves to the League in the course of the same year. Athens and Argos were threatened; and the League assumed an attitude of unmistakable antagonism to the power and pretensions of Macedon. Antigonus, grown timorous in his old age, met the bold aggressions of the League with no overt acts of hostility. Contenting himself with inciting the Aetolians to attack the new power, lie remained wholly on the defensive, neither attempting to recover the lost towns, nor to retaliate by any invasion of Achaea.
Antigonus Gonatas died B.C. 239, at the age of eighty, having reigned in all thirty-seven years. He left his crown to his son, Demetrius II., who inherited his ambition without his talents. The first acts of Demetrius were to form a close alliance with Epirus, now tinder the rule of Olympias, Alexander's widow; to accept the hand of her daughter Phthia, whereby he offended his queen, Stratonice, and through her Seleucus, the Syrian king; and to break with the Aetolians, who were seeking at this time to deprive Olympias of a portion of her dominions. The Aetolians, alarmed, sought the alliance of the Achaean League; and in the war which followed, Demetrius was opposed by both these important powers. He contrived, however, to defeat Aratus in Thessaly, to reduce Boeotia, anti to re-establish Macedonian ascendancy as far as the Isthmus. But this was all that he could effect. No impression was made by his arms on either of the great Leagues. No aid was given to Epirus, where the royal family was shortly afterwards exterminated. Demetrius was perhaps recalled to Macedonia by the aggressive attitude of the Dardanians, who certainly attacked him in his later years, and gave him a severe defeat. It is thought by some that he perished in tile battle. But this is uncertain.
The most important fact of this period was the interference, now for the first time, of the Romans in tile affairs of Greece. The embassy to the Aetolians, warning them against interference with Acarnania, belongs probably to the year B.C. 238; that to the Aetolians and Achaeans announcing the success of the Roman arms against the Illyrians, belongs certainly to B.C. 228 In the same year, or the year preceding, Corcyra, Apollonia, and Epidamnus became Roman dependencies. Demetrius left an only son, Philip, who was but eight years old at his decease. He was at once acknowledged king; but owing to his tender age, his guardianship was undertaken by his kinsman, Antigonus, the son of his father's first cousin, Demetrius, " the Handsome." It was, consequently, this prince who directed the policy of Macedonia during the period which immediately followed on the death of Demetrius II -who, in fact, ruled Macedonia for nine years, from B.C. 229 to 220. The events of this period are of first-rate interest, including, as they do, the last display of patriotism and vigor at Sparta, and the remarkable turn of affairs whereby Macedonia, from being the deadly foe of the Achaean League, became its friend, ally, and protector.
The other wars of Antigonus Doson were comparatively unimportant. He repulsed an attack of the Dardanians, who had defeated his predecessor, suppressed an insurrection in Thessaly, and made an expedition by sea against South-western Asia Minor, which is said to have resulted in the conquest of Caria. It was impossible, however, that he should long hold this distant dependency, which shortly reverted to Egypt, the chief maritime power of this period. Soon after his return from Greece, Antigonus, died of disease, having held the sovereignty for the space of nine years. He was succeeded by the rightful heir to the throne, Philip, the son of Demetrius II, in whose name lie had carried on the government.
Philip, who was still no more than seventeen years old, was left by his kinsman to tile care of tutors and guardians. He seemed to ascend the throne at a favorable moment, when Macedonia, at very little expenditure of either men or money, had recovered Greece, had repulsed her Illyrian adversaries, and was released, by the death of Ptolemy Euergetes, from her most formidable enemy among the successors of Alexander. But all these advantages were neutralized by the rash conduct of the king himself, who first allied himself with Hannibal against Rome, and then with Antiochus against Egypt. No doubt Philip saw, more clearly than most of his contemporaries, the dangerously aggressive character of the Roman power; nor can we blame him for seeking to form coalitions against the conquering republic. But, before venturing to make Rome his enemy, he should have consolidated his power at home; and, when he made the venture, he should have been content with no half measures, but should have thrown himself, heart and soul, into the quarrel.
The first war in which the young prince engaged was one that had broken out between the Achaeans and Aetolians. The 2F-tolians, who now for the first time show themselves a really first-rate Greek power, had been gradually growing in importance, from the time when they provoked the special anger of Antipater in the Lamian War, and were threatened with transplantation into Asia. Somewhat earlier than this they had organized themselves into a Federal Republic, and had thus set the example which the Achaeans followed half a century afterwards. Some account of their institutions, and of the extent of their power, is requisite for the proper understanding both of their strength and of their weakness.
The war of the Aetolians and Achaeans was provoked by the former, who thought they saw in the accession of so young a prince as Philip to the throne of Macedon a favorable opportunity for advancing their interests after their own peculiar method. It commenced with the invasion of Messenia, and would probably have been ruinous to Achaea, had Philip allowed himself to be detained in Macedonia by apprehensions of danger from his Illyrian neighbors, or had he shown less vigor and ability in his proceedings after he entered Greece. Though thwarted by the treachery of his minister and guardian, Apelles, who was jealous of the influence of Aratus, and but little aided by any of his Greek allies, he gained a series of brilliant successes, overrunning most of Aetolia, capturing Thermon, the capital, detaching from the League Phigaleia in Arcadia and the Phthian Thebes, and showing himself in all respects a worthy successor of the old Macedonian conquerors. But after four years of this successful warfare, lie allowed himself to be diverted from what should have been his first object, the complete reduction of Greece, by tile prospect which opened upon him after Hannibal's victory at Lake Thrasiniene. At the instance of Demetrius of Pharos lie concluded a peace with the Aetolians on the principle of udi possedetis, and, retiring into Macedonia, entered upon those negotiations which involved him shortly afterwards in a -war with Rome.
The negotiations opened by Philip with Hannibal, B.C. 216, interrupted by tile capture of his ambassadors, were brought to a successful issue in B.C. 215; and in the ensuing year Philip began his first war with Rome by the siege of Apollonia, the chief Roman port in Illyricum. By securing this place, he expected to facilitate the invasion of Italy on which he was bent, and to prepare the way for that complete expulsion of the Romans from the eastern coast of the gulf, which was one of the objects he had most at heart. But he soon learned that the Romans were an enemy with whom, under any circumstances whatever, it was dangerous to contend. Defeated by M. Valerius, who surprised his camp at night, he was obliged to burn his ships and make a hasty retreat. His schemes of invasion were rudely overthrown; and, three years later, B.C. 211, the Romans, by concluding a treaty with Aetolia and her allies (Elis, Sparta, the Illyrian chief, Scerdilaidas, and Attalus, king of Pergamus), gave the war a new character, transferring it into Philip's own dominions, and so occupying him there that he was forced to implore aid front Carthage instead of bringing succor to Hannibal. After many changes of fortune, the Macedonian monarch, having by tile hands of his ally, Philopoemen, defeated the Spartans at Mantineia, induced the Aetolians to conclude a separate peace; after which the Romans, anxious to concentrate all their energies on the war with Carthage, consented to a treaty on terms not dishonorable to either party.
Philip had now a breathing-space, and might have employed it to consolidate his power in Macedonia and Greece, before the storm broke upon him which was manifestly impending. But his ambition was too great, and his views were too grand, to allow of his engaging in a work so humble and unexciting as consolidation. The Macedonian monarch had by this time disappointed all his earlier promise of virtue and moderation. lie had grown profligate in morals, criminal in his acts, both public and private, and strangely reckless in his policy. Grasping after a vast empire, he neglected to secure what he already possessed, and, while enlarging the bounds, he diminished the real strength of his kingdom. It became now his object to extend his dominion on the side of Asia, and with this view he first (about B.C. 205) concluded a treaty with Antiochus the Great for the partition of the territories of Egypt, and then (B.C. 203) plunged into a war with Attalus and the Rhodians. His own share of the Egyptian spoils was to comprise Lysimacheia and the adjoining parts of Thrace, Samos, Ephesus, Caria, and perhaps other portions of Asia Minor. He began at once to take possession of these places. A war with Attalus and Rhodes was almost the necessary result of such proceedings, since their existence depended on the maintenance of a balance of power ill these parts, and the instinct of self-preservation naturally threw them oil the Egyptian side. Philip, moreover, took no steps to disarm their hostility: oil the contrary, before war was declared, lie burnt the arsenal of the Rhodians by the hands of an emissary; and in the war itself, one of his opening acts was to strengthen Prusias, the enemy of Attalus, by making over to him the Aetolian dependency' Cius. The main event of the war was the great defeat of his fleet by the combined squadrons of the two powers off Chios, B.C. 201, a defeat ill compensated by the subsequent victory of Ladi. Still Philip was, on the whole, successful, and accomplished the main objects which he had in view, making himself master of Thasos, Samos, Chios, of Caria, and of many places in Ionia. Unassisted by Egypt, the allies were too weak to protect her territory, and Philip obtained the extension of dominion which he had desired, but at the cost of provoking the intense hostility of two powerful naval states, and the ill-will of Aeolia, which he had injured by his conquest of Cius.
These proceedings of Philip in the Aegean had, moreover, been well calculated to bring about a rupture of the peace with Rome. Friendly relations had existed between tile Romans and Egypt from the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and even from an earlier date Rhodes and Rome had been oil terms of intimacy. Attalus was an actual ally of Rome, and had been included in the late treaty. It is therefore not surprising that in B.C. 200 Rome remonstrated, and, when Philip rejected every demand, declared the peace at all end and renewed the war.
The Second War of Philip with Rome is the turning-point in the history of Ancient Europe, deciding, as it did, the question whether Macedon and Rome should continue two parallel forces, dividing between them the general direction of European affairs, or whether the power of the former should be completely swept away, and the dominion of the latter over the civilized West finally and firmly established. It is perhaps doubtful what the result would have been, if Philip had guided his conduct by the commonest rules of prudence ; if, aware of the nature of the conflict into which he was about to be plunged, he had conciliated instead of alienating his natural supports, and had so been able to meet Rome at the head of a general confederacy of the Hellenes. As it was, Greece was at first divided, the Rhodians, Athenians, and Athamanians siding with Rome ; Aetolia, Epirus, Achaea, and Sparta being neutral; and Thessaly, Boeotia, Acarnania, Megalopolis, and Argos supporting Philip; while in the latter part of the war, after Flamininus had proclaimed himself the champion of Grecian freedom, almost the entire force of Hellas was thrown oil the side of the Romans. Rome had also the alliance of the Illyrian tribes, always hostile to their Macedonian neighbors, and of Attalus, king of Pergamus. Philip was left at last without a friend or ally, excepting Acarnania, which exhibited the unusual spectacle of a grateful nation firmly adhering to its benefactor in his adversity.
The terms of peace agreed to by Philip after the battle of Cynocephalae were the following: -He was to evacuate all the Greek cities which he held, whether in Europe or Asia, some immediately, the others within a given time. He was to surrender his state-galley and all his navy except five light ships. He was to restore all the Roman prisoners and deserters; and lie was to pay to the Romans 1000 talents, 500 at once, the rest in ten annual installments. He was also to abstain from all aggressive war, and to surrender any claim to his revolted province, Orestis. These terms, though hard, were as favorable as he had any right to expect. Had the Aetolians been allowed to have their way, he would have been far more severely treated.
The policy of Rome in proclaiming freedom to the Greeks, and even withdrawing her garrisons from the great fortresses of Demetrias, Chalcis, and Corinth-the " fetters of Greece " -was undoubtedly sound. Greek freedom could not be maintained excepting under her protection; and, by undertaking the protectorate, she attached the bulk of the Greek people to her cause. At the same time, the establishment of universal freedom prevented any state from having much power; and in the quarrels that were sure to ensue Rome would find her advantage.
War broke out in Greece in the very year of Flamininus' departure, B.C. 194, by the intrigues of the Aetolians, who encouraged Nabis to attack the Achaeans, then murdered Nabis, and finally invited Antiochus over from Asia. The defeat of Antiochus at Thermopylae, B.C. 191, left the Aetolians to bear the brunt of the war which they had provoked, and after the battle of Magnesia, B.C. i0o, there was nothing left for them but complete submission. Rome curtailed their territory, and made them subject-allies, but forbore to crush them utterly, since they might still be useful against Macedonia.
The degradation of Aetolia was favorable to the growth and advancement of the Achaean League, which at one and the same time was patronized by Rome, and seemed to patriotic Greeks the only remaining rallying-point for a national party. The League at this time was under the guidance of the able and honest Philopoemen, whose efforts for its extension were crowned with remarkable success. After the murder of Nabis by the Aetolians, Sparta was induced to join the League, B.C. 192; and, a year later, the last of the Peloponnesian states which had remained separate, Mess6n6 and Elis, came in. The League now reached its wildest territorial extent, comprising all the Peloponnese, together with Megara and other places beyond its limits.
After the conclusion of his peace with Rome, Philip for some years remained quiet. But having assisted the Romans in their struggle with Antiochus and the Aetolians, lie was allowed to extend his dominions by wars not only with Thrace, but also with the Dolopians, Athananians, and even the Thessalians and Magnesians. When, however, his assistance was no longer needed, Rome required him to give up all his conquests and retire within the limit of Macedonia. Prolonged negotiations followed, until at last (B.C. 183) the Senate was induced to relax in their demands by the mediation of Demetrius, Philip's second son, long a hostage at Rome, for whom they professed to have a warm regard. The favor openly shown towards this prince by the Roman government was not perhaps intended to injure him ; but it naturally had that result. It aroused the suspicion of his father and the jealousy of his elder brother, Perseus, and led to the series of accusations against the innocent youth, which at length induced his father to consent to his death, B.C. 18r. It may have been remorse for his hasty act which brought Philip himself to the grave within two years of his son's decease, at the age of fifty-eight.
It is said that Philip had intended, on discovering the innocence of Demetrius, and the guilt of his false accuser, Perseus, to debar the latter from the succession. He brought forward into public life a certain Antigonus, a nephew of Antigonus Doson, and would, it is believed, have made him his heir, had he not died both prematurely and suddenly. Antigonus being absent from the court. Perseus mounted the throne without opposition; but lie took care to secure himself in its possession by soon afterwards murdering his rival.
It had been the aim of Philip, ever since the battle of Cynocephalae, and it continued to be the aim of Perseus, to maintain the peace with Rome as long as might be feasible, but at the same time to invigorate and strengthen Macedonia in every possible way, and so to prepare her for a second struggle, which it was hoped might terminate differently from the first. Philip repopulated his exhausted provinces by transplantations of Thracians and others, recruited his finances by careful working of the mineral treasures in which Macedonia abounded raised and disciplined a large military force, and entered into alliances with several of the Northern nations, Illyrian, Celtic, and perhaps even German, whom he hoped to launch against Rome, when the proper time should arrive. Perseus, inheriting this policy, pursued it diligently for eight years, allying himself by intermarriages with Prusias of Bithynia and Seleucus of Syria, winning to his cause Cotys the Odrysian, Gentius the Illyrian, the Scordisci, the Bastarnae, and others. Even in Greece he had a considerable party, who thought his yoke would be more tolerable than that of Rome. Boeotia actually entered into his alliance; and the other states mostly wavered and might have been won, had proper measures been taken. But as the danger of a rupture drew near, Perseus' good genius seemed to forsake him. lie continued to pursue the policy of procrastination long after the time bad arrived for vigorous and prompt action. He allowed Rome to crush his friends in Greece without reaching out a hand to their assistance. Above all, by a foolish and ill-timed niggardliness, lie lost the advantage of almost all the alliances which lie had contracted, disgusting and alienating his allies, one after another, by the refusal of his subsidies which they required before setting their troops in motion. He thus derived no benefit from his well-filled treasury, which simply went to swell the Roman gains at the end of the war.
The Romans landed in Epirus in the spring of B.C. 171, and employed themselves for some months in detaching from Perseus his allies, and in putting down his party in the Greek states. They dissolved the Boeotian League, secured the election of their partisans in various places, and obtained promises of aid from Achaea and Thessaly. Perseus allowed himself to be entrapped into making a truce during these months, and the Romans were thus able to complete their preparations at their leisure. At length, towards autumn, both armies took the field-Perseus with 39,000 foot and 4000 horse, the Romans with an equal number of horse, but with foot not much exceeding 30,000. In the first battle, which was fought in Thessaly, Perseus was victorious; but he made no use of his victory, except to sue for peace, which was denied him. The war then languished for two years; but in B.C. 168, the command being taken by L. Aemilius Paullus, Perseus was forced to an engagement near Pydna (June 22), which decided the fate of the monarchy. The defeated prince fled to Samothrace, carrying with him 6ooo talents-a sum the judicious expenditure of which might have turned the scale against the Romans. Here lie was shortly afterwards captured by the praetor Octavius, and, being carried to Rome by the victorious consul, was led in triumph, and within a few years killed by, ill usage, about B.C. 166.
The conquered kingdom of Macedonia was not at once reduced into the form of a Roman province, but was divided up into four distinct states, each of them, it would seem, a kind of federal republic, which were expressly forbidden to have any dealings one with another. Amphipolis, Thessalonica, Pella, and Pelagonia were made the capitals of the four states. To prevent any outburst of discontent at the loss of political status, the burdens hitherto laid upon the people were lightened. Rome was content to receive in tribute from the Macedonians one-half the amount which they had been in the habit of paying to their kings.
In Greece, the immediate effect of the last Macedonian War was the disappearance of four out of the five Federal Unions, which had recently divided almost the whole of the Hellenic soil among them. The allegiance of Aetolia had wavered (luring the struggle; and at its close the Romans either formally dissolved the League, or made it simply municipal. Acarnania, which went over to Rome in the course of the war, was nominally allowed to continue it confederacy, but practically vanishes from Grecian history from this moment. Boeotia having submitted, B.C. 171, was formally broken up into distinct cities. Epirus was punished for deserting the Roman side by desolation and depopulation, the remnant of her people being handed over to the rule of a tyrant. The only power remaining in Greece which possessed at once some strength and a remnant of independence, was Achaea, whose fidelity to Rome (luring the whole course of the war made it impossible even for the Roman Senate to proceed at once to treat her as an enemy.
Achaea, nevertheless, was doomed from the moment that Macedonia fell. The policy of Rome was at this time not guided by a sense of honor, but wholly by a regard for her own interests. Having crushed Macedonia and mastered all Greece except Achaea, she required for the completion of her work in this quarter that Achaea should either become wholly submissive to her will, or be conquered. It was at once to test the submissiveness of the Achaean people, and to obtain hostages for their continued good behavior, that Rome, in B.C. 167, required by her ambassadors the trial of above a thousand of the chief Achaeans on the charge of having secretly aided Perseus; and, when the Achaean Assembly did not dare to refuse, carried off to Italy the whole of the accused persons. All the more moderate and independent of the Achaeans were thus deported, and the strong partisans of Rome, Callicrates and his friends, were left in sole possession of the government. For seventeen years the accused persons were kept in prison in Etruscan towns without a hearing. Then, when their number had dwindled to three hundred, and their unjust detention had so exasperated them that a rash and reckless policy might be expected from their return to power, Rome suddenly released the remnant and sent them back to their country.
The natural consequences followed. Power fell into the hands of Diaeus, Critolaus, and Damocritus, three of the exiles who were most bitterly enraged against Rome; and these persons played into the hands of their hated enemies by exciting troubles intended to annoy the Romans, but which really gave them the pretext-which was exactly what they wanted for an armed interference. The rebellion of Andriscus, a pretended son of Perseus, in Macedonia (B.C. 149 to 148), caused a brief delay ; but in B.C. 146, four years after the return of the exiles, war was actually declared. Metellus first, and then Mummius, defeated the forces of the League; Critolaus fell in battle; Diaeus slew himself; Corinth, where the remnant of the Achaean army had taken refuge, was taken and sacked, and the last faint spark of Grecian independence was extinguished. Achaea was not, indeed, at once reduced into a province; and, though the League was formally dissolved, yet, after an interval, its nominal revival was permitted; but the substance of liberty had vanished at the battle of Leucopetra, and the image of it which Polybius was allowed to restore was a mere shadow, known by both parties to be illusory. Before many years were past, Achaea received, like the other provinces, her proconsul, and became an integral part of the great empire against which she had found it vain to attempt to struggle.
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