Battle of Crannon, August 322 B.C.

Battle of Crannon, August 322 B.C.

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Battle of Crannon, August 322 B.C.

The battle of Crannon was the decisive land battle of the Lamian War, an attempt by a Greek coalition led by Athens to win freedom from Macedonia. The Athenians had been able to raise a sizable army from amongst the many mercenaries left unemployed by the end of Alexander’s Persian wars. Under the command of a general called Leosthenes the Greeks had advanced to Thermopylae, and then to the town of Lamia, in the south of Thessaly. There Leosthenes had been killed by a slingshot fired from the town walls.

Meanwhile, the Athenian fleet had suffered two defeats at sea, at Abydos and then Amorgos. This allowed Macedonian reinforcements, under Craterus to reach Greece. The Greek army abandoned the siege of Lamia, and moved north to oppose them. At Crannon, the Macedonians won a major victory over the Greek army. Alexander might have been dead, but his army was still largely intact.

In the aftermath of the battle, the Macedonians threatened to besiege Athens. Faced with this threat, the Athenians surrendered. Their democratic institutions were dramatically modified to increase the power of the wealthier citizens, who had opposed the revolt, and a Macedonian garrison placed in the Piraeus. The defeat at Crannon marked the end of ancient Athens’s last attempt to regain her own liberty. Later in the wars of the Diadochi she would regain many of the internal freedoms lost in 322 BC, but always as a gift from a foreign king.

The Lamian War or Hellenic War was a large-scale revolt of the Greek city-states of the League of Corinth against Macedonian authority following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. [1] The southern Greek city-states had never fully acquiesced to Macedonian hegemony, imposed through force of arms, but it was one of Alexander's last acts, the Exiles Decree of 324 BC, that provoked open resentment, especially in Athens, where preparations for war began even before Alexander's death. [2] The Exiles Decree stipulated the return of all exiles and the restoration of their citizenship and property, and was perceived as a direct violation of the city-states' autonomy by Alexander. To the Athenians in particular, the decree was anathema as it meant that the island of Samos, an Athenian possession since 366 BC and settled with Athenian cleruchs, was to be restored to the exiled Samians. Instead of complying with it, they arrested the arriving Samian oligarchs and sent them as prisoners to Athens. [3] [4]

Although fallen from the height of its power during the Golden Age of Pericles in the 5th century, Athens still had extensive financial resources at its disposal and a fleet numbering 240 or perhaps even 400 warships. [5] Following the news of Alexander's death, the Athenians played a leading role in assembling a league to fight for the restoration of the city-states' autonomy. The allies first defeated the pro-Macedonian Boeotians and then—aided by the defection of the Thessalian cavalry—the Macedonian viceroy of Greece, Antipater, forcing him to retreat to the fortified city of Lamia, where the allies laid siege to him. [6] Antipater called for military and naval reinforcements from the rest of the Macedonian empire. As a result, while Antipater remained besieged in Lamia, a naval campaign was fought in the Aegean Sea between the Macedonians under Cleitus the White and the Athenians under Euetion, who initially attempted to stop the Macedonian reinforcements to cross from Asia Minor into Europe at the Hellespont. [7] [8]

The two main sources on the naval battles of the Lamian War are Diodorus Siculus, and, to a lesser extent, Plutarch. [9] Despite the decisive role of the naval battles in the war's outcome, the sources are brief and ambiguous as to the exact number and location of the naval battles fought. [10] [11] Diodorus Siculus (18.15.8–9) merely reports on the naval campaign that "Cleitus was in command of the Macedonian fleet, which numbered two hundred and forty. Engaging with the Athenian admiral Euetion he defeated him in two naval battles and destroyed a large number of the ships of the enemy near the islands that are called the Echinades". [12] In addition, the Parian Marble, a chronicle inscribed on marble in Paros, refers to a battle near Amorgos, won by the Macedonians, while other inscriptions dated to ca. 320 BC refer to a battle at Abydos on the Hellespont. [12]

It is unclear from Diodorus' statement whether there were two or three battles, which has led to several interpretations by modern researchers. The traditional reconstruction of events posits that there was a first battle at the Hellespont, per the inscriptions, that was won by the Macedonians, allowing their army to cross into Europe. This was followed by the Battle of Amorgos, and a third Battle of the Echinades, whose location is disputed by scholars. [12] [13] Some recent scholars follow the suggestions of A. B. Bosworth that Diodorus' passage did not summarize the entire naval campaign of the war, but referred to a separate naval theatre in the Ionian Sea, that was decided in two battles at the Echinades islands in spring 322. This would place the Battle of Amorgos after the battles at Echinades. [14] [15] [16]

It is considered likely by many scholars that Cleitus, who headed the fleet stationed in the Levant, was not in command at the Hellespont. As a result, the battle of Amorgos may not have been a direct continuation of the Hellespont campaign, but rather indicate that Cleitus was confronted by the Athenians just as he was entering the Aegean from the southeast. This would also tally with Diodorus' statement that Cleitus only fought two battles, i.e. at Amorgos and the Echinades. [17] [18] Whatever the true course of events, it is clear that when the two fleets met, Cleitus with his 240 ships had a distinct numerical advantage over the Athenian fleet. [19] [20] [21] Despite the full mobilization of their manpower, the Athenians could find enough crews for only about 170 warships, giving preference to manning the city's two quinqueremes and the available quadriremes, while the rest of the fleet was filled out with triremes. [22]

According to the Parian Marble, the battle took place at the end of the archonship of Cephisodorus, hence in late May or June 322 BC [19] [23] —perhaps, according to N. G. Ashton, as late as 26 or 27 June. [24] Little detail is known of the battle that is commonly described by scholars as the "decisive sea-battle of the Lamian War". [19] [25] [26] The Athenians were clearly defeated, but their losses must not have been heavy: Plutarch derisively comments of Cleitus that he presented himself as Poseidon although he had sunk only three or four ships, and the Athenians were allowed to tow their wrecks back home, an unusual concession since the possession of the wrecks was usually the mark of victory. [25] Indeed, the sight of the Athenian fleet rowing home towing wrecks was enough to send ahead to Athens the false message that its fleet had won a victory the city celebrated for two or three days, before the fleet arrived and the truth became known. [27] John R. Hale has proposed that the battle's curious outcome may be have come about if Euetion issued a surrender just after the battle began, and gave assurances to Cleitus that Athens would no longer challenge Macedonia at sea. Such an act can be explained given the overwhelmingly negative stance to the war of the Athenian aristocracy, to which Euetion belonged, and which provided the fleet commanders and trierarchs. [28]

Although the bulk of the Athenian navy had escaped unscathed from Amorgos, it suffered heavy losses at the subsequent battle of Echinades, which most scholars place between Amorgos and the defeat of the allies on land at the Battle of Crannon in August. These successive defeats led the Athenians to seek peace. [25] [29] [30] The terms saw the disenfranchisement and expulsion of 12,000 of the city's poorest citizens (the thetes) and the restriction of voting rights to the richer citizens, putting an end to Athenian democracy. In addition, Antipater installed a Macedonian garrison on the Munychia hill in the harbour of Piraeus, marking an end to both Athenian naval power and political independence. [31] [32]

The Battle of Amorgos is proposed by modern scholars as one of three possible naval battles—along with the Battle of Salamis (306 BC) and the Battle of Cos (261/255 BC)—that provided the occasion for the erection of the statue of the Nike of Samothrace. [33]

Battle of Crannon, August 322 B.C. - History

Chronology of the Greek History (405-146 B.C.)

405: Annihilation of Athenian fleet at the battle of Aegospotami by Lysander over 3,000 Athenians were executed. Athens was besieged by Sparta with the blockading of Piraeus. Dionysius I became tyrant of Syracuse.

404: (Spring) Surrender of Athens to Sparta, with the destruction of its fortifications, loss of all foreign territories, surrender of the navy, and acceptance of Spartan leadership. Pro-Spartan oligarchy of Thirty Tyrants imposed at Athens under Critias.

404/403: Democratic exiles under Thrasybulus seized Phyle.

403: Thrasybulus seized Piraeus. Fall of Thirty Tyrants and restoration of democracy at Athens.

402/400: Agis II invaded Elis.

401: Expedition (anabasis) of Cyrus the Younger to take the Persian throne from his brother Artaxerxes II battle of Cunaxa, with the defeat and death of Cyrus.

400-387: War of Sparta against Persia.

399: General amnesty at Athens allowed exiles to return. Agesilaus II became king of Sparta.

398-392: War between Carthage and Dionysius I of Syracuse.

396-395: Campaigns of Agesilaus against the Persians in Asia Minor.

395-386: Corinthian War: Corinth, Boeotia, Argos and Athens backed by Persia against Sparta.

395: Lysander was killed at the siege of Haliartus.

394: Sparta and allies won the battle of Nemea against Athens, Corinth, Boeotia, Argos and others. Athenians and Boeotians were defeated by Sparta under Agesilaus II at the battle of Coronea. The Persian fleet under the Athenian Conon defeated the Spartan navy at the battle of Cnidus.

393: Athens rebuilt its Long Walls, and Piraeus was refortified.

390: Gauls sacked Rome.

390/389: Athens made an alliance with Thasos, Samothrace and many cities of Asia Minor.

387: Spartans and Persians defeated the Athenian fleet in the Hellespont.

386: King's Peace (also known as Peace of Antalcidas or Common Peace) was signed at Sardis.

386-385: City of Mantinea was destroyed by Spartans.

385: Jason became tyrant of Pherae.

383-375?: War between Dionysius I and Carthage.

382: Spartan troops seized the citadel at Thebes (Cadmea).

379: Spartans forced Olynthus to surrender and dissolved the Chalcidic Confederacy for infringing the King's Peace.

379-378: Thebans regained their city from Spartan control.

378: Foundation of Second Athenian League.

377/376: Mausolus became satrap of Caria (to 353/352).

376: Spartans were defeated at sea off Naxos by the Second Athenian League. (Wmter) Dionysius I was defeated by Carthage at the battle of Cronium.

375: Battle of Tegyra. Renewal of the King's Peace.

373: Plataea was attacked and destroyed by Thebes.

371: (Early) Peace of Callias (one of many examples of a treaty of Common Peace) was signed at Sparta by all Greek states except Thebes. duly/August) Spartans under Cleombrotus were defeated by Thebans under Epaminondas at the battle of Leuctra, ending Spartan leadership in Greece.

370/369: (Winter) First Theban invasion of Peloponnese, including Laconia. Messenia was liberated and became an independent state Formation of Arcadian Confederacy.

369: Second invasion of the Peloponnese by Thebes under Epaminondas. Alexander became tyrant of Pherae.

368: Foundation of Megalopolis as the capital of the Arcadian ConfederacY

367: Death of Dionysius I. Dionysius II became tyrant of Syracuse.

366: Dion was expelled from Syracuse.

366: Satraps' Revolt from Persian domination (to 360). Thebes seized Oropus.

365: Common Peace (possibly). Athens captured Samos from the Persians.

364: Thebes destroyed Orchomenus. Battle of Cynoscephalae, in which Pelopidas died.

362: Thebes under Epaminondas de- feated a force of Spartans, Athenians and Mantineans at the battle of Mantinea. Epaminondas was killed, marking the end of Theban supremacy.

362/361: Treaty of common peace amongst Greek cities, except Sparta.

361: Expedition by Agesilaus against Persians. Callistratus was executed.

361/360: Archidamus III became king of Sparta.

360: Death of Agesilaus.

359: Philip II succeeded Perdiccas III as king of Macedonia.

358: Philip II defeated the Paeonians.

357: Philip II captured Amphipolis. Outbreak of war between Athens and Macedonia.

357-355: Social War between Athens and important allies who had revolted from the Second Athenian League.

356: Dion controlled Syracuse (to 354). Battle of Embata, which the Athenian navy lost to Chios. Birth of Alexander the Great. (Spring) Siege of Potidaea by Philip II.

356-346: (Summer) Phocis seized Delphi and provoked the Third Sacred War (Phocis against Thebes, Locris and Thessaly).

354: Philip II took Methone (and lost an eye). Thessalian League appealed to Philip II for help against the tyrants of Pherae. (Autumn) Phocis was defeated at the battle of Neon. Dion was murdered.

353: Philip II was defeated twice.

352: Victory by Philip II at the battle of Crocus Field. Philip II was prevented from marching south at Thermopylae by Phocian troops and allies.

351: Demosthenes' First Philippic oration advocated an anti-Macedonian policy.

351/350: Philip II campaigned against Illyria and Epirus.

349-348: Philip II campaigned in Chalcidice.

348: Philip II attacked and destroyed Olynthus, enslaving the inhabitants.

346: Philip II and Athens made peace (Peace of Philocrates). Philip II crushed the Phocians.

346/345: Aeschines was prosecuted by Demosthenes.

345: Philip II campaigned against Illyria.

344: Timoleon went to assist Syracuse against Dionysius II and the Carthaginians.

344 343: Timoleon liberated Syracuse from Dionysius II.

342: Philip II campaigned in Thrace and removed its king.

341/339: (June) Timoleon defeated the Carthaginians at the battle of Crimisus River in Sicily.

340: Siege of Perinthus by Philip II. Siege of Byzantium by Philip II.

339: (Late) Athens declared war on Philip II.

339: Fourth Sacred War of Philip II.

338: (2 August) Philip II defeated Athens and Thebes at the battle of Chaeronea. First congress of Corinth. Archidamus III was killed at the battle of Manduria, Italy.

337: (Spring) Second congress of Corinth agreed on a Common Peace. (Summer) Corinthian League of Greek states (Hellenic League) was established by Philip II and agreed on war against Persia to avenge the wrongs of Xerxes.

336: Assassination of Philip II. Proposal by Ctesiphon that Demosthenes should be crowned for his services.

336: Accession of Alexander III (the Great). Accession of Darius III of Persia.

335: Alexander destroyed Thebes, killing and enslaving its population.

334: Alexander crossed into Asia, defeating Darius III at the battle of Granicus River (near the Hellespont) he then conquered Asia Minor.

333: (November) Defeat of Darius III by Alexander at the battle of Issus. Antigonus I was appointed satrap of Persia.

332: Alexander besieged and took Tyre and Gaza. (December) Alexander entered Egypt.

331: (6 April) Foundation of Alexandria in Egypt. Alexander visited the oracle of Zeus Ammon at Siwa. (November) Alexander defeated Darius III at the battle of Gaugamela (or Arbela). Alexander took Mesopotamia and entered Babylon and Persepolis. Antipater defeated Agis III at the battle of Megalopolis.

331/330: Alexander I of Epirus was defeated at the battle of Pandosia.

330: Destruction of Persepolis by Alexander's forces. Darius III was murdered in Bactria. (October) Plot against Alexander the Great was suppressed. Ctesiphon was prosecuted by Aeschines.

330-328: Alexander conquered Bactria and Sogdiana.

328/327: Cleitus was murdered by Alexander.

327: Marriage of Alexander and Roxane. Conspiracy of the Pages (a plot to murder Alexander). Alexander began the India Expedition.

326: Alexander crossed the Indus, won the battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum) River and conquered the Punjab. At the Hyphasis River, Alexander's army refused to proceed further. Alexander and his army sailed down the Indus to the Indian Ocean.

325: Alexander returned through Baluchistan, with his army suffering great loss of life in the waterless deserts.

324: Alexander returned to Susa. Exiles' Decree issued by Alexander to repatriate exiles to their cities. Macedonian army mutiny at Opis on Tigris River.

323: (June) Death of Alexander the Great at Babylon, age 32. Demosthenes retired to Aegina. Perdiccas became regent of Alexander the Great's empire.

323-322: Athens and other Greek states revolted against Macedonia (Lamian or Hellenic War).

322: (August) Battle of Crannon (Macedonian victory over the allied Greek states). Athens was occupied by Macedonians, and an oligarchy was established. Death of Demosthenes.

320: Death of Perdiccas. Conference at Triparadeisus.

319-316: Polyperchon was driven from Macedonia and much of Greece by Cassander.

319-301: Antigonus I attempted to reunite and rule the entire empire of Alexander the Great.

319: Death of Antipater. Ptolemy I seized Palestine and Coele-Syria.

317: Philip III Arrhidaeus was murdered by Olympias.

317/316: Agathocles became tyrant of Syracuse.

315: (Spring) Olympias, mother of Alexander, was executed by Cassander. Seleucus I fled to Ptolemy I.

315-311: Coalition of satraps fought against Antigonus I.

312: (Late) Ptolemy I defeated Demetrius Poliorcetes at the battle of Gaza. Seleucus I recaptured Babylon.

311: Alexander IV and Roxane were executed. Peace treaty among the Successors recognized the division among Antigonus (Asia), Cassander (Macedonia/ Greece), Lysimachus (Thrace), and Ptolemy (Egypt), although omitting the eastern satrapies of Seleucus I.

310-306: War between Agathocles and Carthage: invasion of Africa.

309/308: Areus I became king of Sparta.

307: Demetrius I Poliorcetes freed Athens from Cassander.

307-304: Four Years' War (Athens against Cassander).

306: Naval victory by Demetrius I Poliorcetes over Ptolemy I at Salamis. Peace between Agathocles and the Carthaginians.

306-304: Antigonus, Ptolemy and Seleucus I proclaimed themselves kings.

305-304: Siege of Rhodes by Demetrius I Poliorcetes, "The Besieger."

303: Treaty concluded between Seleucus I and the Indian king Sandracottus.

301: Battle of Ipsus: Antigonus I was killed and the power of Demetrius Poliorcetes was destroyed.

297: Death of Cassander, ruler of Macedonia. Pyrrhus became king of Epirus (to 272).

295: (Spring) Athens was starved into surrender by Demetrius I Poliorcetes.

294: (Autumn) Demetrius Poliorcetes became king of Macedonia.

288: Lysimachus and Pyrrhus gained Macedonia from Demetrius I Poliorcetes.

285: Pyrrhus was pushed back to Epirus by Lysimachus. Demetrius Poliorcetes surrendered to Seleucus I and died in 283.

283/282: Ptolemy I Soter died Ptolemy II Philadelphus succeeded (to 246).

281: Battle of Corupedium: Lysimachus of Thrace was defeated and killed by Seleucus I. Seleucus I was assassinated and succeeded by his son Antiochus I. Foundation of the Achaean Confederacy.

280-275: Campaigns of Pyrrhus of Epirus against Rome in south Italy and Sicily

280: Pyrrhus won the batde of Heraclea against Rome.

279: Pyrrhus won the battle of Asculum against Rome. Gauls invaded Macedonia and Greece as far as Delphi.

277: Antigonus II Gonatas defeated the Gauls near Lysimachia.

276: Antigonus II Gonatas became king of Macedonia, founding the Antigonid dynasty.

276/275: Ptolemy II married his sister Arsinoe II.

275: Pyrrhus was beaten by the Romans at the battle of Beneventum.

274/273-271: First Syrian War between Ptolemy II and Antiochus I Soter.

272: Surrender of Tarentum to Rome. Death of Pyrrhus of Epirus.

270: Hieron II became king at Syracuse (to 215)

268-263/262: Chremonidean War: Ptolemy II unsuccessfully supported Athens and Sparta against Antigonus II of Macedonia.

265: Mamertines were defeated by Hieron II at the battle of Longanus River.

264: Roman army entered Sicily to help the Mamertines against Carthage. Romans seized Messana. Beginning of the First Punic War.

263: Eumenes I succeeded Philetaerus as ruler of Pergamum. Hieron II of Syracuse became an ally of Rome.

262: Antiochus I was defeated near Sardis. Antigonus II Gonatas took Athens.

261: Antiochus II succeeded Antiochus I as Seleucid king.

260-253: Second Syrian War between Ptolemy II and Antiochus II.

251: Aratus recovered Sicyon, uniting it with the Achaean Confederacy against Macedonia.

249: Revolt of Alexander of Corinth against Antigonus II Gonatas on the death of Craterus the Younger.

246: Ptolemy III succeeded Ptolemy II as king of Egypt. Seleucus II succeeded Antiochus II as Seleucid king.

246-241: Third Syrian (Laodicean) War, between Ptolemy III and Seleucus II.

244-241: Agis IV became king at Sparta and attempted reforms.

243: Aratus of Sicyon and the Achaeans captured Corinth from the Macedonians. Lydiadas became tyrant of Megalopolis.

242: Leonidas II was deposed as king by Agis IV

241: Attalus I became ruler of Pergamum. Agis [V was executed.

240: Former Seleucid province of Bactria became independent.

239: Demetrius II succeeded Antigonus II Gonatas as king of Macedonia.

239-238: Demetrian War between Macedonia and the Achaean and Aetolian Confederacies.

239-236: War of the Brothers (Seleucus II against Antiochus Hierax).

238: Emergence of Parthia.

235: Cleomenes III became king of Sparta (to 222). Megalopolis joined the Achaean Confederacy.

229: Antigonus III Doson succeeded Demetrius II.

228: Antigonus III Doson defeated the Aetolians and Thessalians.

228/227: Major earthquake at Rhodes, which destroyed the Colossus.

227: Spartan victory at the battles of Mount Lycaeus and Ladocea.

227/226: Cleomenes III reformed the Spartan constitution.

226: Death of Antiochus Hierax. Seleucus III succeeded Seleucus II.

225-224: Antigonus III Doson occupied Acrocorinth.

224: Antigonus III Doson founded a Hellenic League of allies.

223: Antiochus III succeeded Seleucus III as Seleucid king. Cleomenes II sacked Megalopolis.

222: July) Battle of Sellasia near Sparta: defeat of the Spartans under Cleomenes III by the Achaeans and Antigonus III.

221: Philip V succeeded Antigonus III Doson. Ptolemy IV succeeded Ptolemy III as king of Egypt. Antiochus III invaded Palestine.

220-217: Social War: Philip V and his allies against Aetolia.

220: Revolt of Achaeus.

220/219: Prusias I campaigned against Byzantium.

219-217: Fourth Syrian War between Ptolemy IV and Antiochus III.

218: Prusias I defeated the Galatians.

217: Battle of Naupactus. Peace of Naupactus. Ptolemy IV defeated Antiochus III at the battle of Raphia.

215: Philip V of Macedonia formed an alliance with Hannibal of Carthage.

215-205: First Macedonian War between Rome and Philip V.

214: Philip V lost his navy offIllyria.

213: Death of Aratus of Sicyon. Romans besieged Syracuse.

212-205: Antiochus III campaigned in the east (his anabasis) as far as India, emulating Alexander the Great.

211: Roman alliance with the Aetolian Confederacy against Philip V. Romans captured Syracuse, and Sicily became a Roman province.

209: Attalus I of Pergamum allied with Rome against Philip V.

207-187/1 86: Revolt of Upper Egypt.

205: (Summer) Peace of Phoenice between Rome and Philip V, which ended First Macedonian War.

204: Ptolemy V succeeded Ptolemy IV in Egypt.

202: Philip V and Antiochus III made an alliance against Egypt.

202-195: Fifth Syrian War, between Antiochus III and Ptolemy V.

201: Philip V was defeated in a naval battle off Chios.

200: Second Macedonian War between Rome and Philip V (to 197). Ptolemy V was defeated at the battle of Panion.

197: Defeat of Philip V by the Romans at the battle of Cynoscephalae. Eumenes II succeeded Attalus I.

196: (Summer) Roman general Flamininus proclaimed the liberation of the Greeks at the Isthmian Games.

194: Roman forces left Greece.

192: Antiochus III invaded Greece.

192-188: Syrian War between Antiochus III and Rome.

189: Battle of Magnesia ad Sipylum (Roman victory).

187: Death of Antiochus III.

183: Hannibal committed suicide.

180: Ptolemy VI succeeded T,tolemy V.

179: Philip V died and was succeeded by Perseus. Perseus renewed an alliance with Rome.

175: Antiochus IV Epiphanes succeeded Seleucus IV as king.

171-168: Third Macedonian War against the Romans.

170-168: Sixth Syrian War, between Egypt and Antiochus IV.

170: Ptolemy VIII became king of Egypt.

169: Antiochus IV raided the temple of Jerusalem.

168: Perseus was defeated by Rome at the battle of Pydna, ending the kingdom of Macedonia.

167: Rome divided Macedonia into four republics. Rome declared Delos a free port. Antiochus IV raided the temple of Jerusalem for a second time. Revolt of Jews led byJudas Maccabaeus began.

163: Antiochus V succeeded Antiochus IV.

162: Demetrius I became Seleucid king.

161/160: Judas Maccabaeus was killed in battle.

160: Orophernes seized the throne of Cappadocia.

159: Attalus II succeeded Eumenes II.

157: Ariarathes V was restored to the Seleucid throne.

156-154: War between Prusias II and Attalus II.

155: Ptolemy VIII threatened to bequeath Cyrene to Rome.

150: Polybius and other Achaean hostages held since the battle of Pydna were freed. Demetrius I killed in battle by Alexander Balas.

148: Macedonia became a Roman province.

146: Achaean War: Corinth was destroyed by Rome. Achaean Confederacy was dissolved.

Copied (with corrections) from the original posting by Hilary Gowen at her Punic War site.


Demosthenes is one of the most famous orators of ancient times, and many of his speeches were preserved and studied by students of rhetoric for hundreds of years. He lived some years after the Golden age of Athens in a period of decline, and constantly exhorted his fellow-citizens to return to their former habits of courage and self-reliance, but to little avail. His great nemesis was Philip II of Macedonia, who during the lifetime of Demosthenes was slowly becoming an over-lord of all of Greece using both military and diplomatic methods. Demosthenes warned against acquiescing to Philip, but failed to inspire his townsmen to act until it was too late.

The story of Demosthenes evolution as an orator is especially notable because he was not a naturally talented or confident speaker as a youth, but rather, a relatively poor one. He gained his reputation mainly through hard work, and improved his speaking abilities by various methods such as shouting to be heard above the crashing of the ocean waves, and spending many hours in his studio preparing his speeches. He eventually became a prosperous lawyer and when Philip of Macedonia began involving himself in the affairs of Greece, he became increasingly involved in politics.

In around 357 B . C . Athens became involved in a Social War with some of her colonies. At nearly the same time, the Sacred War broke out between Thebes and Phocis. Philip II used both of these conflicts to increase his influence over northern Greece and several of Athens' allies in the Aegean. Demosthenes saw the danger of Philip's designs early and began delivering speeches warning of the Macedonian threat, but many of his fellow-citizens were willing to make alliances with Philip in order to oppose Thebes and avoid going to war. Philip's encroachments and Demosthenes' warnings persisted for many years before the fatal Battle of Chaeronea , after which Athens submitted to an alliance under terms highly favorable to Macedonia. For the next twelve years, Demosthenes had no real choice but to submit to Macedonian rule, and only by the intervention of a well respected general was he spared permanent exile. On the death of Alexander in 323 B . C . however, he helped inspire a rebellion against Macedonia. When the rebellion was put down, he fled to a temple and there ended his own life.

Ancient World History

Alexander the Great died on June 11, 323 b.c.e., in Babylon. His leading generals met in discussion. Alexander had a half brother, Arridaeus, but he was illegitimate and an epileptic and thought unfit to rule. Perdiccas, general of the cavalry, stated that Alexander’s wife, Roxane, was pregnant.

If a boy was born, then he would become king. Alexander had named Perdiccas successor as regent, until the child was of age. The other generals opposed this idea. Nearchus, commander of the navy, pointed out that Alexander had a three-year-old son, Heracles, with his former concubine Barsine.

The other generals opposed this because Nearchus was married to Barsine’s daughter and related to the young possible king. Ptolemy wanted a joint leadership and deemed that the empire needed firm government and jointly the generals could assure this. Some thought that a collective leadership could lead to a division of the empire.

Meleager, the commander of the pikemen, opposed the idea. He wanted Arridaeus as king to unite the empire. The final decision was to appoint Perdiccas as regent for Arridaeus, who would become Philip III, and if Roxane gave birth to a boy, he would take precedence and become King Alexander IV.

Alexander’s father, Philip of Macedon, had led his armies south and conquered all of Greece. Alexander was king of Macedon and Greece and had left a general there to rule. The Greeks saw that Alexander and his generals had taken on the customs of their hated enemies, the Persians.

The people of Athens and other Greek cities staged revolts as soon as they heard that Alexander had died. Antipater led forces south and battled in what would became the Lamian War.

Craterus arrived with reinforcements. Craterus led the Macedonians to victory against the Greeks at the Battle of Crannon on September 5, 322 b.c.e. As the Macedonians captured Athens, Demosthenes, the leader of the revolt, died by taking poison.

Perdiccas ruled as regent, and there was peace for a time. His first war was with Ariarathes, who ruled in Cappadocia in the central part of modern-day Turkey. The First Diadoch War broke out in 322 b.c.e., when Craterus and Antipater in Macedonia refused to follow the orders of Perdiccas. Knowing that war would come, the Macedonians allied with Ptolemy of Egypt.

Perdiccas invaded Egypt and tried to cross the Nile, but many of his men were swept away. When Perdiccas called together his commanders Peithon, Antigenes, and Seleucus for a new war strategy, they instead killed him and ended the civil war. They offered to make Ptolemy the regent of the empire, but he was content with Egypt and declined.

Ptolemy suggested that Peithon be regent, which annoyed Antipater of Macedon. Negotiations were held and succession was finally decided: Antipater became regent Roxane’s son, who had just been born, was named Alexander IV. They would live in Macedonia, where Antipater would rule the empire.

His ally Lysimachus would rule Thrace, and Ptolemy would remain satrap of Egypt. Of Perdiccas’s commanders, Seleucus would become satrap of Babylonia, and Peithon would rule Media. Antigonus, in charge of the army of Perdiccas, was in control of Asia Minor.

War was again initiated when Antipater died in 319 b.c.e. He had appointed a general called Polyperchon to succeed him as regent. At this, his son, Cassander, organized a rebellion against Polyperchon.

With war breaking out Ptolemy had his eye on Syria, which had historically belonged to Egypt. There was an alliance between Cassander, Ptolemy, and Antigonus of Asia Minor, who had designs against the new ruler Polyperchon. Ptolemy then attacked Syria.

Polyperchon, desperate for allies, offered the Greek cities the possibility of autonomy, but this did not gain him many troops. Cassander invaded Macedonia but was defeated. During this fighting the mother of Alexander, Olympias, was executed in 316 b.c.e.

Polyperchon had the support of Eumenes, an important Macedonian general. Polyperchon attempted to ally with Seleucus of Babylon. Seleucus refused, and the satraps of the eastern provinces decided not to be involved.

Antigonus, in June 316 b.c.e., moved into Persia and engaged the forces of Eumenes at the Battle of Paraitacene, which was indecisive. Another battle near Gabae, where the fighting was also indecisive, led to the murder of Eumenes at the end of the fighting.

This left Antigonus in control of all of the Asian part of the former empire. To cement his hold over the empire, he invited Peithon of Media and then had him executed. Seleucus, seeing that he would no longer have control over Babylon, fled to Egypt.

Antigonus Monophthalmus was now powerful and had control of Asia. Worried about an invasion of Egypt, Ptolemy started plotting with Lysimachus of Thrace and Cassander of Macedonia. Together they demanded that Antigonus hand over the royal treasury he had seized and hand back many of his lands.

He refused, and in 314 b.c.e. war broke out. Antigonus attacked Syria and tried to capture Phoenicia. He lay siege to the city of Tyre for 15 months. Meanwhile, Seleucus took Cyprus.

On the diplomatic front Antigonus demanded that Cassander explain how Olympias had died and what had happened to Alexander IV and his mother, in whose name Cassander held rule. Antigonus made an alliance with Polyperchon, who held southern Greece.

Demetrius’ Agema fighting Ptolemy’s Companions at Gaza, 312 BC

Ptolemy sent his navy to attack Cilicia, the south coast of what is now Turkey, in the summer of 312 b.c.e. With his forces in Syria, Ptolemy worried that Egypt might be attacked and retreated.

Seleucus, who was a commander in the Ptolemaic army, marched to Babylon and was recognized as satrap in mid-311 b.c.e. the previous satrap, Peithon, was killed at Gaza.

Antigonus realized that he could not defeat Ptolemy and his allies. A truce was agreed to in December 311 b.c.e. Cassander held Macedonia until Alexander IV came of age six years later Lysimachus kept Thrace and the Chersonese (modern-day Gallipoli) Ptolemy had Egypt, Palestine, and Cyprus Antigonus held Asia Minor and Seleucus gained everything east of the river Euphrates to India. The following year (310 b.c.e.), Cassander murdered both the young Alexander IV and his mother, Roxane.

Peace lasted until 308 b.c.e. when Demetrius, a son of Antigonus, attacked Cyprus at the Battle of Salamis. He then attacked Greece, where he captured Athens and many other cities and then marched on Ptolemy. Antigonus sent Nicanor against Bablyon, but Seleucus defeated him.

Seleucus used this opportunity to capture Ecbatana, the capital of Nicanor. Antigonus then sent Demetrius against Seleucus, and he besieged Babylon. Eventually, the forces of Antigonus and Seleucus met on the battlefield.

Seleucus ordered a predawn attack and forced Antigonus to retreat to Syria. Seleucus sent troops ahead, but with little threat from the West he attacked Bactria and northern India. When Antigonus attacked Syria and headed to Egypt, his column was attacked by the troops sent by Seleucus.

In 307 b.c.e. the Fourth Diadoch War broke out. Antigonus was facing a powerful Seleucus to his east and Ptolemy to the south. Egypt was secure with the protection of a large navy. Ptolemy attacked Greece, motivated largely by a desire to ensure that Athens and other cities did not support Antigonus.

Demetrius in a diversion attacked Cyprus and continued with his siege of Salamis. This pulled Ptolemy out of Greece, and his navy headed to Cyprus. Ptolemy lost many of his men and ships. Menelaus surrendered Cyprus in 306 b.c.e., once again giving Antigonus control of the city.

Antigonus proclaimed himself successor to Alexander the Great. Antigonus did not view Seleucus as a threat, so instead marched against Ptolemy. His army ran out of supplies and was forced to withdraw. Demetrius had attacked the island of Rhodes, held by Ptolemy.

Ptolemy was able to supply Rhodes from the sea, and so Demetrius withdrew. Cassander, then attacked Athens. In 301 b.c.e. Cassander, aided by Lysimachus, invaded Asia Minor, fighting the army of Antigonus and Demetrius, with Cassander capturing Sardis and Ephesus.

Hearing that Antigonus was leading an army, Cassander withdrew to Ipsus, near Phrygia, and asked Ptolemy and Seleucus for support. Ptolemy heard a rumor that Cassander had been defeated and withdrew to Egypt.

Seleucus realized that this might be the opportunity to destroy Antigonus. Earlier he had concluded a peace agreement with King Chandragupta II, in the Indus Valley, and had been given a large number of war elephants. Seleucus marched to support Cassander.

Hearing of his approach, Antigonus sent an army to Babylon hoping to divert Seleucus. Seleucus marched his men to Ipsus and joined Lysimachus. There, in 301 b.c.e., a large battle ensued. Seleucus, with his elephants, launched a massive attack that won the battle.

Antigonus was killed on the battlefield, but Demetrius escaped. This left Seleucus and Lysimachus in control of the whole of Asia Minor. Seleucus and Lysimachus agreed that Cassander would be king of Macedonia, but he died the following year.

Demetrius had escaped to Greece, attacking Macedonia and, seven years later, killed a son of Cassander. A new ruler had emerged, Pyrrhus of Epirus, an ally of Ptolemy. He attacked Macedonia and the forces of Demetrius.

Demetrius repelled the attack and was nominated as king of Macedonia but had to give up Cilicia and Cyprus. Ptolemy urged on Pyrrhus, who attacked Macedonia in 286 b.c.e. and drove Demetrius from the kingdom, aided by an internal revolt.

Demetrius fled from Europe in 286 b.c.e. With his men he attacked Sardis again. Lysimachus and Seleucus attacked him, and Demetrius surrendered and was taken prisoner by Seleucus. He later died in prison.

This left Lysimachus and Pyrrhus fighting for possession of Europe, while Ptolemy and Seleucus owned rest of the former empire. Ptolemy abdicated to his son Ptolemy Philadelphus. An older son, Ptolemy Keraunos, sought help from Seleucus to try to take over Egypt. Ptolemy died in January 282 b.c.e. In 281 b.c.e.

Ptolemy Keraunos, decided that it would be easier to take Macedonia rather than to attack Egypt. He and Seleucus attacked Lysimachus, killing him at the Battle of Corus in February 281 b.c.e. Ptolemy Keraunos then returned to Asia, and prior to leaving for Macedonia again in 280 b.c.e., he murdered Seleucus.

By the end of the Diadochi wars, Antigonus Gonatas, the son of Demetrius, ruled Greece Ptolemy II Philadelphus was king of Egypt and Antiochus I, son of Seleucus, ruled much of western Asia. Ptolemy Keraunos held the lands of Lysander in Thrace. The Diadochi wars came to an end with the death of Seleucus, but wars between the kingdoms continued.


To Aristotle, rhetoric is “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” He identified three main methods of rhetoric: ethos (ethics), pathos (emotional), and logos (logic). He also broke rhetoric into types of speeches: epideictic (ceremonial), forensic (judicial) and deliberative (where the audience is required to reach a verdict). His groundbreaking work in this field earned him the nickname “the father of rhetoric.”

Persian Wars

Led by Athens and Sparta, the Greek city-states were engaged in a great war with the Persian Empire at the beginning of the fifth century B.C. In 498 B.C., Greek forces sacked the Persian city of Sardis. In 490 B.C., the Persian king sent a naval expedition across the Aegean to attack Athenian troops in the Battle of Marathon. Despite a resounding Athenian victory there, the Persians did not give up. In 480 B.C., the new Persian king sent a massive army across the Hellespont to Thermopylae, where 60,000 Persian troops defeated 5,000 Greeks in the Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas of Sparta was famously killed. The year after that, however, the Greeks defeated the Persians for good at the Battle of Salamis.

Did you know? The first democracy originated in classical Greece. The Greek word demokratia means "rule by the people."

Hellenistic Culture

People, like goods, moved fluidly around the Hellenistic kingdoms. Almost everyone in the former Alexandrian empire spoke and read the same language: koine, or “the common tongue,” a kind of colloquial Greek. Koine was a unifying cultural force: No matter where a person came from, he could communicate with anyone in this cosmopolitan Hellenistic world.

At the same time, many people felt alienated in this new political and cultural landscape. Once upon a time, citizens had been intimately involved with the workings of the democratic city-states now, they lived in impersonal empires governed by professional bureaucrats. Many people joined “mystery religions,” like the cults of the goddesses Isis and Fortune, which promised their followers immortality and individual wealth.

Hellenistic philosophers, too, turned their focus inward. Diogenes the Cynic lived his life as an expression of protest against commercialism and cosmopolitanism. (Politicians, he said, were “the lackeys of the mob” the theatre was 𠇊 peep show for fools.”) The philosopher Epicurus argued that the most important thing in life was the pursuit of the individual’s pleasure and happiness. And the Stoics argued that every individual man had within him a divine spark that could be cultivated by living a good and noble life.

Second Intermediate Period (c. 1786-1567 B.C.)

The 13th dynasty marked the beginning of another unsettled period in Egyptian history, during which a rapid succession of kings failed to consolidate power. As a consequence, during the Second Intermediate Period Egypt was divided into several spheres of influence. The official royal court and seat of government was relocated to Thebes, while a rival dynasty (the 14th), centered on the city of Xois in the Nile delta, seems to have existed at the same time as the 13th.


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