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FOURTH CENTURY BEFORE CHRIST.
(400 - 300.)
The important movement of the century is the rise and dissolution of the huge Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great.
ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE. Macedonia becomes of importance under Philip, who causes her to be acknowledged as a Greek state (that country having become reduced to a condition of general exhaustion), and then makes her the chief state of Greece. His son Alexander (the Great) invades Persia (see the preceding map), conquers the whole Persian Empire between 334 B. C. and 330 B. C., and dies in 323 B. C., “having made greater conquests than were ever made by any European prince before or after him.” The extent of his dominion is shown upon the accompanying map by a dotted line. After his death the great empire falls to pieces, and in 301 B. C. becomes divided (as shown upon the map) into Egypt (under Ptolemy), Macedonia (including Greece), Thrace, including part of Asia Minor (under Lysimachus), and Syria and the East (under Seleucus).
PERSIA is the chief power during the first part of the century, but is conquered by Alexander in 334-330 B. C. (See above, under ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE.)
GREECE. (See above, under ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE.)
EGYPT becomes subject to Persia in 350 B. C., and, as a part of the Persian Empire, to Alexander in 332 B.C. (See above, under ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE.)
ROME. About the middle of the century Rome begins a career of conquest.
CARTHAGE, though an important state, is not of general historical interest during this century.
899-394. War of Sparta with Persia.
394. Battle of Coronea. The Spartans defeat the Athenians, Thebana, etc.
390. The Gauls, under Brennus.take Rome. Battle of Allia.
387. Peace of Antalcidas (Sparta and Persia).
371. Battle of Leuctra. The Thehans (Epaminondas) defeat the Spartans.
366. The Licinian laws.
362. Battle of Mantinea. The Thebans (Epaminondas) defeat the Spartans.
357-346. Phocian or Sacred War.
343. Beginning of wars with the Samnites, which end fifty-three years later.
338. Battle of Chseronea. Philip of Macedon defeats the Athenians and Thebans.
338. Latium conquered by Rome.
334-330. Alexander's campaign. Invasion and conquest of Persia.
334. Battle of Granicus. Alexander defeats the Persians.
333. Battle of Issus. Alexander defeats the Persians under Darius Codomannus.
332. Alexander conquers Tyre and Egypt,
and founds the city of Alexandria. 331. Battle of Arbela. Alexander master
of the Persian Empire. 323. Lamian War.
321. The Romans defeated in the valley of Caudium (Caudine Forks).
317-307. Demetrius Phalereus governor of Athens.
301. Battle of Ipsus and division, of Alexanders Empire.
PROMINENT NAMES OF THE CENTURY.
Sovereigns.—Artaxerxes II. (Mnemon), Artaxerxes III. (Ochus), Darius III. (Codom annus).
Principal Kings. — Philip II., Alexander III. (the Great), Cassander. Generals. — Parmenio, Perdiccas, Antigonus, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy I. (Soter), Demetrius Poliorcetes, Antipater.
Statesmen, Generals, and Orators.—Thrasybulus, Xenophou, Lysander, Gorgias, Pelopidas, Epaminondas, Agesilaus, Timoleon, Isocratcs, Demosthenes, Phocion, iEschines, Demetrius Phalereus.
Poet and Dramatist. — Aristophanes.
Philosophers, — Socrates, Aristippus, Hippocrates, Democritus, Diogenes, Plato, Aristotle.
Sculptors and Painters.—Parrhasius, Scopas, Lysippus, Praxiteles, Apelles, Protogenes.
Historian. — Xenophon.
Kings. — Dynasty of the Ptolemies.
Statesmen and Generals. — Camillus, Manlius Capitolinus, Manlius Torquatus, Valerius Corvus, Papirius Cursor, Fabius Maximus.
King, — Seleucus (beginning of the dynasty of the Seleucidae).
King. — Pyrrhus I.
THE BISE OF MACEDONIA.
THE close of the last century left Sparta the head of the Greek states. She held the chief power until 371 B. c. (battle of Leuctra), when, under the two great leaders Pelopidas and Epaminondas, Thebes rose to be the leading state of Greece.
This leadership Thebes held till the death of Epaminondas, in 362 B. c. (battle of Mantinea), when, for want of any one to take his place, she also fell from her position of supremacy.
These various struggles, in which Greece had been so long engaged, ended in the general weakness and exhaustion of the chief states.
The conflicts recounted [during an interval of forty-four years, — 404 - 403 B. c. to 360 - 359 B. c] have wrought the melancholy change of leaving Greece more disunited, and more destitute of presiding Hellenic authority, than she had been at any time since the Persian invasion. Thebes, Sparta, and Athens had all been engaged in weakening each other, in which, unhappily, each has been far more successful than in strengthening herself. The maritime power of Athens is now indeed considerable, and may be called very great, if compared with the state of degradation to which she had been brought in 403 B. C. But it will presently be seen how unsubstantial is the foundation of her authority, and how fearfully she has fallen off from that imperial feeling and energy which ennobled her ancestors under the advice of Pericles. It is under these circumstances, so untoward for defence, that the aggressor from Macedonia arises. — Grote.
Macedonia, though doubtless kindred to Greece, had never been regarded as a Greek state, nor taken any Time of prominent part in history. She now, under her PhUip. ruler, Philip, became of importance. Philip did not at first attempt to conquer Greece, but by intrigue and war caused Macedonia to be acknowledged as a Greek state, and then made her the chief state of Greece, as Athens, Sparta, and Thebes had been before her. The plans and ambition of Philip were plainly discerned by the great Athenian orator, Demosthenes, who warned the Athenians of their impending fate, and who tried, though in vain, to excite them to vigorous action against Philip.
Do you ask, What is the news? What could be greater news than a Macedonian making war upon the Athenians, and regulating the affairs of Greece ? — Demosthenes.
The history of Greece is at one time reduced to two persons, — Philip, or the successor of Philip, on one side, and Demosthenes, a private citizen, on the other. — Emerson.
The course which this King of Macedon held was not so much by great armies and invasions, though these wanted not when the case required, but by practice, by sowing of factions in states, and by obliging sundry particular persons of greatness. The state of opposition against his ambitious proceedings was only the state of Athens. For Lacedaamon and Thebes were both low, and the rest of the states of Greece were, in power and territories, far inferior. — Lord Bacon.
The object which he [Demosthenes] chose for himself in the commonwealth was noble and just, — the defence of the Grecians against Philip, — and in this he behaved himself so worthily that he soon grew famous, and excited attention everywhere for his eloquence and courage in speaking. He was admired through all Greece, the King of Persia courted him, and by Philip himself he was more esteemed than all other orators. — Plutarch.