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A Smaller History of Greece by William Smith

Part 4 out of 5

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recalled. When they at last came up, the newly raised Grecian
horse, assisted by the peltasts, and some of the younger and more
active hoplites, soon succeeded in putting them to flight. Many
of the Persians were drowned in the Pactolus, and their camp,
containing much booty and several camels, was taken.

Agesilaus now pushed his ravages up to the very gates of Sardis,
the residence of Tissaphernes. But the career of that timid and
treacherous satrap was drawing to a close. The queen-mother,
Parysatis, who had succeeded in regaining her influence over
Artaxerxes, caused an order to be sent down from Susa for his
execution; in pursuance of which he was seized in a bath at
Colossae, and beheaded. Tithraustes, who had been intrusted with
the execution of this order, succeeded Tissaphernes in the
satrapy, and immediately reopened negotiations with Agesilaus.
An armistice of six months was concluded; and meanwhile
Tithraustes, by a subsidy of 30 talents, induced Agesilaus to
move out of his satrapy into that of Pharnabazus.

During this march into Phrygia Agesilaus received a new
commission from home, appointing him the head of the naval as
well as of the land force--two commands never before united in a
single Spartan. He named his brother-in-law, Pisander, commander
of the fleet. But in the following year (B.C. 394), whilst he
was preparing an expedition on a grand scale into the interior of
Asia Minor, he was suddenly recalled home to avert the dangers
which threatened his native country.

The jealousy and ill-will with which the newly acquired empire of
the Spartans was regarded by the other Grecian states had not
escaped the notice of the Persians; and when Tithraustes
succeeded to the satrapy of Tissaphernes he resolved to avail
himself of this feeling by exciting a war against Sparta in the
heart of Greece itself. With this view he despatched one
Timocrates, a Rhodian, to the leading Grecian cities which
appeared hostile to Sparta, carrying with him a sum of 50 talents
to be distributed among the chief men in each for the purpose of
bringing them over to the views of Persia. Timocrates was
successful in Thebes, Corinth, and Argos but he appears not to
have visited Athens.

Hostilities were at first confined to Sparta and Thebes. A
quarrel having arisen between the Opuntian Locrians and the
Phocians respecting a strip of border land, the former people
appealed to the Thebans, who invaded Phocis. The Phocians on
their side invoked the aid of the Lacedaemonians, who, elated
with the prosperous state of their affairs in Asia, and moreover
desirous of avenging the affronts they had received from the
Thebans, readily listened to the appeal. Lysander, who took an
active part in promoting the war, was directed to attack the town
of Haliartus; and it was arranged that King Pausanias should join
him on a fixed day under the walls of that town, with the main
body of the Lacedaemonians and their Peloponnesian allies.

Nothing could more strikingly denote the altered state of feeling
in Greece than the request for assistance which the Thebans, thus
menaced, made to their ancient enemies and rivals the Athenians.
Nor were the Athenians backward in responding to the appeal.
Lysander arrived at Haliartus before Pausanias. Here, in a sally
made by the citizens, opportunely supported by the unexpected
arrival of a body of Thebans, the army of Lysander was routed,
and himself slain. His troops disbanded and dispersed themselves
in the night time. Thus, when Pausanias at last came up, he
found no army to unite with; and as an imposing Athenian force
had arrived, he now, with the advice of his council took the
humiliating step--always deemed a confession of inferiority--of
requesting a truce in order to bury the dead who had fallen in
the preceding battle. Even this, however, the Thebans would not
grant except on the condition that the Lacedaemonians should
immediately quit their territory. With these terms Pausanias was
forced to comply; and after duly interring the bodies of Lysander
and his fallen comrades, the Lacedaemonians dejectedly pursued
their homeward march. Pausanias, afraid to face the public
indignation of the Spartans took refuge in the temple of Athena
Alea at Tegea; and being condemned to death in his absence, only
escaped that fate by remaining in the sanctuary. He was
succeeded by his son Agesipolis.

The enemies of Sparta took fresh courage from this disaster to
her arms. Athens, Corinth, and Argos now formed with Thebes a
solemn alliance against her. The league was soon joined by the
Euboeans, the Acarnanians, and other Grecian states. In the
spring of 394 B.C. the allies assembled at Corinth, and the war,
which had been hitherto regarded as merely Boeotian, was now
called the CORINTHIAN, by which name it is known in history.
This threatening aspect of affairs determined the Ephors to
recall Agesilaus, as already related.

The allies were soon in a condition to take the field with a
force of 24,000 hoplites, of whom one-fourth were Athenians,
together with a considerable body of light troops and cavalry.
The Lacedaemonians had also made the most active preparations.
In the neighbourhood of Corinth a battle was fought, in which the
Lacedaemonians gained the victory, though their allied troops
were put to the rout. This battle, called the battle of Corinth,
was fought in July 394 B.C.

Agesilaus, who had relinquished with a heavy heart his projected
expedition into Asia, was now on his homeward march. By the
promise of rewards he had persuaded the bravest and most
efficient soldiers in his army to accompany him, amongst whom
were many of the Ten Thousand, with Xenophon at their head. The
route of Agesilaus was much the same as the one formerly
traversed by Xerxes, and the camels which accompanied the army
gave it somewhat of an oriental aspect. At Amphipolis he
received the news of the victory at Corinth; but his heart was so
full of schemes against Persia, that the feeling which it
awakened in his bosom was rather one of regret that so many
Greeks had fallen, whose united efforts might have emancipated
Asia Minor, than of joy at the success of his countrymen. Having
forced his way through a desultory opposition offered by the
Thessalian cavalry, he crossed Mount Othrys, and marched
unopposed the rest of the way through the straits of Thermopylae
to the frontiers of Phocis and Boeotia. Here the evil tidings
reached him of the defeat and death of his brother-in-law,
Pisander, in a great sea-fight off Cnidus in Caria (August 394
B.C.) Conon, with the assistance of Pharnabazus, had succeeded in
raising a powerful fleet, partly Phoenician and partly Grecian,
with which he either destroyed or captured more than half of the
Lacedaemonian fleet. Agesilaus, fearing the impression which
such sad news might produce upon his men, gave out that the
Lacedaemonian fleet had gained a victory; and, having offered
sacrifice as if for a victory, he ordered an advance.

Agesilaus soon came up with the confederate army, which had
prepared to oppose him in the plain of Coronea. The Thebans
succeeded in driving in the Orchomenians, who formed the left
wing of the army of Agesilaus, and penetrated as far as the
baggage in the rear. But on the remainder of the line Agesilaus
was victorious, and the Thebans now saw themselves cut off from
their companions, who had retreated and taken up a position on
Mount Helicon. Facing about and forming in deep and compact
order, the Thebans sought to rejoin the main body, but they were
opposed by Agesilaus and his troops. The shock of the
conflicting masses which ensued was one of the most terrible
recorded in the annals of Grecian warfare. The shields of the
foremost ranks were shattered, and their spears broken, so that
daggers became the only available arm. Agesilaus, who was in the
front ranks, unequal by his size and strength to sustain so
furious an onset, was flung down, trodden on, and covered with
wounds; but the devoted courage of the 50 Spartans forming his
body-guard rescued him from death. The Thebans finally forced
their may through, but not without severe loss. The victory of
Agesilaus was not very decisive; but the Thebans tacitly
acknowledged their defeat by soliciting the customary truce for
the burial of their dead.

Agesilaus, on his arrival at Sparta, was received with the most
lively demonstrations of gratitude and esteem, and became hence-
forward the sole director of Spartan policy.

Thus in less than two months the Lacedaemonians had fought two
battles on land, and one at sea; namely, those of Corinth,
Coronea, and Cnidus. But, though they had been victorious in the
land engagements, they were so little decisive as to lead to no
important result; whilst their defeat at Cnidus produced the most
disastrous consequences. It was followed by the loss of nearly
all their maritime empire, even faster than they had acquired it
after the battle of AEgospotami. For as Conon and Pharnabazus
sailed with their victorious fleet from island to island, and
from port to port, their approach was everywhere the signal for
the flight or expulsion of the Spartan harmosts.

In the spring of the following year (B.C. 393) Conon and
Pharnabazus sailed to the isthmus of Corinth, then occupied as a
central post by the allies. The appearance of a Persian fleet in
the Saronic gulf was a strange sight to Grecian eyes, and one
which might have served as a severe comment on the effect of
their suicidal wars. Conon dexterously availed himself of the
hatred of Pharnabazus towards Sparta to procure a boon for his
native city. As the satrap was on the point of proceeding
homewards, Conon obtained leave to employ the seamen in
rebuilding the fortifications of Piraeus and the long walls of
Athens. Pharnabazus also granted a large sum for the same
purpose; and Conon had thus the glory of appearing, like a second
Themistocles, the deliverer and restorer of his country. Before
the end of autumn the walls were rebuilt. Having thus, as it
were, founded Athens a second time, Conon sailed to the islands
to lay again the foundations of an Athenian maritime empire.

During the remainder of this and the whole of the following year
(B.C. 392) the war was carried on in the Corinthian territory.

One of the most important events at this time was the destruction
of a whole Lacedaemonian MORA, or battalion, by the light-armed
mercenaries of the Athenian Iphicrates. For the preceding two
years Iphicrates had commanded a body of mercenaries, consisting
of peltasts, [So called from the pelta, or kind of shield which
they carried.] who had been first organised by Conon after
rebuilding the walls of Athens. For this force Iphicrates
introduced those improved arms and tactics which form an epoch in
the Grecian art of war. His object was to combine as far as
possible the peculiar advantages of the hoplites and light-armed
troops. He substituted a linen corslet for the coat of mail worn
by the hoplites, and lessened the shield, while he rendered the
light javelin and short sword of the peltasts more effective by
lengthening them both one-half These troops soon proved very
effective. After gaining several victories he ventured to make a
sally from Corinth, and attacked a Lacedaemonian mora in flank
and rear. So many fell under the darts and arrows of the
peltasts that the Lacedaemonian captain called a halt, and
ordered the youngest and most active of his hoplites to rush
forward and drive off the assailants. But their heavy arms
rendered them quite unequal to such a mode of fighting; nor did
the Lacedaemonian cavalry, which now came up, but which acted
with very little vigour and courage, produce any better effect.
At length the Lacedaemonians succeeded in reaching an eminence,
where they endeavoured to make a stand; but at this moment
Callias arrived with some Athenian hoplites from Corinth,
whereupon the already disheartened Lacedaemonians broke and fled
in confusion, pursued by the peltasts, who committed such havoc,
chasing and killing some of them even in the sea, that but very
few of the whole body succeeded in effecting their escape.

The maritime war was prosecuted with vigour. Thrasybulus, and
after his death Iphicrates, were successful upon the coast of
Asia Minor, and made the Athenians again masters of the
Hellespont. Under these circumstances the Lacedaemonians
resolved to spare no efforts to regain the good will of the
Persians. Antalcidas, the Lacedaemonian commander on the Asiatic
coast, entered into negotiations with Tiribazus, who had
succeeded Tithraustes in the satrapy of Ionia, in order to bring
about a general peace under the mediation of Persia. Conducted
by Tiribazus, Antalcidas repaired to the Persian court, and
prevailed an the Persian monarch both to adopt the peace, and to
declare war against those who should reject it. Antalcidas and
Tiribazus returned to the coasts of Asia Minor, not only armed
with these powers, but provided with an ample force to carry them
into execution. In addition to the entire fleet of Persia,
Dionysius of Syracuse had placed 20 triremes at the service of
the Lacedaemonians; and Antalcidas now sailed with a large fleet
to the Hellespont, where Iphicrates and the Athenians were still
predominant. The overwhelming force of Antalcidas, the largest
that had been seen in the Hellespont since the battle of
AEgospotami, rendered all resistance hopeless. The supplies of
corn from the Euxine no longer found their way to Athens: and
the Athenians, depressed at once both by what they felt and by
what they anticipated, began to long for peace. As without the
assistance of Athens it seemed hopeless for the other allies to
struggle against Sparta, all Greece was inclined to listen to an

Under these circumstances deputies from the Grecian states were
summoned to meet Tiribazus; who, after exhibiting to them the
royal seal of Persia, read to them the following terms of a
peace: "King Artaxerxes thinks it just that the cities in Asia
and the islands of Clazomenae and Cyprus should belong to him.
He also thinks it just to leave all the other Grecian cities,
both small and great, independent--except Lemnos, Imbros, and
Scyros, which are to belong to Athens, as of old. should any
parties refuse to accept this peace, I will make war upon them,
along with those who are of the same mind, both by land and sea,
with ships and with money." All the Grecian states accepted
these terms.

This disgraceful peace, called the PEACE OF ANTALCIDAS, was
concluded in the year B.C. 387. By it Greece seemed prostrated
at the feet of the barbarians; for its very terms, engraven on
stone and set up in the sanctuaries of Greece, recognised the
Persian king as the arbiter of her destinies. Although Athens
cannot be entirely exonerated from the blame of this transaction,
the chief guilt rests upon Sparta, whose designs were far deeper
and more hypocritical than they appeared. Under the specious
pretext of securing the independence of the Grecian cities, her
only object was to break up the confederacies under Athens and
Thebes, and, with the assistance of Persia, to pave the way for
her own absolute dominion in Greece.

No sooner was the peace of Antalcidas concluded than Sparta,
directed by Agesilaus, the ever-active enemy of Thebes, exerted
all her power to weaken that city. She began by proclaiming the
independence of the various Boeotian cities, and by organizing in
each a local oligarchy, adverse to Thebes and favourable to
herself. Lacedaemonian garrisons were placed in Orchomenus and
Thespiae, and Plataea was restored in order to annoy and weaken
Thebes. Shortly afterwards the Lacedaemonians obtained
possession of Thebes itself by an act of shameful treachery.
They had declared war against Olynthus, a town situated at the
head of the Toronaic gulf, in the peninsula of the Macedonian
Chalcidice, the head of a powerful confederation which included
several of the adjacent Grecian cities. The Thebans had entered
into an alliance with Olynthus, and had forbidden any of their
citizens to join the Lacedaemonian army destined to act against
it; but they were not strong enough to prevent its marching
through their territory. Phoebidas, who was conducting a
Lacedaemonian force against Olynthus, halted on his way through
Boeotia not far from Thebes; where he was visited by Leontiades,
one of the polemarchs of the city, and two or three other leaders
of the Lacedaemonian party in Thebes. It happened that the
festival of the Thesmophoria was on the point of being
celebrated, during which the Cadmea, or Theban Acropolis, was
given up for the exclusive use of the women. The opportunity
seemed favourable for a surprise; and Leontiades and Phoebidas
concerted a plot to seize it. Whilst the festival was
celebrating, Phoebidas pretended to resume his march, but only
made a circuit round the city walls; whilst Leontiades, stealing
out of the senate, mounted his horse, and, joining the
Lacedaemonian troops, conducted them towards the Cadmea. It was
a sultry summer's afternoon, so that the very streets were
deserted; and Phoebidas, without encountering any opposition,
seized the citadel and all the women in it, to serve as hostages
for the quiet submission of the Thebans (B.C. 382). This
treacherous act during a period of profound peace awakened the
liveliest indignation throughout Greece. Sparta herself could
not venture to justify it openly, and Phoebidas was made the
scape-goat of her affected displeasure. As a sort of atonement
to the violated feeling of Greece, he was censured, fined, and
dismissed. But that this was a mere farce is evident from the
fact, of his subsequent restoration to command; and, however
indignant the Lacedaemonians affected to appear at the act of
Phoebidas, they took care to reap the fruits of it by retaining
their garrison in the Cadmea.

The once haughty Thebes was now enrolled a member of the
Lacedaemonian alliance, and furnished her contingent--the
grateful offering of the new Theban government--for the war which
Sparta was prosecuting with redoubled vigour against Olynthus.
This city was taken by the Lacedaemonians in B.C. 379; the
Olynthian confederacy was dissolved; the Grecian cities belonging
to it were compelled to join the Lacedaemonian alliance; whilst
the maritime towns of Macedonia were reduced under the dominion
of Amyntas, the king of Macedon.

The power of Sparta on land had now attained its greatest height.
Her unpopularity in Greece was commensurate with the extent of
her harshly administered dominion. She was leagued on all slides
with the enemies of Grecian freedom--with the Persians, with
Amyntas of Macedon, and with Dionysius of Syracuse. But she had
now reached the turning-point of her fortunes, and her successes,
which had been earned without scruple, were soon to be followed
by misfortunes and disgrace. The first blow came from Thebes,
where she had perpetrated her most signal injustice.

That city had been for three years in the hands of Leontiades and
the Spartan party. During this time great discontent had grown
up among the resident citizens; and there was also the party of
exasperated exiles, who had taken refuge at Athens. Among these
exiles was Pelopidas, a young man of birth and fortune, who had
already distinguished himself by his disinterested patriotism and
ardent character. He now took the lead in the plans formed the
the liberation of his country, and was the heart and soul of the
enterprise. His warm and generous heart was irresistibly
attracted by everything great and noble; and hence he was led to
form a close and intimate friendship with Epaminondas, who was
several years older than himself and of a still loftier
character. Their friendship is said to have originated in a
campaign in which they served together, when, Pelopidas having
fallen in battle apparently dead, Epaminondas protected his body
at the imminent risk of his own life. Pelopidas afterwards
endeavoured to persuade Epaminondas to share his riches with him;
and when he did not succeed, he resolved to live on the same
frugal fare as his great friend. A secret correspondence was
opened with his friends at Thebes, the chief of whom were
Phyllidas, secretary to the polemarchs, and Charon. The dominant
faction, besides the advantage of the actual possession of power,
was supported by a garrison of 1500 Lacedaemonians. The
enterprise, therefore, was one of considerable difficulty and
danger. In the execution of it Phyllidas took a leading part.
It was arranged that he should give a supper to Archias and
Philippus, the two polemarchs, and after they had partaken freely
of wine the conspirators were to be introduced, disguised as
women, and to complete their work by the assassination of the
polemarchs. On the day before the banquet, Pelopidas, with six
other exiles, arrived at Thebes from Athens, and, straggling
through the gates towards dusk in the disguise of rustics and
huntsmen, arrived safely at the house of Charon, where they
remained concealed till the appointed hour. While the polemarchs
were at table a messenger arrived from Athens with a letter for
Archias, in which the whole plot was accurately detailed. The
messenger, in accordance with his instructions, informed Archias
that the letter related to matters of serious importance. But
the polemarch, completely engrossed by the pleasures of the
table, thrust the letter under the pillow of his couch,
exclaiming, "Serious matters to-morrow."

The hour of their fate was now ripe. The conspirators, disguised
with veils, and in the ample folds of female attire, were ushered
into the room. For men in the state of the revelers the
deception was complete; but when they attempted to lift the veils
from the women, their passion was rewarded by the mortal thrust
of a dagger. After thus slaying the two polemarchs, the
conspirators went to the house of Leontiades whom they also

The news of the revolution soon spread abroad. Proclamations
were issued announcing that Thebes was free, and calling upon all
citizens who valued their liberty to muster in the market-place.
As soon as day dawned, and the citizens became aware that they
were summoned to vindicate their liberty, their joy and
enthusiasm were unbounded. For the first time since the seizure
of their citadel they met in public assembly; the conspirators,
being introduced, were crowned by the priests with wreaths, and
thanked in the name of their country's gods; whilst the assembly,
with grateful acclamation, unanimously nominated Pelopidas,
Charon, and Mellon as the first restored Boeotarchs.

Meanwhile the remainder of the Theban exiles, accompanied by a
body of Athenian volunteers, assembled on the frontiers of
Boeotia; and, at the first news of the success of the conspiracy,
hastened to Thebes to complete the revolution. The Thebans,
under their new Boeotarchs, were already mounting to the assault
of the Cadmea, when the Lacedaemonians capitulated, and were
allowed to march out with the honours of war. The Athenians
formed an alliance with the Thebans, and declared war against

From this time must be dated the era of a new political
combination in Greece. Athens strained every nerve to organize a
fresh confederacy. Thebes did not scruple to enrol herself as
one of its earliest members. The basis on which the confederacy
was formed closely resembled that of Delos. The cities composing
it were to be independent, and to send deputies to a congress at
Athens, for the purpose of raising a common fund for the support
of a naval force. Care was taken to banish all recollections
connected with the former unpopularity of the Athenian empire.
The name of the tribute was no longer PHOROS, but SYNTAXIS, or
"contribution." The confederacy, which ultimately numbered 70
cities, was chiefly organised through the exertions of Chabrias,
and of Timotheus the son of Conon. Nor were the Thebans less
zealous, amongst whom the Spartan government had left a lively
feeling of antipathy. The military force was put in the best
training, and the famous "Sacred Band" was now for the first time
instituted. This band was a regiment of 300 hoplites. It was
supported at the public expense and kept constantly under arms.
It was composed of young and chosen citizens of the best
families, and organized in such a manner that each man had at his
side a dear and intimate friend. Its special duty was the
defence of the Cadmea.

The Thebans had always been excellent soldiers; but their good
fortune now gave them the greatest general that Greece had
hitherto seen. Epaminondas, who now appears conspicuously in
public life, deserves the reputation not merely of a Theban but
of a Grecian hero. Sprung from a poor but ancient family,
Epaminondas possessed all the best qualities of his nation
without that heaviness, either of body or of mind, which
characterized and deteriorated the Theban people. By the study
of philosophy and by other intellectual pursuits his mind was
enlarged beyond the sphere of vulgar superstition, and
emancipated from that timorous interpretation of nature which
caused even some of the leading men of those days to behold a
portent in the most ordinary phenomenon. A still rarer
accomplishment for a Theban was that of eloquence, which he
possessed in no ordinary degree. These intellectual qualities
were matched with moral virtues worthy to consort with them.
Though eloquent, he was discreet; though poor, he was neither
avaricious nor corrupt; though naturally firm and courageous, he
was averse to cruelty, violence, and bloodshed; though a patriot,
he was a stranger to personal ambition, and scorned the little
arts by which popularity is too often courted. Pelopidas, as we
have already said, was his bosom friend. It was natural
therefore, that, when Pelopidas was named Boeotarch, Epaminondas
should be prominently employed in organizing the means of war;
but it was not till some years later that his military genius
shone forth in its full lustre.

The Spartans were resolved to avenge the repulse they had
received; and in the summer of B.C. 378 Agesilaus marched with a
large army into Boeotia. He was unable, however, to effect any
thing decisive, and subsequent invasions were attended with the
like result. The Athenians created a diversion in their favour
by a maritime war, and thus for two years Boeotia was free from
Spartan invasion, Thebes employed this time in extending her
dominion over the neighbouring cities. One of her most important
successes during this period was the victory gained by Pelopidas
over a Lacedaemonian force near Tegyra, a village dependent upon
Orchomenus (B.C. 375). Pelopidas had with him only the Sacred
Band and a small body of cavalry when he fell in with the
Lacedaemonians, who were nearly twice as numerous. He did not,
however, shrink from the conflict on this account; and when one
of his men, running up to him, exclaimed, "We are fallen into the
midst of the enemy," he replied, "Why so, more than they into the
midst of us?" In the battle which ensued the two Spartan
commanders fell at the first charge, and their men were put to
the rout. So signal a victory inspired the Thebans with new
confidence and vigour, as it showed that Sparta was not
invincible even in a pitched battle, and with the advantage of
numbers on her side. By the year 374 B.C. the Thebans had
succeeded in expelling the Lacedaemonians from Boeotia, and
revived the Boeotian confederacy. They also destroyed the
restored city of Plataea, and obliged its inhabitants once more
to seek refuge at Athens.

The successes of the Thebans revived the jealousy and distrust of
Athens. Prompted by these feelings, the Athenians opened
negotiations for a peace with Sparta; a resolution which was also
adopted by the majority of the allies.

A congress was accordingly opened in Sparta in the spring of 371
B.C. The Athenians were represented by Callias and two other
envoys; the Thebans by Epaminondas, then one of the polemarchs.
The terms of a peace were agreed upon, by which the independence
of the various Grecian cities was to be recognised; and the
Spartan harmosts and garrisons everywhere dismissed. Sparta
ratified the treaty for herself and her allies; but Athens took
the oaths only for herself, and was followed separately by her
allies. As Epaminondas refused to sign except in the name of the
Boeotian confederation, Agesilaus directed the name of the
Thebans to be struck out of the treaty, and proclaimed them
excluded from it.

The peace concluded between Sparta, Athens, and their respective
allies, was called the PEACE OF CALLIAS. The result with regard
to Thebes and Sparta will appear in the following chapter.



In pursuance of the treaty, the Lacedaemonians withdrew their
harmosts and garrisons, whilst the Athenians recalled their fleet
from the Ionian sea. Only one feeling prevailed at Sparta--a
desire to crush Thebes. This city was regarded as doomed to
destruction; and it was not for a moment imagined that, single-
handed, she would he able to resist the might of Sparta. At the
time when the peace was concluded Cleombrotus happened to be in
Phocis at the head of a Lacedaemonian army; and he now received
orders to invade Boeotia without delay. The Thebans on their
side, were equally determined on resistance. The two armies met
on the memorable plain of Leuctra, near Thespiae. The forces on
each side are not accurately known, but it seems probable that
the Thebans were outnumbered by the Lacedaemonians. The military
genius of Epaminondas, however, compensated any inferiority of
numbers by novelty of tactics. Up to this time Grecian battles
had been uniformly conducted by a general attack in line.
Epaminondas now first adopted the manoeuvre, used with such
success by Napoleon in modern times, of concentrating heavy
masses on a given point of the enemy's array. Having formed his
left wing into a dense column of 50 deep, so that its depth was
greater than its front, he directed it against the Lacedaemonian
right, containing the best troops in their army, drawn up 12
deep, and led by Cleombrotus in person. The shock was terrible.
Cleombrotus himself was mortally wounded in the onset, and with
difficulty carried off by his comrades. Numbers of his officers,
as well as of his men, were slain, and the whole wing was broken
and driven back to their camp. The loss of the Thebans was small
compared with that of the Lacedaemonians. Out of 700 Spartans in
the army of the latter, 400 had fallen; and their king also had
been slain, an event which had not occurred since the fatal day
of Thermopylae.

The victory of Leuctra was gained within three weeks after the
exclusion of the Thebans from the peace of Callias. The effect
of it throughout Greece was electrical. It was everywhere felt
that a new military power had arisen--that the prestige of the
old Spartan discipline and tactics had departed. Yet at Sparta
itself though the reverse was the greatest that her arms had ever
sustained, the news of it was received with an assumption of
indifference characteristic of the people. The Ephors forbade
the chorus of men, who were celebrating in the theatre the
festival of the Gymnopaedia, to be interrupted. They contented
themselves with directing the names of the slain to be
communicated to their relatives, and with issuing an order
forbidding the women to wail and mourn. Those whose friends had
fallen appeared abroad on the morrow with joyful countenances,
whilst the relatives of the survivors seemed overwhelmed with
grief and shame.

Immediately after the battle the Thebans had sent to Jason of
Pherae in Thessaly to solicit his aid against the Lacedaemonians.
This despot was one of the most remarkable men of the period. He
was Tagus, or Generalissimo, of all Thessaly; and Macedonia was
partially dependent on him. He was a man of boundless ambition,
and meditated nothing less than extending his dominion over the
whole of Greece, for which his central situation seemed to offer
many facilities. Upon receiving the invitation of the Thebans,
Jason immediately resolved to join them. When he arrived the
Thebans were anxious that he should unite with them in an attack
upon the Lacedaemonian camp; but Jason dissuaded them from the
enterprise, advising them not to drive the Lacedaemonians to
despair, and offering his mediation. He accordingly succeeded in
effecting a truce, by which the Lacedaemonians were allowed to
depart from Boeotia unmolested.

According to Spartan custom, the survivors of a defeat were
looked upon as degraded men, and subjected to the penalties of
civil infamy. No allowance was made for circumstances. But
those who had fled at Leuctra were three hundred in number; all
attempt to enforce against them the usual penalties might prove
not only inconvenient, but even dangerous; and on the proposal of
Agesilaus, they were, for this occasion only, suspended. The
loss of material power which Sparta sustained by the defeat was
great. The ascendency she had hitherto enjoyed in parts north of
the Corinthian gulf fell from her at once, and was divided
between Jason of Pherae and the Thebans. Jason was shortly
afterwards assassinated. His death was felt as a relief by
Greece, and especially by Thebes. He was succeeded by his two
brothers, Polyphron and Polydorus; but they possessed neither his
ability nor his power.

The Athenians stood aloof from the contending parties. They had
not received the news of the battle of Leuctra with any pleasure,
for they now dreaded Thebes more than Sparta. But instead of
helping the latter, they endeavoured to prevent either from
obtaining the supremacy in Greece, and for this purpose called
upon the other states to form a new alliance upon the terms of
the peace of Antalcidas. Most of the Peloponnesian states joined
this new league. Thus even the Peloponnesian cities became
independent of Sparta. But this was not all. Never did any
state fall with greater rapidity. She not only lost the dominion
over states which she had exercised for centuries; but two new
political powers sprang up in the peninsula, which threatened her
own independence.

In the following year (B.C. 370) Epaminondas marched into
Laconia, and threatened Sparta itself. The city, which was
wholly unfortified, was filled with confusion and alarm. The
women, who had never yet seen the face of an enemy, gave vent to
their fears in wailing and lamentation. Agesilaus, however, was
undismayed, and saved the state by his vigilance and energy. He
repulsed the cavalry of Epaminondas as they advanced towards
Sparta; and so vigorous were his measures of defence, that the
Theban general abandoned all further attempt upon the city, and
proceeded southwards as far as Helos and Gythium on the coast,
the latter the port and arsenal of Sparta after laying waste with
fire and sword the valley of the Eurotas, he retraced his steps
to the frontiers of Arcadia.

Epaminondas now proceeded to carry out the two objects for which
his march had been undertaken; namely, the consolidation of the
Arcadian confederation, and the establishment of the Messenians
as an independent community. In the prosecution of the former of
these designs the mutual jealousy of the various Arcadian cities
rendered it necessary that a new one should be founded, which
should be regarded as the capital of the confederation.
Consequently, a new city was built on the banks of the Helisson,
called Megalopolis, and peopled by the inhabitants of forty
distinct Arcadian townships. Here a synod of deputies from the
towns composing the confederation, called "The Ten Thousand" was
to meet periodically for the despatch of business. Epaminondas
next proceeded to re-establish the Messenian state. The
Messenians had formerly lived under a dynasty of their own kings;
but for the last three centuries their land had been in the
possession of the Lacedaemonians, and they had been fugitives
upon the face of the earth. The restoration of these exiles,
dispersed in various Hellenic colonies, to their former rights,
would plant a bitterly hostile neighbour on the very borders of
Laconia. Epaminondas accordingly opened communications with
them, and numbers of them flocked to his standard during his
march into Peloponnesus. He now founded the town of Messene.
Its citadel was placed on the summit of Mount Ithome, which had
three centuries before been so bravely defended by the Messenians
against the Spartans. The strength of its fortifications was
long afterwards a subject of admiration. The territory attached
to the new city extended southwards to the Messenian gulf, and
northwards to the borders of Arcadia, comprising some of the most
fertile land in Peloponnesus.

So low had Sparta sunk, that she was fain to send envoys to beg
the assistance of the Athenians. This request was acceded to;
and shortly afterwards an alliance was formed between the two
states, in which Sparta waived all her claims to superiority and
headship. During the next two years the Thebans continued
steadily to increase their power and influence in Greece, though
no great battle was fought. In B.C. 368 Pelopidas conducted a
Theban force into Thessaly and Macedonia. In Thessaly he
compelled Alexander, who, by the murder of his two brothers, had
become despot of Pherae and Tagus of Thessaly, to relinquish his
designs against the independence of Larissa and other Thessalian
cities, and to solicit peace. In Macedonia he formed an alliance
with the regent Ptolemy: and amongst the hostages given for the
observance of this treaty was the youthful Philip, son of
Amyntas, afterwards the celebrated king of Macedon, who remained
for some years at Thebes.

In the following year Pelopidas and Ismenias proceeded on an
embassy to Persia. Ever since the peace of Antalcidas the Great
King had become the recognised mediator between the states of
Greece; and his fiat seemed indispensable to stamp the claims of
that city which pretended to the headship. The recent
achievements of Thebes might entitle her to aspire to that
position: and at all events the alterations which she had
produced in the internal state, of Greece, by the establishment
of Megalopolis and Messene, seemed to require for their stability
the sanction of a Persian rescript. This was obtained without
difficulty, as Thebes was now the strongest state in Greece; and
it was evidently easier to exercise Persian ascendency there by
her means, than through a weaker power. The Persian rescript
pronounced the independence of Messene and Amphipolis; the
Athenians were directed to lay up their ships of war in ordinary;
and Thebes was declared the head of Greece.

It was, in all probability, during a mission undertaken by
Pelopidas and Ismonias, for the purpose of procuring the
acknowledgment of the rescript in Thessaly and the northern parts
of Greece, that they were seized and imprisoned by Alexander of
Pherae. The Thebans immediately despatched an army of 8000
hoplites and 600 cavalry to recover or avenge their favourite
citizen. Unfortunately, however, they were no longer commanded
by Epaminondas. Their present commanders were utterly
incompetent. They were beaten and forced to retreat, and the
army was in such danger from the active pursuit of the
Thessalians and Athenians, that its destruction seemed
inevitable. Luckily, however, Epaminondas was serving as a
hoplite in the ranks. By the unanimous voice of the troops he
was now called to the command, and succeeded in conducting the
army safely back to Thebes. Here the unsuccessful Boeotarchs
were disgraced; Epaminondas was restored to the command, and
placed at the head of a second Theban army destined to attempt
the release of Pelopidas. Directed by his superior skill the
enterprise proved successful, and Pelopidas (B.C. 367) returned
in safety to Thebes.

In B.C. 364 Pelopidas again marched into Thessaly against
Alexander of Pherae. Strong complaints of the tyranny of that
despot arrived at Thebes, and Pelopidas, who probably also burned
to avenge his private wrongs, prevailed upon the Thebans to send
him into Thessaly to punish the tyrant. The battle was fought on
the hills of Cynoscephalae; the troops of Alexander were routed:
and Pelopidas, observing his hated enemy endeavouring to rally
them, was seized with such a transport of rage that, regardless
of his duties as a general, he rushed impetuously forwards and
challenged him to single combat. Alexander shrunk back within
the ranks of his guards, followed impetuously by Pelopidas, who
was soon slain, fighting with desperate bravery. Although the
army of Alexander was defeated with severe loss, the news of the
death of Pelopidas deprived the Thebans and their Thessalian
allies of all the joy which they would otherwise have felt at
their victory.

Meantime a war had been carried on between Elis and Arcadia which
had led to disunion among the Arcadians themselves. The
Mantineans supported the Eleans, who were also assisted by the
Spartans; whilst the rest of the Arcadians, and especially the
Tegeans, favoured Thebes. In B.C. 362 Epaminondas marched into
Peloponnesus to support the Theban party in Arcadia, The Spartans
sent a powerful force to the assistance of the Mantineans in
whose territory the hostile armies met. In the battle which
ensued Epaminondas formed his Boeotian troops into a column of
extraordinary depth, with which he bore down all before them.
The Mantineans and Lacedaemonians turned and fled, and the rest
followed their example. The day was won; but Epaminondas, who
fought in the foremost ranks, fell pierced with a mortal wound.
His fall occasioned such consternation among his troops, that,
although the enemy were in full flight, they did not know how to
use their advantage, and remained rooted to the spot.
Epaminondas was carried off the field with the spear-head still
fixed in his breast. Having satisfied himself that his shield
was safe, and that the victory was gained, he inquired for
Iolaidas and Daiphantus, whom he intended to succeed him in the
command. Being informed that both were slain: "Then" he
observed "you must make peace." After this he ordered the spear-
head to be withdrawn; when the gush of blood which followed soon
terminated his life. Thus died this truly great man; and never
was there one whose title to that epithet has been less disputed.
Antiquity is unanimous in his praise, and some of the first men
of Greece subsequently took him for their model. With him the
commanding influence of Thebes began and ended. His last advice
was adopted, and peace was concluded probably before the Theban
army quitted Peloponnesus. Its basis was a recognition of the
STATUS QUO--to leave everything as it was, to acknowledge the
Arcadian constitution and the independence of Messene. Sparta
alone refused to join it on account of the last article, but she
was not supported by her allies.

Agesilaus had lived to see the empire of Sparta extinguished by
her hated rival. Thus curiously had the prophecy been fulfilled
which warned Sparta of the evils awaiting her under a "lame
sovereignty." But Agesilaus had not yet abandoned all hope; and
he now directed his views towards the east as the quarter from
which Spartan power might still be resuscitated. At the age of
80 the indomitable old man proceeded with a force of 1000
hoplites to assist Tachos, king of Egypt, in his revolt against
Persia. He died at Cyrene on his return to Greece. His body was
embalmed in wax and splendidly buried in Sparta.



The affairs of the Sicilian Greeks, an important branch of the
Hellenic race, deserve a passing notice. A few years after the
destruction of the Athenian armament, Dionysius made himself
master of Syracuse, and openly seized upon the supreme power
(B.C. 405). His reign as tyrant or despot was long and
prosperous. After conquering the Carthaginians, who more than
once invaded Sicily, he extended his dominion over a great part
of the island, and over a considerable portion of Magna Graecia.
He raised Syracuse to be one of the chief Grecian states, second
in influence, if indeed second, to Sparta alone. Under his sway
Syracuse was strengthened and embellished with new
fortifications, docks, arsenals, and other public buildings, and
became superior even to Athens in extent and population.

Dionysius was a warm patron of literature, and was anxious to
gain distinction by his literary compositions. In the midst of
his political and military cares he devoted himself assiduously
to poetry, and not only caused his poems to be publicly recited
at the Olympic games, but repeatedly contended for the prize of
tragedy at Athens. In accordance with the same spirit we find
him seeking the society of men distinguished in literature and
philosophy. Plato, who visited Sicily about the year 389 from a
curiosity to see Mount AEtna, was introduced to Dionysius by
Dion. The high moral tone of Plato's conversation did not
however prove so attractive to Dionysius as it had done to Dion;
and the philosopher was not only dismissed with aversion and
dislike, but even, it seems through the machinations of
Dionysius, seized, bound, and sold for a slave in the island of
AEgina. He was, however, repurchased by Anniceris of Cyrene, and
sent back to Athens.

Dionysius died in B.C. 367, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
commonly called the younger Dionysius, who was about 25 years of
age at the time of his father's death. At first he listened to
the counsels of Dion, who had always enjoyed the respect and
confidence of his father. At the advice of Dion he invited Plato
to Syracuse, where the philosopher was received with the greatest
honour. His illustrious pupil immediately began to take lessons
in geometry; superfluous dishes disappeared from the royal table;
and Dionysius even betrayed some symptoms of a wish to mitigate
the former rigours of the despotism. But now the old courtiers
took the alarm. It was whispered to Dionysius that the whole was
a deep-laid scheme on the part of Dion for the purpose of
effecting a revolution and placing his own nephews on the throne.
[The elder Dionysius had married two wives at the same time: one
of these was a Locrian woman named Doris; the other, Aristomache,
was a Syracusan, and the sister of Dion. The younger Dionysius
was his elder son by Doris; but he also had children by
Aristomache.] These accusations had the desired effect on the
mind of Dionysius, who shortly afterwards expelled Dion from
Sicily. Plato with difficulty obtained permission to return to
Greece (B.C. 366). Dionysius now gave way to his vices without
restraint, and became an object of contempt to the Syracusans.
Dion saw that the time had come for avenging his own wrongs as
well as those of his country. Collecting a small force, he
sailed to Sicily, and suddenly appeared before the gates of
Syracuse during the absence of Dionysius on an expedition to the
coasts of Italy. The inhabitants, filled with joy, welcomed Dion
as their deliverer: and Dionysius on his return from Italy found
himself compelled to quit Syracuse (B.C. 356), leaving Dion
undisputed master of the city. The latter was now in a condition
to carry out all those exalted notions of political life which he
had sought to instil into the mind of Dionysius. He seems to
have contemplated some political changes; but his immediate and
practical acts were tyrannical, and were rendered still more
unpopular by his overbearing manners. His unpopularity continued
to increase, till at length one of his bosom friends--the
Athenian Callippus--seized the opportunity to mount to power by
his murder, and caused him to be assassinated in his own house.
This event took place in 353, about three years after the
expulsion of the Dionysian dynasty. Callippus contrived to
retain the sovereign power only a twelvemonth. A period of
anarchy followed, during which Dionysius made himself master of
the city by treachery, about B.C. 346. Dionysius, however, was
not able to re-establish himself firmly in his former power.
Most of the other cities of Sicily had shaken off the yoke of
Syracuse, and were governed by petty despots. Meantime the
Carthaginians prepared to take advantage of the distracted
condition of Sicily. In the extremity of their sufferings,
several of the Syracusan exiles appealed for aid to Corinth,
their mother-city. The application was granted, and Timoleon was
appointed to command an expedition destined for the relief of

Timoleon was distinguished for gentleness as well as for courage,
but towards traitors and despots his hatred was intense. He had
once saved the life of his elder brother Timophanes in battle at
the imminent peril of his own; but when Timophanes, availing
himself of his situation as commander of the garrison in the
Acrocorinthus, endeavoured to enslave his country, Timoleon did
not hesitate to consent to his death. Twice before had Timoleon
pleaded with his brother, beseeching him not to destroy the
liberties of his country; but when Timophanes turned a deaf ear
to those appeals, Timoleon connived at the action of his friends,
who put him to death, whilst he himself, bathed in a flood of
tears, stood a little way aloof. The great body of the citizens
regarded the conduct of Timoleon with love and admiration. In
the mind of Timoleon, however, their approving verdict was far
more than outweighed by the reproaches and execrations of his
mother. For many years nothing could prevail upon him to return
to public life. He buried, himself in the country far from the
haunts of men, till a chance voice in the Corinthian assembly
nominated him as the leader of the expedition against Dionysius.

Roused by the nature of the cause, and the exhortations of his
friends, Timoleon accepted the post thus offered to him. His
success exceeded his hopes. As soon as he appeared before
Syracuse, Dionysius, who appears to have abandoned all hope of
ultimate success, surrendered the citadel into his hands, on
condition of being allowed to depart in safety to Corinth (B.C.
343). Dionysius passed the remainder of his life at Corinth,
where he is said to have displayed some remnants of his former
luxury by the fastidious taste which he showed in the choice of
his viands, unguents, dress, and furniture; whilst his literary
inclinations manifested themselves in teaching the public singers
and actors, and in opening a school for boys.

Timoleon also expelled the other tyrants from the Sicilian
cities, and gained a great victory over the Carthaginians at the
river Crimesus (or Crimissus). He restored a republican
constitution to Syracuse; and his first public act was to destroy
the impregnable fortifications of the citadel of Ortygia, the
stronghold of the elder and the younger Dionysius. All the
rewards which Timoleon received for his great services were a
house in Syracuse, and some landed property in the neighbourhood
of the city. He now sent for his family from Corinth, and became
a Syracusan citizen. He continued, however, to retain, though in
a private station, the greatest influence in the state. During
the latter part of his life, though he was totally deprived of
sight, yet, when important affairs were discussed in the
assembly, it was customary to send for Timoleon, who was drawn in
a car into the middle of the theatre amid the shouts and
affectionate greetings of the assembled citizens. When the
tumult of his reception had subsided he listened patiently to the
debate. The opinion which he pronounced was usually ratified by
the vote of the assembly; and he then left the theatre amidst the
same cheers which had greeted his arrival. In this happy and
honoured condition he breathed his last in B.C. 336, a few years
after the battle of Crimesus. He was splendidly interred at the
public cost, whilst the tears of the whole Syracusan population
followed him to the grave.



The internal dissensions of Greece produced their natural fruits;
and we shall have now to relate the downfall of her independence
and her subjugation by a foreign power. This power was
Macedonia, an obscure state to the north of Thessaly, hitherto
overlooked and despised, and considered as altogether barbarous,
and without the pale of Grecian civilization. But though the
Macedonians were not Greeks, their sovereigns claimed to be
descended from an Hellenic race, namely, that of Temenus of
Argos; and it is said that Alexander I. proved his Argive descent
previously to contending at the Olympic games. Perdiccas is
commonly regarded as the founder of the monarchy; of the history
of which, however, little is known till the reign of Amyntas I.,
his fifth successor, who was contemporary with the Pisistratidae
at Athens. Under Amyntas, who submitted to the satrap Megabyzus,
Macedonia became subject to Persia, and remained so till after
the battle of Plataea. The reigns of the succeeding sovereigns
present little that is remarkable, with the exception of that of
Archelaus (B.C. 413). This monarch transferred his residence
from AEgae to Pella, which thus became the capital. He
entertained many literary men at his court, such as Euripides,
who ended his days at Pella. Archelaus was assassinated in B.C.
399, and the crown devolved upon Amyntas II., a representative of
the ancient line. Amyntas left three sons, the youngest being
the celebrated Philip, of whom we have now to speak.

It has been already mentioned that the youthful Philip was one of
the hostages delivered to the Thebans as security for the peace
effected by Pelopidas. His residence at Thebes gave him some
tincture of Grecian philosophy and literature; but the most
important lesson which he learned at that city was the art of
war, with all the improved tactics introduced by Epaminondas.
Philip succeeded to the throne at the age of 23 (B.C. 359), and
displayed at the beginning of his reign his extraordinary energy
and abilities. After defeating the Illyrians he established a
standing army, in which discipline was preserved by the severest
punishments. He introduced the far-famed Macedonian phalanx,
which was 16 men deep, armed with long projecting spears.

Philip's views were first turned towards the eastern frontiers of
his dominions, where his interests clashed with those of the
Athenians. A few years before the Athenians had made various
unavailing attempts to obtain possession of Amphipolis, once the
jewel of their empire, but which they had never recovered since
its capture by Brasidas in the eighth year of the Peloponnesian
war. Its situation at the mouth of the Strymon rendered it also
valuable to Macedonia, not only as a commercial port, but as
opening a passage into Thrace. The Olynthians were likewise
anxious to enrol Amphipolis as a member of their confederacy, and
accordingly proposed to the Athenians to form an alliance for the
purpose of defending Amphipolis against their mutual enemy. An
alliance between these two powerful states would have proved an
insurmountable obstacle to Philip's views: and it was therefore
absolutely necessary to prevent this coalition. Here we have the
first instance of Philip's skill and duplicity in negotiation.
By secretly promising the Athenians that he would put Amphipolis
into their hands if they would give him possession of Pydna, he
induced them to reject the overtures of the Olynthians; and by
ceding to the latter the town of Anthemus, he bought off their
opposition. He now laid siege to Amphipolis, which, being thus
left unaided, fell into his hands (B.C. 358). He then forthwith
marched against Pydna, which surrendered to him; but on the
ground that it was not the Athenians who had put him in
possession of this town, he refused to give up Amphipolis to

Philip had now just reason to dread the enmity of the Athenians,
and accordingly it was his policy to court the favour of the
Olynthians, and to prevent them from renewing their negotiations
with the Athenians. In order to separate them more effectually,
he assisted the Olynthians in recovering Potidaea, which had
formerly belonged to their confederacy, but was now in the hands
of the Athenians. On the capture of the town he handed it over
to the Olynthians. Plutarch relates that the capture of Potidaea
was accompanied with three other fortunate events in the life of
Philip, namely, the prize gained by his chariot at the Olympic
games, a victory of his general Parmenio over the Illyrians, and
the birth of his son Alexander. These events happened in B.C.

Philip now crossed the Strymon, on the left bank of which lay
Pangaeus, a range of mountains abounding in gold-mines. He
conquered the district, and founded there a new town called
Philippi, on the site of the ancient Thracian town of Crenides.
By improved methods of working the mines he made them yield an
annual revenue of 1000 talents, nearly 250,000l.

Meanwhile Athens was engaged in a war with her allies, which has
been called the SOCIAL WAR; and which was, perhaps, the reason
why she was obliged to look quietly on whilst Philip was thus
aggrandizing himself at her expense. This war broke out in B.C.
357. The chief causes of it seem to have been the contributions
levied upon the allies by the Athenian generals. The war lasted
three years; and as Artaxerxes, the Persian king, threatened to
support the allies with a fleet of 300 ships, the Athenians were
obliged to consent to a disadvantageous peace, which secured the
independence of the more important allies (B.C. 355).

Another war, which had been raging during the same time, tended
still further to exhaust the Grecian states, and thus pave the
way for Philip's progress to the supremacy. This was the SACRED
WAR, which broke out between Thebes and Phocis in the same year
as the Social War (B.C. 357). An ill-feeling had long subsisted
between those two countries. The Thebans now availed themselves
of the influence which they possessed in the Amphictyonic council
to take vengeance upon the Phocians and accordingly induced this
body to impose a heavy fine upon the latter people, because they
had cultivated a portion of the Cirrhaean plain, which had been
consecrated to the Delphian god, and was to lie waste for ever.
The Phocians pleaded that the payment of the fine would ruin
them; but instead of listening to their remonstrances, the
Amphictyons doubled the amount, and threatened, in case of their
continued refusal to reduce them to the condition of serfs. Thus
driven to desperation, the Phocians resolved to complete the
sacrilege with which they had been branded, by seizing the very
temple of Delphi itself. The leader and counsellor of this
enterprise was Philomelus, who, with a force of no more than 2000
men, surprised and took Delphi. At first, however, he carefully
abstained from touching the sacred treasure; but being hard
pressed by the Thebans and their allies, he threw off the
scruples which he had hitherto assumed, and announced that the
sacred treasures should be converted into a fund for the payment
of mercenaries. On the death of Philomelus, who fell in battle,
the command was assumed by his brother Onomarchus, who carried on
the war with vigour and success. But he was checked in his
career by Philip, who had previously been extending his dominion
over Thessaly, and who now assumed the character of a champion of
the Delphic god, and made his soldiers wear wreaths of laurel
plucked in the groves of Tempe. He penetrated into Thessaly, and
encountered the Phocians near the gulf of Pagassae. In the
battle which ensued, Onomarchus was slain, and his army totally
defeated (B.C. 352). This victory made Philip master of
Thessaly. He now directed his march southwards with the view of
subduing the Phocians; but upon reaching Thermopylae he found the
pass guarded by a strong Athenian force, and was compelled, or
considered it more prudent, to retreat.

After his return from Thessaly Philip's views were directed
towards Thrace and the Chersonese. It was at this juncture that
Demosthenes stepped forwards as the proclaimed opponent of
Philip, and delivered the first of those celebrated orations
which from their subject have been called "the Philippics." This
most famous of all the Grecian orators was born in B.C. 382-381.
Having lost his father at the early age of seven, his guardians
abused their trust, and defrauded him of the greater part of his
paternal inheritance. This misfortune, however, proved one of
the causes which tended to make him an orator. Demosthenes, as
he advanced towards manhood, perceived with indignation the
conduct of his guardians, for which he resolved to make them
answerable when the proper opportunity should arrive, by accusing
them himself. His first attempt to speak in public proved a
failure, and he retired from the bema amidst the hootings and
laughter of the citizens. The more judicious and candid among
his auditors perceived, however, marks of genius in his speech,
and rightly attributed his failure to timidity and want of due
preparation. Eunomus, an aged citizen, who met him wandering
about the Piraeus in a state of dejection at his ill success,
bade him take courage and persevere. Demosthenes now withdrew
awhile from public life, and devoted himself perseveringly to
remedy his defects. They were such as might be lessened, if not
removed, by practice, and consisted chiefly of a weak voice,
imperfect articulation, and ungraceful and inappropriate action.
He derived much assistance from Satyrus the actor, who exercised
him in reciting passages from Sophocles and Euripides. He
studied the best rhetorical treatises and orations, and is said
to have copied the work of Thucydides with his own hand no fewer
than eight times. He shut himself up for two or three months
together in a subterranean chamber in order to practise
composition and declamation. His perseverance was crowned with
success; and he who on the first attempt had descended from the
bema amid the ridicule of the crowd, became at last the most
perfect orator the world has ever seen.

Demosthenes had established himself as a public speaker before
the period which we have now reached; but it is chiefly in
connexion with Philip that we are to view him as a statesman as
well as an orator. Philip had shown his ambition by the conquest
of Thessaly, and by the part he had taken in the Sacred War; and
Demosthenes now began to regard him as the enemy of the liberties
of Athens and of Greece. In his first "Philippic" Demosthenes
tried to rouse his countrymen to energetic measures against this
formidable enemy; but his warnings and exhortations produced
little effect, for the Athenians were no longer distinguished by
the same spirit of enterprise which had characterized them in the
days of their supremacy. No important step was taken to curb the
growing power of Philip; and it was the danger of Olynthus which
first induced the Athenians to prosecute the war with a little
more energy. In 350 B.C., Philip having captured a town in
Chalcidice, Olynthus began to tremble for her own safety, and
sent envoys to Athens to crave assistance. Olynthus was still at
the head of thirty-two Greek towns, and the confederacy was a
sort of counterpoise to the power of Philip. It was on this
occasion that Demosthenes delivered his three Olynthaic orations,
in which he warmly advocated an alliance with Olynthus.

Demosthenes was opposed by a strong party, with which Phocion
commonly acted. Phocion is one of the most singular and original
characters in Grecian history. He viewed the multitude and their
affairs with a scorn which he was at no pains to disguise;
receiving their anger with indifference, and their praises with
contempt. His known probity also gave him weight with the
assembly. He was the only statesman of whom Demosthenes stood in
awe; who was accustomed to say, when Phocion rose, "Here comes
the pruner of my periods." But Phocion's desponding views, and
his mistrust of the Athenian people, made him an ill statesman at
a period which demanded the most active patriotism. He doubtless
injured his country by contributing to check the more enlarged
and patriotic views of Demosthenes; and though his own conduct
was pure and disinterested, he unintentionally threw his weight
on the side of those who, like Demades and others, were actuated
by the basest motives. This division of opinion rendered the
operations of the Athenians for the aid of the Olynthians languid
and desultory. Town after town of the confederacy fell before
Philip; and in 347 Olynthus itself was taken. The whole of the
Chalcidian peninsula thus became a Macedonian province.

The prospects of Athens now became alarming, her possessions in
the Chersonese were threatened, as well as the freedom of the
Greek towns upon the Hellespont. The Athenians had supported the
Phocians in the Sacred War, and were thus at war with Thebes. In
order to resist Philip the attention of the Athenians was now
directed towards a reconciliation with Thebes, especially since
the treasures of Delphi were nearly exhausted, and on the other
hand the war was becoming every year more and more burthensome to
the Thebans. Nor did it seem improbable that a peace might be
concluded not only between those two cities, but among the
Grecian states generally. It seems to have been this aspect of
affairs that induced Philip to make several indirect overtures to
the Athenians in the summer of B.C. 347. In spite of subsidies
from Delphi the war had been very onerous to them, and they
received these advances with joy, and eventually agreed to the
terms of a peace. Having thus gained over the Athenians, Philip
marched through Thermopylae, and entered Phocis, which
surrendered unconditionally at his approach. He then occupied
Delphi, where he assembled the Amphictyons to pronounce sentence
upon those who bad been concerned in the sacrilege committed
there. The council decreed that all the cities of Phocia, except
Abae, should be destroyed, and their inhabitants scattered into
villages containing not more than fifty houses each. Sparta was
deprived of her share in the Amphictyonic privileges; the two
votes in the council possessed by the Phocians were transferred
to the kings of Macedonia; and Philip was to share with the
Thebans and Thessalians the honour of presiding at the Pythian
games (B.C. 346).

The result of the Sacred War rendered Macedon the leading state
in Greece. Philip at once acquired by it military glory, a
reputation for piety, and an accession of power. His ambitious
designs were now too plain to be mistaken. The eyes of the
blindest among the Athenians were at last opened; the promoters
of the peace which had been concluded with Philip incurred the
hatred and suspicion of the people; whilst on the other hand
Demosthenes rose higher than ever in public favour.

Philip was now busy with preparations for the vast projects which
he contemplated, and which embraced an attack upon the Athenian
colonies, as well as upon the Persian empire. For this purpose
he had organized a considerable naval force as well as an army;
and in the spring of 342 B.C. he set out on an expedition against
Thrace. His progress soon appeared to menace the Chersonese and
the Athenian possessions in that quarter; and at length the
Athenian troops under Diopithes came into actual collision with
the Macedonians. In the following year Philip began to attack
the Greek cities north of the Hellespont. He first besieged and
captured Selymbria on the Propontis, and then turned his arms
against Perinthus and Byzantium. This roused the Athenians to
more vigorous action. War was formally declared against Philip,
and a fleet equipped for the immediate relief of Byzantium.
Philip was forced to raise the siege not only of that town but of
Perinthus also, and finally to evacuate the Chersonesus
altogether. For these acceptable services the grateful
Byzantians erected a colossal statue in honour of Athens.

After this check Philip undertook an expedition against the
Thracians; but meantime his partisans procured for him an
opportunity of marching again into the very heart of Greece.

Amphissa, a Locrian town, having been declared by the
Amphictyonic council guilty of sacrilege, Philip was appointed by
the council as their general to inflict punishment on the
inhabitants of the guilty town. Accordingly he marched
southwards early in B.C. 338; but instead of proceeding in the
direction of Amphissa, he suddenly seized Elatea, the chief town
in the eastern part of Phocis, thus showing clearly enough that
his real design was against Boeotia and Attica. Intelligence of
this event reached Athens at night, and caused extraordinary
alarm, In the following morning Demosthenes pressed upon the
assembly the necessity for making the most vigorous preparations
for defence, and especially recommended them to send an embassy
to Thebes, in order to persuade the Thebans to unite with them
against the common enemy.

The details of the war that followed are exceedingly obscure.
Philip appears to have again opened negotiations with the
Thebans, which failed; and we then find the combined Theban and
Athenian armies marching out to meet the Macedonians. The
decisive battle was fought on the 7th of August, in the plain of
Chaeronea in Boeotia, near the frontier of Phocis (B.C. 338). In
the Macedonian army was Philip's son, the youthful Alexander, who
was intrusted with the command of one of the wings; and it was a
charge made by him on the Theban sacred band that decided the
fortune of the day. The sacred band was cut to pieces, without
flinching from the ground which it occupied, and the remainder of
the combined army was completely routed. Demosthenes, who was
serving as a foot-soldier in the Athenian ranks, has been
absurdly reproached with cowardice because he participated in the
general flight.

The battle of Chaeronea crushed the liberties of Greece, and made
it in reality a province of the Macedonian monarchy. To Athens
herself the blow was almost as fatal as that of AEgospotami. But
the manner in which Philip used his victory excited universal
surprise. He dismissed the Athenian prisoners without ransom,
and voluntarily offered a peace on terms more advantageous than
the Athenians themselves would have ventured to propose. Philip,
indeed, seems to have regarded Athens with a sort of love and
respect, as the centre of art and refinement, for his treatment
of the Thebans was very different, and marked by great harshness
and severity. They were compelled to recall their exiles, in
whose hands the government was placed, whilst a Macedonian
garrison was established in the Cadmea.

A congress of the Grecian states was now summoned at Corinth, in
which war was declared against Persia, and Philip was appointed
generalissimo of the expedition.

In the spring of B.C. 336 Philip sent some forces into Asia,
under the command of Attalus, Parmenio, and Amyntas, which were
designed to engage the Greek cities of Asia in the expedition.
But before quitting Macedonia, Philip determined to provide for
the safety of his dominions by celebrating the marriage of his
daughter with Alexander of Epirus. It was solemnized at AEgae,
the ancient capital of Macedonia, with much pomp, including
banquets, and musical and theatrical entertainments. The day
after the nuptials was dedicated to theatrical entertainments.
The festival was opened with a procession of the images of the
twelve Olympian deities, with which was associated that of Philip
himself. The monarch took part in the procession, dressed in
white robes, and crowned with a chaplet. Whilst thus proceeding
through the city, a youth suddenly rushed out of the crowd, and,
drawing a long sword which he had concealed under his clothes,
plunged it into Philip's side, who fell dead upon the spot. The
assassin was pursued by some of the royal guards, and, having
stumbled in his flight, was despatched before he could reach the
place where horses had been provided for his escape. His name
was Pausanias. He was a youth of noble birth, and we are told
that his motive for taking Philip's life was that the king had
refused to punish an outrage which Attalus had committed against

Thus fell Philip of Macedon in the twenty-fourth year of his
reign and forty-seventh of his age (B.C. 336). When we reflect
upon his achievements, and how, partly by policy and partly by
arms, he converted his originally poor and distracted kingdom
into the mistress of Greece, we must acknowledge him to have been
an extraordinary, if not a great man, in the better sense of that
term. His views and his ambition were certainly as large as
those of his son Alexander, but he was prevented by a premature
death from carrying them out; nor would Alexander himself have
been able to perform his great achievements had not Philip handed
down to him all the means and instruments which they required.



Alexander, at the time of his father's death, was in his
twentieth year, having been born in B.C. 356. His early
education was entrusted to Leonidas, a kinsman of his mother, a
man of severe and parsimonious character, who trained him with
Spartan simplicity and hardihood; whilst Lysimachus, a sort of
under-governor, early inspired the young prince with ambitious
notions, by teaching him to love and emulate the heroes of the
Iliad. according to the traditions of his family, the blood of
Achilles actually ran in the veins of Alexander; [His mother
Olympias was the daughter of Neoptolemus, king of Epirus who
claimed descent from Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles.] and
Lysimachus nourished the feeling which that circumstance was
calculated to awaken by giving him the name of that hero, whilst
he called Philip Peleus, and himself Phoenix. But the most
striking feature in Alexander's education was, that he had
Aristotle for his teacher, and that thus the greatest conqueror
of the material world received the instructions of him who has
exercised the most extensive empire over the human intellect. It
was probably at about the age of thirteen that he first received
the lessons of Aristotle, and they can hardly have continued more
than three years, for Alexander soon left the schools for the
employments of active life. At the age of sixteen we find him
regent of Macedonia during Philip's absence; and at eighteen we
have seen him filling a prominent military post at the battle of

On succeeding to the throne Alexander announced his intention of
prosecuting his father's expedition into Asia; but it was first
necessary for him to settle the affairs of Greece, where the news
of Philip's assassination, and the accession of so young a
prince, had excited in several states a hope of shaking off the
Macedonian yoke. Athens was the centre of these movements.
Demosthenes, although in mourning for the recent loss of an only
daughter, now came abroad dressed in white, and crowned with a
chaplet, in which attire he was seen sacrificing at one of the
public altars. He also moved a decree that Philip's death should
be celebrated by a public thanksgiving, and that religious
honours should be paid to the memory of Pausanias. At the same
time he made vigorous preparations for action. He despatched
envoys to the principal Grecian states for the purpose of
inciting them against Macedon. Sparta, and the whole
Peloponnesus, with the exception of Megalopolis and Messenia,
seemed inclined to shake off their compulsory alliance. Even the
Thebans rose against the dominant oligarchy, although the Cadmea
was in the hands of the Macedonians.

The activity of Alexander disconcerted all these movements.
Having marched through Thessaly, he assembled the Amphictyonic
council at Thermopylae, who conferred upon him the command with
which they had invested his father during the Sacred War. He
then advanced rapidly upon Thebes, and thus prevented the
meditated revolution, The Athenians sent ambassadors to deprecate
his wrath, who were graciously accepted. He then convened a
general congress at Corinth, where he was appointed generalissimo
for the Persian war in place of his father. Most of the
philosophers and persons of note near Corinth came to
congratulate him on this occasion; but Diognes of Sinope who was
then living in one of the suburbs of Corinth, did not make his
appearance. Alexander therefore resolved to pay a visit to the
eccentric cynic, whom he found basking in the sun. On the
approach of Alexander with a numerous retinue, Diogenes raised
himself up a little, and the monarch affably inquired how he
could serve him? "By standing out of my sunshine," replied the
churlish philosopher. Alexander was stung with surprise at a
behaviour to which he was so little accustomed; but whilst his
courtiers were ridiculing the manners of the cynic, he turned to
them and said, "Were I not Alexander, I should like to be

The result of the Congress might be considered a settlement of
the affairs of Greece. Alexander then returned to Macedonia in
the hope of being able to begin his Persian expedition in the
spring of B.C. 335; but reports of disturbances among the
Thracians and Triballians diverted his attention to that quarter.
He therefore crossed Mount Haemus (the Balkan) and marched into
the territory of the Triballians, defeated their forces, and
pursued them to the Danube, which he crossed. After acquiring a
large booty he regained the banks of the Danube, and thence
marched against the Illyrians and Taulantians, whom he speedily
reduced to obedience.

During Alexander's absence on these expeditions no tidings were
heard of him for a considerable time, and a report of his death
was industriously spread in Southern Greece. The Thebans rose
and besieged the Macedonian garrison in the Cadmea, at the same
time inviting other states to declare their independence.
Demosthenes was active in aiding the movement. He persuaded the
Athenians to furnish the Thebans with subsidies and to assure
them of their support and alliance. But the rapidity of
Alexander again crushed the insurrection in the bud. Before the
Thebans discovered that the report of his death was false he had
already arrived at Onchestus in Boeotia. Alexander was willing
to afford them an opportunity for repentance, and marched slowly
to the foot of the Cadmea. But the leaders of the insurrection,
believing themselves irretrievably compromised, replied with
taunts to Alexander's proposals for peace, and excited the people
to the most desperate resistance. An engagement was prematurely
brought on by one of the generals of Alexander, in which some of
the Macedonian troops were put to the rout; but Alexander, coming
up with the phalanx, whilst the Thebans were in the disorder of
pursuit, drove them back in turn and entered the gates along with
them, when a fearful massacre ensued committed principally by the
Thracians in Alexander's service. Six thousand Thebans are said
to have been slain, and thirty thousand were made prisoners. The
doom of the conquered city was referred to the allies, who
decreed her destruction. The grounds of the verdict bear the
impress of a tyrannical hypocrisy. They rested on the conduct of
the Thebans during the Persian war, on their treatment of
Plataea, and on their enmity to Athens. The inhabitants were
sold as slaves, and all the houses, except that of Pindar, were
levelled with the ground. The Cadmea was preserved to be
occupied by a Macedonian garrison. Thebes seems to have been
thus harshly treated as an example to the rest of Greece, for
towards the other states, which were now eager to make their
excuses and submission, Alexander showed much forbearance and
lenity. The conduct of the Athenians exhibits them deeply sunk
in degradation. When they heard of the chastisement indicted
upon Thebes, they immediately voted, on the motion of
Demosthenes, that ambassadors should be sent to congratulate
Alexander on his safe return from his northern expeditions, and
on his recent success. Alexander in reply wrote a letter,
demanding that eight or ten of the leading Athenian orators
should be delivered up to him. At the head of the list was
Demosthenes. In this dilemma, Phocion, who did not wish to speak
upon such a question, was loudly called upon by the people for
his opinion; when he rose and said that the persons whom
Alexander demanded had brought the state into such a miserable
plight that they deserved to be surrendered, and that for his own
part he should be very happy to die for the commonwealth. At the
same time he advised them to try the effect of intercession with
Alexander; and it was at last only by his own personal
application to that monarch with whom he was a great favourite,
that the orators were spared. According to another account,
however, the wrath of Alexander was appeased by the orator
Demades, who received from the Athenians a reward of five talents
for his services. It was at this time that Alexander is said to
have sent a present of 100 talents to Phocion. But Phocion asked
the persons who brought the money--"Why he should be selected for
such a bounty?" "Because," they replied, "Alexander considers
you the only just and honest man." "Then," said Phocion, "let
him suffer me to be what I seem, and to retain that character."
And when the envoys went to his house and beheld the frugality
with which he lived, they perceived that the man who refused such
a gift was wealthier than he who offered it.

Having thus put the affairs of Greece on a satisfactory footing,
Alexander marched for the Hellespont in the spring of B.C. 334,
leaving Antipater regent of Macedonia in his absence, with a
force of 12,000 foot and 1500 horse. Alexander's own army
consisted of only about 50,000 foot and 5000 horse. Of the
infantry about 12,000 were Macedonians, and these composed the
pith of the celebrated Macedonian phalanx. Such was the force
with which he proposed to attack the immense but ill-cemented
empire of Persia, which, like the empires of Turkey or Austria in
modern times, consisted of various nations and races with
different religions and manners, and speaking different
languages; the only bond of union being the dominant military
power of the ruling nation, which itself formed only a small
numerical portion of the empire. The remote provinces, like
those of Asia Minor, were administered by satraps and military
governors who enjoyed an almost independent authority. Before
Alexander departed he distributed most of the crown property
among his friends, and when Perdiccas asked him what he had
reserved for himself he replied, "My hopes."

A march of sixteen days brought Alexander to Sestos, where a
large fleet and a number of transports had been collected for the
embarkation of his army. He steered with his own hand the vessel
in which he sailed towards the very spot where the Achaeans were
said to have landed when proceeding to the Trojan war. He was,
as we have said, a great admirer of Homer, a copy of whose works
he always carried with him; and on landing on the Asiatic coast
he made it his first business to visit the plain of Troy. He
then proceeded to Sigeum, where he crowned with a garland the
pillar said to mark the tumulus of his mythical ancestor
Achilles, and, according to custom, ran round it naked with his

Alexander then marched northwards along the coast of the
Propontis. The satraps of Lydia and Ionia, together with other
Persian generals, were encamped on the river Granicus, with a
force of 20,000 Greek mercenaries, and about an equal number of
native cavalry, with which they prepared to dispute the passage
of the river. A Rhodian, named Memnon, had the chief command.
The veteran general Parmenio advised Alexander to delay the
attack till the following morning; to which he replied, that it
would be a bad omen at the beginning of his expedition, if, after
passing the Hellespont, he should be stopped by a paltry stream.
Thereupon he directed his cavalry to cross the river, and
followed himself at the head of the phalanx. The passage,
however, was by no means easy. The stream was in many parts so
deep as to be hardly fordable, and the opposite bank was steep
and rugged. The cavalry had great difficulty in maintaining
their ground till Alexander came up to their relief. He
immediately charged into the thickest of the fray, and exposed
himself so much that his life was often in imminent danger, and
on one occasion was saved only by the interposition of his friend
Clitus. Having routed the Persians, he next attacked the Greek
mercenaries, 2000 of whom were made prisoners, and the rest
nearly all cut to pieces, In this engagement he killed two
Persian officers with his own hand.

Alexander now marched southwards towards Sardis, which
surrendered before he came within sight of its walls. Having
left a garrison in that city, he arrived after a four days' march
before Ephesus, which likewise capitulated on his approach.
Magnesia, Tralles, and Miletus next fell into his hands, the last
after a short siege. Halicarnassus made more resistance. It was
obliged to be regularly approached; but at length Memnon, finding
it no longer tenable, set fire to it in the night, and crossed
over to Cos. Alexander caused it to be razed to the ground, and
pursued his march along the southern coast of Asia Minor, with
the view of seizing those towns which might afford shelter to a
Persian fleet. The winter was now approaching, and Alexander
sent a considerable part of his army under Parmenio into winter-
quarters at Sardis. He also sent back to Macedonia such officers
and soldiers as had been recently married, on condition that they
should return in the spring with what reinforcements they could
raise; and with the same view he despatched an officer to recruit
in the Peloponnesus. Meanwhile he himself with a chosen body
proceeded along the coasts of Lycia and Pamphylia, having
instructed Parmenio to rejoin him in Phrygia in the spring, with
the main body. After he had crossed the Xanthus most of the
Lycian towns tendered their submission. On the borders of Lycia
and Pamphylia, Mount Climax, a branch of the Taurus range, runs
abruptly into the sea, leaving only a narrow passage at its foot,
which is frequently overflowed. This was the case at the time of
Alexander's approach. He therefore sent his main body by a long
and difficult road across the mountains to Perge; but he himself
who loved danger for its own sake, proceeded with a chosen band
along the shore, wading through water that was breast-high for
nearly a whole day. Then forcing his way northwards through the
barbarous tribes which inhabited the mountains of Pisidia, he
encamped in the neighbourhood of Gordium in Phrygia. Here he was
rejoined by Parmenio and by the new levies from Greece. Gordium
had been the capital of the early Phrygian kings, and in it was
preserved with superstitious veneration the chariot or waggon in
which the celebrated Midas, the son of Gordius, together with his
parents, had entered the town, and in conformity with an oracle
had been elevated to the monarchy. An ancient prophecy promised
the sovereignty of Asia to him who should untie the knot of bark
which fastened the yoke of the waggon to the pole. Alexander
repaired to the Acropolis, where the waggon was preserved, to
attempt this adventure. Whether he undid the knot by drawing out
a peg, or cut it through with his sword, is a matter of doubt;
but that he had fulfilled the prediction was placed beyond
dispute that very night by a great storm of thunder and

In the spring of 333 Alexander pursued his march eastwards, and
on arriving at Ancyra received the submission of the
Paphlagonians. He then advanced through Cappadocia without
resistance; and forcing his way through the passes of Mount
Taurus (the PYLAE CILICIAE), he descended into the plains of
Cilicia. Hence he pushed on rapidly to Tarsus, which he found
abandoned by the enemy. Whilst still heated with the march
Alexander plunged into the clear but cold stream of the Cydnus,
which runs by the town. The result was a fever, which soon
became so violent as to threaten his life. An Acarnanian
physician, named Philip, who accompanied him, prescribed a
remedy; but at the same time Alexander received a letter
informing him that Philip had been bribed by Darius, the Persian
king, to poison him. He had however, too much confidence in the
trusty Philip to believe the accusation and handed him the letter
whilst he drank the draught. Either the medicine, or Alexander's
youthful constitution, at length triumphed over the disorder.
After remaining some time at Tarsus, he continued his march along
the coast to Mallus, where he first received certain tidings of
the great Persian army, commanded by Darius in person. It is
said to have consisted of 600,000 fighting men, besides all that
train of attendants which usually accompanied the march of a
Persian monarch. Alexander found Darius encamped near Issus on
the right bank of the little river Pinarus. The Persian king
could hardly have been caught in a more unfavourable position,
since the narrow and rugged plain between Mount Amanus and the
sea afforded no scope for the evolutions of large bodies, and
thus entirely deprived him of the advantage of his numerical
superiority. Alexander occupied the pass between Syria and
Cilicia at midnight, and at daybreak began to descend into the
plain of the Pinarus, ordering his troops to deploy into line as
the ground expanded and thus to arrive in battle-array before the
Persians. Darius had thrown 30,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry
across the river, to check the advance of the Macedonians; whilst
on the right bank were drawn up his choicest Persian troops to
the number of 60,000, together with 30,000 Greek mercenaries, who
formed the centre, and on whom he chiefly relied. These, it
appears, were all that the breadth of the plain allowed to be
drawn up in line. The remainder of the vast host were posted in
separate bodies in the farther parts of the plain, and were
unable to take any share in the combat. Darius placed himself in
the centre of the line in a magnificent state chariot. The banks
of the Pinarus were in many parts steep, and where they were
level Darius had caused them to be intrenched. As Alexander
advanced, the Persian cavalry which had been thrown across the
river were recalled; but the 20,000 infantry had been driven into
the mountains, where Alexander held them in check with a small
body of horse. The left wing of the Macedonians, under the
command of Parmenio, was ordered to keep near the sea, to prevent
being outflanked. The right wing was led by Alexander in person,
who rushed impetuously into the water, and was soon engaged in
close combat with the Persians. The latter were immediately
routed; but what chiefly decided the fortune of the day was the
timidity of Darius himself, who, on beholding the defeat of his
left wing, immediately took to flight. His example was followed
by his whole army. One hundred thousand Persians are said to
have been left upon the field. On reaching the hills Darius
threw aside his royal robes his bow and shield, and, mounting a
fleet courser, was soon out of reach of pursuit. The Persian
camp became the spoil of the Macedonians; but the tent of Darius,
together with his chariot, robes, and arms, was reserved for
Alexander himself. It was now that the Macedonian king first had
ocular proof of the nature of Eastern royalty. One compartment
of the tent of Darius had been fitted up as a bath, which steamed
with the richest odours; whilst another presented a magnificent
pavilion, containing a table richly spread for the banquet of
Darius. But from an adjoining tent issued the wail of female
voices, where Sisygambis the mother, and Statira the wife of
Darius, were lamenting the supposed death of the Persian monarch.
Alexander sent to assure them of his safety, and ordered them to
be treated with the most delicate and respectful attention.

Such was the memorable battle of Issus, fought in November, B.C.
333. A large treasure which Parmenio was sent forward with a
detachment to seize, fell into the hands of the Macedonians at
Damascus. Another favourable result of the victory was that it
suppressed some attempts at revolt from the Macedonian power,
which with the support of Persia, had been manifested in Greece.
But, in order to put a complete stop to all such intrigues, which
chiefly depended on the assistance of a Persian fleet, Alexander
resolved to seize Phoenicia and Egypt, and thus to strike at the
root of the Persian maritime power.

Meanwhile, Darius, attended by a body of only 4000 fugitives, had
crossed the Euphrates at Thapsacus. Before he had set out from
Babylon the whole forces of the empire had been summoned; but he
had not thought it worth while to wait for what he deemed a
merely useless encumbrance; and the more distant levies, which
comprised some of the best troops of the empire, were still
hastening towards Babylon. In a short time, therefore, he would
be at the head of a still more numerous host than that which had
fought at Issus; yet he thought it safer to open negotiations
with Alexander than to trust to the chance of arms. With this
view he sent a letter to Alexander, who was now at Marathus in
Phoenicia, proposing to become his friend and ally; but Alexander
rejected all his overtures, and told him that he must in future
be addressed not in the language of an equal, but of a subject.

As Alexander advanced southwards, all the towns of Phoenicia
hastened to open their gates; the inhabitants of Sidon even
hailed him as their deliverer. Tyre, also, sent to tender her
submission; but coupled with reservations by no means acceptable
to a youthful conqueror in the full tide of success. Alexander
affected to receive their offer as an unconditional surrender,
and told them that he would visit their city and offer sacrifices
to Melcart, a Tyrian deity, who was considered as identical with
the Grecian Hercules. This brought the matter to an issue. The
Tyrians now informed him that they could not admit any foreigners
within their walls, and that, if he wished to sacrifice to
Melcart, he would find another and more ancient shrine in Old
Tyre, on the mainland. Alexander indignantly dismissed the
Tyrian ambassadors, and announced his intention of laying siege
to their city. The Tyrians probably deemed it impregnable. It
was by nature a place of great strength, and had been rendered
still stronger by art. The island on which it stood was half a
mile distant from the mainland; and though the channel was
shallow near the coast, it deepened to three fathoms near the
island. The shores of the island were rocky and precipitous, and
the walls rose from the cliffs to the height of 150 feet in solid
masonry. As Alexander possessed no ships, the only method by
which he could approach the town was by constructing a causeway,
the materials for which were collected from the forests of
Libanus and the ruins of Old Tyre. After overcoming many
difficulties the mole was at length pushed to the foot of the
walls; and as soon as Alexander had effected a practicable
breach, he ordered a general assault both by land and sea. The
breach was stormed under the immediate inspection of Alexander
himself; and though the Tyrians made a desperate resistance, they
were at length overpowered, when the city became one wide scene
of indiscriminate carnage and plunder. The siege had lasted
seven months, and the Macedonians were so exasperated by the
difficulties and dangers they had undergone that they granted no
quarter. Eight thousand of the citizens are said to have been
massacred; and the remainder, with the exception of the king and
some of the principal men, who had taken refuge in the temple of
Melcart, were sold into slavery to the number of 30,000. Tyre
was taken in the month of July in 332.

Whilst Alexander was engaged in the siege of Tyre, Darius made
him further and more advantageous proposals. He now offered
10,000 talents as the ransom of his family, together with all the
Provinces west of the Euphrates, and his daughter Barsine in
marriage, as the conditions of a peace. When these offers were
submitted to the council Parmenio was not unnaturally struck with
their magnificence, and observed, that were he Alexander he would
accept them. "and so would I," replied the king, "were I
Parmenio." Darius, therefore, prepared himself for a desperate

After the fall of Tyre, Alexander marched with his army towards
Egypt, whilst his fleet proceeded along the coast. Gaza, a
strong fortress on the sea-shore, obstinately held out, and
delayed his progress three or four months. After the capture of
this city Alexander met his fleet at Pelusium, and ordered it to
sail up the Nile as far as Memphis, whither he himself marched
with his army across the desert. He conciliated the affection of
the Egyptians by the respect with which he treated their national
superstitions, whilst the Persians by an opposite line of conduct
had incurred their deadliest hatred. He then sailed down the
western branch of the Nile, and at its mouth traced the plan of
the new city of Alexandria, which for many centuries continued to
be not only the grand emporium of Europe, Africa, and India, but
also the principal centre of intellectual life. Being now on the
confines of Libya, Alexander resolved to visit the celebrated
oracle of Zeus (Jupiter) Ammon, which lay in the bosom of the
Libyan wilderness. The conqueror was received by the priests
with all the honours of sacred pomp. He consulted the oracle in
secret, and is said never to have disclosed the answer which he
received; though that it was an answer that contented him
appeared from the magnificence of the offerings which he made to
the god. Some say that Ammon saluted him as the son of Zeus.

Alexander returned to Phoenicia in the spring of 331. He then
directed his march through Samaria, and arrived at Thapsacus on
the Euphrates about the end of August. after crossing the river
he struck to the north-east through a fertile and well-supplied
country. On his march he was told that Darius was posted with an
immense force on the left bank of the Tigris; but on arriving at
that river he found nobody to dispute his passage. He then
proceeded southwards along its banks, and after four days' march
fell in with a few squadrons of the enemy's cavalry. From some
of these who were made prisoners Alexander learned that Darius
was encamped with his host on one of the extensive plains between
the Tigris and the mountains of Kurdistan, near a village called
Gaugamela (the Camel's House). The town of Arbela, after which
the battle that ensued is commonly named, lay at about twenty
miles distance, and there Darius had deposited his baggage and
treasure. That monarch had been easily persuaded that his former
defeat was owing solely to the nature of the ground; and,
therefore, he now selected a wide plain for an engagement, where
there was abundant room for his multitudinous infantry, and for
the evolutions of his horsemen and charioteers. Alexander, after
giving his army a few days' rest, set out to meet the enemy soon
after midnight, in order that he might come up with them about
daybreak. On ascending some sand-hills the whole array of the
Persians suddenly burst upon the view of the Macedonians, at the
distance of three or four miles. Darius, as usual, occupied the
centre, surrounded by his body-guard and chosen troops. In front
of the royal position were ranged the war-chariots and elephants,
and on either side the Greek mercenaries, to the number, it is
said, of 50,000. Alexander spent the first day in surveying the
ground and preparing for the attack; he also addressed his
troops, pointing out to them that the prize of victory would not
be a mere province, but the dominion of all Asia. Yet so great
was the tranquillity with which he contemplated the result, that
at daybreak on the following morning, when the officers came to
receive his final instructions, they found him in a deep slumber.
His army, which consisted only of 40,000 foot and 7000 horse, was
drawn up in the order which he usually observed, namely, with the
phalanx in the centre in six divisions, and the Macedonian
cavalry on the right, where Alexander himself took his station.
The Persians, fearful of being surprised, had stood under arms
the whole night, so that the morning found them exhausted and
dispirited. Some of them, however, fought with considerable
bravery; but when Alexander had succeeded in breaking their line
by an impetuous charge, Darius mounted a fleet horse and took to
flight, as at Issus, though the fortune of the day was yet far
from having been decided. At length, however, the rout became
general. Whilst daylight lasted Alexander pursued the flying
enemy as far as the banks of the Lycus, or Greater Zab, where
thousands of the Persians perished in the attempt to pass the
river. After resting his men a few hours Alexander continued the
pursuit at midnight in the hope of overtaking Darius at Arbela.
The Persian monarch, however, had continued his flight without
stopping; but the whole of the royal baggage and treasure was

Finding any further pursuit of Darius hopeless, Alexander now
directed his march towards Babylon. At a little distance from
the city the greater part of the population came out to meet him,
headed by their priests and magistrates, tendering their
submission and bearing with them magnificent presents. Alexander
then made his triumphant entry into Babylon, riding in a chariot
at the head of his army. The streets were strewed with flowers,
incense smoked on either hand on silver altars, and the priests
celebrated his entry with hymns. Nor was this a mere display of
a compulsory obedience. Under the Persian sway the Chaldaean
religion had been oppressed and persecuted; the temple of Belus
had been destroyed and still lay in ruins; and both priests and
people consequently rejoiced at the downfall of a dynasty from
which they had suffered so much wrong. Alexander observed here
the same politic conduct which he had adopted in Egypt. He
caused the ruined temples to be restored, and proposed to offer
personally, but under the direction of the priests, a sacrifice
to Belus. Alexander contemplated making Babylon the capital of
his future empire. His army was rewarded with a large donative
from the Persian treasury; and after being allowed to indulge for
some time in the luxury of Babylon, was again put in motion,
towards the middle of November, for Susa. It was there that the
Persian treasures were chiefly accumulated, and Alexander had
despatched one of his generals to take possession of the city
immediately after the battle of Arbela. It was surrendered
without a blow by the satrap Abulites. The treasure found there
amounted to 40,000 talents in gold and silver bullion, and 9000
in gold Darics. But among all these riches the interest of the
Greeks must have been excited in a lively manner by the discovery
of the spoils carried off from Greece by Xerxes. Among them were
the bronze statues of Harmodius and Aristogiton, which Alexander
now sent back to Athens, and which were long afterwards preserved
in the Ceramicus.

At Susa Alexander received reinforcements of about 15,000 men
from Greece. He then directed his march south-eastwards towards
Persepolis. His road lay through the mountainous territory of
the Uxians, who refused him a passage unless he paid the usual
tribute which they were in the habit of extorting even from the
Persian kings. But Alexander routed them with great slaughter.
He then advanced rapidly to Persepolis, whose magnificent ruins
still attest its ancient splendour. It was the real capital of
the Persian kings, though they generally resided at Susa during
the winter, and at Ecbatana in summer. The treasure found there
exceeded that both of Babylon and Susa, and is said to have
amounted to 120,000 talents or nearly 30,000,000l. sterling. It
was here that Alexander is related to have committed an act of
senseless folly, by firing with his own hand the ancient and
magnificent palace of the Persian kings; of which the most
charitable version is that he committed the act when heated with
wine at the instigation of Thais, an Athenian courtezan. By some
writers, however, the story is altogether disbelieved, and the
real destruction of Persepolis referred to the Mahommedan epoch.
Whilst at Persepolis, Alexander visited the tomb of Cyrus, the
founder of the Persian monarchy, which was situated at a little
distance, at a city called Pasargadae.

Thus in between three and four years after crossing the
Hellespont Alexander had established himself on the Persian
throne. But Darius was not yet in his power. After the battle
of Arbela that monarch had fled to Ecbatana. It was not till
about four months after the battle of Arbela, and consequently
early in 330, that Alexander quitted Persepolis to resume the
pursuit of Darius. On approaching Ecbatana he learned that the
Persian monarch had already fled with the little army which still
adhered to him. Alexander, with his main body, then pursued
Darius through Media by forced marches and reached Rhagae, a
distance of three hundred miles from Ecbatana, in eleven days.
Such was the rapidity of the march that many men and horses died
of fatigue. At Rhagae he heard that Darius had already passed
the defile called the "Caspian Gates," leading into the Bactrian
provinces; and, as that pass was fifty miles distant, urgent
pursuit was evidently useless. He therefore allowed his troops
five days' rest, and then resumed his march. Soon after passing
the Gates he learned that Darius had been seized and loaded with
chains by his own satrap Bessus, who entertained the design of
establishing himself in Bactria as an independent sovereign.
This intelligence stimulated Alexander to make still further
haste with part of his cavalry and a chosen body of foot. On the
fourth day he succeeded in overtaking the fugitives with his
cavalry, having been obliged to leave the infantry behind, with
directions to follow more at leisure. The enemy, who did not
know his real strength, were struck with consternation at his
appearance, and fled precipitately. Bessus and his adherents now
endeavoured to persuade Darius to fly with them, and provided a
fleet horse for that purpose. But the Persian monarch, who had
already experienced the generosity of Alexander in the treatment
of his captive family, preferred to fall into his hands,
whereupon the conspirators mortally wounded him in the chariot in
which they kept him confined, and then took to flight. Darius
expired before Alexander could come up, who threw his own cloak
over the body. He then ordered him to be magnificently buried in
the tomb of his ancestors, and provided for the fitting education
of his children.

The next three years were employed by Alexander in subduing
Hyrcania, Drangiana, Bactria, and Sogdiana, and the other
northern provinces of the Persian empire. In these distant
regions he founded several cities, one of which in Aria, called
after him (Alexandria Ariorum), is still, under the name of
HERAT, one of the chief cities in central Asia. Alexander's stay
in Prophthasia, the capital of Drangiana, was signalized by a
supposed conspiracy against his life, formed by Philotas, the son
of Parmenio. Alexander had long entertained suspicions of
Philotas. But the immediate subject of accusation against him
was that he had not revealed a conspiracy which was reported to
be forming against Alexander's life, and which he had deemed too
contemptible to notice. He was consequently suspected of being
implicated in it; and on being put to the torture he not only
confessed his own guilt in his agonies, but also implicated his
father. Philotas was executed, and an order was sent to
Ecbatana, where Parmenio then was, directing that veteran general
to be put to death. A letter, purporting to be from his son, was
handed to him; and whilst the old man was engaged in reading it,
Polydamus, his intimate friend, together with some others of
Alexander's principal officers, fell upon and slew him. His head
was carried to Alexander.

Meantime Bessus had assumed the royal dignity in Bactria; but
upon Alexander's approach he fled across the Oxus into Sogdiana.
Early in the summer of 329 Alexander followed him across the
Oxus; and shortly afterwards Bessus was betrayed by two of his
own officers into the hands of Alexander. Bessus was carried to
Zariaspa, the capital of Bactria, where he was brought before a
Persian court, and put to death in a cruel and barbarous manner.

Alexander even crossed the river Jaxartes (SIR), and defeated the
Scythians. Sogdiana alone of the northern provinces offered any
serious resistance to his arms. Accordingly in 328 he again
crossed the Oxus. He divided his army into five bodies, ordering
them to scour the country in different directions. With the
troops under his own command he marched against the fortress
called the Sogdian Rock, seated on an isolated hill, so
precipitous as to be deemed inaccessible, and so well supplied
with provisions as to defy a blockade. The summons to surrender
was treated with derision by the commander, who inquired whether
the Macedonians had wings? But a small body of Macedonians
having succeeded in scaling some heights which overhung the
fortress, the garrison became so alarmed that they immediately
surrendered. To this place a Bactrian named Oxyartes, an
adherent of Bessus, had sent his daughters for safety. One of
them, named Roxana, was of surpassing beauty, and Alexander made
her the partner of his throne (B.C. 328).

At Maracanda (now SAMARCAND) he appointed his friend Clitus
satrap of Bactria. On the eve of the parting of the two friends
Alexander celebrated a festival in honour of the Dioscuri (Castor
and Pollux), though the day was sacred to Dionysus (Bacchus).
The banquet was attended by several parasites and literary
flatterers, who magnified the praises of Alexander with
extravagant and nauseous flattery. Clitus, whom wine had
released from all prudent reserve, sternly rebuked their fulsome
adulation; and, as the conversation turned on the comparative
merits of the exploits of Alexander and his father Philip, he did
not hesitate to prefer the exploits of the latter. He reminded
Alexander of his former services, and, stretching forth his hand,
exclaimed, "It was this hand Alexander, which saved your life at
the battle of the Granicus!" The king, who was also flushed with
wine, was so enraged by these remarks, that he rushed at Clitus
with the intention of killing him on the spot, but he was held
back by his friends, whilst Clitus was at the same time hurried
out of the room. Alexander, however, was no sooner released
than, snatching a spear, he sprang to the door, and meeting
Clitus, who was returning in equal fury to brave his anger, ran
him through the body. But when the deed was done he was seized
with repentance and remorse. He flung himself on his couch and
remained for three whole days in an agony of grief, refusing all
sustenance, and calling on the names of Clitus and of his sister
Lanice who had been his nurse. It was not till his bodily
strength began to fail through protracted abstinence that he at
last became more composed, and consented to listen to the
consolations of his friends, and the words of the soothsayers,
who ascribed the murder of Clitus to a temporary frenzy with
which Dionysus had visited him as a punishment for neglecting the
celebration of his festival.

After reducing Sogdiana, Alexander returned into Bactria in 327,
and began to prepare far his projected expedition into India.
While he was thus employed a plot was formed against his life by
the royal pages, incited by Hermolaus, one of their number, who
had been punished with stripes for anticipating the king during a
hunting party in slaying a wild boar. Hermolaus and his
associates, among whom was Callisthenes, a pupil of Aristotle,
were first tortured, and then put to death. It seems certain
that a conspiracy existed; but no less certain that the growing
pride and haughtiness of Alexander were gradually alienating from
him the hearts of his followers.

Alexander did not leave Bactria till late in the spring. He
crossed the Indus by a bridge of boats near Taxila, the present
ATTOCK, where the river is about 1000 feet broad, and very deep.
He now found himself in the district at present called the PENJ-
AB (or the FIVE RIVERS). Taxiles, the sovereign of the district,
at once surrendered Taxila, his capital and joined the Macedonian
force with 5000 men. Hence Alexander proceeded with little
resistance to the river Haydaspes (BEHUT or JELUM). On the
opposite bank, Porus, a powerful Indian king, prepared to dispute
his progress with a numerous and well-appointed force.
Alexander, however, by a skilful stratagem conveyed his army
safely across the river. An obstinate battle then ensued. In
the army of Porus were many elephants, the sight and smell of
which frightened the horses of Alexander's cavalry. But these
unwieldy animals ultimately proved as dangerous to the Indians as
to the Greeks; for when driven into a narrow space they became
unmanageable, and created great confusion in the ranks of Porus.
By a few vigorous charges the Indians were completely routed,
with the loss of 12,000 slain and 9000 prisoners. Among the
latter was Porus himself, who was conducted into the presence of
Alexander. The courage which he had displayed in the battle had
excited the admiration of the Macedonian king. Mounted on an
enormous elephant, he retreated leisurely when the day was lost,
and long rejected every summons to surrender; till at length,
overcome by thirst and fatigue, he permitted himself to be taken.
Even in this situation Porus still retained his majestic bearing,
the effect of which was increased by the extraordinary height of
his stature. On Alexander's inquiring how he wished to be
treated, he replied, "Like a king." "And have you no other
request?" asked Alexander. "No," answered Porus; "everything is
comprehended in the word king." Struck by his magnanimity,
Alexander not only restored him to his dominions, but also
considerably enlarged them; seeking by these means to retain him
as an obedient and faithful vassal.

Alexander rested a month on the banks of the Hydaspes, where he
celebrated his victory by games and sacrifices, and founded two
towns one of which he named Nicaea, and the other Bucephala, in
honour of his gallant charger Bucephalus, which is said to have
died there. He then overran the whole of the PENJ-AB, as far as
the Hyphasis (GHARRA), its southern boundary. Upon reaching this
river, the army, worn out by fatigues and dangers, positively
refused to proceed any farther; although Alexander passionately
desired to attack a monarch still more powerful than Porus, whose
dominions lay beyond the Hyphasis. All his attempts to induce
his soldiers to proceed proving ineffectual, he returned to the

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