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Dionysius II succeeded his father Dionysius I as tyrant in Sicily in 367 BC by preventing Dion from arranging with his dying father that his half brothers Hipparinus and Nysaeus share power. Dionysius II invited Plato to come advise him and also recalled from exile the historian Philistus, who caused Dionysius to suspect the influence of Plato on Dion. When Plato lectured on the goodness of justice and the misery of unjust tyranny, Dionysius was displeased and finally admitted that if Plato was looking for a virtuous man, his labor was lost there. Jealous of the friendship between Plato and Dion, Dionysius II sent Dion into exile for writing a letter to Carthaginian commanders in Sicily even though he was their usual diplomatic contact; so Plato returned to Athens.
Plato visited Syracuse briefly one more time in 360 BC, but Dionysius II confiscated the property of Dion, who moved to Athens; Dionysius then forced Dion's wife Arete to marry another man while corrupting and brutalizing Dion's young son. In 357 BC aided by three members of Plato's Academy and with only 800 soldiers in five ships, Dion sailed back to Sicily, hoping to gain reinforcements from the people in western Sicily. When they arrived in the Carthaginian port of Minoa, they learned that Dionysius II had sailed for Italy with 80 ships. With popular local support Dion's forces entered Syracuse, and the assembly authorized the government of twenty generals led by Dion and his brother Megacles.
The supporters of Dionysius II were confined to the Ortygia citadel when Dion and the Syracusans took the garrison Epipolae and the fort of Euryalus, freeing the political prisoners. A week later Dionysius II returned to the island fortress of Ortygia and offered peace but then sent forth his army from the citadel into a hard-fought battle with Dion's forces, which prevailed by killing 800 of Dionysius' men and burying them with honors. While Dionysius was in the citadel, his general Philistus gathered 2,000 soldiers and attacked rebelling Leontini. The Syracusans went and drove out Philistus. Heracleides arrived with ships from the Peloponnese, and in a naval battle involving sixty ships on each side he defeated Philistus, who committed suicide. Dionysius II was now ready to give up the fortress if he could leave with his property and privileges; Dion advised acceptance, but the Syracusans wanted to force the tyrant to surrender by siege. So Dionysius, leaving his mercenaries to guard the citadel, escaped the blockade of Heracleides and sailed away.
The Syracusans divided into two factions - those supporting the admiral Heracleides and the Peloponnesian mercenaries backing Dion, who refused to attack Syracusans and marched out with his forces to Leontini. The Syracusans attacked them as they were going; but after defeating the Syracusans, Dion released the many captives without ransom. On the morning the mercenaries of Dionysius II were going to give up because of hunger, ships led by Nypsius arrived. The Syracusans attacked the ships as they were unloading the supplies. While the Syracusans were celebrating this victory, 10,000 mercenaries of Dionysius entered the city to ravage and kill many until the forces of Dion came to their rescue from Leontini. After this victory the assembly elected Dion general with supreme power. Finally the son of Dionysius II surrendered the citadel, and Dion was reunited with his wife, sister, and son.
Following Platonic principles of justice and forgiveness, Dion spared the life of Heracleides. The supporters of Heracleides insisted he remain admiral, and Dion consented; but Dion resisted their efforts to redistribute the lands and homes. The Syracusans wanted their democracy restored, but Dion preferred an aristocratic government and refused to demolish the fortress that symbolized and threatened tyranny. Eventually he permitted his associates to assassinate Heracleides, and Dion became more unpopular and a tyrant in all but name. A former student of Plato named Callippus swore by the great goddesses Demeter and Persephone that he had no evil intentions against Dion, but during the festival of the Maiden (Persephone) he hired some men of Zacynthus to murder Dion. In 354 BC Callippus became tyrant for a year before he was driven out of Sicily and killed at Rhegium, being replaced in the Ortygia fortress by the two half brothers of Dionysius II, Hipparinus and Nysaeus. After two years Hipparinus was murdered while drunk, and his dissolute brother Nysaeus held on to power for five more years. Meanwhile Dionysius II was ruling Locri; but in 346 BC he left his wife and daughters, who were tortured and killed by the Locrians after he took over Ortygia.
The Syracusans looked for leadership to a follower of Dion named Hicetas, whom they made general, and they appealed to Corinth for aid against the Carthaginians. The Corinthians selected Timoleon, who had saved his brother Timophanes' life in battle and then later when Timophanes became a tyrant and would not relent, stood by while his two associates killed his brother. His mother after this would not see Timoleon, who after a long fast withdrew into solitude for nearly twenty years. By sending Timoleon the Corinthians resolved to test whether his character inclined more to tyrannicide or fratricide. With ten ships and a thousand mercenaries Timoleon was welcomed at Rhegion, though Carthage had twenty ships there. Hicetas, who was hoping to rule with the help of the Carthaginians, told him to send his ships back to Corinth, because the navy of Carthage would not let them stay in these waters. Timoleon delayed and then escaped with his ships to Tauromenion before crossing over to Sicily.
With the support of Naxos, Timoleon defeated Hicetas' forces that were five times his at Hadranum. Hicetas sent two men to assassinate Timoleon, but they failed. Dionysius II, after being defeated by Hicetas, eventually offered to give Ortygia to Timoleon if he could retire safely to Corinth. Timoleon took over the fortress with the mercenaries there, and Dionysius spent the rest of his life in Corinth. A fleet of 150 Carthaginian ships under Mago supported Hicetas, but Corinth sent some more ships to Timoleon. While the Greek mercenaries on opposite sides fished together for eels wondering why some of them were fighting to establish Phoenicians closer to Greece, the idea of joining together against the foreigners persuaded Mago to take his fleet back to Carthage, where he killed himself. Timoleon then drove Hicetas out of Epipolae and Syracuse; the hated fortress of Ortygia was finally torn down, and courts for administering justice were erected in its place. Syracuse was repopulated with 60,000 people, as exiles were invited to return; the land was divided into just and equal proportions, and democratic laws were instituted. Timoleon compelled Hicetas at Leontini to capitulate and become a private citizen, and the despot Leptines was removed from Apollonia.
In 339 BC Carthage sent a large force of 70,000 soldiers and 10,000 horses in 200 warships and a thousand transports. With only about 10,000 men, from which a thousand mercenaries deserted, Timoleon led his army to victory at Crimisus aided by a torrential storm at their backs. Carthage lost their sacred band of 2,500 plus 10,000 soldiers killed and 15,000 captured. The one thousand deserters were expelled to Italy, where after sacking Bruttium they were killed by the Bruttians. Then Timoleon's force was able to remove every tyrant from Greek Sicily including Mamercus of Catane, Hippo of Messena, Nicodemus of Centoripa, and Apolloniades of Agyrium. The Carthaginians made peace, and the Halycus River was recognized as the border. Timoleon retired from power and lived near Syracuse greatly honored and summoned for his judgment in difficult cases for two years before he went blind and died. When he was charged by slanderers for actions during his generalship, Timoleon opposed those who would have hindered the proceeding; having taken risks for the sake of just procedures he was grateful that the Syracusans now enjoyed freedom of speech. Sicily experienced democracy, peace, and prosperity for the next twenty years.
In southern Italy Spartan king Archidamus had brought to the aid of Taras mercenaries gathered from Phocian survivors of the Sacred War, but after five years of fighting he was killed at Mandonion by the Lucanians in 338 BC. Four years later Alexander of Epirus helped Taras defeat the Brettian league and made a treaty with Rome, but the little Epirote empire was defeated in 330 BC when Alexander was killed at the battle of Pandosia.
In northern Greece kings Cotys of Thrace, Alexander of Pherae, and Perdiccas of Macedonia were all killed about the year 359 BC, weakening rulership in the region and allowing Philip II as guardian of his young nephew Amyntas to rule as regent in Macedonia. Only 24 himself Philip consolidated his power by defeating his rival Argaeus, who was supported by an Athenian fleet. Philip released Athenian prisoners and renounced Macedonian claims on Amphipolis. Having been educated by the Theban hero Epaminondas while living as a hostage in the home of general Pammenes, Philip reorganized and trained his army, which in 358 BC defeated the Paeonians and then killed 7,000 Illyrians in taking back territory from them. The Macedonians marched east to capture the fortress on the Strymon River in order to control the valuable Mount Pangaeus gold mines, which soon were bringing in a thousand talents a year. Philip was to use this gold so skillfully with bribes in conquering diplomatically more than militarily that Diodorus Siculus wrote that thus he corrupted the ethics of the people.
Philip took Amphipolis but released the Athenian prisoners, and he renamed the fortress of Crenides after himself Philippi. Having killed one half brother while two others fled into exile, Philip declared himself king and moved the capital to Pella. He captured Pydna and then Potidaea, which he gave to the Olynthians in forming an alliance with them in 356 BC, the year his son Alexander was born. Athenian citizens taken in Pydna were sold into slavery; some of them were ransomed by Demosthenes with his own money. Athens sent a force under Chares to the Chersonese; they captured Sestos, killing the men and enslaving the rest. Following a change in policy that started a few years before on Samos, Athens sent settlers to the Chersonese. Chares negotiated a treaty with the three Thracian kings Cersobleptes, Amadocus, and Berisades, which Athens accepted. However, the next year these three kings were defeated by and submitted to Philip's Macedonia.
In 357 BC Euboea was also won back into the Athenian League, but at the same time the islands of Chios, Rhodes, and Cos were seceding along with Byzantium. In what is called the Social War, Athens sent Chabrias and Chares with a fleet of 60 ships to attack Chios; the Chian fleet of 100 ships fought them off, killed Chabrias and then turned to blockade the settlers (cleruchs) on Samos. Athens sent 60 more ships with Iphicrates and Timotheus, who both decided not to attack during a storm, although Chares did and was repulsed. In Athens Chares brought charges against these two outstanding generals; Iphicrates was acquitted, but Timotheus was fined 100 talents, according to Isocrates the largest fine ever imposed at Athens. Timotheus went to Chalcis, where he soon died.
Chares, not given money by Athens for his troops, supported Artabazus, satrap of Phrygia, in his rebellion against Persia and received enough to pay his army. This angered Artaxerxes III (Ochus) and stimulated grandiose ideas in Athens, but even Isocrates, who favored a campaign against Persia, and Demosthenes in his first major speech both realized the time was not right for that. Instead Chares was recalled; Isocrates wrote his great speech against Athenian imperialism, "On the Peace;" and a peace was made recognizing the independence of Chios, Rhodes, Cos, and Byzantium. The powerful Mausolus of Caria helped oligarchies overthrow the democracies in these places and protected them with Carian garrisons. Demosthenes asked Athenians to support the democracy in Rhodes with forces, but the peace party led by Eubulus refused. Mausolus died and was buried in a beautiful tomb called after him a mausoleum; his widow Artemisia held on to Rhodes.
The Sacred War was called so, because the funds used to promote it were taken from the temple at Delphi by Phocians. After the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC the Thebans in the Amphictyonic council had accused Sparta of seizing the Cadmean citadel in time of peace, and the Spartans were fined 500 talents, which was doubled when they did not pay. Now Thebans also got some rich Phocians fined for sacrilege. To prevent enforcement of this, Philomelus suggested that Phocis seize the treasury of Delphi; the Phocians approved, and with 15 talents he got from Spartan king Archidamus, Philomelus hired mercenaries to do that in 356 BC. Most of the Delphians were not hurt, but the resisting clan of Thracidae was put to death. Philomelus tried to get the priestess to prophesy for him; but she refused, and threatened by force she said he could do as he wished. Taking this as a pronouncement, Philomelus got Sparta and Athens to promise support, while Thebes and its allies prepared for war and gained the authorization of the Amphictyonic council meeting at Thermopylae. Using the Delphic treasures to offer high salaries to mercenaries, Philomelus gathered an army of 10,000; but they were defeated by Thebans and Locrians, and rather than be captured Philomelus jumped off a cliff and died. At first the Thebans put to death all their prisoners as sacrilegious, which caused the Phocians to kill Theban prisoners until the Thebans desisted.
The Thebans retired, and the Phocians debated whether to make peace; but Onomarchus, who faced high fines from the Amphictyonic council, persuaded the Phocians to melt down gold and silver ornaments to make coins to pay another army and even had bronze and iron beat into armor and weapons. The Thebans, needing money, hired their forces under Pammenes out to Artabazus in his revolt against Persia, but Pammenes was suspected by Artabazus and thrown into prison. Onomarchus used the gold to gain an alliance with the tyrant Lycophron of Pherae, causing the Thessalian federation to turn for help to Philip's Macedonian army, which had taken Methone away from the Athenians in 353 BC. Onomarchus sent his brother Phayllus with 7,000 troops; but when they were beaten back by the Macedonians, Onomarchus took 20,000 men and defeated Philip's forces, which then withdrew from Thessaly. Onomarchus led his troops back into Boeotia and captured Coroneia. However, the battle near the port of Pagasae, to which Athens had sent the navy of Chares in aid of the Phocians, was won by the Macedonians. More than a third of the Phocian army was killed or captured, and Onomarchus was killed. Philip ordered all the prisoners drowned for their sacrilege.
Controlling Thessaly, Philip marched his forces south; but Eubulus and the Athenians sent a large force of more than 5,000 under Nausicles to defend the pass at Thermopylae, rescuing Phocis for a while. Sparta threatened to win back Messenia and Megalopolis, which appealed to Athens for support; but Eubulus and the Athenian assembly did not agree with Demosthenes that they should interfere. However, with Theban help the Messenians, Arcadians, and Argives were able to defend themselves against the Spartans, who were aided by 3,000 Phocians. Eventually the Lacedaemonians made peace with Megalopolis. Onomarchus was succeeded by his brother Phayllus, who after two years also died of illness to be succeeded by Phalaecus, son of Onomarchus, whose forces were twice defeated near Chaeronea. Thebes was so impoverished by war that they sent an embassy to the king of Persia, which gained them 300 talents. For a few years Phocis controlled Delphi and continued the building of the temple, although the lavish display of the valuable ornaments on their women at the Pythian games of 350 BC was resented.
Philip had incorporated the excellent Thessalian cavalry into his Macedonian army and invaded Thrace to besiege and take Heiron-Teichos, the capital of Cersobleptes, before Athens could react. However, Philip fell ill; Athens postponed sending their fleet; and Philip did not attack the Chersonese. Demosthenes began to warn the Athenians about Philip and urged them to build up their military forces. Olynthians had withdrawn from their alliance with Macedonia, and in 349 BC Philip demanded the surrender of his half-brother from Olynthus; they refused. Thirty-two cities of Chalcide submitted to Philip, or if they resisted like Stagira, they were destroyed. Athens sent only privately financed mercenaries under Chares and Charidemus to Chalcide, because when the Euboean cities of Eretria, Chalcis, and Oreus revolted, Athens had to send a force under Phocion; they returned defeated, and Athens had to pay fifty talents to ransom their prisoners. Euboea, with the exception of Carystus, was now independent. Before 2,000 citizen soldiers from Athens could arrive, Philip's forces captured Olynthus and enslaved the inhabitants; Philip was wounded and lost an eye; but finding both his half-brothers, he had them killed.
Broke and unable even to pay their juries, Athens led by Eubulus sought peace, though anger at Philip for taking Olynthus caused them to send Aeschines and other ambassadors to Peloponnesian cities for help, an apparently useless exercise to assuage public opinion. However, the Athenian assembly did decree that anyone who exported arms or ships to Philip was to be executed. An embassy, led by Philocrates that included Demosthenes and Aeschines, went to Pella to negotiate peace with Macedonia. Athens surrendered claim to Amphipolis, and Philip recognized Athenian control of the Chersonese. Before the treaty was sworn to in Athens, Macedonia insisted that Phocis be excluded. By the time the envoys reached Philip for his oath, his armies had taken several fortresses in Thrace and made Cersobleptes his vassal. Demosthenes denounced the other envoys for being corrupted by Philip, but Aeschines defended their behavior.
Philip moved his army south, and the Phocians, led by Phalaecus and supported by 1,000 Lacedaemonian troops, surrendered the pass at Thermopylae after the Athenian assembly had passed a resolution calling for Phocis to surrender Delphi to the Amphictyons. Philip allied himself with Thebes. The Amphictyonic council ordered Phocis to repay 60 talents a year to the Delphi treasury plundered of 10,000 talents and to disband their 22 cities into villages, giving their two seats on the council to Macedonia. Philip was elected president of the Pythian festival, which disgruntled Athenians refused to attend. However, even Demosthenes realized that it would be foolish to go to war with Philip at this time over the shadow at Delphi, though Athens strengthened its defenses. Phalaecus gave up Nicaea and other forts and withdrew with 8,000 mercenaries south to the Peloponnese. In 343 BC Persian king Ochus took 6,000 Greek soldiers from Asia Minor along with 3,000 from Argos and 1,000 from Thebes and his large Persian army to try to win back Egypt into his empire; Egyptian prince Nekht-har-hebi hired 20,000 Greek mercenaries and had 60,000 Egyptians and 20,000 Libyans on his side, but he had to retire to Ethiopia.
Philip was elected ruler of Thessaly and organized it into four tetrarchies, and in the Peloponnese he won over Messenia, Megalopolis, and Argos. Demosthenes and Timarchus accused Aeschines of accepting bribes from Philip, but he reacted by charging Timarchus for his personal vices. Philip sent Python of Byzantium to Athens to attempt to put right the peace of Philocrates. The Athenian Hegesippus proposed that (1) each side should keep what rightfully was theirs instead of what they held; (2) other Greeks states should be recognized as free and if attacked be defended by parties to the peace; and (3) Philip should restore the places he captured from Cersobleptes after the peace was sworn at Athens. The Athenians and Macedonians argued over a tiny island off the coast of Thessaly called Halonnesus, which had been taken from Athens by pirates before Macedonia captured it. Philip was willing to give it to Athens, but they believed it should be "restored" to them. In 343 BC the chief peace negotiator Philocrates was charged by Hyperides with having accepted bribes from Philip, fled into exile, and was condemned to death. Demosthenes' case against Aeschines finally came up; supported by the outstanding characters of Eubulus and Phocion, Aeschines barely was acquitted.
Macedonian influence established oligarchies in Eretria and Oreus in Euboea, though the democracy at Chalcis allied itself with Athens. Athens sent a force under Phocion that was able to expel the tyrant Cleitarchus from Eretria; Phocion released the captives so that the Athenians would not treat them cruelly; they joined Chalcis in an independent federation. When the king of Epirus died, Philip's army helped his brother-in-law Alexander take the throne there. Philip then annexed Cassopia into Epirus and threatened Ambracia, which allied itself with Athens along with Acarnania, Achaea, and Corcyra. Next Philip's army spent ten months campaigning in Thrace. Demosthenes got the Athenians to send troops to Acarnania and, to protect the Chersonese, mercenaries led by Diopeithes to settle disputes with Cardia, a treaty-recognized ally of Macedonia. Philip complained to Athens, but Demosthenes was able to get the assembly to sustain Diopeithes' activities even though they were treaty violations.
Demosthenes himself went to the Propontis and won over Byzantium and Perinthus from the Macedonian alliance. Philip's forces besieged Perinthus; but unable to blockade it by sea, the Macedonian army marched against Byzantium. Philip sent a land force, which captured the Athenian fleet of grain ships at Hieron. All this caused Athens to pull down the stele inscribed with the Peace of Philocrates and send forces under Chares and then Phocion to Byzantium's relief. Forces from Rhodes and Chios also arrived, and Philip withdrew his army to Thrace, where he put down Scythian rebellion and was severely wounded in the leg. Neighbors of Halonnesus from the island of Peparethus carried off the Macedonian garrison, bringing a severe revenge on their island by Philip's forces; the Athenians ordered their admiral to make reprisals. Macedonians in Phocis plotted to support a revolution in Megara, but Athens quickly sent Phocion with hoplites to defend Megara and rebuild the long wall to Nisaea.
At the Amphictyonic council in 340 BC Amphissa, friends of Thebes, intended to accuse Athens of sacrilege for having displayed at Phocian-controlled Delphi a golden war memorial for the battle of Plataea when the invading Persians with Theban support had been defeated in the previous century. Hearing of it, Aeschines accused Amphissa first of cultivating an accursed field with such persuasive oratory that the next day the Amphictyons and Delphians laid waste the place that had been unlawfully cultivated, and they were assaulted by the Amphissans. Demosthenes, who favored alliance with Thebes, complained that Aeschines was causing an Amphictyonic war in Attica even though Aeschines had perhaps prevented an Amphictyonic war against Athens. Athens and Thebes both decided not to attend the special meeting, and the Amphictyons, unable to enforce their will on the Amphissans, called in Philip to lead the sacred war. Attempting to get them on his side, Philip told the Thebans he intended to invade Attica. Athens sent ten envoys led by Demosthenes to Thebes, and they were able to form an alliance with the Thebans. Demosthenes was able to get the Athenian assembly to convert the Theoric Fund to military purposes even though to propose such a thing was against Athenian law.
In the summer of 338 BC the Macedonian army defeated these allies led by Chares, captured Amphissa, and seized Naupactus on the Corinthian Gulf. The allies fell back to the plain of Chaeronea, where they were attacked by Philip's army of 30,000 soldiers and 2,000 cavalry commanded by 18-year-old Alexander. Although the Theban Sacred Band fought courageously to the death, the Athenians had 1,000 killed and 2,000 captured while the rest, including Demosthenes, ran away. Philip treated Thebes harshly, killing or confiscating the property of his leading opponents, selling Theban captives into slavery, charging them a fee to bury their dead contrary to Greek custom, establishing a Macedonian garrison in the Cadmea, and breaking up the Boeotian league by giving all those cities independence.
Although Hyperides proposed arming everyone in Athens including the slaves, Philip sent a captive named Damades, who had said the drunk Philip was acting like Thersites instead of Agamemnon, to negotiate a peace with Athens. All their prisoners would be restored if Athens would dissolve its confederacy and join the Hellenic union Philip proposed and give up the Chersonese to Macedonia, though they were allowed to keep Lemnos, Imbros, Scyros, and Samos, while Oropus was restored. Athens was so grateful for these terms that they set up a statue of Philip in the marketplace; even Demosthenes had to admit he had been kind.
Next Philip marched his forces into the Peloponnese, where only Sparta resisted and lost its surrounding territory to Argos, Messene, Megalopolis, and Tegea while retaining its dual kingship. Philip invited all the southern Greek cities to send delegates to a congress at Corinth, and the confederation formed guaranteed all their constitutions and promised federal action against any subversion or aggression against member states. At the second meeting a year later the delegates of the Hellenic confederacy approved a war on Persia and elected Philip general with supreme powers. War preparations were exhausting the Macedonian treasury, and a severe battle was fought against the Illyrian king Pleurias. In 336 BC Philip sent a force under his generals Parmenio, Amyntas, and Attalus to secure the Hellespont and enter the Troad.
Philip divorced Alexander's mother Olympias in order to marry Cleopatra, the niece of Attalus, who at a drunken feast prayed for a legitimate heir. The insulted Alexander threw his goblet at Attalus, causing Philip to stand up and draw his sword; but when Philip reeled and fell, Alexander jeered at his father for having an ambition to pass from Europe to Asia when he trips moving from one couch to another. Alexander and his mother went to Epirus. Philip and his guards combined military discipline with a rapacious life-style of drinking, gambling, and lust, Philip having numerous wives and mistresses. After Cleopatra bore Philip a son, a lavish wedding was celebrated at Aegae for the marriage of Philip's daughter (by Olympias) Cleopatra and her uncle Alexander of Epirus. A solemn procession carried twelve statues of gods into the theatre followed by the statue of Philip, the thirteenth god. A disgruntled body-guard named Pausanias, who had been outrageously offended by Attalus and may have been instigated by Olympias, assassinated Philip with a Celtic dagger as he entered the theatre. Alexander succeeded his father, supported by the two leading generals, Parmenio and Antipater.
Demosthenes was born in 384 BC; his father died before he was eight, leaving his sword and furniture factories with their 55 slaves, an estate worth nearly 14 talents, in the custody of two nephews and a friend. When Demosthenes became 18, he was given only one-twelfth of the inheritance his father left. So after studying for two years with Isaeus, a rhetorician expert in inheritance cases, he sued the trustees of his estate for ten talents each. They and Meidias countered by getting Thrasylochus to challenge Demosthenes to an exchange of property or to pay for a warship. Demosthenes mortgaged his house to raise the twenty minae for the trireme. Arbitration failed, and he eventually won his case against Aphobas, the first of the trustees; but Demosthenes was never able to collect the ten talents.
To overcome his tendency to lisp, Demosthenes put pebbles in his mouth; by reciting speeches while running or going uphill he increased his breathing capacity for long sentences; and by practicing in front of a mirror he perfected his gestures. Demosthenes won a case against Meidias for insulting his sister and mother and damaging his house, but he did not collect on this one either. He successfully defended one of his witnesses, Phanus, who was charged with perjury. To take possession of some land he had won from Aphobus, Demosthenes had to prosecute Onetor. In another case of personal injury over these property disputes, Demosthenes accepted some money as compensation from Demomeles. For about ten years Demosthenes made a good living writing speeches for private cases, becoming more wealthy than his father had been, and he continued this work after he began making public speeches. His speech against Callicles complained that a channel in his land caused a flood on his neighbor's property.
The first public speech of Demosthenes in 355 BC was against Leptines and complained that a changed law took away deserved honors and the people's right to confer honors on others in the future for the sake of gaining only a little more revenue for the state. The same year Demosthenes spoke against Androtion for illegally getting the assembly to vote the council gold crowns even though they did not raise a single warship during their year in office. In another complicated case involving Androtion and some money from a captured Egyptian ship, Demosthenes argued against a law of Timocrates that would have allowed those refusing to pay the money to remain out on bail, although the money was handed over before the case came up.
After the Social War, Isocrates wrote his famous oration On the Peace urging the Athenians to abandon their imperialistic ambitions. Athens had recalled Chares for earning money to pay his navy by fighting for Artabazus against the Persian king, and peace with Persia was maintained. Some Athenians proposed a war with the Persian empire, but Demosthenes opposed that while recommending reforms in military procurement in his speech on the Navy Boards. Demosthenes advised against taking on alone Persian power and wealth that could hire Greek mercenaries. He proposed a complicated taxing scheme that could build a navy of 300 ships to prepare themselves militarily so that when a crisis arose, they could gain allies. Demosthenes spoke against doing wrong unless the Greeks could all together do wrong to Persia. The navy reform proposal of Demosthenes was not passed by the assembly.
When the Arcadians of Megalopolis appealed to Athens for military defense against Spartan threats, Demosthenes supported intervention, arguing that an unjust attack on Megalopolis by the Lacedaemonians could be followed by one on Messenia, which would force them to fight on the side of Thebes anyway. However, the peace policy of Eubulus prevailed; Athens did not intervene, and the Arcadians managed to hold on to their independence.
In 353 BC Aristocrates proposed in the council that the mercenary general Charidemus, who supported Cersobleptes in Thrace, be declared inviolable as the best Athenian hope to recover Amphipolis. Demosthenes opposed this decree in three ways: it was unconstitutional, an injurious policy, and the man was unworthy. The inviolability meant that if anyone killed Charidemus, any country which harbored the killer would become an enemy of Athens. This violated Athenian homicide statutes, went against the principle that everyone was equal before the law, and illegally made a decree superior to laws. Demosthenes argued that the policy was bad, because by supporting Cersobleptes Athens would alienate the other princes in the region. If Amadocus, who controlled the country, had not kept Philip's Macedonians out, Athens might have found itself at war with the Cardians and Cersobleptes. Demosthenes held that Charidemus was not worthy of such an honor and could not be trusted to support Athenian interests.
The first speech of Demosthenes warning against aggression by Philip was made in 351 BC. Though young, Demosthenes courageously spoke first on this issue. He blamed Philip's rise more on Athenian apathy than Macedonian power. Demosthenes proposed the building of fifty triremes to be manned by Athenian citizens with 2,000 men, including 500 Athenians as a raiding force in order to avoid a war of single expeditions that always arrive late, as they had at Methone, Pagasae, and Potidaea. They should not be following in the trail of events like a boxer who covers the body part that has just been hit only to get hit somewhere else, but they should learn to be in front of events. Demosthenes believed that Philip would continue to defy right in stealing their possessions and advance unless his way was impeded. If Athens did not fight him on his territory, they would have to fight him on their own. The Athenian response at this time was to send the mercenary force led by Charidemus.
The same year Rhodes asked for help from Athens against the Persian empire. Demosthenes argued they should be grateful that the states that rebelled in the Social War are now turning to them again, and he blamed King Mausolus of Caria for fomenting that earlier revolt and taking away their freedom by establishing oligarchies. Demosthenes held that fighting against dispossession and for a free state is honorable, while any friendship with oligarchies is precarious. Athens is well known for supporting democracies and freedom. They should have the same attitude toward victimized states as they would want others to have toward them if they were suffering. Demosthenes personally believed it was right to restore Rhodian democracy, but his proposal was defeated by the party of Eubulus, which wanted to avoid war with Persia.
In 349 BC when Philip demanded that Olynthus surrender his step-brother, the Olynthians appealed to Athens for aid. Demosthenes proposed that they immediately send an expeditionary force so that Philip would not take advantage of the situation. He reviewed how Philip had already captured Amphipolis, Pydna, Potidaea, Methone, Thessaly, Pherae, Pagasae, Magnesia, Thrace, Illyria, and Paeonia, and he suggested Olynthus was their best opportunity to stop his expansion. To avoid war on their own territory Demosthenes advised sending a force to support the Olynthian confederation and a second naval force to attack Macedonian territory. They should not be ashamed or lack courage to do to him what he would do to them if he could. Many opposed this proposal of Demosthenes; but they did send Chares with 2,000 mercenaries and 30 ships, which were already under his command, and they added eight more ships, though apparently supportive funds were inadequate.
In the second Olynthian oration Demosthenes reviewed the duplicity of Philip in promising Athens Amphipolis, giving Olynthus Potidaea, and giving Thessaly Magnesia while promising to go to war against Phocis. Demosthenes predicted that power rooted in greed and violence would fall into ruin; such empires only stand for a short time. People's lives must be based on truth and justice. The Macedonians will tire of the misery and hardship of marching, while their ports are closed by war. Yet Philip has thrived because of his energy, attention to detail, and opportunism, while their democracy has hesitated in deliberation. Athenian forces have not been paid for prosecuting the war and so are encouraged to capture booty elsewhere. Thus Demosthenes advised that all should contribute money according to their means; all should serve in turn on the campaigns; and all who wish to speak should be freely heard. Philip's forces began attacking the cities of the Chalcidic league, while Charidemus, who replaced Chares with 18 ships and 4,000 light infantry, went to Chalcidice but engaged in debauchery instead of prosecuting the war.
Apollodorus, for whom Demosthenes wrote several speeches, proposed using the surplus Theoric Fund; this passed unanimously, but then he was prosecuted for an illegal decree and fined one talent. So in the third Olynthian oration Demosthenes suggested they repeal such laws so that these funds could go to military purposes. Demosthenes called Philip an uncivilized intruder, an enemy in possession of their property who is at war with their friends they have promised to support; yet the Athenians were more concerned about trivial affairs with Corinth and Megara. Demosthenes pleaded that the nation perform the tasks it commends in others. The Olynthians had requested citizen soldiers from Athens, and they sent a citizen force of 2,000 heavy infantry and 300 cavalry under Chares; but formal charges against Chares and bad weather delayed the expedition. Olynthus fell to the Macedonians by treachery, and its inhabitants were sold into slavery.
Athens had problems closer to home in Euboea, where Plutarchus in Eretria was supported by Athenians such as the rich Meidias, but Demosthenes opposed an expedition. Athens sent the honest general, Phocion, who managed to triumph despite the betrayal of Plutarchus. Meidias, who had commanded cavalry and later raised a warship, out of resentment against Demosthenes, did everything he could to sabotage the chorus Demosthenes financed at the Dionysian festival, finally slugging Demosthenes in the head while he was sitting in the first row of chairs at the theatre. Demosthenes won a complaint and prepared a criminal prosecution against Meidias, but he eventually accepted a settlement of half a talent.
Demosthenes participated in the peace embassy to Philip, which resulted in the Peace of Philocrates in 346 BC. In a speech on this peace Demosthenes argued that he did not realize that Philip would attack Phocis afterward, and he advised them not to give the Amphictyonic council any grounds for a war against Athens. Demosthenes claimed that he always worked for the national interest, because he did not put financial profit into the scale. They should avoid war, because no one else is likely to support them. While Philip was campaigning in Illyria and reorganizing Thessaly, Demosthenes was sent to make speeches in the Peloponnese.
Believing that the Athenian peace embassy had been betrayed by Philip's bribes, Demosthenes and his colleague on the council in the previous year, Timarchus, brought charges against Aeschines. Aeschines, born about 390 BC, had been an actor, fought heroically at Euboea, and was a clerk in the civil service. Like Demosthenes, he had warned against the danger of Philip's aggression. Aeschines countered the charges against him by prosecuting Timarchus for having been a prostitute, which disqualified him from public speaking; Timarchus was condemned and lost his citizenship.
Demosthenes' second Philippic speech was given in 344 BC. He suggested they needed to change their approach, because Philip succeeded in action but they only in words. They must regard Philip as their enemy and take practical measures, for his intention was clearly not justice but to control all of Greece. Thus Philip was currently giving assistance to Messene and Argos. Only Athens seemed to place goodwill to all Greece above private satisfaction. Demosthenes warned that Philip intended to fortify Elatea in Phocis, and he did capture it three years later. Demosthenes argued that because Philip believed that Athens was the main obstacle to his imperial ambitions, he cultivated anti-Athenian support among Thebans and Peloponnesians. Demosthenes tried to get these people to see farther into the future. There could be no safety for free states in being too familiar with dictators. Demosthenes told them, "Every king and tyrant is an enemy to freedom and an opponent of law. Take good care that in your eagerness to avoid war you do not acquire a despot."1 Demosthenes admitted that he had been misled by the Peace of Philocrates, and he denounced the betrayal of Thermopylae and Phocis.
The next year Demosthenes had Antiphon arrested for plotting with Philip to set fire to the Peiraeus docks. Aeschines got Antiphon released, but he was re-arrested by the Areopagus, tried, condemned, and executed. Next Philocrates was prosecuted by Hyperides for misconduct on the delegation to Macedonia and was also condemned, but he escaped death by fleeing. Hyperides was then appointed to replace Aeschines to plead the Athenian case to the Amphictyonic council on a dispute about Delos even though Aeschines had been successful. In this context Demosthenes' prosecution of Aeschines for misconduct as an ambassador was heard before a large jury of perhaps 1501 Athenians. Aeschines was acquitted by the narrow margin of thirty votes. Both the long speeches of the adversaries survive, although they were probably revised afterwards to counter arguments of the other. These speeches, which contradict each other on numerous points, are the best evidence for these diplomatic events, and without the additional evidence presented in court it is difficult to tell who is telling the truth; clearly at least one of them, and perhaps both of them, lied.
Demosthenes believed that the Athenians were hoodwinked, and he claimed he told the council that Aeschines had betrayed them after the first delegation returned from Macedonia. When it went to the assembly, Demosthenes stated that Aeschines and Philocrates stood on either side of him and, by shouting and using ridicule, would not let him speak. Demosthenes charged Aeschines as an accomplice with Philip in losing Athenian control of the Phocian position. By the time the assembly met in July 346 BC after the treaty was ratified, Philip had already taken Thermopylae. The resolution of the council was not reported, and Demosthenes was not heard. Instead, a letter from Philip, which Demosthenes alleged Aeschines wrote, was read aloud. Demosthenes tried to speak but could only say that he knew nothing about the letter and did not believe it. Philocrates then jumped up and said that the reason why he and Demosthenes did not agree was because he drank wine while Demosthenes drank water, which made everyone laugh.
Demosthenes accused Aeschines of supporting a corrupt proposal for corrupt motives. After the embassies, Aeschines participated in Philip's celebrations and drank to his health. Demosthenes complained that these negotiations resulted in Thebes becoming friendly with Philip as they gained Orchomenus, Coronea, Corsia, Tilphosaeum, and much of Phocis. He charged that Philocrates ended up with a talent of income from these allied territories, and Aeschines gained half that amount. The Thebans had looked out for their interests, but Athenian interests had been sold by Aeschines and Philocrates. After Athens swore to the treaty, Demosthenes urged the delegation, which included Aeschines, Philocrates, and himself, to sail immediately for the Hellespont; but going by land and lingering in Pella, it took them fifty days to reach Philip, who was capturing more territory in Thrace. Philip finally swore to the treaty at an inn in Pherae. Demosthenes brought a talent of money to ransom Athenians, who had been captured at Olynthus, and claimed he refused to accept money from Philip as the other delegates did, asking that it be used for ransoming. This Demosthenes explained was his only reason for associating with the delegates after they had negotiated such a bad treaty, and he refused to join the third delegation.
Demosthenes blamed them for putting Phocis and Halus outside the treaty along with Cersobleptes in Thrace. To impugn the character of Aeschines, Demosthenes related how at a drunken feast Aeschines whipped an Olynthian woman who declined to sing for them. Demosthenes felt that a plague had descended on all Greece and cited the Macedonian slaughter of mercenaries from the Phocian war hired to protect Elis in the Peloponnese. Aeschines, who was a humble clerk, had now become a proud landowner. Demosthenes summarized the misconduct of Aeschines on the embassy as siding with Philocrates instead of with what was right, accepting bribes, manipulating the time schedule and failing to carry out his instructions, deluding Athens into hoping that Philip would accept their wishes which resulted in catastrophe, and then standing by Philip in spite of the warnings.
In defending himself Aeschines began by noting that the Athenians refused to listen to Demosthenes' allegation about the Olynthian woman which he flatly denied. He satirized Demosthenes as standing alone in the interest of Athens, while all the rest were traitors. In the narration of Aeschines the whole business originated with Demosthenes and Philocrates. When they met with Philip, Aeschines described how Demosthenes after much bravado could not speak at all and then behaved disgracefully at a dinner. Demosthenes was supposed to deal with the issue of Amphipolis, but instead he suggested an agreement with Philip and the normal compliments at the Prytaneum Demosthenes had denied took place. Aeschines claimed that Philocrates was closer to Demosthenes than himself, but this contradicts what he wrote in his speech against Timarchus. Demosthenes had said that Aeschines changed his mind about the treaty over night, but Aeschines argued that on that second day Demosthenes himself proposed that they vote without a debate, and he had the decree of Demosthenes read as evidence.
Aeschines argued that he had helped to unite Arcadia with the rest of Greece against Philip. Then arranging peace with Philip he thought was much more honorable than war. He warned that if diplomats have to face investigation and prosecution, no one will want to sit at a peace conference, and wars will be unrelenting. Philip agreed not to invade the Chersonese and kept his word on that. Aeschines charged that Demosthenes, not himself, had excluded Cersobleptes' deputy from swearing to the treaty as an ally of Athens. He presented evidence that Cersobleptes had lost his Thracian kingdom several days before the decree ordering the oath to the treaty. Aeschines accused Demosthenes of being pro-Theban, and he claimed that Demosthenes intentionally shut his eyes to Philip's going to Thermopylae.
On the second embassy Aeschines told how Demosthenes demanded to speak first as the youngest, which is opposite to the usual procedure, and then flattered Philip in a most servile way. Aeschines described how he himself reasonably presented the Athenian concerns related to Thermopylae, Delphi, and the Amphictyonic states, urging Philip not to use force but accept arbitration. As to causing the collapse of Phocis, Aeschines attributed this to their ten-year-long war, the Phocian tyranny, and the exhaustion of the Delphic funds it had seized. Aeschines also brought in a witness to testify that Demosthenes had tried to bribe him to say that his wife had been abused by Aeschines. Finally, Aeschines took responsibility for the discussion leading to the peace, but he felt that he was being held responsible for the results expected. Aeschines concluded by calling on the support of Eubulus and Phocion; the respect these men commanded probably helped him gain the narrow acquittal.
Demosthenes' speech on the Chersonese urged Athens to prepare for war against Philip, because he had seized a number of their possessions, stirred up anti-Athenian behavior, and committed depredations against other states. Demosthenes argued for resistance to this aggression. Philip had been successful, he said, because he had been taking the initiative, using his standing army to attack wherever he liked. The interests of Athens must be defended, because it was not certain that he would not attack the Chersonese. The force led by Diopeithes needed more financial support so that they would not have to raid. If they unjustifiably exacted dues, the law allowed for indictments, but not for an expedition of triremes to watch over them, which Demosthenes considered madness. Troops were for their enemies outside their law. Demosthenes complained of the latest two tyrants Philip had installed in Euboea. Demosthenes believed that Philip was an irreconcilable enemy to free and democratic institutions. He saw his every act as aimed at Athens and their actions against Philip as defense of their country.
The financing of military operations must be organized so that Philip could be compelled to maintain peace with justice and keep in his own territory, or else they would have to meet him in warfare. Demosthenes asked why people believed that a leader in arms wrongly seizing towns was not considered to be at war, while politicians, who urged that he not be allowed to do this, were accused of making war. The only alternative Demosthenes saw to the policy of resistance and war was slavery, if the alternatives of peace and self-defense were denied them. Just as Philip seduced and attacked Thessaly and Olynthus, now Thebes was being led astray by being given control over Boeotia. Demosthenes concluded that money must be raised, their forces maintained and details corrected, and they should send representatives to all states to gather information and urge them to action.
In the third Philippic Demosthenes repeated many of these arguments, adding that Philip had encroached on Corinthian preserves at Ambracia and Leucas. He described how Philip had interfered again at Eretria and Oreus on Euboea with persuasive bribes and soldiers. Demosthenes argued they must take measures for defense with ships, money, and men. Then he declared, "Even if the whole world submits to slavery, Athens must fight for freedom. This is what we must in our own persons bring to reality and to clear vision, and then we can call upon others and send our representatives to point it out."2 He and his friends Polyeuctus, Hegesippus, and others must go to the Peloponnese, Rhodes, Chios, and even Persia to rouse alarm and call for supplies in order to unify, instruct, and incite all Greeks.
As a result of these speeches, reinforcements were sent to Diopeithes, followed by Chares, and Athenian garrisons were placed at Proconnesus and Tenedos. Demosthenes himself successfully persuaded Byzantium and Abydos to ally themselves with Athens, while Hyperides secured the alliance of Rhodes and Chios; even the Persian king sent money to Diopeithes. At the Dionysian festival of 340 BC Athenians crowned Demosthenes for his efforts. Demosthenes reformed the system for financing ship-building with graduated contributions based on property; soon the Athenian navy had 300 ships prepared for war; Demosthenes had finally persuaded the Athenians to make the Theoric Fund reserved for festivals and the poor available for military purposes.
After Demosthenes gained the military alliance of Thebes against Philip, he was crowned again in the theatre in March 338 BC. However, the Thebans and Athenians were defeated at the battle of Chaeronea during which Demosthenes fled. In 337 BC Demosthenes began serving as Theoric commissioner, and the next year Ctesiphon proposed a decree that Demosthenes be crowned once again in the theatre; but Aeschines decided to indict Ctesiphon for making an illegal proposal, which stopped the crowning although the case did not come up in court until 330 BC. Meanwhile Philip was assassinated, and Alexander destroyed Thebes, demanding that Demosthenes and other anti-Macedonian orators and generals be turned over to him. Demosthenes argued that this would be like sending the sheep-dogs to the wolves, and the assembly decided instead to send an embassy, which successfully asked for pardon. By 330 BC the patriotic party was still active, as Lycurgus prosecuted Leocrates with treason for deserting at Chaeronea, but he was narrowly acquitted. While Alexander was in Asia, Sparta's revolt against Macedonian rule was put down.
The suit Aeschines brought against Ctesiphon for proposing that Demosthenes be crowned in the theatre finally came to a trial between the two greatest orators in Greece. Never had so many been interested in a court case before. Aeschines' case rested mostly on two technical grounds. Athenian law prohibited proposing a crown for anyone still in office who had not undergone the usual examination after serving in an official position. Demosthenes was serving at the time as superintendent of the walls and receiving ten talents to execute this function. Secondly, the law ordered that a crown conferred by the council must be proclaimed in the council and one proposed by the people in the assembly. Aeschines argued that such awards had been banned in the theatre, because many false or minor awards had been presented there before all Greece, and it had become a nuisance and misrepresentation. However, the third argument that Demosthenes was not worthy of this honor was what got the most attention, and on this apparently the jurors voted.
Aeschines charged that their misfortunes in Athens were caused by Demosthenes. He accused Demosthenes of having been elected to the council in 348 BC by bribery so that he could second the efforts of Philocrates. Aeschines held Demosthenes' rhetoric responsible for pushing through the unpopular peace treaty with Philip, the terms of which had been worded by Philocrates. Aeschines argued that when Demosthenes saw that the peace treaty was going to be unpopular, he decided to betray his friends and his principles in order to further his reputation and show that he was a true patriot. Promoting hostility, Demosthenes resisted peace overtures from Philip, quarreled over the words "giving" and "giving back" in regard to Halonnesus, and by awarding crowns to delegates from Thessaly and Magnesia broke the peace and precipitated war and disaster. Aeschines believed that Demosthenes' efforts to make a strong and independent Euboea were against the interests of Athens and were done because he was bribed by Callias of Chalcis; Aeschines complained that Oreus was expected to pay its contribution to Callias instead of to Athens. He also charged that Demosthenes received a talent from the tyrant Cleitarchus of Eretria while the democracy in Oreus paid him interest on one talent.
When Demosthenes was elected to represent Athens on the Amphictyonic council, Aeschines accused him of accepting a bribe of twenty minae from the Amphissans and another twenty minae per year after that. In forming the alliance with Thebes, whom Demosthenes represented as their consul in Athens, Aeschines felt that Demosthenes had put all of Boeotia into the hands of the Thebans, while two-thirds of the war budget had to be paid by Athens and only one-third by Thebes, whose danger was much greater; this he also attributed to bribery. Then Demosthenes had ten thousand mercenaries stationed out of the way at Amphissa in spite of Aeschines' protests and objections in the assembly. According to Aeschines, Demosthenes "swore that anyone who advocated peace with Philip should be hauled off to prison by the hair."3 He compared it to when Cleophon had refused peace with Sparta near the disastrous end of the Peloponnesian War. Demosthenes shamed the Thebans into abandoning peace and mobilizing by saying they would be traitors to Greece if they did not.
Yet after the disastrous battle in which he ran away like a coward, Demosthenes was chosen to give the funeral oration and dared to praise the courage of the dead. Aeschines asked why should Athens crown a man for virtue and bravery who is a coward and a deserter. How could they present him to the people he made orphans? The theatre of Dionysus should not be used to present a trophy of Athenian defeat, not to mention the miseries of the Thebans, who were driven from their homes because of the bribery of Demosthenes and Persian gold. Aeschines referred to the old Solonian law that cowardice and desertion deserve penalties, and thus he argued it certainly forbids a crown and public ceremonies. Receiving early intelligence from Charidemus of Philip's death, Demosthenes pretended to have a divine dream, and he put on a white robe and crown to celebrate illegally even though his only daughter had died seven days before.
Shortly before Alexander crossed over to Asia, the Persian king sent three hundred talents of gold to the Athenians, which they refused. However, Aeschines accused Demosthenes of taking seventy talents and getting away with it. Then he criticized Demosthenes for not giving five talents to help the Thebans remove the Macedonian mercenaries from the citadel at Thebes or nine talents to help the Arcadians in the Spartan revolt, while Demosthenes himself lived in wealth and they were beset with dangers. Aeschines concluded that they should not give a gold crown to an opponent of Greece who is in the service of Persia.
In his speech on the crown Demosthenes gave his response. He pointed out the long delay in time which allowed Aeschines to accumulate charges, abuse, and distortions. Once again Demosthenes noted that Philocrates was more closely associated with Aeschines than himself in the peace treaty, that he urged the delegates to sail at once to get Philip's oath sooner, and that it was Aeschines who accepted land in Boeotia and sold out to Philip and the Thebans. After the treaty Aeschines went again to Macedonia, and Demosthenes called him a hired employee of Philip and Alexander. For Demosthenes the larger question was what Athens' policy should be, faced with Philip's continued machinations to achieve tyranny over the Greek world. Demosthenes saw the whole world being enslaved by Philip, stood against him, and gave continual warnings and admonitions not to allow it. He was responsible for sending forces to save the Chersonese and Byzantium, while representatives of the tyrants Cleitarchus and Philistides stayed with Aeschines, who sponsored them.
Demosthenes noted that a crown had been awarded to him before, and Aeschines made no indictment against the proposer. When Demosthenes passed a law compelling the rich to fulfill their obligations and relieve the troubles of the poor and enabling the country to equip itself, a similar indictment was brought against him; he was acquitted, and the accuser did not even get the minimum votes needed to avoid a penalty. Leaders of committees offered him much at this time, but he refused to back down from his just obligations. At home he did not favor the rich at the expense of the poor, and abroad he did not pursue good relations with Philip at the expense of the common interests of Greeks.
Demosthenes argued that an examination of his office was not relevant, because he was being honored for his gift while he controlled the Theoric Fund; also when he was commissioner of the walls, he waived his expenses and made no charge for them. He argued it was intolerable to forbid an office-holder from presenting property to the state, or instead of showing gratitude to investigate him. He should be held to account for his offices but not for what gained him the crown. Demosthenes noted that there have been hundreds of such proclamations in the theatre, and he believed they were beneficial to stimulate patriotic action. For this reason the state enacted a law that excepted decrees of the people or the council which thus may be so proclaimed.
When Philip sent Pytho to Athens to discredit them, Demosthenes claimed he showed that Philip was wrong, while Aeschines put forward false evidence for Philip and against Athens. Later Aeschines was caught with the spy Anaxinus at Thraso's house. Then he recounted how Aeschines was bribed to betray Athens on the Amphictyonic council by claiming the Amphissans' farming their own land was sacrilege, which led to the council appointing Philip as leader in preference to raising money for this war, enabling Philip to come down and seize Elatea. Demosthenes thanked heaven that Thebes had a change of heart; then he claimed that if any individual should be given credit for that, it was he. He described the panic in Athens at the news about Elatea and how he spoke in the assembly for mobilizing, and all men of military age marched to Eleusis. He then suggested they make no demands on Thebes in securing an alliance with them. Demosthenes asked how much worse Athens might have fared if it had not been for the battle that took place three-days distance from Attica. Did Aeschines have any better policy to offer? Rather Aeschines and his party had brought their nearest neighbors in Megara, Thebes, and Euboea closer to enmity than to friendship, while Demosthenes secured their assistance along with that of Achaea, Corinth, Leucas, and Corcyra, which all together raised 15,000 mercenary troops and 2,000 citizen cavalry.
Philip had achieved his successes with his army and by corrupting politicians with bribery that defeats the man who accepts it. Demosthenes believed that by refusing such bribes, in him at least, Athens was undefeated. After the battle at Chaeronea, the Athenians voted for the defense measures proposed by Demosthenes and elected him grain commissioner, while Aeschines went on a delegation to Philip. Demosthenes argued that his policies were approved, since in the impeachments against him the prosecutors did not even get the minimum vote. In astonishment Demosthenes declared that a man, who could accuse him of supporting Philip, was capable of any assertion imaginable. Demosthenes summarized his strategy as using Euboea as a defense for Attica on the sea, Boeotia on the mainland, and the Peloponnesians there, while maintaining the grain route to Peiraeus along the coasts and in the Chersonese and depriving the enemy of their sources of power.
The Athenians clearly supported Demosthenes over Aeschines, who in failing to receive one-fifth of the vote was subject to penalties for a malicious prosecution. Rather than pay a fine of ten minae and lose his rights, Aeschines went to Ephesus and later Rhodes, where he taught rhetoric. Nevertheless in Athens the non-resistance party remained strong, as Phocion was re-elected general every year, and Demades retained his power in the assembly. Demosthenes had tried to form a league to oppose Alexander and wrote letters to Persia inciting them to war against Macedonia. However, when Alexander had appeared in Boeotia with his army, the Athenians abandoned the Thebans and sent ambassadors to Alexander; but Demosthenes lost heart, turned back at Cithaeron, and left the embassy.
When Harpalus took 5,000 talents from Alexander's treasure in Persia and came to Athens with 6,000 mercenaries, Demosthenes advised Athens not to join his revolt; he proposed they confine Harpalus and hold the money for Alexander. Harpalus said he had 700 talents, but only 350 was deposited at the Acropolis. In regard to the missing money, Demosthenes proposed that those who brought it back should not be punished, and the council should investigate. When Alexander demanded that the Greek states recognize his divinity in 324 BC, Demosthenes opposed it. Then Alexander required that the Greek cities obey his announcement that all exiles should be allowed to return. Demosthenes also opposed this violation of their autonomy, and his election to represent Athens at the Olympic festival showed his popularity. There he saw enough danger to change his mind about the symbolic divinity issue, saying that Alexander could be son of Zeus or son of Poseidon for all he cared.
Demosthenes was charged by his enemies with accepting money from Harpalus, and the council reported that he had received twenty talents of the missing money. In his trial Demosthenes asked for a detailed accounting of the sums he had received and from whom, and he argued that the council was trying to please Alexander by prosecuting him; he was convicted, fined fifty talents, and put in prison until he could pay. It has been reasonably argued by scholars that he may have used some of this money to prepare for war, just as he had used Persian gold to help Thebes against Philip. Unable to bear prison at his age, Demosthenes escaped to Aegina and Troezen. After Alexander died and as the Macedonians became unpopular, the Athenian assembly voted to recall Demosthenes and paid him fifty talents to decorate an altar so that he could pay his fine. When the Athenian revolt against Macedonian rule was crushed by Antipater, Demosthenes and other patriotic orators were sentenced to death for high treason. Demosthenes took refuge in the sanctuary of Poseidon at Calaureia; but when the Macedonian soldiers refused to honor that, he poisoned himself with the ink in a quill, dying in 322 BC.
Endeavoring to have his son Alexander educated by persuasion rather than by compelling him, Philip arranged for Aristotle to tutor Alexander for three years. Then Philip appointed Alexander regent in Macedonia at the age of 16 while he campaigned against the Byzantines. The young prince led his soldiers against the rebellious Maedi, took their chief town, drove out the "barbarians," and planting a colony there, renamed it after himself. At the battle of Chaeronea Alexander was said to be the first man to charge the Thebans' Sacred Band. After the quarrel following Philip's wedding to Cleopatra, Alexander took his mother Olympia to Epirus and went himself to Illyria. A Corinthian named Demaratus persuaded Philip to recall his son. Afraid of being cut out of the succession when his half-brother Arrhidaeus was betrothed to a Carian princess, Alexander offered himself as a husband to her without even consulting his father, which brought a severe reprimand and the banishment of his friends Harpalus, Nearchus, Erigyius, and Ptolemy. Many have blamed Olympia for urging Pausanias to murder Philip. Alexander immediately took power and informed the army that only the name of the king had changed to Alexander III.
Faced with many challenges to the empire Philip had established, Alexander acted quickly and decisively. He sent Hecataeus to Asia to bring back Attalus if he could, or assassinate him if he was plotting against him; Attalus was killed, and Parmenio sided with Alexander. In July 335 BC Parmenio's army attacked Grynium on the Ionian coast and sold its inhabitants into slavery. Olympia has also been blamed for the death of Philip's infant son and daughter and their mother Cleopatra. Alexander got the Thessalian league and the Amphictyonic council to recognize his leadership of Greece. Thebes had driven out the Macedonian garrison from the Cadmea; but when Alexander appeared with his army, it was re-established; Athens also decided to submit. At Corinth delegates from throughout Greece elected Alexander supreme general to replace his father, and they authorized an expedition against Persia in retaliation for the invasions of a century and half before. First, however, Alexander went on a rugged campaign in Thrace against the Triballi and crossed the Danube River; about 4,500 were killed. In Illyria the young commander followed a narrow escape with a surprise attack on the Talauntines.
Most threatening was the money Persian king Darius III began sending to support rebellions in Greece. Believing Alexander was dead, Thebes revolted; although Athens publicly refused 300 talents from Persia, Demosthenes privately accepted it and sent a gift of weapons to Thebes. Alexander quickly marched his army of 30,000 soldiers and 3,000 cavalry back to Thebes in the summer of 335 BC. He demanded only that the Thebans turn over the two authors of the rebellion, and he proclaimed a pardon to all who came over to him. However, the Thebans demanded Philotas and Antipater and called on all Greeks to assert their liberty and destroy the tyrant. The enraged Alexander ordered the city stormed, and it was sacked. Much of the killing of the 6,000 Thebans was done by the Phocians, Plataeans, and other Boeotians who resented past Theban hegemony; 500 Macedonians were also killed. 30,000 Thebans were captured and either sold into slavery or ransomed for a total of 440 talents. The war council voted to raze the city for having supported the Persians in their historic invasion. According to Plutarch, Alexander felt severe remorse for his harsh treatment of Thebes and after that always treated Thebans generously, but for the Greeks the annihilation of a large and historic city left them with a bitter hatred toward Alexander and his Macedonians.
Alexander demanded the surrender of ten Athenian political leaders including Demosthenes and Lycurgus, and Phocion suggested they make the sacrifice for the good of the city. However, he and Demades, who reportedly was bribed with five talents by Demosthenes, sent a diplomatic mission. Alexander, swayed by his late father's respect for Phocion, settled for the banishment of Charidemus and Ephialtes. Later Alexander sent Phocion a hundred talents; but Phocion, who lived simply, preferred to keep his honor and sent it back to show the Greek world that the one who could afford to give such a gift was not as rich as he who could refuse it. Phocion did plead for four men under arrest at Sardis, and Alexander released them.
Alexander crossed the Hellespont into Asia in the spring of 334 BC with about 32,000 soldiers and 5,000 cavalry. He visited Troy, and because of his admiration for Achilles and other heroes of the Trojan war, Alexander commanded that Ilion should be a favored city with self-government and immunity from taxation. About 40,000 Persians and Greek mercenaries tried to stop the Macedonians at the Granicus River. In hand-to-hand fighting Alexander killed the son-in-law of Darius, Mithridates, while Cleitus may have saved Alexander's life in killing Spithridates. According to Diodorus more than 10,000 Persian infantry and 2,000 of their cavalry were killed, and 20,000 were captured, while the Macedonians lost less than a hundred men. Alexander made no administrative changes in the satrapy of Phrygia except to put Callas in charge.
Alexander then marched to Sardis; as the Lydians submitted, he restored their ancestral constitution after two centuries of Persian rule since the conquest of Cyrus. He appointed Parmenio's brother Asander satrap there and set out to establish democracies in Ionia, causing the oligarchs to support Persia and admit Persian garrisons. In Ephesus Alexander's army broke up the oligarchy and ordered their tribute to Persia to go instead to the temple of Artemis. When the Ephesians began stoning the oligarchs to death, Alexander ordered it stopped lest they kill the innocent along with the guilty out of hatred or to seize their property. Miletus was stormed with Macedonian siege engines, while the Macedonian fleet of 160 ships blockaded the harbor. Alexander persuaded 300 Greek mercenaries, who had escaped to an island, to surrender and serve as his soldiers. Avoiding a sea battle with the Persians' powerful Phoenician fleet of 400 ships, Alexander disbanded his fleet but spent the next two years seizing and blockading all the strong ports in the eastern Mediterranean with land forces.
The mercenary Greek general Memnon sent his wife and children to the Persian court and was entrusted with command of the Persian army concentrated at Halicarnassus. Marching there, Alexander won over many cities with kind treatment and by granting the Greek ones independence and exemption from taxation while assuring them that freedom of the Greeks was the purpose of his expedition. The Athenian general Ephialtes and other mercenaries fighting for Halicarnassus were killed. When Halicarnassus was set on fire and abandoned by Memnon, Alexander appointed Ada queen of Caria, while she adopted him as a son. He gained popularity by sending his recently married soldiers back to Macedonia for the winter; they and additional recruits were to meet him at Gordion, where it was said that whoever loosened the knot would rule Asia. Alexander showed his usual impatience and penchant for violence; when he could not untangle the famous knot on a wagon, he drew his sword and cut it.
Not finding resistance in Lycia, Alexander left their confederation in place. Tribute that had gone before to Persia was now called contributions, supplying the Macedonian invaders. Memnon went to sea and took Chios and most of Lesbos but died of illness while besieging Mytilene. Charidemus advised King Darius that a 100,000 soldiers would be adequate if a third of them were Greek mercenaries; but suspicion, mistrust and a quarrel led Darius to have Charidemus put to death instead of putting him in charge. Moving south toward Cilicia, the Macedonian cavalry arrived at Tarsus before it could be destroyed. Parched by the summer sun, Alexander went swimming in the cold Cydnus River and caught pneumonia. A letter from Parmenio warned him that his physician Philip was going to poison him for the reward offered by Darius; but Alexander drank the medicine as he gave Philip the letter; he went through a crisis but recovered.
The army of Darius found the sick the Macedonians had left behind in Issus and killed them. Following the Macedonian army, Darius ordered the stragglers' hands cut off and their arms cauterized so that they could go and report about the size of the Persian army. Alexander turned back and was pleased to encounter the massive Persian army estimated at 400,000 infantry and 100,000 cavalry away from a broad plain. Once again the Persians waited behind a river for the Macedonian attack. Alexander was wounded in the leg, but Darius abandoned his chariot and fled on a horse. As the Persian cavalry retreated, followed by the running soldiers, it became a rout. The opulent accommodations of Darius with his mother, wife, and children were captured. A king himself, Alexander graciously treated them as royalty. About 100,000 of the Persian infantry and 10,000 cavalry were killed, while the Macedonians had less than 300 killed. Alexander sent Parmenio for the Persian treasury in Damascus that amounted to 2,600 talents in coins and 500 talents of silver.
Darius wrote Alexander a letter offering 10,000 talents as a ransom for his family and expressing his willingness to make a treaty of alliance and friendship. Alexander wrote back complaining of the previous Persian invasions and accusing Darius of offering rewards for assassins to kill his father and himself, of inciting the Greeks against him, and of gaining his throne by murder. He characterized Darius as the aggressor in an unholy war and himself as acting in self-defense. He declared himself lord of Asia and was willing to return the family of Darius if he would recognize him as such; otherwise they would have to fight.
Next Syria capitulated to Alexander's army except for the island fortress of old Tyre, which refused him permission to sacrifice there to Heracles; they killed his heralds and threw their bodies into the sea. This violation of international conventions outraged Alexander, and his men took six months to build a mole across the half mile of ocean. The Carthaginians promised to help Phoenician Tyre, but with a Syracusan army camped outside of Carthage they could do no more than accept some of the women and children. Realizing he needed control of the sea and Tyre to safely take Egypt and march east to Babylon, Alexander soon won over the fleet of Cyprus with its 120 ships and gained other ships in the area. Finally the Macedonians stormed Tyre, killing 8,000; only those who had taken refuge in the temple of Heracles were spared; then 2,000 men were crucified, and thousands were sold into slavery.
Darius now raised the ransom to 20,000 talents and offered territory west of the Halys River with his daughter in marriage, but Alexander declined to accept what he already had. Rules, he said, were made by the victors and must be accepted by the defeated. Now Palestine submitted, but the eunuch king Betis in Gaza also tried to hold out. A huge ramp was built; Alexander was wounded in the shoulder; and it was said that the slaughter was even greater than that of Tyre. According to Curtius, angry at the defiance of Betis, Alexander had him dragged from his chariot around the city until he died in imitation of what Achilles had done to the corpse of Hector.
In Greece Spartan king Agis used Persian money to hire 8,000 mercenaries, who had fled from Cilicia, and with Phoenician ships they captured most of Crete. Amyntas, who had fled Macedonia and joined the Persians in Cilicia, escaped from the battle of Issus with 4,000 mercenaries, took the best ships of the Persian's Phoenician fleet at Tripolis and burned the rest. Amyntas gathered more forces at Cyprus, and claiming he was replacing the Egyptian satrap, who had been killed at Issus, he then attacked the Egyptians at Memphis; but as they were looting the country, Amyntas and all his men were killed by the Egyptians. Meanwhile Antigonus, commanding in Lydia, won three battles against the Persians. The Macedonian fleet held the Hellespont and recaptured Miletus and Mytilene. Most of the cities on Lesbos came over voluntarily. Pharnabazus had taken money from the Milesians and garrisoned Chios; he was made a prisoner when Chios was retaken, but later he escaped.
The Macedonian army and navy then went to Egypt, where the Persian satrap Mazaces surrendered it with 800 talents of gold to Alexander at Pelusium. At Memphis Alexander sacrificed to the Egyptian gods and held athletic games and poetical contests in the Greek manner. He ordered the Athenians captured at Granicus released and sent Amphoterus and a hundred Phoenician and Cypriot ships to counter the Spartan revolt in the Peloponnese. Alexander marched eight days through the desert, replenished by a timely rain, in order to get confirmation from the priests of Amen-Re that he was the son of Amen-Zeus and would rule the world; they did not disappoint him. Plutarch noted though that the Egyptian philosopher Psammon taught that all people are governed by God, who is in all and chief. Thus God is the common father of us all but especially of the best. Next to the island of Pharos, Alexander founded the city named after himself and had a causeway built with a harbor on each side. Alexandria was to be a Greek city to replace the commercial center of Phoenician Tyre; he also invited a Jewish colony to settle in a quarter there, where they could preserve their customs.
After a respite in Tyre Alexander marched his army east, crossing the Euphrates and then the Tigris rivers. After nearly two years of captivity, the wife of Darius died in child-birth. The grief-stricken Darius offered Alexander all territory west of the Euphrates River and 30,000 talents, which Parmenio suggested they accept; but Alexander wanted all of the Persian empire and refused. He argued that as the order of the earth could not be preserved if there were two suns, the inhabited world would not be calm and free from war so long as two kings ruled.
On the broad plain of Gaugamela the army of the Persian empire estimated at a million men waited, though many scholars believe these numbers are greatly exaggerated. Alexander, whose army numbered 7,000 cavalry and about 40,000 infantry, declined Parmenio's suggestion that they attack at night, because he did not want Darius to have that excuse so that he might try again. This rumor may have kept most Persians awake, while Alexander slept well the morning of the battle, because he was relieved that he would no longer have to search for the Persian army in a parched land. Although their baggage was attacked, Alexander closed in on Darius, and according to Diodorus threw a javelin that killed the driver of Darius, causing some Persians to retreat because they feared their king had fallen. So many dead bodies surrounded the royal chariot that unable to move, Darius mounted a horse and once again fled the battle. An estimated 300,000 Persians were killed, and even more were captured. The Macedonians lost several hundred men and had many more wounded. The air was so polluted by the corpses that the Macedonians immediately left the area.
Darius fled to Media, while Ariobarzanes led the remainder of the army south to Persia. In October 331 BC Alexander marched his forces into Babylon, where Mazaeus, in exchange for being kept on as satrap, had agreed to give them a friendly welcome. Alexander ordered all persecuted religions revived and ordered their temples rebuilt. In Susa Philoxenus secured the surrender and treasure, which amounted to about 50,000 talents, before Alexander even got there. In the middle of winter Alexander pushed on over the mountains toward Persepolis but was completely blocked at the rocky Persian Gates by Ariobarzanes and his 40,000 troops. However, Alexander found guides to take him around behind, and in a surprise attack the Macedonians killed and scattered the Persian defenders. At Persepolis they found an enormous treasury of 120,000 talents, and Alexander allowed the Macedonians to loot the capital so wildly that they were injuring and killing each other over the spoils; women no longer worth ransoming were stripped and raped, and Alexander had to order such behavior stopped.
Although he surely wanted to capture Darius, Alexander stayed in Persepolis for several months, probably hoping to celebrate the new year as the new king of kings; but the Zoroastrian priests apparently refused to cooperate. So at a drunken feast an Athenian courtesan suggested they burn the place down in revenge for the burning of Athens by the Persians a century and a half before, and Alexander lit the first flame and she the second; this capital of the Persian empire was never rebuilt. In the late spring Alexander went on to Ecbatana, where he dismissed the troops of the Hellenic league with generous rewards and offered even more, three talents each, to any who wished to enlist in his imperial army. The cavalry was no longer organized by tribes and nations, but men were assigned to units of their choosing without regard to race. The most valorous were selected by Alexander as chiliarchs to command units of a thousand men. As he continued to pursue Darius, the Bactrian viceroy Bessus, Arachotian viceroy Barsaentes, and cavalry commander Nabarzanes took Darius prisoner, hoping to offer him to Alexander; but they had to kill the king and flee when they were being defeated in battle.
Back in Greece in the fall of 331 BC Spartan king Agis' army of 22,000 Spartans, Arcadians, and mercenaries had 5,300 killed in one battle near Megalopolis, as Antipater's Macedonian army, after dealing with Thrace, defeated the revolt. Antipater sent back to Alexander the remainder of the mercenaries, who likely added to the resentment in the army at Bactria. Meanwhile Aristotle's studies were benefiting from the 800 talents Alexander had authorized for research.
While Bessus fled to Bactria, Alexander inspired his troops to follow him, and they pursued the Persians into the region of the Caspian Sea, where Nabarzanes and the Greek mercenaries capitulated. Those mercenaries, who had joined Persian forces before the Hellenic council pledged support for Macedonia, were released; the others were compelled to serve in Alexander's army for the same pay Darius had given them. Bessus began calling himself Artaxerxes as the great king and tried to rally support. The Macedonians marched into Drangiana as its defenders scattered, and the new capital of Alexandria Areion was founded; the fleeing satrap Barsaentes was surrendered by the Indians and executed. Alexander learned of a plot to kill him and had the prominent Philotas tortured for not reporting it; after he confessed, he and his father Parmenio, the most experienced and powerful commander Alexander had, were killed. The others implicated in the plot were stoned to death in the traditional Macedonian way. The Lyncestrian Alexander, who had been a prisoner under suspicion for three years, was killed with lances when he was unable to make his case.
After wintering in more southern regions, Alexander crossed the Caucasus mountains to enter Bactria, where Bessus laid waste the country and fled across the Oxus River. The Sogdian leaders Spitamenes and Dataphernes gave up Bessus to Alexander, who asked the usurper why he had seized and killed his king, Darius. His reply that he hoped to win the conqueror's favor was to no avail, and Bessus was eventually sentenced and punished according to Persian law to mutilation and crucifixion. In Sogdiana Menedemus was ambushed, and 2,000 Macedonian soldiers and 300 cavalry were killed by Spitamenes' Dahae. Alexander suppressed this bad news by threatening any survivors with death if they mentioned it. The Scythians tried to persuade the conqueror to be more friendly with the following speech:
As for you, you proudly claim that you come in pursuit of bandits, but to all the people you have visited you are the bandit. You took Lydia; you over-ran Syria; you are in control of Persia; you have the Bactrians in your power; you have set your course for India. Now you are stretching out your greedy, insatiable hands toward our flocks. Why do you need riches? They merely stimulate your craving for more. You are the first man ever to have created hunger by having too much - so that the more you have the keener your desire for what you do not have. Do you not realize how long you have been delayed around Bactria? While you have been subjugating the Bactrians, the Sogdians have commenced hostilities. In your case victory spawns further war. No matter how far you surpass others in power and strength, the fact remains that nobody wants a foreign master.4
This wise Scythian went on to argue that if he is a god, then it is his duty to confer benefits on mortal men, not steal their possessions from them. If he did not attack, he could rely on firm friendship between equals; but there can be no friendship between master and slave; even in peacetime they are at war. The Scythians are his neighbors in both his empires. The Scythian concluded by asking Alexander if he wanted to be enemies or friends. Though wounded in the neck, Alexander led his forces against the Scythians and crushed them in battle, convincing many Asians that if the Scythians could not, no race could match Macedonian arms
Alexander thus fixed the northeastern limit of his empire between Sogdiana and the Scythians, but to do so he had to overpower seven fortresses and the Massagatae and Scythian tribes. Alexander returned to Bactria, where he was reinforced by 8,000 Greeks sent by Antipater and a total of 12,000 infantry with 2,000 cavalry brought from Lycia, Syria, and Thrace. At Samarkand Alexander, overcome with wine and anger in a quarrel, murdered his foster-brother Cleitus, who had saved his life at Granicus. The repentant Alexander was stopped from committing suicide and became severely depressed. The sophist Anaxarchus argued that as a god he could make his own laws, causing Alexander to question the austere philosophy of Callisthenes. Macedonian resentment of his adopting Persian ways was growing. Alexander was trying to mix and balance Greek and Persian customs; he ordered 30,000 Persian boys to be taught the Greek language and trained in Macedonian military discipline. He allowed the Milesians to massacre all the inhabitants of Branchidae, because their distant ancestors had betrayed Miletus to the Persians, though some scholars have denied this atrocity took place or that it was sanctioned by Alexander.
The Scythians finally killed Spitamenes, and Alexander fell in love with and married Roxane, the daughter of Oxyartes. Aristotle's nephew Callisthenes, whose reports glorified the conquest but whose frankness and refusal to do prostrate obeisance to Alexander irritated the Macedonian king, was connected to a conspiracy of some pages led by Hermolaus to kill Alexander. The pages were tried by the army for treason and executed, while Callisthenes was imprisoned and died in custody.
Alexander's Invasion of India is discussed in Political and Social Ethics of India.
After going in 1800 ships down the Indus River to the Indian Ocean, Alexander marched his army of 30,000 men through the horrendous Gedrosian desert, while Nearchus led the ships along the coast. They met at Kirman where they were joined by Craterus and his troops, who had suppressed a revolt in Arachosia. Back in Persia, Alexander had to replace several satraps, who had misbehaved as though they had expected him never to return. Six hundred soldiers from the garrison of Media were executed for having plundered temples and sepulchers; the Persian rebel leaders captured by Craterus were killed the same day. Alexander even had the generous Persian satrap Orsines killed, because he was resented by his homosexual lover Bagoas; Phradates was executed on mere suspicion of coveting the throne. The treasurer Harpalus had squandered so much money on two Athenian courtesans that he absconded with 5,000 talents of silver to Cilicia, where he hired 6,000 mercenaries and eventually fled to Athens. There his gifts of grain had made him a citizen, but his money caused a scandal; he was arrested, imprisoned, and escaped only to be murdered by a companion on Crete.
At Susa Alexander married Darius' daughter Statira, as eighty of his officers wed daughters of the Persian aristocracy. With the intention of erasing the distinction between the conquered and conqueror, Alexander also rewarded 10,000 of his men who took Asian wives, and he wed a third princess in Ochus' daughter Parysatis. When the 30,000 Persian youths he had trained joined his army, many of the Macedonian veterans felt they were being replaced. Alexander attempted to prevent their mutiny with speeches, had thirteen of his most vociferous critics executed without a trial, paid their debts with 20,000 talents, gave them extra money to return to Greece, and promised to educate their Asian children.
At the Olympic games of 324 BC where 20,000 exiles had gathered, Alexander had Aristotle's son-in-law Nicanor proclaim that the Greek cities must allow their exiles to return. This order was resisted by the Aetolians because of Oeniadae and by Athenians because it meant abandoning Samos; they considered it a violation of the Hellenic league's convention of local autonomy established at Corinth, and it led to the Lamian war after Alexander's death in which these two allies were joined by 8,000 mercenaries Alexander had discharged.
Alexander was heart-broken when his closest friend Hephaestion died, and he spent more than 20,000 talents on his funeral and tomb. A month later in Babylon, Alexander himself became ill and had to postpone his next ambitious plan to invade Arabia. He died in June 323 BC shortly before his 33rd birthday after an amazing reign of only thirteen years. The similar deaths of Hephaestion and Alexander led to suspicions they were poisoned. As he lay dying, Alexander gave the ring with his seal to Perdiccas. When asked to whom he left his empire, it was reported Alexander said either, "To the strongest" or "To the best." His last words were said to predict that a great funeral contest would be held over him. Alexander's method of conquest failed to establish a stable empire, and the conflicts between his generals were to last more than a generation. He had spread the Hellenic spirit of war and exploited the accumulated treasuries of the Persian empire but at a tremendous cost in human lives and misery.
In Athens Lycurgus administered the finances for twelve years until 326 BC, rebuilding the gymnasium and stadiums, decorating the temples, enlarging the dockyards and the navy to 360 triremes and 50 quadriremes (Athens contributed twenty ships to Alexander's conquest.), reconstructing the Dionysian theatre with marble benches, setting up statues of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and protecting the texts of their plays. Lycurgus was a deadly prosecutor of crimes, but he also passed a law prohibiting Athenians from purchasing as slaves any free men captured in war. Athenian youths at 18 were trained for two years in military discipline and served as police, prison guards, and on garrison duty. A food shortage enabled Cleomenes in Egypt to raise the price of wheat so that Athens was paying sixteen drachmas a bushel instead of five. In 328 BC Demosthenes became wheat commissioner and raised money to subsidize a lower price, and grain was rationed. The foreign policy of Phocion and Demades maintained the peace; although the latter accepted gifts from Harpalus, the former did not.
Greek culture had spread early to Cyrene in Libya and as far west as Massalia (Marseilles) and to a few trading posts on the coast of Iberia (Spain). Massalia had an oligarchic republic of 600 senators elected for life and an executive council of fifteen; strangers were not allowed to carry weapons inside the city gates. In the north the Greeks went as far as the Scythians, where kings of the Pontus area struggled for power. Alexander had conquered Egypt in the south and the entire Persian empire as far as India in the east. However, the satraps and Macedonian military garrisons he established beyond Asia Minor did little to encourage democracy, and the resulting influence of Greek culture in the eastern portion of Persia and India was minimal.
1. Demosthenes, Second Philippic, tr. A. N. W. Saunders,
2. Demosthenes, Third Philippic, tr. A. N. W. Saunders, 70-71.
3. Aeschines, Against Ctesiphon, tr. A. N. W. Saunders, 150.
4. Quintus Curtius Rufus, The History of Alexander, tr. John Yardley, 7:8, p. 168-169.
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