|Hellenic History Study Guide
All dates are BC.
Hellenic history officially begins in 776, with the first Olympics (Olympiad.
In the later 700s (eight century), the Greek city-states began to found colonies. When a colony was founded, the oecist, the leader of the colonists, usually an outcast noble, took fire from the hearth of the mother-city (metropolis) and used it to start a fire in the new city’s hearth. Mother-cities and their colonies usually maintained close ties, but the colony was an independent city-state.
The first colony was (originally Pithecusae, but that did not last) Cumae (Cyme), in Italy.
The most important colony on Sicily, later the largest city in the Greek world, was Syracuse, founded by Corinth in 734 (traditionally).
In 707, the Spartans (a Dorian group) founded their only colony at Taras (Tarentum).
Sparta: According to legend, Lycurgus made the Spartan constitution in 885. Sparta was a city with a relatively small population in the Peloponnesus. It was also called Lacedaemon. Sometime during the late eighth century, the Spartans made war on the neighboring city of Messenia. A legendary Messenian hero, Aristodemus, is said to have sacrificed his daughter to save the city. Apparently his action failed as the Messenians, who outnumbered the Spartans about 10 to 1, were subjugated. The Messenians were
forced to become helots, basically the same as medieval serfs. Fear of helot revolts led the Spartans to devote their entire culture to war.
Around Greece, the aristocratic governments oppressed the common people. This led to discontent and in many Greek city-states, tyrants overthrew the governments. Tyranny in the ancient Greek sense means rule without democratic representation. Many times, tyrants were popular.
Corinth, a Dorian city just outside the Peloponessus, was ruled after the fall of its monarchy by an aristocratic family, the Bacchiads. Around 650, Cypselus, whose name means chest (according to legend he was hidden in a chest or a jar as a child to escape the Bacchiads who had heard a prophesy that Cypselus would overthrow them), overthrew them and became tyrant. Cypselus promoted colonization and trade in Corinth. He was succeeded as Corinthian ruler by his son Periander circa 620. During Periander’s rule, Corinth reached its greatest prosperity and power. It was the dominant naval power in Greece and the dominant commercial power as well.
Theagenes became tyrant of Megara c. 640.
Thrasybulus became tyrant of Miletus c. 610.
Pheidon was tyrant of Argos when they defeated the Spartans at the battle of Hysiae c 669. During his rule, Argos was the dominant power in the Peloponessus. He also introduced a system of weights and measures. Originally, he was only king, but he used his royal powers to become tyrant.
According to legend, Corinth and her colony Corcyra fought a sea-battle around 664.
Orthagoras, according to legend, established tyranny in Sicyon. Cleisthenes succeeded him c. 590, and brought Sicyon to its greatest power and prosperity. Cleisthenes’ daughter Agariste married a descendant of Megacles.
On Mytiline, the Penthilid family was replaced by a succession of tyrants, including Myrsilus and Pittacus.
Athens, later the second largest-city in the Greek world, was in a region called Attica. Early on, Synoecism, a process of combining political entities into one, gave Athenian citizenship and rights to all the inhabitants of Attica.
In 632, Cylon attempted to establish tyranny. He was besieged on the Acropolis, the hill in the middle of Athens, and killed by Megacles. The Athenians felt that this was unjust and Megacles’ family, the Alcmaeonids, was stigmatized by his action for generations. In 621, Draco laid out Athens’ law code. It is from his name that we get the term Draconian (harsh).
Sparta never had a tyrant. Their government was organized like this:
2 kings, with some power over each other, similar to Rome’s consuls.
5 ephors, who could exercise some control over the king, were chosen out of the Gerousia. Two ephors had to accompany kings on campaign.
The Gerousia was a counsel of 30 noblemen including the kings, all (except possibly the kings) over the age of sixty. It corresponded to the Roman senate.
Finally, there was an assembly of all citizens called the Apella that had some power. A Spartan was not able to vote in the Apella until he was thirty and out of military service.
A Spartan newborn was examined to see if it was fit. If not, it was killed. At the age of seven, Spartan boys were taken from their mothers and put in a group camp with other boys up to the age of 18. Conditions were harsh and many more died. The boys would organize into packs, ruled by older boys.
Women were given more rights in Sparta than in other Greek city-states. They participated in athletics. They could hold property and manage their husbands’ lands. They could testify in court. They had all the rights of the men accept the right to vote or hold office in the government.
The Sacred War: Occurred c. 590. Crisa, a Phocian town near Delphi, the site of the main oracle of Greece and Asia Minor, tried to dominate Delphi by levying fees on visitors to the oracle. The Delphians appealed to the earliest Greek league, the Amphictionic League (or Delphic Amphictony), for help. The League, which included many peoples, including Boeotians, Athenians, and Dorians sent help.The ruins of the city Crisa were dedicated to Apollo, the god worshipped at Delphi.
Some other athletic games were established around this time:
The Pythian games at Delphi for Apollo.
The Isthmian games at Corinth for Poseidon.
The Nemean games at Cleonae (near Argos) for Zeus.
Solon: Athenian statesman and poet. Archon from 594-593. After his archonship, he went into voluntary exile.
Early reforms before Solon: Athens began to be turned from an aristocracy into a timocracy, where classes are determined by wealth instead of birth. Solon continued this process.
Solon’s Refoms: Solon’s first act, and perhaps his most important, was the seisachtheia, which canceled enslavement for debt. Solon changed Athenian currency. Solon changed the selection of public officers to lot and election, instead of just election.
After Solon’s reforms, two political parties formed: the Plains, which opposed the democratic institutions of Solon, and the Coast, which liked them.
In 561, Athens finally got a tyrant. His name was Pisistratus. He formed a new political party, the Hill. He was thrown-out and restored several times. He paved the way for the end of the Hektemoroi class, the labourers, by giving them land. Athens began to grow in power and expanded its territory during Pisistratus’ rule. Athens added Salamis and fought a war with Megara. Pisistratus also purified the sacred island of Delos and instituted the Panatheniac feast.
Sparta meanwhile conquered Tegea, after receiving advice from the oracle and hearing about the bones of Orestes being in Tegea. Sparta then defeated Argos and became the dominant city in the Peloponnesus. Sparta also formed the Peloponnesian League, which it headed.
Back in Athens, Pisistratus died in 528 (maybe 527). His sons Hippias and Hipparchus succeeded him. In 514, Harmodius and Aristogiton assassinated Hipparchus, because Hipparchus had slighted Harmodius’ sister by not allowing her to carry a basket in the Panatheniac procession. In 510, the Spartan king Cleomenes invaded Athens at the invitation of the exiled Alcmaeonids, to whom Hippias and Pisistratus were only loosely connected. Hippias was forced out of power and exiled to Persia. This act is very important because it established Sparta as the most prestigious state in all of Greece and
also paved the way for the beginning of true democracy in Athens. Cleomenes dominated Sparta and to a lesser extent, all of Greece from 510 to his death in 490. After ruining the career of the other Spartan king, Demaratus, who was exiled to Persia, Cleomenes went insane and killed himself. Leonidas and Leotychidas became the new kings.
Now we must digress and talk about Asia Minor. The Ionian Greeks had established colonies in Asia Minor around 1000. Like the rest of Greece, they were city-states.
In the 700s (or maybe 7th century), the Lydians, a people in central Asia Minor, developed coins. This made them very wealthy. Under Croesus, whose wealth is proverbial, they conquered the Greek cities of Asia Minor. Meanwhile, Cyrus the Great founded the Persian Empire. Croesus wanted to attack Persia so he asked the oracle. The oracle replied that if he attacked Persia, a great empire would be destroyed. He attacked, but in the battle, the Persians prevailed and annexed his kingdom. So the Persians came to rule the Ionian Greeks (during the 540s). In 520, the Persians conquered part of Thrace, gaining them a foothold into Greece.
In Athens, with Hippias gone, a man named Cleisthenes (different from the Sicyonian tyrant) set down reforms that made Athens a true democracy. He was an Alcmaeonid.
He re-organized the Athenian people into 3 regions, 30 trittyes, and 10 tribes.
He created a new council, the Boule, which contained 500 members, fifty from each tribe. The members were determined by lot. The powers of the Ecclesia were increased and the ten generals (one from each tribe), called strategoi, elected by the assembly each year became more important than the polemarch. The archons and Areopagus became basically empty of power. Athens over the 500s began to replace Corinth as the dominant commercial power in Greece. Democracy in Athens = 508.
The Persian Empire faced a crisis in the succession when the son of Cyrus, Cambyses, died without an heir. Darius I (the Great), leader of the king’s bodyguards, seized the throne. Many peoples subject to Persian rule used the confusion to revolt. Among the rebels were the Greek Ionian cities. The Ionian Greeks were ethnically related to the Athenians. A leader of Miletus, the most powerful Ionian city, Aristagoras, appealed to Athens for aid in the revolt. The Athenians sent some money, troops and supplies. In 497, Ionian Greek rebels sacked Sardis, the former Lydian capital and the Persian provincial
capital for the region. The Persians responded by defeating the Ionians at the battle of Lade in 494, crushing the revolt. The Persians resolved to punish Athens for aiding the rebels.
The Persian general Mardonius conquered all of Thrace and Macedonia in 492. In 490, Darius sent his general, Datis, with 30,000 men to punish Athens. They intended to install Hippias as leader in Athens again. As the Persians bore down on Athens, the Athenians sent the runner Philippides (or Phidippides) to ask Sparta for help, but they were involved with a religious festival and could not send assistance in time. The Athenians managed to put 9,000 men into battle. The battle was to occur on a plain near Marathon. The Athenians did receive some help from the small city of Plataea, which sent 1,000 additional soldiers. So the Athenians, with their future on the line, were out-numbered 3 to 1.
The Athenian strategos Miltiades was in command. The Athenians, like all Greeks, organized their army into phalanxes, manned by hoplite soldiers, armed with long spears and all equipped with good armor. Miltiades, acting through or with the polemarch, Callimachus, made his center weak and thin, and put his best soldiers on each wing. When the Persians advanced, the Athenians met them. The Persians in the center advanced forward, but the Athenians swept through the Persian wings and caught the Persian center in a trap. The Persians were not able to overcome the superior hoplites and 6,400 Persians perished. Only 192 Athenians (and Plataeans) were killed. Philippides ran the 26 miles to Athens in full armor. He said one word to the Athenians. “Nike!” Victory! And he died. The Persians still had many soldiers in Greece, but when 2,000 Spartan warriors finally arrived in Attica, they withdrew back to their own territory. So by winning the battle of Marathon in 490, Athens saved itself from defeat.
This victory had several effects. It showed Persia that it would require a massive commitment to have a chance to conquer Greece. It showed the effectiveness of the phalanx. It raised Athenian pride in themselves and their prestige among other Greeks. Finally, it made the new Persian king Xerxes, who succeeded Darius (his father) after Darius’ death in 485, determined to bring the necessary force to punish all of Greece.
With their new-found pride, the Athenians made war against Aegina in 487, though they failed in their goal of overturning that city’s oligarchical government. In Athens, a new institution called ostracism, from the word ostrakon (meaning vessel, as in a clay vessel) came into being. If a majority in the Ecclesia voted for a person to be ostracized, they were forced into exile for ten years. The first person to be so exiled was Hipparchus (the politician and rival of Cleisthenes, who still had great power in Athens, not the dead tyrant son of Pisistratus) in 487. Themistocles began to become the most-powerful Athenian statesman around this time. He crafted the ostracisms of Megacles, Xanthippus, and Aristides, in 486, 484, and 482, respectively. In 483, a rich vein of silver was discovered in Laurion, in Athenian territory. Themistocles convinced the Athenian assembly to use the wealth from the silver mine to increase the navy’s size. The result was an Athenian navy of 200 triremes, a new type of warship that had recently
replaced the old pentaconters. This made the Athenians, who were already a great commercial power, also the greatest sea power in Greece.
Ever since the Persians had begun to threaten Greece, some individuals and even some cities had sided with them. This was called medizing. In 481, Xerxes organized his campaign against all of Greece. He brought more than 200,000 soldiers supported by 800 ships. Faced with such odds, many northern Greek cities, which would have to face the Persians first including Thebes, medized on the hope of mercy. A naval delaying action was fought at Artemisium early in 480. Athens recalled all its ostracized citizens in the spring of that year. The Greeks who resolved to resist the Persians decided to fight a delaying action in July of 480 at Thermopylae, a narrow mountain pass where the Persian numerical superiority would mean nothing. Some 7,000 Greeks soldiers, including 300 Spartans, all under the command of the Spartan king Leonidas, were sent to defend the pass against 200,000 advancing Persians.
Xerxes, overseeing the battle personally, was shocked that so small a Greek force would dare to give battle to his massive army, so he waited four days before attacking, hoping that the Greeks would retreat in fear. When this did not occur, he sent his troops forward on the fifth day. They were repelled. The next day the result was the same; the Greeks did not budge. Then a Greek named Ephialtes (the Greek equivalent of Benedict Arnold) told the Persians of a narrow trail around the pass. Xerxes sent his 10,000 Immortals, his best soldiers, along the trail. The Greeks saw that they would be surrounded. Leonidas ordered all the Greek soldiers except the 300 Spartans and 1,100 allied Greek troops to retreat. Some escaped, but 4000 are said to have fallen. The Spartans and their remaining allies resolved to face the some 190,000 remaining Persian soldiers on two fronts.
At dawn on the day all the Spartans knew they would certainly die, they calmly combed their long hair for battle as Spartan warriors always did. When a retreating Greek told a Spartan that Persian arrows would block out the sun, the Spartan replied that he preferred to fight in the shade. The Persians advanced. The Spartans fought literally to the last man. It took all day for the Persians, who outnumbered the Spartans something like 600 to 1, to take the pass. Two of the brothers of Xerxes himself were slain by the valiant Spartans, but in the end, every single Spartan was killed, including Leonidas.
The Persian army advanced towards Athens. The oracle told the Athenians to put their trust in the wooden wall. Themistocles interpreted that as meaning that the Athenians should put all their hopes on the navy. The Athenians abandoned Athens and sent their women and children to nearby islands. Previously a storm had destroyed about 300 of the 800 Persian ships, but with 500 or so left, the Persians still held an advantage of over 100 on the Greeks. Themistocles is said to have tricked the Persians by pretending he was a traitor and sending them false information, causing Xerxes to order battle in the straits of Salamis. The Phoenician ships of the Persians were larger and therefore at a disadvantage in the narrow straits. Before the battle, a Carian queen, Artemisia, gave advice against giving battle in the straits. The battle was hard-fought, but the Persian lines crumbled. The Carian and Ionian Greek ships in the Persian force were the last resisting. So in mid-September of 480, Greece was effectively saved by an Athenian-led naval victory at Salamis. Themistocles commanded.
In 479, the Persian army was defeated by a Spartan-led Greek army at Plataea. The Spartan regent, Pausanias, commanded and the Persian commander Mardonius was killed in the battle. Later in 479, the Greek won a battle at Mycale where the retreating Persian army was camped. Leotychidas commanded for the Greeks. So the Greeks won the Persian wars. Herodotus chronicled the war and he is our primary source for information about it.
The Carthaginians had been struggling with the Greek city-states of Sicily for control of that island. In 491, Gelon became tyrant of Syracuse. In 480, the Syracusans defeated the Carthaginians at the battle of Himera. Hieron succeded Gelon and continued to increase Syracusan power in Sicily and southern Italy.
Pausanias, who became king in Sparta soon after the end of the Persian war, was accused of medizing (including wearing Persian clothes) and recalled to Sparta. He was acquitted, but then attacked Byzantium (477) on his own authority. Cimon, the Athenian admiral and son of Miltiades, drove him out and the Spartans starved him to death in 471.
The Athenians, on a new high after the Persian war, founded the Confederation of Delos, also called the Delian League, in 477. The purpose of the League was to protect against another invasion from Persia. Most of the Ionian islands joined. Many of the islands were too small to furnish ships themselves, so instead they gave money to the League treasury, kept on Delos, and the Athenians used this money to build ships to protect all the League members. Aristides, an Athenian statesman known as “The Just”, was tasked with keeping up with the League’s finances. Themistocles, the man largely responsible for the birth of Athenian naval power, became less and less important. Xanthippus, an Alcmaeonid, and Aristides eclipsed him. Themistocles was ostracized in 472. He went to Persia and died in the Persian district of Magnesia.
Cimon, commanding the Delian league forces, i.e., the Athenian navy, won many victories over the Persians.
In 458, Athens completed the Long Walls, which connected Athens to its port, Piraeus. The Long Walls came to symbolize Athenian power.
In 454, the treasury of the Delian League was moved to Athens, making the League effectively an Athenian empire.
Cimon was ostracized in 461 after he ordered an expedition to Messenia the previous year (462) to help the Spartans put down a revolt there. Ephialtes, known for reducing the powers of the Areopagus, and Pericles, the son of Xanthippus, led the opposition party that caused Cimon’s exile. Ephialtes was murdered in 461, leaving Pericles basically in control of Athens. Pericles issued pay for jury service in 462. Athenian politics were conducted in general by amateurs.
First Peloponnesian War: began in 459 when Athenian forces seized Naupactus and Megara submitted as well. Athens won the minor battles of Haleis and Cecryphalea early in 458. Athens then besieged Aegina, which fell in 457. In 457, Athens and Sparta fought the battle of Tanagra. Before the battle, Cimon begged to be reinstated. His request was refused. Sparta won the battle. Cimon was then reinstated and negotiated a truce with Sparta.
Athens invaded Boeotia. Under the command of Myronides, they defeated the Boeotians at Oenophyta in 457, giving Athens control of all of Boeotia except the city of Thebes itself. Athens lost control of Boeotia after losing the battle of Coronea in 447. The Spartans took control of Phocis in 448 in another Sacred War. The Peace of Callias was a treaty between Athens and Persia in 449 (yes, there were two treaties named the Peace of Callias). Athens and Sparta signed the Thirty Years’ Peace in 446 (or 445). Pericles was elected strategos fifteen consecutive years(444-429).
In 435, war broke out between Corinth and her colony, Corcyra. This conflict eventually escalated into the Peloponnesian War.
The Peloponnesian War, between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies and dependents, occurred from 431-404. It was actually the 2nd Peloponnesian War. Thucydides, an Athenian statesman who opposed Pericles, wrote the History of the Peloponnesian War, which covered the war until 411.
In 431, the Spartans, led by their king, Archidamnus, invaded Attica. In 430, a devastating plague hit Athens and killed 1/4 of its population. Pericles died of the plague in 429. The son of Pericles by Aspasia was legitimized by decree, because she was not an Athenian citizen. The Spartans then laid siege to Plataea and took that city in 427.
In 428, Mytilene tried to revolt from the Athenian empire. The revolt was defeated and the men of Mytilene were sentenced to death and the women and children to slavery. In 425, the Athenian general Cleon captured 100 Spartans, who were thought never to surrender, at Sphacteria. The Spartan general Brasidas forced Athens into a one year truce in 423. In 422, Brasidas and Cleon were killed at the battle of Amphipolis, a Spartan victory. In 421, Athens and Sparta agreed to the peace of Nicias (named after the Athenian statesman), ending the first ten year period of the war, called the Archidamnian War.
Alcibiades rose to prominence in Athens in 420. He convinced the Athenians to undertake an expedition against Epidaurus in 419. The Spartans supported the Epidaurians and the Athenians then declared that they had broken the peace. In 418, the Spartans defeated the Athenians at the battle of Mantinea. In 416, the neutral island of Melos was attacked by Athens. All the island’s men were killed and its women and
children enslaved. The island was then colonized by Athens.
The Athenians sent an expedition to Sicily to try to force Syracuse, a powerful Spartan ally, out of the war. The three generals originally in command were: Alcibiades, Nicias, and Lamachus. As the expedition set out in 415, the hermae, statues of Hermes in the harbor, were mutilated. Alcibiades was accused of doing this, but acquitted. Alcibiades was recalled and after being condemned to death (for the hermae mutilation, a youth named Andocides confessed to the crime and named Alcibiades as the main conspirator) he fled to Sparta in 414. He informed the Spartans about Athenian strategy, and advised them to fortify the city of Decelea. He also convinced the Spartans to aid Syracuse, and they sent Gylippus to take command of Syracusan forces and mold them into an effective army. The Spartans fortified Decelea in 413. That same year, the Sicilian Expedition was defeated; an eclipse was partly to blame. Athens lost 45,000 men. Nicias was the general who doomed the expedition and its defeat basically doomed Athens.
In 411, the four hundred, led by Theramenes, came to power in Athens. This meant a more oligarchic government. Later that year, Alcibiades was recalled. The four hundred fell from power that same year, and were replaced by a government called the Five Thousand. In 410, Alcibiades led the Athenians to victory over the Spartans at the battle of Cyzicus. As a result of that victory, Athenian democracy was restored.
In 407, Alcibiades lost the battle of Notion to the Spartan admiral Lysander. Alcibiades was removed from command as a result. In 406, the Athenians won the battle of Arginusae. In 405, Lysander defeated Athens at the battle of Aegospotami. Athens was forced to surrender in 404.
The Long Walls of Athens were torn down. Sparta set up an oligarchy in Athens called the Thirty Tyrants. Draconides offically proposed their institution. The most radical of the Thirty was Critias. Theramenes was the other important Tyrant. Critias condemned Theramenes to death in 403. Critias was killed in the ensuing civil war, and the Thirty fell from power. Thrasybulus led the rebels.
In Persia there was a civil war for the throne between Artaxerxes and Cyrus the younger. Cyrus hired ten thousand Greek mercenaries. They marched to Persia and joined Cyrus’ forces. In the battle of Cunaxa, in 401, the Greeks were victorious (Clearchus commanded the mercenaries), but Cyrus was killed. The mercenaries then had to escape from the middle of Persian territory. Xenophon took command and led them on the March of the Ten Thousand. Xenophon wrote the Anabasis, an account of the march. When the Greeks reached the Black Sea, they famously cried “Thalassa, Thalassa.”
Thalassa is a Greek word for sea. They escaped to a Greek colony there.
Agesilaus came to the throne of Sparta in 398 and succeded Lysander as the most important Spartan. The Spartans, now masters of Greece, proved to be more unpopular than the Athenians had been to former Athenian allies now controlled by Sparta. Harmosts were Spartan governors. Agesilaus organized a campaign against Persia, thought to be weak on account of the Ten Thousand’s success. The Athenian admiral Conon was appointed commander of a large Persian fleet. He defeated the Spartans at the battle of Cnidus in 394. This destroyed Spartan maritime power. Lysander was killed at the siege of Haliartus in 395. Sparta was then only barely able to maintain superiority over Corinth and Boeotia. In 392, the king of Persia, through Spartan diplomacy, tried to mediate a peace between the warring Greeks. It was ineffective. Finally, Spartan manoevering was successful, and the King’s Peace was imposed by Persia in 386.
The Second Athenian Confederacy was founded in 378. Callistratus organized the finances and was called “the Aristides of the Second Athenian League.” Thebes and Athens became allies against Sparta. The Athenians under Chabrias won the battle of Naxos (a sea battle) over the Spartans in 376. Athens and Thebes fell out and Athens agreed to the Peace of Callias with Sparta in 371. The Thebans were excluded from the peace and continued fighting.
Jason of Pherae rose to prominence in 371. Later that year, the Thebans under Epaminondas defeated the Spartans under Cleombrotus at the battle of Leuctra. This battle ended Spartan hegemony. Jason of Pherae laid down designs for domination of eastern Greece, but was assassinated in 370.
Thebes became the dominant power in Greece. Thebes founded Megalopolis through synoikismos (same as synoecism) in 370-369. They also helped to found the Arcadian League. Both Megalopolis and the Arcadian League were designed to keep Sparta in check. Epaminondas continued to wear down Sparta, despite Athens aiding the Lacedaemonians. Pelopidas, the other great Theban general, was held prisoner by Alexander, the new ruler of Pherae. After being initially unsuccessful, the Thebans rescued Pelopidas, and then ended the power of Pherae by defeating Alexander at the battle of Cynoscephalae in 364. However, Pelopidas was killed in the battle.
In 362, Epaminondas ended Spartan prominence forever by defeating them at the battle of Mantinea, but he was killed in the battle, supposedly in single combat with Gryllus, the son of Xenophon.
Macedonia came under the rule of Philip II in 364. He was 24 years old. He had been held hostage in Thebes at the age of 15, and had learned Epaminondas’ infantry tactics. He united Macedonia and began to take control of northern Greece. In 356, his son Alexander was born by his wife Olympias.
In Athens, the orator Demosthenes, who overcame a speech impediment, spoke out against the increasing power of Macedonia. Isocrates spoke in favor of Philip and Macedonia. The rivalry between Thebes and Athens prevented them from uniting against the Macedonian threat until it was too late. Eubulus was a financial officer in charge of the Theoric Fund during this same period of Philip’s increasing power and influence. Onomarchus, a Phocian king, was the only man to defeat Philip.
Eventually, Philip defeated him. Demosthenes’ (born in 384) main speeches against Philip were called Philippics. Athens and Macedonia went to war. They agreed to the Peace of Philocrates in 346.
The peace lasted from 346 to 341. Then war began again. In 338, Philip, with Alexander commanding the cavalry, defeated the combined forces of Thebes and Athens among others at the battle of Chaeronea. This victory made Philip master of Greece. In 336, he was assassinated.
In 335, Thebes revolted. In 334, Alexander defeated the Persians at the battle of Granicus. In 333, he entered the town of Gordion and cut the famous Gordion knot with his sword. Later that year (333), he defeated a Persian army 100,000 strong led personally by the Persian king Darius III at the battle of Issus. In 332, Alexander took the island city of Tyre by building a giant causeway after a seven-month siege. Alexander then conquered Egypt late in 332 and founded Alexandria in early 331. Alexander defeated Darius and a 200,000 strong Persian army at the battle of Gaugamela later in 331.
The Greeks sacked the Persian capitals, Susa and Persepolis. Darius was murdered by his general, Bessus. Alexander’s horse, Bucephalus, was killed in s bsttle in India and Alexander founded a city named after him. Alexander fell ill and died at Babylon in 323 on June 13 at the age of 33.