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Alexander & the Greeks 336 – 334 BC 336 BC • Darius III becomes king of Persian Empire • Philip is murdered by Pausanias • Alexander becomes kind of Macedonia, Hegemon and Strategos of the Corinthian League 336 BC • Alexander inherits a ‘Hellenised’ Macedonia: * young Macedonian noblemen learn Greek literature, ideas, customs and beliefs * Greek becomes official language of Macedonian army and administration Although during Philip’s time Athens preached against ‘uncivilised’ Macedonia and evil nature of Philip, and convinced other Greek states to be allies against Macedonia: * Athens & allies are defeated at Battle of Chaeroneia in 338BC *Philip then able to unite and befriend Greeks to form an allied army capable of fighting the Persian empire (a ‘Panhellenic Campaign’) 336 BC Alexander inherits King Philip’s Legacy: • a highly trained, disciplined and wellequipped army (Phalanx) • Position of Hegemon (Federal Leader) and Strategos (military commander of the League’s forces) 336 BC • Alexander is 20 years old, impatient and anxious to do things his way, ‘leave his mark’ • Very keen to be king 336 BC Immediately after the death of Philip: • An investigation is carried out and finds the Lyncestis brothers (3) guilty of plotting to kill Philip • Alexander punishes Heromenes & Arrhabaeus BUT Alexander Lyncestis is pardoned despite evidence against him… Why? 336 BC • Alexander Lyncestis was the first person to salute Alexander as the new king! “Hail king of Macedonia.” This appealed to Alexander’s ego – he was a megalomaniac. It also suggests that Alexander might have been involved in Philip’s murder. If he were truly angry and distressed, why not punish all three brothers? 336 BC • Alexander has a state funeral for Philip with pomp and ceremony • Assassinates those who threaten his right to the throne: *Amyntas killed * Attalus killed * Cleopatra & her baby killed (at the request of Olympias) 336 BC Alexander claims loyalty given to his father (by Macedonian noblemen) was an hereditary right: * promised to follow father’s principles 336 BC Alexander and the Greeks: * punished rebels severely, rewarded those who are loyal League of Corinth important to Alexander: • Control over Greek states, Athenian fleet, Greek armies • Maintain peace in Greece • Lead the allied troops in ‘religious war of revenge’ against Persia Alexander wants to befriend the Greeks League of Corinth • Determined the nature of the relationship between Macedonia and Greeks • Promised the Greek states: *freedom *exemption of military occupation *ability to rule their own affairs BUT • Rival Greek states were forced to unite under the terms of the LOC • Relationship between Greeks & Macedonia is mistrust, fear, and hatred • Greeks hated Macedonian rule (barbarians) 335 BC First Greek Rebellions: Thessaly. • Alexander avoids confrontation with Thessalian cavalry (waiting to do battle against him), he follows a narrow, unusual route and enters the city. • Thessalians has no choice but to welcome him • Recognise him as Archon, allow him use of cavalry This shows Alexander’s ingenuity: master strategist, conquering by surprising the enemy. 335 BC • New king of Persia, Darius III, decides to reclaim authority over Greek states • Sends agents with gold to encourage Greeks to rebel against Macedonia • A rumour starts that Alexander had been killed in the north 335 BC • Second Greek rebellions: Thebes • With the promise of help from Athens (whose leader accepts Persian money) Thebes rises up against Macedonia • They only believe Alexander’s alive when he’s outside the city gates! 335 BC • Alexander offers Thebans an amnesty, only the surrender of two rebels • Thebans reply by inviting anyone to join them and the Persians “free Greece from tyrants” • Alexander is furious and orders attack 335 BC • The Macedonian phalanx pushes into the city: battle becomes a massacre (6000 Thebans dead) • Alexander treats the rebellion as an infringement of the Common Peace of the Corinthian League – decision about its fate went to his allies • City of Thebes to be razed to the ground, territory divided between allies, and survivors enslaved – 30,000 Thebans enslaved Why did Alexander punish Thebes so severely? • JR Hamilton calls it “a calculated act of terrorism on the part of Alexander” • It would teach other Greek states a lesson (strike fear in them) • Now he could build a relationship with them: they had no choice but to accept him as leader • Greek states apologise to him – Athens even sent a congratulation on his safe return and defeating Thebes! • What do Alexander’s actions tell you about him as a leader? Sparta • King Agis wants an allied rebellion to overthrown Macedonia • First rebellion, they defeat Macedonia with 20,000 infantry and 2000 cavalry • Second rebellion, with the help of money & ships from Darius, they fight against Antipater and his 40,000 troops at Megalopolis • Agis is defeated and killed • Alexander forces Sparta to join Corinthian League Alexander & the Greeks: Things to note • Alexander determined (prepared to do anything to achieve firm control) • Military ingenuity • Skill and energy, speed of movement • Had firm control over Greeks because he knew they were hostile to Macedonian rule • He needed them for military reasons and because it strengthened his political position • Greeks supported war against Persia What do the rebellions tell us? • Determination of Greeks to overthrow Macedonian rule • Superiority of Macedonian army • Alexander’s keenness to maintain the League of Corinth How did the Greeks contribute to Alexander’s achievements? • Supplied him with support for invasion of Persia • Supplied him with troops & naval fleet • Athens was the excuse he needed to invade Persia (revenge) • Alexander admired Greek culture, esp Athens • Did Greek states cause more trouble than they were worth, with constant threats of rebellion?