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1. The Greek People.—Whether the Greeks were the first Aryan people to settle in Europe or in Eastern Europe we cannot tell for certain. But we do know for certain that they were the first Aryan nation whose deeds were recorded in written history; and there never was any nation whose deeds were more worthy to be recorded. For no nation eve did such great things, none ever made such great advances in every way, so wholly by its own power and with so little help from any other people. Yet we must not look on the Greeks as a nation quite apart by themselves. We have already seen that the Greek people were part of a great Aryan settlement which occupied both the two eastern peninsulas, and that the forefathers of the Greeks and the forefather: of the Italians must have kept together for a good while after they had parted company from the other branches of the Aryan family. There is some reason to think that some of the other nations bordering near upon Greece, both in the eastern peninsula and in the western coast of Asia, in IllyriaThracePhrygia, and Lydia,  were not only Aryan, but were actually part of the same swarm as the Greeks and Italians. However this may be, it seems quite certain that most of the nations lying near Greece, as in and Epirus and Macedonia, which lie to the north, in Sicily and Southern Italy, and in some parts of the opposite coasts of Asia, were very closely akin to the Greeks, and spoke languages which came much nearer to Greek even than the languages of the rest of Italy. The people of all these countries seem to have had a power beyond all other people of adopting the G)eek language and manners, and, so to speak, of making themselves Greeks. The Greeks seem, in fact, to have been one among several kindred nations which shot in advance of its kinsfolk, and which was therefore able in the end to become a sort of teacher to the others. And one thing which helped the Greeks in thus putting themselves in advance of all their kinsfolk and neighbors was the nature of the land in which they settled.

2. Geographical Character of Greece.—Anyone who turns to the map will see that the country which we call Greece, but which its own people have always called Hellas, is the southern part of the great eastern peninsula of Europe. But we must remember that, in the way of speaking of the Greeks themselves, the name Hellas did not mean merely the country which we now call Greece, but any country where Hellenes or Greeks lived. Thus there might be patches, so to speak, of Hellas anywhere; and there were such patches of Hellas round a great part of the Mediterranean Sea wherever Greek settlers had planted colonies. But the first and truest Hellas, the motherland of all Hellenes, was the land which we call Greece, with the islands round about it. There alone the whole land was Greek, and none but Hellenes lived in it. It is, above all the rest of Europe, a land of islands and peninsulas; and that was, no doubt, one main reason why it was the first part of Europe to stand forth as great and free in the eyes of the whole world. For in early times the sea-coast is always the part of a land which is first civilized, because it is the part which can most easily have trade and other dealings with other parts of the world. Thus, as Greece was the first part of Europe to become civilized, so the coasts and islands of Greece were both sooner and more highly civilized than the other inland parts. Those inland parts are almost everywhere full of mountains and valleys, so that the different parts of the land, both on the sea-coast and in the inland parts, were very much cut off from one another. Each valley or island or little peninsula had its own town, with its own little territory, forming, whenever it could, a separate government independent of all others, and with the right of making war and peace, just as if it had been a great kingdom.

3. Character of Grecian History.—The geographical nature of the land in this way settled the history of the Greek people. It is only in much later times that a great kingdom or commonwealth can come to have the same political and intellectual 1'ife as a small state consisting of one city. In an early state of things the single city is always in advance of the great kingdom, not always in wealth or in mere bodily comforts, but always in political freedom and in real sharpness of wit. Thus the Greeks, with their many small states, were the first people from whom we can learn any lessons m the art of politics, the art of ruling and persuading men according to law. The little common­wealths of Greece were the first states at once free and civilized which the world ever saw. They were the first states which gave birth to great statesmen, orators, and generals who did great deeds, and to great historians who set down those great deeds in writing. It was in the Greek commonwealths, in short, that the political and intellectual life of the world began. But, for the very reason that their freedom came so early, they were not able to keep it so long as states in later times which have been equally free and of greater extent.

4. The Greeks and the Phoenicians.—Whether the Greeks found any earlier inhabitants in the land which they made their own is a point on which we cannot be quite certain, but it is more likely that they did than that they did not. But it is certain that, when they began to spread themselves from the mainland into the islands, they found in the islands powerful rivals already settled. These were the Phoenicians, as the Greeks called them, who were a    Semitic people, and who played a great part in both Grecian and Roman history. Their real name among themselves was Canaanites, and they dwelled on the coast of Palestine, at the east end of the Mediterranean Sea, especially in the great cities of SidonTyre, and Arados or Arvad. They were a more really civilized people, and made a nearer approach to free government, than any other people who were not Aryans. They were especially given to trade and to everything which had to do with a seafaring life. They had thus begun to spread their trade, and to found colonies, over a large part of the Mediterranean coast, before the Greeks became of any note in the world. They had even made their way beyond what the Greeks called the Pillar of Heracles, that is, beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, and had sailed from the Mediterranean into the Ocean. They had there founded the city of   Gades, which still keeps its name as Cadiz, and they founded other colonies, both in Spain and on the north­west coast of Africa, of which the most famous was Carthage. They had also settlements in the islands of the Aegean Sea, as well as in the greater islands of Cyprus and Sicily, and it was in these islands that they met the Greeks as enemies. But, even before the Greeks had begun to send out colonies, they had a good deal of trade with the Phoenicians. And as the Phoenicians were the more early civilized of the two nations, the Greeks seem to have learned several things of them, and above all the alphabet. The Greeks learned the letters which the Phoenicians used to write their own language, which was much the same as the Hebrew, and they adapted them, as well as they could, to the Greek language. And from them the alphabet gradually made its way to the Italians, and from them to the other nations of Europe, with such changes as each nation found needful for its own tongue. The Phoenicians did much in this way towards helping on the civilization of the Greeks : but there is no reason to believe that the Phoenicians, or any other people of Asia or Africa, founded any settlements in Greece itself alter the Hellenes had once made the land their own.

5. Foundation of the Greek Colonies.—From the main­land of Greece the Greek people gradually spread themselves over most of the neighboring islands, and over a large part of the Mediterranean coast, especially on the shores nearest to their own land. In fact, we may say that the Phoenicians and the Greeks between them planted colonies round the whole coast of the Mediterranean, save in two parts only. One of these was Egypt on the south; the other was Central and Northern Italy where the native inhabitants were far too strong and brave to allow strangers to settle among them. The Greeks thus spread themselves over all the islands of the Aegean Sea, over the coasts of Macedonia and Thrace to the north and of Asia Minor to the east, as well as in the islands to the west of Greece, and the others which are known now as the Ionian Islands. A great part of this region became fully as Greek as Greece itself only even here in some parts of the coast the Greek possessions were not quite unbroken, but were simply a city here and there, and nowhere, except in Greece itself did the Greek colonists get very far from the sea. Other colonies were gradually planted in Cyprus, in Sicily and Southern Italy, and on the coast of Illyria on the eastern side of the Adriatic. And there was one part of the Mediterranean coast which was occupied by Greek colonies where we should rather have looked for Phoenicians; that is, in the lands west of Egypt, where several Greek cities arose, the chief of which was Cyrene. These were the only Greek settlements on the south coast of the Mediterranean. But some Greek colonies were planted as far east as the shores of the Euxine, and others as far west as the shores of Gaul and Northern Spain. One Greek colony in these parts which should be specially remembered was Massalia, now Marseille. This was the only great Greek city in the western part of the Mediterranean, and it was the head of several smaller settlements on the coasts of Gaul and Spain. In the southern part of Spain, and in the greater part of northern Africa, the Greeks could not settle, because there the Phoenicians had settled before them. And no Greek sailors were ever bold enough to pass the Pillars of Herakles ;and to plant colonies on the shores of the Ocean.

6. Greeks and Barbarians.—We have thus seen the extent of country over which the Greek people spread themselves. There was their own old country and the islands nearest to it, where they alone occupied the whole land; and there were also the more distant colonies, where Greek cities were planted here and there, on the coasts of lands which were occupied by men of other nations, or, as the Greeks called them, Barbarians. This word Barbarian, in its first use among the Greeks, simply meant that the people so called were people whose language the Greeks did not understand. They called Barbarians, even though their blood and speech were nearly akin to their own, if only the difference was so great that their speech was not understood. It followed that in most parts of the world it was easy to tell who were Greeks and who were Barbarians, but that along the northern frontier of Greece the line was less strongly drawn than elsewhere. Along that border the ruder tribes of the Greek nation, the AetoliansAkarnanians, and others, lived alongside of other tribes who were not Greek, but who seem to have been closely allied to the Greeks. If you turn to the map, you will see along this northern border the lands of MacedoniaEpirus, and Thessaly.  Macedonia was ruled by Greek Kings, but it was never counted to be part of Greece till quite late times. Thessaly on the other hand, was always reckoned as part of Greece, though the people who gave it its name seem not to have been of purely Greek origin. In Epirus again the same tribes are by some writers called Greeks and by others Barbarians, and it was only in quite late times that Epirus, like Macedonia, was allowed to be a Greek country. So, among the colonies, though all were planted among people whom the Greeks looked on as Barbarians, yet it made a great practical difference whether the people among whom they were planted were originally akin to the Greeks or not. Thus, in many countries, as in the lands round the Aegean and also in Italy and Sicily, the Greeks settled chiefly among people who were really very near to them in blood and speech, and who gradually adopted the Greek language and manners. Thus both Sicily and Southern Italy became quite Greek countries, though in Sicily the Greeks had to keep up a long struggle against the Phoenicians of Carthage, who also planted several colonies in that island. In Cyprus also the same struggle went on, and the island became partly Greek and partly Phoenician. But in those of the Aegean Islands where the Phoenicians had settled, the Greeks drove them out altogether. For there was no chance of the Phoenicians taking to Greek ways as the Italians and Sicilians did.

7. The Greek Commonwealths.—Greece itself, the land to the south of the doubtful lands like Macedonia and Epirus, was the only land which was wholly and purely Greek, where there was no doubt as to the whole people being Greek, and where we find the oldest and most famous cities of the Greek name. Such, in the great peninsula called Peloponnesus, were Sparta and Argos, and, in early times, Mycenae; Corinth too on the Isthmus, and beyond the Isthmus, Megara, Athens, Thebes, and, in very early times, Orchomenos. Each Greek city, whenever it was strong enough, formed an inde­pendent state with its own little territory ; but it often hap­pened that a stronger city brought a weaker one more or less under its power. And in some parts of Greece several towns joined together in Leagues, each town managing its own affairs for itself, but the whole making war and peace as a single state. Thus in Peloponnesus, first Mycenae, then Argos, and lastly Sparta,  held the first place, each in turn contriving to get more or less power over a greater or smaller number of other cities. And it would almost seem that in very early times the Kings of Mycenae had a certain power over all Peloponnesus and many of the islands. Still, even when a Greek city came more or less under the power of a stronger city, it did not wholly lose the character of a separate commonwealth. And when the cities of Old Greece began to send out colonies, those colonies became separate commonwealths also. Each colony came forth from some city in the mother country, and it often happened that a colony sent forth colonies of its own in turn. Each colony became an independent state, owing a certain respect to the mother city, but not being subject to it. And, as the colonies were commonly planted where there was a rich country or a posi­tion good for trade, many of them became very flourishing and powerful. In the seventh and sixth centuries before Christ, many of the colonial cities, as Miletus in Asia, Synaris  in Italy, and Syracuse in Sicily, were among the most flourishing of all Greek cities, far more so than most of the cities in Greece itself. But the colonies were for the most part not so well able to keep their freedom as the cities in Greece were.

8. Forms of Government.—In the earliest days of Greece we find much the same form of government in the small Greek states which we find among all the Aryan nations of whose early condition we have any account. But both the Greeks and the Italians were unlike the Teutons and some of the other Aryan nations in one thing. That is because they were gathered together in cities from the very beginning, while some of the other nations were collections, not so much of cities as of tribes. Still the early form of government was much the same in both cases. Each tribe or city had its own king or chief, whose office was mostly confined to one family, for the Kings were commonly held to be of the blood of the Gods. The King was the chief leader both in peace and war; but he could not do everything according to his own pleasure. For there was always a Council of elders or chief men, and also an Assembly of the whole people or at least of all those who were held to have the full rights of citizens. This kind of kingship lasted in Greece through the whole of the earliest times, through what are called the Heroic Ages, and in the neighboring lands of Epirus and Macedonia a kingship of much the same kind lasted on through nearly the whole of their history. But in Greece itself the kingly power was gradually abolished in most of the cities, and they became commonwealths. At first these commonwealths were aristocracies; that is to say, only men of certain families were allowed to fill public offices and to take part in the assemblies by which the city was governed. These privileged families would in most cases be the descendants of the oldest inhabitants of the city, who did not choose to admit new-comers to the same full rights as themselves. Some of the Greek cities remained aristocracies till very late times; but others soon became democracies; that is to say, all citizens were allowed to hold offices and to attend the assemblies. But it must be remembered that everyone who lived in a Greek city was not therefore a citizen. For in most parts of Greece there were many slaves, and if a man from one city went to live in another, even though the city in which he went to live was a democracy, neither he nor his children were made citizens as a matter of course. In a few cities the name king, in Greek Basileus, remained in use as the title of a magistrate, though one who no longer held the chief power. And in Sparta they always went on having Kings of the old royal house, two Kings at a time, who retained much power both in military and in religious matters, though they were no longer the chief rulers of the state.

9. The Tyrants.—All the three chief forms of government, Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy were held in Greece to be lawful; but there was another kind which was always deemed unlawful. This was Tyranny. It sometimes hap­pened, especially in cities where the nobles and the people were quarrelling as to whether the commonwealth should be aristocratic or democratic, that some man would snatch away the power from both and make himself Tyrant. That is to say, he would, perhaps with the good will of part of the people, seize the power, and much more than the power, of the old Kings. The word Tyrant  meant at first no more than that a man had got the power of a King in a city where there was no King by law. It did not necessarily mean that he used his power badly or cruelly, though, as most of the Tyrants did so, the word came to have a worse meaning than it had at first. The time when most of the Tyrants reigned in Greece was in the seventh and sixth centuries before Christ; and the most famous of them were Peisistratus and his sons, who ruled at Athens  in the sixth century. In the colonies, and especially in Sicily. Tyrants went on rising and falling during almost the whole time of Grecian history. But in old Greece we do not hear much of them after the sons of Peisistratus were driven out, about the end of the sixth century, till quite the later times of Grecian history, when Tyrants again were common, but Tyrants of quite another kind.

10. The Greek Religion.—The religion of the Greeks was one of those forms of mythology which have been already spoken of as growing up among most of the Aryan nations. All the powers of nature and all the acts of man’s life were believed to be under the care of different deities, of different degrees of power. The head of all Zeus the God of the sky, and he is described as reigning on Mount Olympus in Thessaly, where the Gods were believed to dwell, with his Council and his general Assembly, much like an early Greek King on earth. The art and literature of the Greeks, and indeed their government and their whole life, were closely bound up with their religion. The poets had from the begin­ning many beautiful stories to tell about the Gods and about the  Heroes, who were mostly said to be children of the Gods. And when the Greeks began to practice the arts, it was in honor of the Gods and Heroes that the noblest buildings and the most beautiful statues and pictures were made.

11. The Early History of Greece.—Of the earliest times of Grecian history we have no accounts written down at the time; we have to make out what we can from the traditions preserved by later writers, and from the notices of the poets. For composition in verse always goes before com­position in prose, and the earliest Greek writings that we have are those of the poets. The poems which go by the name of Homer, the Iliad and Odysseus give us a picture of the state of things in the earliest days of Greece, and allusions and expressions in them also help us to some particular facts. But scholars no longer believe that the story of the war of Troy is a true history, though the tale most likely arose out of the settlements of the Greeks on the north-west coast of Asia. These settlements were among the earliest of the Greek colonies, the very earliest probably being the settlements in the southern islands of the Aegean, which Homer himself seems to speak of. These were so early that it is vain to try to give them any exact date. Presently we get glimmerings, which seem to have been preserved partly by poets and partly by tradition, of a great movement by which the Dorians, a people of Northern Greece, came and conquered the Achaeans in Peloponnesus and reigned in their chief cities, Argos, Sparta, Corinth, and others. The other chief division of the Greek nations was the Ionians, whose chief city was Athens, and who are said to have planted many colonies in Asia about the same time when the Dorians came into Peloponnesus. And, when we get down to times to which we can give something more like exact dates, we have remains of several poets which sometimes help us to particular facts. Thus we learn something of a war in which Sparta conquered her neighbors of Messene from the poems of the minstrel Tyrtaios, who made songs to encourage the Spartan warriors. This was in the seventh century before Christ; and in the next century, Solon, the famous lawgiver of  Athens, made laws for his own city, and first gave the mass of the people a share in the government, which was the beginning of the famous democracy. Solon was also a poet, and we have some remains of his verses, which throw light on his political doings. So again, the poems of Theognis of Megara throw some light on the dis­putes between the nobles and the people in that city. But from fragments like these we can get no connected history, so that most of what we know of these days comes from later writers, who did not live near the time, and whose accounts therefore cannot be trusted in every detail. It is only when we come to the Persian Wars,  in the beginning of the fifth century before Christ, that we begin to have really trustworthy accounts. For those times we have the history of Herodotus, who, though he did not himself live at the time, had seen and spoken with those who did. By this time the chief cities of Greece had settled down into their several forms of government, aristocratic or democratic. And most of the colonies had been founded, especially those in Italy and Sicily, which were at this time very nourishing, though many of them were under Tyrants. Greece had now pretty well put on the shape which she was to wear during the greatest times of her history, and she had now to bear the trial of a great foreign invasion and to come out all the stronger for it.

12. The Persians.—The people of Persia though they lived far away from the shores of the Mediterranean, in the further part of Asia beyond the great rivers Euphrates and Tigris, were much more nearly allied to the Greeks in blood and speech than most of the nations which lay between them. For they belonged to the Eastern branch of the Aryan family, who had remained so long separate from their kinsfolk in Europe, and who now met them as enemies. The Persians first began to be of importance in the sixth century before Christ, when, under their King Cyrus they became a conquering people. He took Babylon which at that time was the great power of Asia, and also conquered the kingdom of Lydia in Asia Minor, a conquest which first brought the Persians across the Greeks, first in Asia and then in Europe. For the Greeks who were settled along the coast of Asia had been just before conquered by Croesus, King of Lydia, the first foreign prince who ever bore rule over any Greeks; and now, as being part of the dominions of Croesus, they were con­quered again by Cyrus. The Greek cities of Asia, which had, up to this time, been among the greatest cities of the Greek name, now lost their freedom and much of their greatness. And from this time various disputes arose between the Persian Kings and the Greeks in Europe. The Athenians had now driven out their Tyrants and had made their government more democratic. They were therefore full of life and energy, and they gave help to the Asiatic Greeks in an attempt to throw off the Persian yoke. Then the Persian King Darius wished to make the Athenians to take back Hippias, the son of Peisistratus, who had been their Tyrant. At last Darius made up his mind to punish the Athenians and to bring the other Greeks under his power; and thus the wars between Greece and Persia began.

13. The Persian Wars.— The first Persian expedition against Greece was sent by Darius in the year 490 B.C. A Persian fleet crossed the Aegean, and landed an army in Attica. But, far smaller as their numbers were, the Athe­nians, under their general Miltiades utterly defeated the invaders in the famous battle of Marathon. In this battle the Athenians had no help except a small force from their neighbors of a small town on the Boeotian border, which was in close alliance with them. This was the first of all the victories of the West over the East, the first battle which showed how skill and discipline can prevail over mere numbers. As such, it is perhaps the most memorable battle in the history of the world. Ten years later, in 480 B.C., a much greater Persian expedition came under King Xerxes himself the son of Darius. He came by land, and all the native kingdoms and Greek colonies on the north coast of the Aegean, and even a large part of Greece itself, submitted to him. Some Greek cities indeed, especially Thebes, fought for the Barbarians against their countrymen. But AthensSparta, and several other Greek cities withstood the power of Xerxes, and in the end drove his vast fleet and army back again in utter defeat. In this year 480 were fought the battle of  Thermopylae, where the Spartan King Leonidas was killed, and the sea fight of Salamis, won chiefly by the Athenian fleet under Themistocles. After this Xerxes went back; but in the next year his general Mardonios was defeated by the Spartans and other Greeks in the battle of Platania, and the same day the Persians were also defeated both by land and sea at Mycale, on the coast of Asia. These three battles, SalamisPlataia, and Mycale, decided the war, and the Persians never again dared to invade Greece itself. But the war went on for several years longer before the Persians were driven out of various posts which they held north of the Aegean. Still they were at last wholly driven out of Europe, and they were even obliged to withdraw for a time from the Greek cities of Asia.

14. The Growth of Athens.—At the beginning of the Persian Wars Sparta was generally looked up to as the chief state of Greece; but, as Athens was much the stronger at sea, it was soon found that she was better able than Sparta to carry on the war against the Persians, and to recover and protect the islands and cities on the coasts. Most of the cities therefore joined in a League, of which Athens was the head, and which was set in order by the Athenian Aristides, surnamed the Just. But after a time Athens, instead of being merely the head, gradually became the mistress of these smaller states, and most of them became her subjects, paying tribute to her. Athens thus rose to a wonderful degree of power and splendor, beyond that of any of the other cities of Greece. The chief man at Athens at this time was Pericles, the greatest states­ man of Greece, perhaps of the world, under whose influence the Athenian government became a still more perfect democracy. In his time Athens was adorned with the temples and other public buildings which the world has admired ever since. This was also the time of the great dramatic poets, AeschylusEuripides, and Aristophanes. Aeschylus had fought in all the great battles with the Persians. Euripides and Aristophanes were younger men who lived on through the next period. Oratory, which was so needful in a democratic state, began to be cultivated as an art, and so were the different forms of philosophy; in fact, there never was a time when the human mind was brought so near to its highest pitch as in these few years of the greatest power and splendor of Athens.

15. The Peloponnesian War.—But the great power of Athens raised the jealousy of many of the other Greek cities, and at last a war broke out between Athens and her allies on the one side, and Sparta and her allies on the other. This war, which began in the year 431 B.C. and lasted for twenty-nine years almost without stopping, was known as the Peloponnesian War, because it was waged by the Athenians against Sparta and her allies, among whom were the greater part of the cities of Peloponnesus, besides Thebes and some other cities in other parts of Greece. Of this war we know all the events in great detail, because we have the history of it from writers who lived at the time. The history of the greater part of the war was written by Thucydides, who was not only living at the time, but himself held a high command in the Athenian army. And the history of the latter years of the war was written by Xenophon, another Athenian writer, who also lived at the time. This war might be looked on as a war between Ionians and Dorians, between democracy and oligarchy, Athens being the chief of the Ionian and democratic states, and Sparta the chief of the Dorian and aristocratic states. But the two parties were never exactly divided either according to descent or according to forms of government. It is perhaps more important to re­mark that Sparta had many free and willing allies, while Athens had but few, so that she had to fight mainly with her own powers and those of the allies who were really her subjects. During the first ten years of the war, down to the year 421, the two parties contended with nearly equal success, the Athenians being much the stronger by sea, and the Spartans and their allies by land. A peace was then made, but it was not very well kept; so that Thucydides says that the years of peace ought to be reckoned as a part of the war. Then, in 415, the Athenians sent a fleet to attack the city of Syracuse in Sicily. The Syracusans got help from Sparta, and so the war began again; but, after two years of fighting and siege, the Athenians were altogether defeated before Syracuse. The allies of Athens now began to revolt, and the war during the later years was carried on almost wholly on the coasts of Asia. The Persians now began to take a share in it, because they were eager to drive away the Athenians from those coasts, and to get back the Greek cities in Asia. But they did more in the way of giving, and sometimes only promising, money to the Spartans than by actually fighting. Several battles, chiefly by sea, were fought in these wars with varying success; and it is wonder­ful to see how Athens regained her strength after her loss before Syracuse. At last, in the year 405, the Athenians were defeated by the Spartan admiral Lysandros at Aegospotamos in the Hellespont. Athens was now besieged, and in the next year she had to surrender. She now lost all her dominion and her great naval power, and was obliged to become a member of the Spartan alliance. Her democratical government was also taken away, and an oligarchy of thirty men was set up under the protection of Sparta. But in the next year, 403, the oligarchy was put down, and Athens, though she did not get back her power, at least got back her freedom.

16. The Dominion of Sparta.—At this time, at the end of the fifth century before Christ, Sparta was more than ever the greatest power of Greece. From this time Athens has no longer any claim to be looked on as politically the first power of Greece. But she still remained one of the greatest among the Grecian cities, and, as her political power grew less, she became more and more the acknowledged chief in all kinds of literature and philosophy. Her loss of anything like an equal power with Sparta led to great changes in the course of the next century. New powers began to come to the front. We shall, first of all, see the foremost place in Greece held for a while by  Thebes, the chief city of Boeotia, which had always been reckoned one of the greater cities of Greece, but which during the Peloponnesian war had played only a secondary part as one of the allies of Sparta. We shall next see the power over all Greece fall into the hands of a state which had hitherto not been reckoned to be Greek at all, through the victories of the grea Macedonian Kings, Philip and Alexander. But for a while the Spartans had it all their own way. No state in Greece could stand up against them; the government of most of the cities passed into the hands of men who were ready to do whatever the Spartans told them, and in many of them there even were Spartan governors and garrisons. A few years after the end of the Peloponnesian war, the Spartans made war upon Persia, and their King Agesilaos waged several successful campaigns in Asia Minor. But by this time several of the Greek cities had got jealous and weary of the Spartan power, and the Persian King Artaxerxes against whom the Spartans were fighting, was naturally glad to help them with both money and ships. So in the year 394 Agesilaos had to come back to withstand a confederacy formed against Sparta by Athens, Argos, Corinth, and Thebes. Several battles were fought; and, though the Spartans commonly had the victory, yet it was shown that the Theban soldiers were able to do great things. In the former part of this war the Persian King sent his great Phoenician fleet to help the Athenians; but afterwards he was persuaded to change sides, and in 387 a peace was made, called the Peace of Antalcidas, by which the Greek cities of Asia were given up to Persia, and those of Europe were declared to be every one independent. But in truth the power of Sparta now became greater than ever, and the Spartans domineered and inter­fered with the other cities even more than before. Among other things, they treacherously seized the Kadmiea, or citadel of Thebes, and put a Spartan garrison in it. They also put down a confederacy which the people of Olynthus were making among the Greek cities on the coasts of Macedonia and Thrace, and thus took away what might have been a great check to the growing power of the Macedonian Kings.

17. The Rise of Thebes.—It was now that the power of Sparta was at its very highest that it was overthrown. The Thebans, who had shown in the former war that they were nearly as good soldiers as the Spartans themselves, now rose against them. In 379 the Spartans were driven out of Thebes; a democratical government was set up, and Thebes, under two great citizens,  Pelopidas and Epaminondas, became for a while the chief power of Greece. The Spartans were defeated in 371, the first time they had ever been defeated in a pitched battle, at Leuctra in Boeotia. After this Epaminondas invaded Peloponnesus several times. He greatly weakened the power of Sparta by restoring the independence of Messene, which the Spartans had long ago conquered, and by persuading the Arcadians to join in a League and to found Megalopolis or the Great City, near the Spartan frontier. During the first part of this war the Athenians took part with Thebes, and in the later part with Sparta; and in the course of it they won back a great deal of their power by sea, and again got many of the islands and maritime cities to become their allies. At last, in 362, Epaminondas was killed at Mantinea in a battle against the Spartans and Athenians, and after his death, as there was no one left in Thebes to take his place, the power of the city gradually died out.

18. The Rise of Macedonia.—We have already seen that, though the Macedonians were probably closely allied to the Greeks, and though the Macedonian Kings were acknow­ledged to be of Greek descent, yet Macedonia had hitherto not been reckoned as a Greek state. Its Kings had not taken much share in Greek affairs, but several of them had done much to strengthen their kingdom against the neighboring Barbarians, and also to bring in Greek arts and civilization among their own people. Just at this time there arose in Macedonia a King called Philip the son of Amyntas, who did much greater things than any of the Kings who had gone before him. His great object was, not exactly to conquer Greece or make it part of his own kingdom, but rather to get Macedonia acknowledged as a Greek state, and, as such, to win for it the same kind of supremacy over the other Greek states which had been held at different times by Mycenae, Argos, Sparta, Athens, and Thebes. He artfully contrived to mix himself up with Grecian affairs, and to persuade many of the Grecian states to look upon him as their deliverer, and as the champion of the god Apollon. The great temple of Delphi had been plundered by the Phocians and Philip put himself forward as the avenger of this crime, and got himself acknowledged as a member of the Amphiktyonic Council, the great religious assembly of Greece, which looked after the affairs of the Delphian Temple. This was much the same as formally acknowledging Macedonia to be a Greek state. Philip also conquered the Greek city of Olynthus in the neighborhood of his own kingdom, and made the peninsula called Chalcidice, which runs out as it were with three fingers into the Aegean, part of Macedonia. This he might perhaps not have been able to do, if the Spartans had not already destroyed the great Greek alliance which the Olynthians had begun to make in those parts. Philip was several times at war with Athens, and it was during these wars that the great orator Demosthenes made himself famous by the speeches which he made to stir up his countrymen to act vigorously. Philip’s last war was against Athens and Thebes together, and in 338 he gained a victory over them at Chaeronea in Boeotia, from which the overthrow of Grecian freedom may be dated. After this, all the Greeks, except the Spartans, were partly persuaded, partly compelled, to hold a synod at Corinth, where Philip was elected captain-general of all Greece, to make war on Persia and avenge the old inva­sions of Greece by Darius and Xerxes. But, while he was making ready for a great expedition into Asia, he was mur­dered in the year 336 by one of his own subjects.

19. Alexander the Great.—Philip was succeeded by his son Alexander, known as Alexander the Great. He was presently acknowledged as the leader of Greece against the Persians, as his father had been. Thebes however, where Philip had put a Macedonian garrison, now revolted, but it was taken and destroyed by Alexander. In the next year, 334, Alexander set out on his great expedition, and he never returned to Macedonia and Greece. In the course of six years he completely subdued the Persian Empire, fighting three famous battles, at the river Granikos in Asia Minor in 334, at Issos, near the borders of Cilicia and Syria, in 333, and at Arbela or Gaugamela in Assyria in 331. In these last two battles the Persian King Darius was present, and was utterly defeated. Between the two last battles Alexander besieged and took Tyre,  and received the submission of Egypt, where he founded the famous city which has ever since borne his name, Alexandria. Soon after the battle of Gaugamela Darius was murdered by some of his own officers, and Alexander now looked upon himself as King of Persia. He afterwards set out, half exploring, half conquering, as far as the river Hypastis, in northern India, beyond which his soldiers refused to follow him. At last he died at Babylon in 323, having made greater conquests than were ever made by any European prince before him or after him. And there was no conqueror whose conquests were more important, and in a certain sense more lasting; for, though his great empire broke in pieces almost at once, yet the effects of his career have remained to all time.

20. Effects of the Conquests of Alexander.—The conquests of Alexander, though they were won so quickly, and though a large part of them were soon lost again, made a great and lasting change throughout a large part of the world. Both he and those who came after him were great builders of cities in Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and as far as their conquests reached. In each of these cities was placed a Greek or Macedonian colony, and in the western part of Asia most of these cities lived and flourished, and some of them, like Alex­andria in Egypt and Antioch in Syria, soon took their place among the greatest cities in the world. The Greek language became the tongue of all government and literature throughout many countries where the people were not Greek by birth. It was thus at the very moment that Greece began to lose her political freedom that she made, as it were, an intellec­tual conquest of a large part of the world. And though, in the cities and lands which in this way became partially Hellenyzed, there was neither the political freedom nor the original genius of the great statesmen and writers of old Greece, yet mere learning and science flourished as they had never flourished before. The Greek tongue became the common speech of the civilized world, the speech which men of different nations used in speaking to one another, much as they use French now. The Greek colonies had done much to spread the Greek language and manners over a large part of the world. The Macedonian conquests now did still more; but they did not, as the old colonies had done, carry also Greek freedom with them.

21. The Successors of Alexander.—The great empire of Alexander did not hold together even in name for more than a few years after his death. He left no one in the Macedo­nian royal family who was at all fit to take his place, and his dominions were gradually divided among his generals, who after a little while took the title of Kings. Thus arose the kingdom of the Ptolemies in Egypt and that of the de­scendants of Seleukos in the East, which gradually shrank up into the kingdom of Syria. In the countries beyond the Tigris the Macedonian power gradually died out; but various states arose in Asia Minor, which were not strictly Greek, but which had a greater or less tinge of Greek culti­vation. Such were the kingdom of Pergamum and the League of the cities of Lycia. These arose in countries which had been fully subdued by Alexander, and which won their independence only because the descendants of Seleukos could not keep their great dominions together. But Alexander's conquests had been made so fast that some parts even of Western Asia were not fully subdued. Thus out of the fragments of the Persian Empire several kingdoms arose, like those of and Pontos and Bithynia, which were ruled by native Kings, but which also affected something of Greek civilization. And some real Greek states still contrived to keep their independence on or near the coast of Asia, as the city of Byzantion, the island of Rhodes, and the city of Herakleia, which last was sometimes a commonwealth and sometimes under tyrants. Of many of these states we shall hear again as they came one by one under the power of Rome. But we are now more concerned with what happened in Macedonia and in Greece itself.

22. The later Macedonian Kings.—The death of Alexander was followed by a time of great confusion in Macedonia and Greece. Even while Alexander was away in Asia, the Spar­tans, under their king Agis had tried to throw off the Mace­donian yoke, but in vain. After Alexander’s death another attempt was made by several of the Greek states, especially the Athenians, who were again stirred up by Demosthenes, and the Aetolians. These last were a people of western Greece, the least civilized of all the Greek states, but which now began to rise to great importance. This was called the Lamian War. In the end the Athenians had to yield, and they were obliged by the Macedonian general Antipatros to change their constitution, making it much less democratical than before, and depriving many of the citizens of their votes. For many years there was the greatest confusion in Macedonia and Greece and all the neighboring countries. And things were made worse by an attack from an enemy with whom the Greeks had never before had anything to do. Greece and Macedonia were invaded by the Gauls. By these we need not understand people from Gaul itself, but some of those Celtic tribes which were still in the east of Europe. After doing much mischief in those parts, the Gauls crossed over into Asia, and there founded a state of their own which was called  Gallatia, and, as they too began to learn something of Greek civilization, Gallo-graecia. Meanwhile Kings were being constantly set up and overthrown in Macedonia, and each of them tried to get as much power and influ­ence as he could in Greece itself. At this time too Epirus, a country which hitherto had been of very little im­portance, became a powerful state under its King Pyrrhus, who at one time obtained possession of Macedonia. He also waged wars in Italy and Sicily, which will be spoken of in the next chapter, and he had a great deal to do with the affairs of Peloponnesus, where he was at last killed in be­sieging Argos in 272. From this time things became rather more settled; a second time of freedom, if not of greatness, began in Greece, and a regular dynasty of Kings Axed itself in Macedonia. The old royal family was quite extinct, and the second set of Macedonian Kings were the descendants of Antigonus, one of the most famous of Alexander’s generals. His son   Demetrius, surnamed  Poliorcetes or the Besieger, got possession of the crown of Macedonia in 294. Both he and his son Antigonus Gonata were driven out more than once, but in the end Antigonus contrived to keep the Macedonian crown, and to hand it on to his descendants, who held it till the Macedonian kingdom was conquered by Rome.

23. The later History of Greece.—The last days of Grecian history, before the country came altogether under the power of the Romans, are distinguished in several ways from the times which went before them. The states which are most important in these times are not the same as those which were most important in the old days of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. First of all we must remember that Macedonia and Epirus must now be reckoned as Greek states, and that a large part of Greece, especially in the north, was now always, till the Roman conquest of Macedonia, more or less subject to the Macedonian Kings, or at least under their influence. And, among the states of Greece itself the division of power was very different from what it had been in earlier times. In the days which we have now come to neither Athens nor Thebes was of very great account, and, though Sparta was of great importance during part of the time, yet its greatness was only, as we may say, by fits and starts. We may say that the chief powers of Greece now were MacedoniaAchaiaAetolia and Sparta. Achaia and Aetolia are states of which but little is heard in Grecian history since the heroic times, and the strength which they had now chiefly came from a cause which must be explained a little more at length.

34. The Achaean and Aetolian Leagues.—What chiefly distinguishes this part of Grecian history from earlier times is that we have now but little to do with single cities, but with cities and tribes bound together so as to make states of much greater size. With the exception of Sparta, the Greek states which play the greatest part at this time were joined together in Leagues, so as to form what is called a FederalGovernment, such as there is now in Switzerland and in the Unites States of America. That is to say, several cities agreed together to give up part of the power which naturally belonged to each city separately to an Assembly or Council or body of magistrates, in which all had a share. In a govern­ment of this kind the central power commonly deals with all matters which concern the League as a whole, while each city still acts much as it pleases in its own internal affairs. There had been several Leagues of this kind in Greece from the beginning, but they were chiefly among the smaller and less famous parts of the Greek nation, and they did not play any great part in Grecian affairs. The only one which was of much note in earlier times was the League of Boeotia, and that could hardly be called a League with any truth, for Thebes was so much stronger than the other Boeotian cities as to be practically mistress of all of them. But now the Federal states of Greece come to be of special importance, because it was found that, as long as the cities stood one by one, they had no chance of keeping their freedom against the Macedonian Kings, and that their only chance of doing so was by several cities acting together in matters of peace and war as if they were one city. The greatest of these Leagues was that of Achaia which began with the ten small Achaean cities on the south side of the Corinthian Gulf. These cities had been joined together in a League in early times, but in the times of the Macedonian power they had gradually fallen asunder, and in the days of Antigonus Gonatas several of them were in the hands of Tyrants, who reigned under Macedonian protection. This was the case with many other cities of Greece also, and it was the great object of the League, as it grew and strength­ened, to set free these cities and to join them on to its own body. It was about the year 280 that the old Achaean towns began to draw together again, the chief leader in this work being Markos of Keryneia. About thirty years after, in 251, the League began to extend itself by admitting the city of Sicyon as a member of its body. Sicyon had just been set free by Aratos, who now became the leading man in the League, and, under his administration and that of Philopoimen who followed him, the League took in one city after another, Corynth, Megalopolis, Argos, and others, at first only with their own good will, but afterwards sometimes by force. At last all the cities of Peloponnesus and some cities beyond the Isthmus became members of the League. The Aetolian League on the other side of the Corinthian Gulf did not bear so good a character as the Achaean, though its form of government was much the same. For the Aetolians, though a brave people and always stout in defend­ing their own freedom, were ruder and fiercer than most of the Greeks, and were much given to plunder both by sea and land. The Aetolian League thus greatly extended itself, and became more powerful than that of Achaia, but its policy was not so just and honorable as that of Achaia commonly was. There were also smaller Leagues in Phocis, and Akarnania, besides the League of Epirus, which was now counted as a Greek land, and which had got rid of its Kings and had changed itself into a Federal commonwealth. Thus, except Sparta at one end and Macedonia at the other, by far the greater part of Greece was parted out among the dif­ferent Leagues.

25. The last Days of Independent Greece.—For a long time the great object of the Achaeans was to set free the cities which were more or less under the Macedonian power. But at last they became jealous of Sparta, which was again becoming a great power, and in 227 a war broke out between Sparta and the League. Sparta had now a great King called Kleomenes, who had upset the old oligarchy and had greatly increased the power both of the Kings and of the people. By so doing he put quite a new life into his country, and he pressed the Achaeans so hard that at last, in 223, they asked help of Antigonos Doson, King of Macedonia, which they only got by giving up to him the citadel of Corynth. The Macedonians and Achaeans together defeated Kleomenes, and Sparta’s second time of greatness died with him. The next King of Macedonia, Philip, kept on the alliance with Achaia, and the Achaeans and Macedonians fought together in a war with Aetolia; but, though the League gained in extent, it lost in real power and freedom by joining with a prince who was strong enough to be its master. Peace was made over all Greece in 216, but by this time the Romans had begun to meddle in Greek affairs, and from hence the history of Greece and Macedonia chiefly consists of the steps by which they were swallowed up in the Roman dominion. This last stage of their history will therefore best be told in our sketch of the history of Rome.

26. Summary.—The history of Greece which we have thus run through, though it is the history only of a small part of the world for a few hundred years, is worth fully as much study as any later and wider part of history. It is, as it were, the history of the world in a small space. There is no lesson to be taught by history in general which is not taught by the history of Greece. The Greeks too, we should never forget, were the first people to show the world what real freedom and real civilization were. And they brought, not only politics, but art and science and literature of every kind to a higher pitch than any other people ever did without borrowing of others. In all these ways Greece has influenced the world for ever. Still the influence of Greece upon later history has been to a great degree indirect. Greece influenced Rome, and Rome influenced the world. But with the history of Rome an unbroken chain of events begins which is going on still. We will now try and trace it from the beginning.