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THE HEROIC AGE [ca. 1400-1200 B.C.] THE DORIANS [ca. 1100-1000 B.C.]







IT is unnecessary in the summary of a country whose chief events are so accurately dated and so fully understood as in the case of Greece, to amplify the chronology. A synoptical view of these events will, however, prove useful. Questions of origins and of earliest history are obscure here as elsewhere. As to the earliest dates, it may be well to quote the dictum of Prof. Flinders Petrie, who, after commenting on the discovery in Greece, of pottery marked with the names of early Egyptian kings, states that “the grand age of prehistoric Greece, which can well compare with the art of classical Greece, began about 1600 B.C., was at its highest point about 1400 B.C. and became decadent about 1200 B.C., before its overthrow by the Dorian invasion”. The earlier phase of civilisation in the Aegean may therefore date from the third millennium B.C.

2000—1000. Later phase of civilisation in the Aegean (the Mycenaean Age). The Achaeans and other Greeks spread themselves over Greece, Ionians settle in Asia Minor. The Pelopidae reign at Mycenae. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, commands the Greek forces at Troy.

1184. Fall of Troy (traditional date).

1124. First migration. Northern warriors drive out the population of Thessaly and occupy the country, causing many Achaeans to migrate to the Peloponnesus.

1104. Dorian invasion. The Peloponnesus gradually brought under the Dorian sway. Dorian colonies sent out to Crete, Rhodes, and Asia Minor. Argos head of a Dorian hexapolis.

885. Lycurgus said to have given laws to Sparta. About this time (perhaps much earlier) Phoenician alphabet imported into Greece.

776. The First Olympic year.

750. First Messenian war.



(750-650 B.C.)

683. Athens ruled by nine archons.

632. Attempt of Cylon to make himself supreme at Athens.

621. Draconian code drawn up.

611. Anaximander of Miletus, the constructor of the first map, born. End of seventh century. Second Messenian war. Spartans conquer the country. The Ephors win almost all the kingly power. Cypaelus and his son Periander tyrants of Corinth.

600. The poets Alcaeus and Sappho flourish at Lesbos.

594—593. Solon archon at Athens.

590—589. Sacred war of the Amphictyonic league against Crisa. Clisthenes tyrant of Sicyon.

585. Pythian games reorganised. Date of first Pythiad.

570. Pisistratus polemarch at Athens. Athenians conquer Salamis and Nisaea.

561. Pisistratus makes himself supreme in Athens. He is twice exiled.

559—556. Miltiades tyrant of the Thracian Chersonesus.

556. Chilon’s reforms in Sparta.

549—548. Mycenae and Tiryns go over to Sparta.



(540-510 B.C)

540. Pisistratus tyrant of Athens.

530. Pythagoras goes to Croton.

527. Pisistratus dies and is succeeded by his sons, Hippias and Hipparchus. Homeric poems collected.

514. Hipparchus slain by Harmodius and Aristogiton

510. A Spartan army under Cleomenes blockades Hippias and forces him to quit Athens.



(507 – 493 B.C.)

Clisthenes and Isagoras contend for the chief power in Athens.

507. Isagoras calls in Cleomenes who invades Attica. The Athenians overcome the Spartans, and Clisthenes, who had left Athens, returns. Clisthenes reforms the Athenian democracy.

506. Spartans, Boeotians, and Chalcidians allied against Athens. The Athenians allied with Plataea. Chalcidian territory annexed by Athens. Nearly the whole Peloponnesus forms a league under the hegemony of Sparta. Rivalry between Athens and Aegina.

504. The Athenians refuse to restore Hippias on the Persian demand.

498. Athens and Eretria send ships to aid the Milesians against the Persians.

496. Sophocles born at Athens.

494. Naval battle off Lade, the decisive struggle of the Ionian war, won by the Persians. Battle of Sepeia. The Spartans defeat the Argives.

493. Themistocles, archon at Athens, fortifies the Piraeus.



(492-479 B.C.)


492. Quarrel between the Spartan kings. King Demaratus flees to the Persian court, and King Cleomenes seizes hostages from Aegina. Thrace and Macedonia subdued by the Persians.

490. The Persians subdue Naxos and other islands, and destroy Eretria before landing in Attica. Battle of Marathon; the Greeks under Miltiades defeat the Persians, the latter losing six thousand men; the Persian fleet sets sail for Asia.

489. Miltiades’ expedition against Paros. Miltiades tried, and fined. His death.

487. War between Athens and Aegina. Themistocles begins to equip an Athenian fleet.

483. Aristides ostracised.

481. Xerxes musters an army to invade Greece. Greek congress at Corinth.

480. Xerxes at the Hellespont. The northern Greeks submit to Xerxes. The Greek army is defeated at the pass of Thermopylae and Leonidas, the Spartan king, is slain. Battle of Artemisium. The Greek fleet retreats. Athens being evacuated, Xerxes occupies it. Battle of Salamis and complete victory of the Greeks. Retreat of Xerxes. The Greeks fail to follow up their victory.

479. Mardonius invades Boeotia; occupies Athens. Retreat of Mardonius. Battle of Plataea. Mardonius defeated and slain. Retreat of the Persian army. Battle of Mycale and defeat of the Persian fleet.



(479-463 B.C.)

478. Athenians under Xanthippus capture Sestus in the Chersonesus. Confederacy of Delos.

477. Athenian walls rebuilt. Piraeus fortified. Themistocles’ law providing for the annual increase of the navy. Pausanias conquers Byzantium. He enters into treacherous relations with the Persians.

476. The Spartans endeavour to reorganise the Amphictyonic league. Their attempts defeated by Themistocles.

474. The poet Pindar flourishes.

473. Scyros conquered by the Athenian, Cimon. Argos defeated by the Spartans at the battle of Tegea.

472. Themistocles ostracised. PERSAE of Aeschylus performed.

471. The Arcadian league against Sparta crushed at the battle of Dipaea

470—469. Naxos secedes from the confederacy of Delos, and is compelled to return.

470. Socrates born.

468. Cimon defeats the Persians at the Eurymedon. Argos recovers Tiryns.

465—463. Thasos revolts and is reduced by the fleet under Cimon.

464. Sparta stirred by terrible earthquake and a revolt of the helots. The Third Messenian war.

463-462. Cimon persuades Athens to send help to the Spartans, but the latter refuse the assistance. They are afraid of Athens’ revolutionary spirit. This incident puts an end to Cimon’s Laconian policy. It is the triumph of Ephialtes and his party.



(463-431 B.C.)


463-461. Triumph of democracy at Athens under Ephialtes and Pericles. The Areopagus deprived of its powers. Cimon protests against the changes effected in his absence. He is ostracised, and Athens forms a connection with Argos, which captures and destroys Mycenae.

460-459. Megara secedes from the Peloponnesian league to Athens. A fleet, sent by Athens to aid the Egyptian revolt against Persia, captures Memphis.

459. Ithome captured by the Spartans.

459—458. Athens at war with the northern states of the Peloponnesus. Athenian victories of Halieis, Cecryphalea, and Aegina.

458. Long walls of Athens completed.

457. Spartan expedition to Boeotia. Victory of Tanagra over the Athenians. Truce between Athens and Sparta. Battle of Oenophyta and conquest of Boeotia by the Athenians. The Phocians and Locrians make alliance with Athens.

456. Aegina surrenders to the Athenians.

454. Greek contingent in Egypt capitulates to the Persians; the Athenian fleet destroyed at the mouth of the Nile.

454—453. Treasury of the confederacy of Delos transferred from the island to Athens.

453. Pericles besieges Sicyon and Oeniadae without success. Achaia passes under the Athenian dominion.

452—451. Five years’ truce between Athens and the Peloponnesus.

450—449. Cimon leads an expedition against Cyprus. Death of Cimon. The fleet on its way home wins the battle of Salamis in Cyprus.

448. Peace of Callias concluded with Persia. Sacred war. The Phocians withdraw from the Athenian alliance.

447. Boeotia lost to Athens by the battle of Coronea.

447—446. Revolt of Euboea and Megara from the Delian confederacy. Euboea is subdued and annexed. Pericles plants colonies in the Thracian Chersonesus, Euboea, Naxos, etc.

446—445. Thirty Years’ Peace between Athens and Sparta.

444. Aristophanes born.

442. Thucydides opposes Pericles; is ostracised, leaving Pericles without a rival in Athens, where he governs for fifteen years with absolute power. Sophocles’ Antigone produced.

440-439. Pericles subdues Samos. Corcyraeans defeat Corinthians in a sea-fight.

433. Corcyra concludes alliance with Athens. Battle of Sybota between Corcyra and Corinth. King Perdiccas of Macedonia incites the revolt of Chalcidice against Athens.

432. Megarian decree, passed at Athens, excludes Megarians from all Athenian markets. Battle of Potidaea. Athenians defeat the Corinthians.



(431-404 B.C.)

431. Sparta decides on war with Athens on the grounds of her having broken the Thirty ears’ Peace. Peloponnesian War. First period called the “Attic War”. Plataea surprised by Thebans. Thebans taken and executed in spite of a promise for their release. King Archidamus of Sparta invades Attica. The population crowd into Athens. Athens annexes Aegina. The fleet takes several important places.

430. The plague in Athens. Trial of Pericles for misappropriation of public money. Potidaea taken by the Athenians and the inhabitants expelled.

429. Archidamus besieges Plataea. Phormion, the Athenian, wins the victory of Naupactus. Death of Pericles. Rivalry between contending parties under Nicias and Cleon.

428. Archidamus invades Attica. Mytilene revolts and is blockaded by the Athenians.

427. Fourth invasion of Attica by the Spartans. Surrender of Mytilene. The Mytilenaean ringleaders executed. Surrender of Plataea to the Peloponnesians. Oligarchs in Corcyra conspire to overthrow the democrats. Civil war and naval engagement. Terrible slaughter. Athenian expedition to Sicily under Laches. Birth of Plato.

426. Athenians under Demosthenes defeated in Aetolia. Battle of Olpae. Peloponnesians and Ambracians defeated by Demosthenes. Purification of Delos by the Athenians. The Delian festival revived under Athenian superintendence.

425. Athens increases the amount of tribute to be paid by the confederacy. The episode of Pylos, leading, after a long struggle, to the capture of Lacedaemonian forces in Sphacteria.

424. Defeat of Hippocrates at Delium. Thucydides, the historian, banished for not succouring Amphipolis in time. Brasidas takes towns of Chalcidice.

423. Truce between Athens and Sparta. Scione in Chalcidice revolts to Sparta and an Athenian expedition under Cleon is sent against it, notwithstanding the truce.

422. Battle of Amphipolis won by Brasidas, but both he and Cleon are slain.

421. Peace of Nicias ends the first period of the Peloponnesian War. Mutual restoration of conquests. Scione is taken and all the male inhabitants put to death.

420. Second period of the Peloponnesian War. Alcibiades becomes the chief opponent of Nicias. Expedition against Epidaurus.

418. Nicias recovers his power in Athens. The Spartans invade Argolis. Athenians take Orchomenus, but are defeated by the Spartans. Battle of Mantinea. Hyperbolus attempts to obtain the ostracism of Nicias. The decree is passed against himself, being the last instance of ostracism. Argive oligarchy overthrows the democratic government. A counter revolution restores the democrats. Athens concludes alliance with Argos.

416. Melos conquered by the Athenians. The Sicilian city of Segesta appeals to Athens for help against Selinus. Nicias opposes the sending of assistance, but is overruled and sent with Alcibiades in command of a Sicilian expedition.

415. Mysterious mutilation of the Hermae statues regarded as an evil omen. Alcibiades accused of a plot. His trial postponed. The expedition sails. Fall of Alcibiades; his escape.

414. Siege of Syracuse. The Spartan Gylippus arrives with ships.

413. Nicias appeals for help to Athens and a second expedition is voted. Syracusans worsted in a sea battle. Syracusans capture an Athenian treasure fleet, and win a battle in the harbour of Syracuse. Arrival of the second Athenian expedition and its total defeat. The Athenians retreat by land. The rear guard is forced to surrender and the relics of the main body are captured after the defeat of the Asinarus. Tribute of the confederacy abolished and replaced by an import and export duty.

412. Third period of the Peloponnesian War, called the Decelean or Ionian War. The allies of Athens take advantage of her misfortunes to revolt. Sparta makes a treaty with Persia. Athens wins several naval successes.

411. “Revolution of the Four Hundred”. The fleet and army at Samos place themselves under the leadership of Alcibiades. Spartans defeat the Athenian fleet at Eretria. Fall of the Four Hundred and partial restoration of Athenian democracy. Battle of Cynossema won by the Athenians. Alcibiades defeats the Peloponnesians at Abydos.

410. Battle of Cyzicus won by Alcibiades. Complete restoration of Athenian democracy.

408. Alcibiades conquers Byzantium.

407. Cyrus, viceroy of Sardis, furnishes the Spartan Lysander with money to raise the pay of the Spartan navy. Lysander begins to set up the oligarchical government of the decarchies in the cities conquered by him. Battle of Notium. Athenians defeated. Alcibiades’ downfall.

406. Battle of Arginusae. Peloponnesians defeated by the Athenians. The victorious generals are blamed for not rescuing their wounded, and are illegally condemned and executed. The Spartans make overtures for peace, which are rejected.

405. Battle of Aegospotami. Most of the Athenian ships are taken and all the prisoners are put to death. The Athenian empire passes to Sparta. Lysander subdues the Hellespont and Thrace, and lays siege to Athens.

404. Surrender of Athens.



(403 -  379 B.C.)

Return to Athens of exiles of the oligarchical party. Athens under the Thirty. Thrasybulus and other exiles gain Phyle. Theramenes opposes the violent rule of the Thirty and is put to death.

403. Battle of Munychia. Thrasybulus defeats the army of the Thirty. Death of Critias. The Thirty are deposed and replaced by the Ten. The Spartans under Lysander come to the aid of the Ten, but the intervention of the Spartan king, Pausanias, brings about the restoration of the Attic democracy.

401. Cyrus’ campaign and the battle of Cunaxa. Retreat of the Ten Thousand Greeks under Xenophon.

400. Spartan invasion of the Persian dominions.

399. Spartans under Dercyllidas occupy the Troad. Elis conquered and dismembered by the Spartans. Socrates put to death for denying the Athenian gods.

398. Agesilaus becomes king of Sparta.

397. Cimon’s conspiracy.

396. Agesilaus invades Phrygia.

395. Agesilaus wins the victory of Sardis. Revolt of Rhodes. The Spartans invade Boeotia and are repelled with the assistance of the Athenians. Thebes, Athens, Argos, and Corinth allied against Sparta.

394. Agesilaus returns from Asia Minor. Battle of Nemea won by the Spartans. Battle of Cnidus. The Persian fleet under Conon destroys the Spartan fleet. Agesilaus wins the battle of Coronea and retreats from Boeotia.

393. Pharnabazus destroys the Spartan dominion in the eastern Aegean, and supplies Conon with funds to restore the long walls of Athens. Beginning of the “Corinthian War”.

392. Federation of Corinth and Argos. Fighting between the Spartans and the allies on the Isthmus of Corinth. Both sides send embassies to the Persians.

391. The Spartans begin fresh wars in Asia.

389. Successes of Thrasybulus in the northern Aegean.

388. Spartans dispute the supremacy of Athens on the Hellespont and are defeated at Cremaste.

387. Peace of Antalcidas between Persia and Sparta. Athens is compelled to accede.

386. Dissolution of the union of Corinth and Argos. Sparta compels the Mantineans to break down their city walls and separate into small villages.

384—382. The city of Olynthus, having united the Chalcidian towns under her hegemony and increased her territory at the expense of Macedonia, makes alliance with Athens and Thebes. Sparta sends help to the towns which refuse to join.

384. Aristotle born.

882. Spartans seize the citadel of Thebes.

880.PANEGYRIC of Isocrates, a plea for Greek unity.

381-879. Sparta forces Phlius to submit to her dictation.

379. Chalcidian league compelled by Sparta to dissolve. The power of Sparta at its height. Rising of Thebes under Pelopidas against Sparta. Sphodrias, the Spartan, invades Athenian territory. The Spartans decline to punish the aggression.



(378-359 B.C)


378. Athens makes alliance with Thebes.

378—377. Formation by the Athenians of a new maritime confederacy.

378—376. Three unsuccessful Spartan expeditions into Boeotia.

376. Great maritime victory of the Athenian Chabrias at Naxos. Successes of Timotheus of Athens in the Ionian Sea.

374. Brief peace between Sparta and Athens.

374—373. Corcyra unsuccessfully invested by the Spartans.

371. Peace of Callias, guaranteeing the independence of each individual Greek city. Thebes not included in the Peace. Jason of Pherae, despot of Thessaly. Battle of Leuctra. Epaminondas of Thebes defeats the Spartans. Revolutionary outbreaks in Peloponnesus.

370. Arcadian union and restoration of Mantinea. Foundation of Megalopolis. Epaminondas and Pelopidas invade Laconia.

369. Messene restored by the Thebans as a menace to Sparta. Alliance between Sparta and Athens. The Thebans conquer Sicyon. Pelopidas sent to deliver the Thessalian cities from the rivals, Alexander of Macedon and Alexander of Pherae.

368. The Spartans win the “tearless victory” of Midea over the Arcadians. Death of Alexander II of Macedon. Succession of his brother Perdiccas secured by Athenian intervention. Pelopidas captured by Alexander of Pherae.

367. Epaminondas rescues him. Pelopidas obtains a Persian decree settling disputed questions in Peloponnesus. The decree disregarded in Greece.

366. The Thebans conquer Achaia, but fail to keep it. Athens makes alliance with Arcadia

365. Athenians conquer and colonise Samos, and acquire Sestus and Grithote. Perdiccas III of Macedon assassinates the regent. Timotheus takes Potidaea and Torone for Athens. Elis invaded by the Arcadians.

364. Creation of a Boeotian navy encourages the allies of Athens to revolt. Battle of Cynoscephalae. Alexander of Pherae, defeated by the Boeotians and their Thessalian allies. Pelopidas falls in the battle. Orchomenus destroyed by the Thebans. Elis invaded by the Arcadians. Spartan operations fail. Battle in the Altis during the Olympic games. The Arcadians appropriate the sacred Olympian treasure. Praxiteles, the sculptor, flourished.

362. Unsuccessful attack on Sparta by Epaminondas. Battle of Mantinea and death of Epaminondas.

361. Agesilaus of Sparta goes to Egypt as a leader of mercenaries. Battle of Peparethus. Alexander of Pherae defeats the Athenian fleet. He attacks the Piraeus.

360. The Thracian Chersonesus lost to Athens.



(359-386 B.C)


859. Death of Perdiccas III of Macedon. Philip seizes the government as guardian for his nephew, Amyntas.

858. Brilliant victories of Philip over the Paeonians and Illyrians.

857. Thracian Chersonesus and Euboea recovered by Athens. Philip takes Amphipolis. Revolt of Athenian allies, Chios, Cos, and Rhodes.

356. Battle of Embata lost by the Athenians. Philip founds Philippi, takes Pydna and Potidaea, defeats the Illyrians and sets to work to organise his kingdom on a military basis. Birth of Alexander the Great.

355. Peace between Athens and her revolted allies. The Athenians abandon their schemes of a naval empire. Outbreak of the “Sacred war” against the Phocians who had seized the Delphic temple.

354. Battle of Neon. The Phocians defeated. Demosthenes begins his political activity. Phocian successes under Onomarchus.

353. Methone taken by Philip of Macedon. Philip and the Thessalian league opposed to Onomarchus and the tyrants of Pherae. Onomarchus drives Philip from Thessaly. Philip crushes the Phocians in Magnesia and makes himself master of Thessaly. Phocis saved from him by help from Athens.

352. War in the Peloponnesus. Spartan schemes of aggression frustrated. Thrace subdued by Philip.

351. Demosthenes delivers his First Philippic.

349. Philip begins war against Olynthus which makes alliance with Athens. Athenian attempt to recover Euboea fails.

348. Philip destroys Olynthus and the Chalcidian towns.

347. Death of Plato.

346. Peace of Philocrates between Philip and Athens. Phocis subdued by Philip. Philip presides at the Pythian games. Philip becomes archon of Thessaly. Demosthenes accuses Aeschines of accepting bribes from Philip.

344. Demosthenes delivers The Second Philippic.

343. Megara, Chalcis, Ambracia, Acarnania, Achaia, and Corcyra ally themselves with Athens.

342—341. Philip annexes Thrace. He founds Philippopolis.

341. Demosthenes’ Third Philippic.

340. Diplomatic breach between Athens and Philip.

339. Perinthus and Byzantium unsuccessfully besieged by Philip. Philip s campaign on the Danube.

338. The Amphiotyonic league declares a “holy war” against Amphissa, and requests the aid of Philip. Philip destroys Amphissa and conquers Naupactus. Philip occupies Elatea. Athens makes alliance with Thebes. Battle of Chaeronea. Philip defeats the Athenians and Thebans. The hegemony of Greece passes to Macedon. Philip invades the Peloponnesus, which, with the exception of Sparta, acknowledges his supremacy. Philip establishes a Greek confederacy under the Macedonian hegemony. Lycurgus appointed to control the public revenues in Athens.

336. Attalus and Parmenion open the Macedonian war in Aeolis.



(336-323 B.C.)

Murder of Philip and succession of Alexander the Great. Alexander compels the Hellenes to recognise his hegemony.

335. Alexander conducts a successful campaign on the Danube and defeats the Illyrians at Pelium. Thebes revolts against him and is destroyed.

334. Alexander sets out for Asia. Battle of the Granicus. Alexander defeats the Persians. Lydia, Miletus, Caria, Halicarnassus, Lycia, Pamphylia, and Pisidia subdued.

333. Alexander goes to Gordium and cuts the Gordian knot. Death of his chief opponent, the Persian general, Memnon. Submission of Paphlagonia and Cilicia. Battle of Issus. Alexander puts the army of Darius to flight. Sidon and Byblos submit.

332. Tyre besieged and taken. He slaughters the inhabitants and marches southward, storming Gaza. Egypt conquered. He founds Alexandria.

331. Battle of Arbela and defeat of the Great King. Babylon opens its gates to Alexander. He enters Susa. The Spartans rise and are defeated at Megalopolis.

330. Alexander occupies Persepolis. Alexander in Ecbatana, in Parthia, and on the Caspian. Philotas is accused of conspiring against Alexander’s life and is executed. His father, the general Parmenion, put to death on suspicion. Judicial contest between Demosthenes and Aeschines ends in the latter’s quitting Athens. Part of Gedrosia (Beluchistan) submits to Alexander.

329. Arachosia conquered.

328. Alexander conquers Bactria and Sogdiana.

327. Alexander quells the rebellion of Sogdiana and Bactria. Clitus killed by Alexander at a banquet. Alexander marries the Sogdian Roxane. Callisthenes, the historian, is put to death under pretext of complicity in the conspiracy of the pages to assassinate Alexander. Beginning of the Indian war.

326. Alexander in the Punjab; he crosses the Indus, and is victorious at the Hydaspes. At the Hyphasis the army refuses to advance further. Alexander builds a fleet and sails to the mouth of the Indus.

325. Conquest of the Lower Punjab. March through Gedrosia (Mekran in Beluchistan) and Carmania. Nearchus makes a voyage of discovery in the Indian Ocean.

324. Alexander in Susa. He punishes treasonable conduct of officials during his absence. Alexander’s veterans discharged at Opis. Harpalus deposits at Athens the money stolen from Alexander. The trial respecting misappropriation of this money ends in Demosthenes being forced to quit Athens. Alexander’s last campaign against the Kossaeans.

323. Alexander returns to Babylon and reorganises his army for the conquest of Arabia. Death of Alexander.



 (323  - 280 B.C.)

323. At Alexander’s death his young half-brother, Philip Arrhidaeus, succeeded to his empire, while there are expectations of a posthumous heir by Roxane. The young Alexander is born. Perdiccas is made regent over the Asiatic dominions, while Antipater and Craterus take the joint regency of the West. The Greeks, with Athens at their head, attempt to throw off the Macedonian yoke as soon as Alexander is dead, and the Lamian war breaks out (323-322). But one by one the states yield to Antipater and Craterus. The direct government of the dominions in Europe, Africa, and Western Asia is divided among Alexander’s generals. Thirty-four shared in the allotment; the most important are: Ptolemy Lagus, in Egypt and Cyrenaica; Antigonus, in Phrygia, Pamphylia, and Lycia: Eumenes, the secretary of Alexander, in Paphlagonia and Cappadocia; Cassander, in Caria; Leonnatus, in Hellespontine Phrygia; Menander, in Lydia; and Lysimachus, in Thrace and the Euxine districts. Perdiccas aims to marry Alexander’s sister, Cleopatra, as a means of becoming absolute master of the empire. The other generals league themselves against him, and (321) Perdiccas is murdered by his soldiers while proceeding against Ptolemy. Antipater replaces him as regent, and redivides the empire; Seleucus is given Babylonia to rule over. Antipater dies 319, and Cassander Polysperchon become regents. In 317 and 316, Cassander conquers Greece and Macedonia. Antigonus, with the help of Cassander, attacks and defeats Eumenes, who is betrayed by his own forces in 316. Antigonus now has ambitions to control the whole empire, and in 315 the terrible war of the Diadochi, between him and the other generals, begins. Antigonus and his son, Demetrius Poliorcetes, call themselves kings. Seleucus, Lysimachus, Cassander, and others do the same. Demetrius seizes Athens in 307. At the end of the struggle every member of Alexander’s family is dead, the majority put to death. In 301, at the battle of Ipsus, Antigonus falls, and Demetrius takes to flight. Cassander dies 296, and the succession is contested by his two sons, Philip IV and ;Antipater. Demetrius takes the opportunity of this quarrel to seize the European dominions. He prepares to invade Asia, and the other successors of the empire, together with King Pyrrhus of Epirus, league against him. In 287 Pyrrhus invades Macedonia, and Demetrius’army deserts him. Pyrrhus is welcomed as king, and he gives Lysimachus the eastern part of Macedonia to rule over. Demetrius renews the struggle with Pyrrhus, and at his death, in 283, his son, Antigonus Gonatas, carries it on. In 282 Lysimachus is attacked by Seleucus Nicator, and is defeated and killed on the plain of Corus in 281. Ptolemy Ceraunus murders Seleucus, and seizes the European kingdom of Lysimachus. In 280 Pyrrhus goes to Tarentum to make war on the Romans.



(280 -  217 B.C.)

The Achaean towns of Patrae, Dyme, Tritaea, and Pharae expel their Macedonian garrisons and join in a confederacy.

279. The Celts descend on the Balkan countries and on Macedonia. Death of Ptolemy Ceraunus.

278. Celts under Brennus approach Greece. Struggle between Celts and Hellenes round Thermopylae. Brennus defeated at Delphi. Celts driven back. Aetolian Confederacy becomes the most important representative of Greek independence.

277. Antigonus king of Macedonia. He founds the dynasty of the Antigonids. Pyrrhus conquers Sicily.

276. The Achaean town Aegium expels its garrison and joins Patrai, etc., in the Achaean Confederacy.

244. Pyrrhus returns to Epirus.

273. Pyrrhus expels Antigonus from Macedon.

272. Pyrrhus besieges Sparta, which successfully resists him. He turns against Argos, where he is killed. Antigonus recovers his supremacy in Greece. The Greek cities fight for their independence.

265. The Macedonians defeat the Egyptian fleet at Cos. Antigonus recovers his position in the Peloponnesus.

263. Chremonidean war.

263-202. Antigonus takes Athens. End of the independent political importance of Athens.

255. The Long Walls of Athens broken down.

249. Aratus frees Sicyon from its tyrant Nicodes, and brings the town over to the Achaean League.

245. Aratus becomes president of the Achaean League. Agis IV becomes king of Sparta and attempts to introduce reforms.

242. Aratus conquers Corinth. Megara, Troezen, and Epidaurus join the Achaeans.

241. Agis IV executed.

239. Demetrius, king of Macedon. Alliance between the Achaeans and Aetolians.

238—5. Extinction of the Epirote Aeacids; federative republic in Epirus.

235. Cleomenes III, king of Sparta.

234. Lydiades abdicates from his tyranny and brings Megalopolis over to the Achaean League.

231. Illyrian corsairs ravage the western coasts of Greece and defy the Achaean and Aetolian fleets.

229. The greater part of Argolis included in the Achaean League. Antigonus Doson, regent of Macedon. Athens frees herself from the Macedonian dominion. The Romans defeat the Illyrian corsairs.

228. Athens makes alliance with Rome. The Achaean League at the height of its power.

227. Beginning of the Spartan war against the Achaean League.

226. Cleomenes III effects fundamental reforms in Sparta.

224. Battle at Dyme. Cleomenes defeats the Achaean League.

223. Aratus calls in the aid of Macedon. Egypt deserts the Achaeans and becomes the ally of Sparta. Achaeans, Boeotians, Phocians, Thessalians, Epirotes, and Acarnanians form, under the leadership of Macedon, an alliance against Sparta.

222. Battle of Sellasia. Defeat of the Spartans. Antigonus Doson restores the Spartan oligarchy.

220. Philip V, king of Macedon. War of Philip and his Greek allies, including the Achaean League, against the Aetolians supported by Sparta.

219. Lycurgus (last king of Sparta).

217. Peace of Naupactus. The destructive war against the AetoIians ended in dread of a Carthaginian invasion. Philip V becomes protector of all the Hellenes.



(216-140 B.C.)

216. Philip concludes an alliance with Hannibal and provokes the first Macedonian war with Rome.

214. Battle near the mouth of the Aous. The Romans surprise Philip and defeat him. Aetolians, Eleians, Messenians, and Illyrians accept Roman protection.

213. Aratus poisoned at Philip’s instigation.

211. Sparta goes over to Rome. Savage wars of the Grecian cities against one another.

208. Philopoemen becomes general of the Achaean League, and revives its military power.

205. Philip makes peace with Rome, ceding the country of the Parthenians and several Illyrian districts to Rome. Philip carries on war in Rhodes, Thrace, and Mysia, and sends auxiliaries to Carthage.

200. Second Macedonian war declared by Rome. Romans under Sulpicius invade Macedonia.

199. Romans kept inactive by mutiny in the army.

198. Defeat of Philip by Flamininus. Achaeans and Spartans join the Romans.

197. Battle of Cynoscephalae and destruction of the Macedonian phalanx. Philip accepts humiliating terms and renounces his supremacy over the Greeks.

194. Flamininus returns to Rome. The Aetolians, dissatisfied, pillage Sparta, which joins the Achaean League. Antiochus in of Syria comes to the aid of the Aetolians.

191. Battle of Thermopylae. Antiochus defeated by the Romans.

190. Battle of Magnesia. Romans defeat Antiochus. Submission of the Aetolians.

183. Messene revolts from the Achaean League.

179. Callicrates succeeds Philopoemen as general of the Achaean League. Death of Philip V and accession of Perseus, who conciliates the Greeks, and makes alliances with Syria, Rhodes, etc.

169. Attempted assassination of Eumenes of Pergamum on his return from Rome.

168. Third Macedonian war declared by the Romans. Romans are unsuccessful at first, but the battle of Pydna is won by Paulus Aemilius, the Macedonians losing twenty thousand men. Flight and subsequent surrender of Perseus.

150. Death of Callicrates.

152. Andriscus lays claim to the throne of Macedon.

148. Andriscus defeated at Pydna and taken to Rome.

146. Macedon made a Roman province. Romans support Sparta in her attempt to withdraw from the Achaean League. Corinthians take up arms, and are joined by the Boeotians and by Chalcis. Battle of Scarphe and victory of the Romans under Metellus. Corinth is taken by Mummius; its art treasures are sent to Rome, and the city delivered up to pillage. Achaean and Boeotian leagues dissolved.



(323-30 B.C.)


In 323 Ptolemy I, son of Lagus, receives the government of Egypt and Cyrenaica in the division of Alexander’s Empire. He rules at Alexandria. In 321 he allies himself with Antipater against the ambitious Perdiccas. He joins the alliance against Antigonus in 315.

306. He assumes the title of king.

304. He assists the Rhodians to repel Demetrius, and wins the surname of Soter (Saviour).

285. He abdicates in favour of his son, Ptolemy Philadelphus, and dies two years later. Ptolemy II reigns almost in undisturbed peace. About 266 he annexes Phoenicia and Coele-Syria. He is famous as a great patron of commerce, science, literature, and art, and raises the Alexandrian Museum and Library to importance. On his death in 247, his son, Ptolemy (III) Euergetes, reunites Cyrenaica, of which his father’s half-brother, Magas, had declared himself king on the death of Ptolemy I.

In 245 he invades Syria, to avenge his sister Berenice, the wife of Antiochus II, slain by Laodice. He also marches to and captures Babylon, but is recalled to Egypt by a revolt in 243.

In 222 he is succeeded by his son, Ptolemy (IV) Philopator.

In 217 this king defeats Antiochus the Great at Raphia, recovering Phoenicia and Coele-Syria, which has been wrested from him. Ptolemy (V) Epiphanes began his reign in 205 or 204. Antiochus the Great invades Egypt, and the Romans intervene. Ptolemy marries Cleopatra, daughter of Antiochus. He dies by poison in 181. His son, Ptolemy (VI) Philometor, succeeds, with Cleopatra as regent until her death in 174. Then the ministers make war on Antiochus Epiphanes, who captures Ptolemy in 170. The king’s brother, Ptolemy (VII) Euergetes or Physcon, then proclaims himself king, and reigns jointly with his brother after the latter’s release.

In 164 Ptolemy VII expels Ptolemy VI, but is compelled to recall him at the demand of Rome. Ptolemy VII returns to Cyrenaica, which he holds as a separate kingdom until his brother’s death, 146, when he returns to Egypt, slays the legitimate heir, and rules as sole king. The people of Alexandria expel him in 130, but he manages to get back in 127. Dies 117. His son, Ptolemy (VIII) Philometor or Lathyrus, shares the throne with his mother, Cleopatra III.

In 107 his mother expels him, and puts her favourite son, Ptolemy (IX) Alexander, on the throne. Ptolemy VIII keeps his power in Cyprus, and on his mother’s death the Egyptians recall him and banish his brother. The wars with the Seleucid princes are kept up. Berenice III, the daughter of Ptolemy VIII, succeeds him in 81. Her stepson, Ptolemy X or Alexander II, son of Ptolemy Alexander, comes from Rome as Sulla’s candidate, and marries her. The queen is at once murdered, by her husband’s order, and the people put him to death, 80. The legitimate line is now extinct. An illegitimate son of Ptolemy Lathyrus, Ptolemy (XI) Neua Dionysus or Auletes, takes Egypt; and a younger brother, Cyprus. Weary of taxation, the Alexandrians expel Auletes in 58, but the Romans restore him in 55. His son, Ptolemy XII, and his daughter, Cleopatra, succeed him in joint reign in 51. In 48 Ptolemy expels his sister, who flees to Syria, and attempts to recover Egypt by force of arms. Caesar effects her restoration in 48, and the civil war with Pompey results. Ptolemy is defeated on the Nile, and drowned. Cleopatra’s career after this belongs to Roman history. Unwilling to appear in Octavian’s triumph after Actium, she kills herself in some unknown way, 30 B.C.



(312-65 B.C.)

Seleucus (I) Nicator receives the satrapy of Babylon from Antipater. He founds his kingdom in 312. He extends his conquests into Central Asia and India, assuming the title of king about 306. He takes part against Antigonus in the battle of Ipsus, 801. After this a part of Asia Minor is added to his dominions, and the Syrian kingdom is formed. He defeats Lysimachus on the plain of Corus in 281 and is assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus in 280. He is the builder of the capital cities of Seleucia and Antioch. His son Antiochus (I) Soter succeeds. He gives up all claim to Macedonia on the marriage of Seleucus’ daughter, Phila, to Antigonus Gonatas. Dies 261, his son Antiochus (II) Theos succeeding. In this reign the kingdom is greatly weakened by the revolt of Parthia and Bactria, leading to the establishment of the Parthian empire by Arsaces about 250. He also involves himself in a ruinous war with Ptolemy Philadelphus, concluding with the peace of 250. He is killed, 246, and succeeded by his son Seleucus (II) Callinicus who wars with the Parthians and Egyptians until his death in 226. Seleucus (III) Ceraunus after a short reign of three years is succeeded by his brother Antiochus (III) the Great, the most famous of the Seleucidae.

223. Alexander and Molon the rebellious brothers of the king are subdued. Antiochus goes to war with Ptolemy Philopator and is beaten at Raphia, 217, losing Coele-Syria and Phoenicia.

214. Achaeus the governor of Asia Minor rebels, and is defeated and killed.

212. Antiochus begins an attempt to regain Parthia and Bactria, but in 205 is compelled to acknowledge their independence. Continued warfare with Egypt. Phoenicia and Coele-Syria regained by battle of Paneas in 198, but these territories are given back to Egypt when Ptolemy Epiphanes marries Cleopatra, daughter of Antiochus.

196. The Thracian Chersonesus taken from Macedonia.

192—189. War with the Romans, who demand restoration of the Thracian and Egyptian provinces.

190. Battle of Magnesia; great defeat of Antiochus by the Romans.

187. Antiochus killed by his subjects as he attempts to rob the temple of Elymais to pay the Romans. His son Seleucus (IV) Philopator succeeds. Before his death, in 175, Seleucus satisfies the Roman claims. His successor is his brother Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes. Armenia, lost by Antiochus III, is reconquered, also Phoenicia and Coele-Syria, 171—168. Antiochus attempts to stamp out the Jewish religion, giving rise to the Maccabaean rebellion in 167. Antiochus (V) Eupator succeeds his father in 164. Lysias is regent, as the king is only nine years old. A peace with the Jews is concluded and then Antiochus is killed, 162, by Demetrius (I) Soter, son of Seleucus Philopator, who seizes the throne. The Maccabaeans hold their own against this king. Alexander Balas, a pretended son of Antiochus Epiphanes, organises an insurrection. He invades Syria, and Demetrius is killed, 150, in battle. Alexander Balas usurps the throne. Demetrius (II) Nicator, son of Demetrius I, contests the throne but not with much success. Balas wars with Ptolemy Philopator and is killed, 145. A war of succession begins between Demetrius Nicator and Balas’ young son Antiochus VI. The latter is supported by the Jews. Antiochus VI is slain by Tryphon, the general of Alexander Balas, in 142. Tryphon rules until 139, when he is put to death by Antiochus (VII) Sidetes. Meanwhile one faction recognises Demetrius Nicator as king. He marries Cleopatra, an Egyptian princess, goes to war with the Parthians, is captured, and Antiochus Sidetes takes his place for ten years. Sidetes wages war with the Parthians, and is killed in battle, 128. Demetrius Nicator now resumes his rule, but owing to his misgovernment is assassinated at the instigation of Cleopatra, in 125. The eldest son, Seleucus V, is put to death the same year by Cleopatra, and the second son, Antiochus (VIII) Grypus, takes the throne. He expels Alexander Zabina, a usurper. Civil war breaks out between Antiochus and his half-brother, Antiochus (IX) Cyzicenus, who in 112 compels a division of the kingdom, taking Phoenicia and Coele-Syria as his share. Antiochus VIII is assassinated, 96. Antiochus IX is killed in 95 by Seleucus (VI) Epiphanes, son of Grypus, who rules only one year. Antiochus (X) Eusebes, son of Antiochus IX, follows. His claims are contested by the sons of Grypus, Philip, Demetrius (III) Eucaerus, and Antiochus (XI) Epiphanes. The latter is drowned fleeing from Eusebes and the other two rule over the whole of Syria. In 88 Demetrius is captured by the Parthians and another brother Antioohus (XIl) Dionysius, shares the rule with Philip. He is killed in a war with the Arabians. Civil strife has now reached such a state that the Syrians invite Tigranes of Armenia to put an end to it. He conquers Syria in 83, and rules it until 69, when, after his defeat by Lucullus, Antiochus (XIII) Asiaticus, son of Antiochus Eusebes, regains the throne. He is deposed, 65, by Pompey, and Syria becomes a Roman province.



(570-210 B.C.)

The government of the Greek colonies in Sicily is originally oligarchical, but the rule soon gets into the hands of despots or tyrants, who hold uncontrolled power.

570—554. Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum or Acrargas, brings that city to be the most powerful in the island. About 500, Oleander obtains possession of Gela. His brother Hippocrates succeeds, and is followed by Gelo, who makes himself master of Syracuse.

488. Theron is tyrant of Agrigentum, and, 481, expels Terillus from Himera. Terillus appeals to the Carthaginians who besiege Himera,

480. Gelo aids Theron and defeats Hamilcar.

478. Gelo succeeded by his brother Hiero I, an oppressive ruler.

472. Thrasydaeus succeeds Theron in Agrigentum, but is expelled by Hiero.

467. Thrasybulus succeeds Hiero, but is driven from Sicily by the people, 466. The fall of Thrasybulus is the signal for great internal dissensions, settled, 461, by a congress, which restores peace and prosperity for half a century, interrupted only by a quickly suppressed revolt of the Sicels in 451.

409. Hannibal, grandson of Hamilcar, attempts the conquest of Sicily.

405. Dionysius attains to despotic power in Syracuse.

383. After constant war the limits of Greek and Carthaginian power in Sicily are fixed.

367. Dion succeeds Dionysius; after an oppressive rule he is murdered, 353. A period of confusion follows. The younger Dionysius and Hicetas hold power against each other. The latter calls in the Carthaginians, and Timoleon comes from Corinth, defeats Hicetas, and restores Greek liberty in 343. Democratic government is also reinstated in other parts of Sicily.

340. Defeat of Hasdrubal and Hamilcar at the Crimisus puts an end to all fear from Carthage.

337. Agathocles establishes a despotism in Syracuse. His reign is oppressive and disastrous for Sicily.

310. Defeat of Agathocles by Hamilcar at Ecnomus. Agathocles goes to Africa to carry on the war; meanwhile Hamilcar gets possession of a large part of Sicily. Agathocles makes peace with Carthage, and perpetrates a fearful massacre of his opponents.

289. Death of Agathocles. Hicetas becomes tyrant of Syracuse. Agrigentum, under Phintias, attains to great power. The Carthaginians now begin to be predominant in the island.

278. Pyrrhus lands in Sicily to aid the Greeks, but returns to Italy, 276. Hiero II is chosen general by the Syracusans. He fights the Mamertines.

270. Hiero assumes title of king. He allies with Carthage to expel the Mamertines. The Romans espouse the latter’s cause, and the First Punic War is begun, 264.

268. Hiero makes peace with Rome.

241. Battle off the Aegates Islands. The whole island, except the territory of Hiero, becomes a Roman province.

215. Hieronymus, grandson and successor of Hiero, breaks the treaty with Rome in the Second Punic War, and is assassinated. Marcellus is sent to Syracuse.

212. Syracuse falls into his hands.

210. Agrigentum captured. Roman conquest completed.




Mahaffy, John Pentland, Sir




LEGENDARY HISTORY (2000-110-4 B.C.);

Vol. 1. Up to the end of the sixth century, B.C.

Vol. 2. The fifth century B.C.-

Vol. 3. The fourth century, B.C. up to the death of Alexander.-


The history of ancient Greece, its colonies and conquests : from the earliest accounts till the division of the Macedonian empire in the East : including the history of literature, philosophy, and the fine arts



Curtius, Ernst.—The History of Greece. Translated by A. W. Ward, 1871-74.


The author is probably more familiar with the climate, resources, and physical characteristics of Greece than is any other writer on Grecian history. As an archaeological and historical investigator, he travelled over and examined all parts of the Greek peninsula. With classical literature he is also very familiar; and he seems to have a special gift for the work of interpreting it. These qualifications doubtless go far towards justifying a manner of treating the subject which in a scholar of less general and special information would have been very unsatisfactory. Without taking the time and space to indicate his authorities, the author contents himself with advancing his theories and indicating his conclusions. As he differs on many points from the high authority of Grote, it would afford great satisfaction to the care­ful student of Greek history to see the reasons for the author's views. This absence of all references to authorities is the most unsatisfactory feature of the work, though the explanation is that the volumes were not so much intended for the use of scholars as for the use of general readers.

In his treatment of political questions the author resembles Thirlwall and Mitford more nearly than he resembles Grote. His sympathies are monarchical, and, therefore, he attaches far less importance than does Grote to the characteristics of self-government as an inspiring influence. He also differs from Grote in regard to the origin and movements of the early Hellenic races. Former historians have found no connecting thread till after the Dorian migrations. But Curtius, taking the myths as the foundation, and bringing to his assistance the results of modern philological research, has built up a theory which he puts forward with considerable confidence. He even goes so far as to describe the manner in which, as he believes, the ancestors of the Ionians separated from the ancestors of the Dorians. The book is in every way scholarly, and is entitled to careful attention.



Mitford, William.—The History of Greece, from the Earliest Accounts to the Death of Philip, King of Macedon

As Grote’s is the great Liberal history of Greece, so this is the great history of the same country. Before the appearance of Thirlwall, it was the history most often consulted. In the use of terse and cogent English, Mitford was superior to his successors. He could praise tyrants and abuse liberty in a manner that was sure to interest his readers; and even his constant partialities and frequent exhibitions of anger give favor to his narration. He hated the popular party of Athens, as he hated the Whigs of England. These characteristics give spirit to a book which, with all its labor and learning, is merely a huge party pamphlet. Though it has had much influence in England, it is no longer of any considerable importance.


Smith, William.—A History of Greece, from the Earliest Times to the Roman Conquest. With Supplementary Chapters on the History of Literature and Art


First published in 1854, this is still one of the best summaries in our language of the ancient history of Greece for the use of schools and colleges. It follows Grote as an authority, many of its parts being chieRy an abridgment of that distinguished historian. To the general reader it will, perhaps, be found less interesting than the work of Cox; but its conclusions are probably quite as trustworthy, and, on that account, its intrinsic merits are somewhat greater. The maps and illustrations are good and abundant.


Thirlwall, Bishop Connop.—The History of Greece


A work which, as a whole, is not perhaps to be compared favorably with that of Grote, but which still has some points of great advantage. It shows learning, sagacity, and candor; but it falls far short of Grote in that power of combination and gener­alization which has made the later work so justly famous. The English of Thirlwall is superior to that of Grote, although the style of neither of them is entitled to very high praise.

Thirlwall’s sympathies are aristocratic rather than democratic—the exact opposite of the sympathies of Grote. The books, therefore, may well be read at the same time, in order that convicting views may be compared and weighed. Another difference be­tween the two works is that while Grote is especially strong on the earlier history of Greece, Thirlwall is strong on the later history. Perhaps the best portion of Thirlwall’s book is that which relates to the age beginning with the period at which Grote ends.




Benjamin, S. G. W.—Troy, its Legend, History, and Literature. With a Sketch of the Topography of the Troad in the Light of Recent Investigation.


This little volume is an attempt to tell the Trojan story in the light of recent discoveries and explorations. The story is pleasantly narrated, and is perhaps as near the truth as any other account in our possession. As a preliminary, or as an accompaniment to the reading of the works of Homer, or of Dr. Schliemann, the volume may be of some value. It must be remembered, however, that it rests upon no very firm historical basis.


Muller, C.O.—The History and Antiquities of the Doric Race.

Translated from the German by Henry Tupnell and Geo. Cornwall Lewis. 2 vols., 1830.


On the appearance of this work it was greeted as one of the most scholarly of modern time. It is still entitled to high praise, though the archaeological studies of the past twenty-five years have shown that some of the author's positions are untenable. His theories concerning the early life of the Dorians are essentially the opposite of those held by Curtius and, probably, by a majority of modern scholars. The second volume is devoted to the political institutions of the Dorians, and still retains its great importance. The characteristics of the Spartan government and society have nowhere been more satisfactorily presented, unless it be in the recent work of Jannet.


Cox, George W.—The Greeks and the Persians


The design of this little volume is to give a history of that great struggle between the despotism of the East and the freedom of the West, which came to an end in the Anal overthrow of the Persians at Plataia and Mykale. The aim of the author is to show how much of the history and traditions is trustworthy, rather than how much is to be set aside as untrue. It is a narrative rather than a critical account, and is a clear exposition, not only of the great conflict which it is the more especial object of the volume to describe, but also of the political and military institutions of the Persians and of the several Grecian states. The author's studies preliminary to his larger work had admirably fitted him for the preparation of this. The style is clear and interesting. The maps are admirable.



Herodotus.—A New English Version. Edited, with Notes and Essays, Historical, Ethnographical, and Geographical, by Canon Rawlinson


This must be considered as by far the most valuable version of the works of ‘The Father of History’. The writings of the author are illustrated by the editors from all the most recent sources of information. Copious historical and ethnographical results are embodied in the illustrative notes. The superior schol­arship in Eastern history of Sir Henry Rawlinson and Sir J. G. Wilkinson gives great importance to the essays furnished by these gentlemen and published as an appendix.

The history of Herodotus was probably not written until near the end of his life—it is certain that he had been collecting materials for it during many years. There was scarcely a city of importance in Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Persia, Arabia, or Egypt that he had not visited and studied; and almost every page of his work contains results of his personal inquiries and observations. He visited the sites of all the great battles between the Greeks and Persians; followed the line of Xerxes’s march; went to nearly all of the Greek islands; visited the tribes on the Black Sea; went to Babylon, Ecbatana, and Susa; made excursions into Arabia; saw with his own eyes the wonders of Egypt; travelled as far south as Elephantine, and as far west as Cyrene.

The object of these extensive journeyings was to procure infor­mation for his account of the struggles between the Greeks and the Persians. It will be seen that he brought to his work certain remarkable qualifications. His purpose was to sketch, in a man­ner that would interest as well as instruct, the long struggle which extended from the time of the first dispute in Asia Minor between the colonists to the final repulse of the Persians and the permanent establishment of Grecian authority. The history is a kind of prose epic, into which the author has wrought, with remarkable skill, the varied and interesting results of his inquiries and obser­vations. It abounds in episodes and digressions; but these are given in organic connection with the other parts in such a way as not seriously to impair the unity of the whole. The work is woven together in a style so charming as to give at least plausibility to the story of Lucian that when the author, in his old age, recited his history at Olympia, the youthful Thucydides was moved to tears, and the assembled Greeks, in their enthusiasm, gave to the books of the history the names of the nine muses.

As an authority, the work of Herodotus must be used with discretion. Care must be taken to discriminate between what came under the author's own observation and what he relates as having been received from others. The stories related to him by priests are to be received as of little or no historical value. But recent researches in the East have tended to confirm the authority of the author in all matters that came under his personal observation. Many things laughed at for centuries as impossible are now found to have been described in strict accordance with truth. As a narrator of his own observations, he is now seen to have been a model of truthfulness and accuracy.


Xenophon.—The Whole Works of...


Xenophon is doubtless entitled to high praise as a writer of simple, clear, and unaffected style. His numerous histories are to be regarded as remarkable for their literary qualities, however, rather than for their great historical merits. His mind was not adapted to the deepest insight into political affairs, and therefore his work is not for a moment to be compared with that of Thucydides. The ‘Anabasis’ and the ‘Hellenica’ are the works of greatest importance from an historical and literary point of view. The ‘Cyropaedia’ is a political romance, of no historical value whatever. The author’s purpose in this, as in several of his other works, seems to have been to represent what a state might be, and ought to be, in contrast with the actual turbulent condition of Athens. It is evident that he preferred the aristocratical institutions of Sparta to the more democratic methods of Attica. Even the ‘Cyropaedia’, though of no historical consequence, is of some importance as showing the political opinions of an intelli­gent observer. Throughout his works Xenophon shows that he had no faith whatever in the extreme tendencies to absolute democracy that prevailed at Athens.


Thucydides.—The History of the Peloponnesian War.


By all critics in all ages this has been considered one of the most remarkable pieces of historical composition ever produced. It is no exaggeration to say that the author has given us a more exact and a more complete history of a long and eventful period than we have of any modern period of equal length and importance. From beginning to end, the work shows the most scrupulous care in the collection of facts, and the utmost exactness in statements of chronology. Occasionally the author has a chapter of political and moral observations, showing the keenest perception and the deepest insight into human nature. He seldom pauses to make rejections in the course of his narrative. He relates his facts in the fewest possible words, without parade of ornament or of personal impression. Some of the events he describes he himself witnessed, others he became acquainted with through the most painstaking, and often difficult, investigations. But throughout the whole work there is the moderation and self­restraint that evinces a great mind and a lofty purpose. It is said that Macaulay read the work oftener than any other historical production, and was accustomed to say that though he might sometimes hope to rival any other work with which he was acquainted, he could never hope to rival the seventh book of Thucydides.      


Plutarch's Lives.—Translated from the Original Greek, with Notes, Historical and Critical, and a Life of Plutarch, by John Langhorne and William Langhorne.


This writer, one of the most celebrated of antiquity, lived in the Rrst century of our era. The work that has immortalized his name, and made him a favorite with wise men and promising youth, is the lives of forty-six Greeks and Romans. These lives he wrote in pairs, portraying one Greek and one Roman, and then drawing a comparison between them.

The author has often been criticised for his peculiarities of style, for some mistakes in antiquities, and for an apparent partiality for the Greeks. But whatever criticisms of a minor nature may be made, it is still true that Plutarch's Lives are among the most delightful sketches ever written. As an ultimate and conclusive authority they cannot be accepted. But they are able to inspire, to charm, and to instruct. They take the reader into the heroic stir of Roman and Grecian life. They do more than that; they raise the Greek and Roman heroes from the dead, and clothe them again with flesh and blood.


Lloyd, William Watkiss.—The Age of Pericles. A History of the Politics and Arts of Greece, from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War


A work that endeavors to give a broader view of Greek life and culture than had before been given by any English author. It aims to represent the Greek mind, not only in its political, but also in its artistic activity. The nature of the book may be correctly inferred from the following titles of chapters : ‘Athenian Democracy as Administered by Pericles; Poetry, Lyric and Dramatic, in the Age of Themistocles; Painting, Rudimentary and Advanced Music in the Age of Pericles. To this breadth of method the author has brought thoughtful and scholarly research, and a judgment usually sound. Unfortunately, the merits of the book are in some measure counterbalanced by one serious drawback. The author does not add to the abundance of his good and strong qualities the graces of a literary artist. In his preface he gives expression to his contempt for writers only on the lookout for opportunities to be smart, in the first place, and, in the second, picturesque and this clause, both by its sentiment and by its awkward method, conveys a correct intimation of the author’s entire lack of appreciation of a good English style. His modes of expression are so awkward that the reader often finds his attention put to a severe strain to understand his meaning. Long sentences sometimes appear to have been transferred from the German almost without transposing a single word. This very serious drawback must limit the use of what is, nevertheless, a very useful and excellent book.


Curteis, Arthur M.—Rise of the Macedonian Empire


A rapid but a clear and graphic picture of Macedonian power from its earliest development to the death of Alexander the Great. The special quality of the book is to be found in its judicious omission of encumbering details and its agreeable admixture of narrative and comment. While it is a book of facts, it is also a book of ideas. The most important events are described in such a way as to convey a clear impression of their peculiar significance and importance. At the beginning is a short but sugges­tive chapter on the influence of geographical peculiarities on the character of Grecian history. It is by far the best short history of Alexander we have.



Polybius—The General History of...


Beyond question, the writings of Polybius are among the most important that have come down to us from antiquity. Not many historical works, either ancient or modern, have more numerous or more striking excellences. He not only records, with great accuracy and precision, his impressions of what he describes, but he shows that he had studied the social, constitutional, and political institutions of the Greeks and Romans with great care. In his methods there are some striking peculiarities. He wrote with a manifest contempt for rhetorical graces, evidently striving to impart instruction rather than entertainment. He shows also an almost entire absence of imagination; and this peculiarity is the most conspicuous weakness of his writings. Originally the his­tory consisted of forty books, covering the whole of the period from B.C. 220 to B.C. 146. It was divided into two parts, the first having for its object the work of showing how it was that in the short period of fifty-three years the Romans had succeeded in conquering the greater part of the world; and the second, the work of describing the important events between the conquest of Perseus and the fall of Corinth. A considerable part, however, has been lost, though the portions we still have throw invaluable light on the second and third Punic wars and on the Achaian League. Much of Livy's account of the wars with Carthage is but a literal translation from the Greek. Polybius himself was actively engaged in many of the scenes he describes. He was seventeen years in Italy, and was with Scipio at the destruction of Carthage. Though the work of Polybius is quite as impor­tant an authority in Roman as in Grecian history, it is, neverthe­less, of the greatest value in the study of Greek confederations, from the Macedonian supremacy to the fall of Corinth.


Freeman, Edward A.—History of Federal Government, from the Foundation of the Achaian League to the Dissolution of the United States. Vol. I. General Introduction, and History of Greek Federations


Whether the learned author despairs of being able to complete the formidable task announced in this title, we are left to conjecture. It is only certain that he has not yet published more than the first volume of the series.

For this fragment, however, every student of Grecian history and every student of political institutions should be grateful. It is devoted to a period subsequent to those dealt with by Grote; but the events it describes were among the most important in Grecian history. The relations of the states to one another and the forms and characteristics of the several confederated govern­ments are expounded with the author’s well-known powers of in­sight and generalization. The American student of the work will find it one of absorbing interest, and will often be surprised by the striking similarities between certain features of federal government in Greece and certain features of federal government in the United States of America.






Coulanges, Fustel de.—The Ancient City. A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome.


Whatever is written by Coulanges is worthy of the student’s most thoughtful attention. He possesses the rare gift of uniting a very profound and broad scholarship with a spirited and entertaining literary style. Any one at all interested in Greek and Ro­man institutions will be enticed by a glance at the table of contents, and will not be disappointed when he puts the body of the work to the test of perusal.

In no other book has the organization of the ancient family been so briefly and clearly described; and nowhere else have the peculiarities of the Greek and Roman religious systems been so well presented. It will be a favorite book with every scholar that possesses it.


Geddes, William D.—The Problem of the Homeric Poems.


A successful attempt to bring within reasonable compass the arguments for and against the unity of the Homeric poems. The volume is perhaps the most satisfactory discussion of the subject accessible to the English reader. The author studied the question from every point of view, and without any preconceived theory arrived at substantially the same conclusion as that reached by Grote—viz., that the composite structure of the Iliad is the only theory that is tenable.


Gladstone, W.E. — Studies n Homer and the Homeric Age.


One would suppose, in looking over these volumes, that the distinguished premier had abandoned the arts of statesmanship for the vocation of a professor of Greek. From the beginning to the end of these three huge octavos, the author's familiarity with the most minute details of Greek learning is curiously obvious. To the historical student the third volume is the only one to be of especial interest. Of this volume the first chapter, that on the Politics of the Homeric Age, will amply reward the student's examination. In other respects the work is chiefly technical.



Guhl E. and W. Koner, W.—The Life of the Greeks and Romans, described from Antique Monuments..


The result of careful and unwearied research in every nook and cranny of ancient learning. Nowhere else can the student Rnd so many facts in illustration of Greek and Roman methods and manners. Any one in the least desirous of becoming acquainted with the ways of antique life will Rnd that this work is as interesting as it is informing. The illustrations are admirable, and the book is made easy of use by a good index.



Mahaffy, J. P.—A History of Greek Literature.


We here find the same excellent characteristics as in the author’s other works. From beginning to end it has the favor of the open field and of fresh breezes. It is somewhat more descriptive and less critical than the work of Muller and Donaldson, doubt­less for the reason that it is designed for a less mature class of scholars. But though the author has written for pupils in the schools, he compliments the robust scholarship of young England and Ireland by giving the illustrative quotations exclusively in the original Greek. Mr. Mahaffy, in common with a large number of modern German scholars, has abandoned the belief in the unity of Homer. In support of his position on this point he has intro­duced as an appendix to his first volume an essay by Professor Sayce, who presents with great cogency the reasons that have led a very large number of modern critics to give up the doctrine of unity. The essayist says that “a close examination of Homer shows that it is a mosaic” and that “in its present form it cannot be earlier than the seventh century before the Christian era”.

The first volume is devoted to the poets; the second, to the writers of prose. It is furnished with a full index.


Mahaffy, J. P.—Social Life in Greece, from Homer to Menander.


A very interesting and successful attempt to portray the everyday life of the Greeks. The author visits them in their homes, in their temples, in their assemblies, and on their journeys. Every person in the least interested in the characteristics of ancient life and manners will read the book with profit and delight. It is as interesting as it is scholarly.


Mahaffy, J. P.—Rambles and Studies in Greece


A delightful little book by one who is no enthusiast about the Greeks, ancient or modern, but who thinks that while the whole world is busying itself about the Slavs and Bulgars, the modern Greeks have failed to receive their due share of attention. The author is a Greek scholar, whose sympathies run to Greek literature and life rather than to Greek philology. He rambles into different parts of Hellas, and records with rare literary art the result of his observations and impressions. While the book has largely to do with modern life, it never loses the delightful aroma of an antique scholarship.


Muller, and Donaldson.—A History of the Literature of Ancient Greece.


For most students this will be found to be one of the most complete and satisfactory accounts of Greek literature. It is much less exhaustive in its treatment of the earliest period, than is the great work of Colonel Mure; but it has the advantage of covering a much longer period of time. In matters of literary judgment, moreover, it is probably quite as trustworthy as the larger work. The concluding chapters are devoted to Greek literature during the Middle Ages, and the work closes with the taking of Constantinople by the Turks.


Mure, William.—A Critical History of the Language and Literature of Ancient Greece.


This great work of Colonel Mure was the result of a long, ear­nest, and thorough study, as well as of a profound admiration of the noble literature of which it treats. The volumes are addressed principally to the classical scholar. They occupy ground which had scarcely been trodden by any English predecessor, and therefore at once on their publication they were felt to supply a serious want. They are the scholar's history. To the general reader they will probably be somewhat tiresome, on account of the ex­ceeding fulness with which each author is treated. The five vol­umes bring the history down only to the death of Xenophon. On some points the author's judgments have not met with general favor from scholars; but these are exceptional cases, and the great value of the work, as a whole, has been everywhere acknowledged.



Schomann, G. F.—The Antiquities of Greece


The work of Schomann, of which the fist volume is now published in translation, is in Germany one of a series of manuals designed to spread among a wider circle a vivid knowledge of antiquity. The book was designed for a class of educated readers who have not made a special investigation into the characteristics of the ancient world. The present volume, entitled “The State”, is to be followed by a second on “The Greek States in their Relations with one Another”, and “The Religious System of Greece”. The work, it will be seen from the title, is chiefly political in its character; and, as such, it occupies a distinctive place among books on Grecian antiquities. While Boeckh deals chiefly with financial questions, and Guhl and Koner with social ones, Schomann discusses with similar insight and thoroughness the affairs of politics. Nowhere else is there to be found so good an account of the political assemblies, and of their significance in the life of the State. The work is written in a scholarly and attractive style, and the translation is excellent.


Schomann, G. F.—Athenian Constitutional History.


Especially valuable as a critical examination of the various authorities on the subject of which it treats. The most important of these authorities is the great English history of Grote. With the English historian's positions Schomann often agrees, but he occasionally appears to be successful in his attempts to overthrow them.

By far the most interesting, and probably the most valuable, part of the work is that in which he discusses the reforms of Solon, Cleisthenes, and Pericles. On these reforms, like most of the German authorities, he joins issue with Grote. Schomann argues his cause with great force, and all who are familiar with the recent researches into the characteristics of primitive society must admit that, aside from positive evidence, his view seems the more probable. The translation of the work is unusually good.


Winckelmann, John.—The History of Ancient Art.


Winckelmann was doubtless the most skilful and delightful connoisseur of ancient art that has ever written. It is more than three fourths of a century since the original of the work was pre­pared; but these volumes are by no means yet superannuated. The numerous illustrations are exquisite, and, what is remarkable, are far better in the translation than in the original. The au­thor’s spirit may be gathered from his canon of criticism : “Seek not to detect deficiencies and imperfections until you have learn­ed to recognize and discover beauties”.




1.       Perhaps the most interesting work in our language on Grecian history is Felton’s “Ancient and Modern Greece”. Smith’s “Student’s History” and Cox’s “General History” are excellent books for a summary of the growth of Greek civilization and power.

 The political life of Greece is best described by Schomann; the social life by Mahaffy; and the literary life either by Mahaffy or by Muller and Donaldson. Chapters from Grote’s History selected according to need or taste, may be read with great profit. The series of works under the title of Epochs of An­cient History is worthy of high commendation, especially for the general reader. The volumes, read in the order of the events they respectively describe, would form one of the best short courses.

2.      Grote should be the basis of study for a longer course. On the earlier periods the bold theories of Curtius and the profound learning of Muller should not be neglected. The much disputed Homeric Question is expounded in Geddes’s Homeric Question, where the subject, from opposite points of view, is fairly presented. In Mahaffy's Greek Literature is also a valuable paper on the same theme. Gladstone’s Homer advocates the theory of Homeric unity; and the same author’s Juventus Mundi aims to show the conditions of life in Homeric days. Lloyd’s Age of Pericles is the best monograph on Greece at its most brilliant period. Bulwer's Rise and Fall of Athens is a descriptive work, showing many of the author’s best characteristics. Holm’s Geschichte Siciliens im Alterthum is the most important authority on the condition of Sicily under Greek rule and in­fluence. Schafer’s Demosthenes for one who commands German, is an invaluable portrayal of Grecian difficulties in the pe­riod of decline. Droysen’s Hellenismus is also of the first importance. Freeman’s Greek Federations is a very scholarly and a very interesting portrayal of the efforts made to bind the several states into a single nationality, and of the difficulties that beset these efforts. For an American scholar it is one of the best of books. For the subsequent history of Greece Finlay has no equal, and, indeed, no rival. The last half of Duncker’s History of Antiquity is a History of Greece of acknowledged excellence.

3.       Plutarch’s Lives are a wonderful source of inspiration for bright boys, though somewhat too heroic and exaggerated for mature scholars. Landor’s Imaginary Conversations have a delightful favor of antique and refined scholarship. Especially to be commended is the volume on ‘Pericles and Aspasia’. As works of reference, Smith’s Classical Dictionary, and the same author’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, either in the larger or in the abridged form, are of supreme value. On social life in Greece, Mahaffy is the most readable book; but Guhl and Koner’s is the great work of reference. The religion of the Greeks is well treated in Clarke’s Ten Great Religions," and best of all in Coulanges’s Ancient City. Cox’s Mythology of the Arian Nations is the latest and best English author­ity, though Bulfinch's Age of Fable" is designed for more popular use. In the  for July, 1869, is a valuable discussion of the relations of the religion of ancient Greece to her mythology. On Grecian art, Winckelmann and Overbeck are the great authorities; but Muller’s Ancient Art and its Remains, and Taine’s Art in Greece, are better adapt­ed to the wants of the general reader. Grecian landscape has been treated with characteristic force by Ruskin in vol. 3. of his "Modern Painters. Woltmann and Woermann’s History of Painting deals with Grecian painting in a most fresh and satis­factory manner. Schlegel’s Dramatic Literature presents an admirable review of the Greek dramatists, and gives, especially in its account of Aristophanes, some very striking comments on the comic poets as sources of historic information. Jebb’s Attic Orators is a scholarly but somewhat technical work. Macaulay’s essay on the Athenian Orators is in the author’s enthusiastic vein. Brougham’s paper on Demosthenes is plainly the work of a genius; but it is exceedingly immature and uncritical, and is a good illustration of Brougham’s habit of talking like an authority on subjects of which he knew comparatively little. The essay on Demosthenes in Legare's collected writings is vastly better, and is, perhaps, the most brilliant and scholarly summary in our language of the great orator’s work. In Mill’s Dissertations is to be found a suggestive review of Grote. The physical character­istics of Greece arc delightfully shown in Mahaffy’s Rambles and in Christopher Coleridge’s finely illustrated work. Still more minute information may be gained from Barthelemy’s Anacharsis, a book of imaginary travels in the ripest days of Greek civilization. The great original authority on the subject is Pausanias, whose travels and observations were translated into English, and published in three volumes in London in 1824. Becker’s Charicles is a dull novel, designed to present the fruits of Greek scholarship in a form that would least tax the powers of the reader. On all financial matters Boeckh is not only the great authority, but is a marvel of comprehensive scholarship. Wachsmuth’s Antiquities of Greece and Hermann’s Political Antiquities have each been translated into English, and were pub­lished in Oxford in the early part of this century. When they appeared, they were of the first importance; but at the present time they are somewhat antiquated. Life among the Alexandrian Greeks is portrayed in a very striking manner by Kingsley in his novel of ‘Hypatia’. Blackie’s Horae Hellenicae, published in 1874; Abbott’s Hellenica, published in 1880; and Newton’s Art and Archaeology, also published in 1880, are each volumes of interesting and valuable discussions of subjects on Greek po­etry, philosophy, history, archaeology, art, and religion. Schliemann’s Troy and its Remains, London and New York, 1875; Mycenae, London and New York, 1878; and Ilios, London and New York, 1880, are illustrated octavo volumes, describing the results of the recent discoveries by the author.