Some Quotes on Macedonia and Greece

The History of Rome, Book III
From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States
Dickson, William P. (William Purdie), 1823-1901

Chapter X

The Third Macedonian War

"Dissatisfactions of Philip with Rome Philip of Macedonia was greatly annoyed by the treatment which he met with from the Romans after the peace with Antiochus; and the subsequent course of events was not fitted to appease his wrath. His neighbours in Greece and Thrace, mostly communities that had once trembled at the Macedonian name not less than now they trembled at the Roman, made it their business, as was natural, to retaliate on the fallen great power for all the injuries which since the times of Philip the Second they had received at the hands of Macedonia.
The empty arrogance and venal anti-Macedonian patriotism of the Hellenes of this period found vent at the diets of the different confederacies and in ceaseless complaints addressed to the Roman senate."

Rome Heads a Greek Coalition against Macedonia

Nor was Philip the first to renew the hostilities. The fall of Tarentum (542), by which Hannibal acquired an excellent port on thecoast which was the most convenient for the landing of a Macedonian army, induced the Romans to parry the blow from a distance and to give
the Macedonians so much employment at home that they could not think of an attempt on Italy. The national enthusiasm in Greece had of course evaporated long ago. With the help of the old antagonism to Macedonia, and of the fresh acts of imprudence and injustice of which Philip had been guilty, the Roman admiral Laevinus found no difficulty in organizing against Macedonia a coalition of the intermediate and
minor powers under the protectorate of Rome. It was headed by the Aetolians, at whose diet Laevinus had personally appeared and had gained its support by a promise of the Acarnanian territory which the Aetolians had long coveted. They concluded with Rome a modest
agreement to rob the other Greeks of men and land on the joint account, so that the land should belong to the Aetolians, the men and moveables to the Romans. They were joined by the states of anti- Macedonian, or rather primarily of anti-Achaean, tendencies in Greece proper; in Attica by Athens, in the Peloponnesus by Elis and Messene and especially by Sparta, the antiquated constitution of which had been just about this time overthrown by a daring soldier Machanidas,
in order that he might himself exercise despotic power under the name of king Pelops, a minor, and might establish a government of adventurers sustained by bands of mercenaries. The coalition was joined moreover by those constant antagonists of Macedonia, the
chieftains of the half-barbarous Thracian and Illyrian tribes, and lastly by Attalus king of Pergamus, who followed out his own interest with sagacity and energy amidst the ruin of the two great Greek states which surrounded him, and had the acuteness even now to attach himself as a client to Rome when his assistance was still of some value.

A Smaller history of Greece
Smith, William, Sir, 1813-1893


Greece is the southern portion of a great peninsula of Europe,
washed on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea. It is bounded on
the north by the Cambunian mountains, which separate it from
Macedonia. It extends from the fortieth degree of latitude to
the thirty-sixth, its greatest length being not more than 250
English miles, and its greatest breadth only 180. Its surface is
considerably less than that of Portugal. This small area was
divided among a number of independent states, many of them
containing a territory of only a few square miles, and none of
them larger than an English county. But the heroism and genius
of the Greeks have given an interest to the insignificant spot of
earth bearing their name, which the vastest empires have never

The name of Greece was not used by the inhabitants of the
country. They called their land HELLAS, and themselves HELLENES.
At first the word HELLAS signified only a small district in
Thessaly, from which the Hellenes gradually spread over the whole
country. The names of GREECE and GREEKS come to us from the
Romans, who gave the name of GRAECIA to the country and of GRAECI
to the inhabitants."

"All the Greeks were descended from the same ancestor and spoke
the same language. They all described men and cities which were
not Grecian by the term BARBARIAN. This word has passed into our
own language, but with a very different idea; for the Greeks
applied it indiscriminately to every foreigner, to the civilized
inhabitants of Egypt and Persia, as well as to the rude tribes of
Scythia and Gaul."

"The Grecian colonies may be arranged in four groups: 1. Those
founded in Asia Minor and the adjoining islands; 2. Those in the
western parts of the Mediterranean, in Italy, Sicily, Gaul, and
Spain; 3. Those in Africa; 4. Those in Epirus, Macedonia, and
"The colonies in Macedonia and Thrace were very numerous, and
extended all along the coast of the AEgean, of the Hellespont, of
the Propontis, and of the Euxine, from the borders of Thessaly to
the mouth of the Danube. Of these we can only glance at the most
important. The colonies on the coast of Macedonia were chiefly
founded by Chalcis and Eretria in Euboea; and the peninsula of
Chalcidice, with its three projecting headlands, was covered with
their settlements, and derived its name from the former city.
The Corinthians likewise planted a few colonies on this coast, of
which Potidaea, on the narrow isthmus of Pallene, most deserves


Of the colonies in Thrace, the most flourishing were Selymbria
and Byzantium, both founded by the Megarians, who appear as an
enterprising maritime people at an early period."

"The power of Sparta on land had now attained its greatest height.
Her unpopularity in Greece was commensurate with the extent of
her harshly administered dominion. She was leagued on all slides
with the enemies of Grecian freedom--with the Persians, with
Amyntas of Macedon, and with Dionysius of Syracuse. But she had
now reached the turning-point of her fortunes, and her successes,
which had been earned without scruple, were soon to be followed
by misfortunes and disgrace. The first blow came from Thebes,
where she had perpetrated her most signal injustice."


The internal dissensions of Greece produced their natural fruits;
and we shall have now to relate the downfall of her independence
and her subjugation by a foreign power. This power was
Macedonia, an obscure state to the north of Thessaly, hitherto
overlooked and despised, and considered as altogether barbarous,
and without the pale of Grecian civilization. But though the
Macedonians were not Greeks, their sovereigns claimed to be
descended from an Hellenic race, namely, that of Temenus of
Argos; and it is said that Alexander I. proved his Argive descent
previously to contending at the Olympic games. Perdiccas is
commonly regarded as the founder of the monarchy; of the history
of which, however, little is known till the reign of Amyntas I.,
his fifth successor, who was contemporary with the Pisistratidae
at Athens. Under Amyntas, who submitted to the satrap Megabyzus,
Macedonia became subject to Persia, and remained so till after
the battle of Plataea. The reigns of the succeeding sovereigns
present little that is remarkable, with the exception of that of
Archelaus (B.C. 413). This monarch transferred his residence
from AEgae to Pella, which thus became the capital. He
entertained many literary men at his court, such as Euripides,
who ended his days at Pella. Archelaus was assassinated in B.C.
399, and the crown devolved upon Amyntas II., a representative of
the ancient line. Amyntas left three sons, the youngest being
the celebrated Philip, of whom we have now to speak."

"After defeating the Illyrians he established a
standing army, in which discipline was preserved by the severest
punishments. He introduced the far-famed Macedonian phalanx,
which was 16 men deep, armed with long projecting spears.

Philip's views were first turned towards the eastern frontiers of
his dominions, where his interests clashed with those of the
Athenians. A few years before the Athenians had made various
unavailing attempts to obtain possession of Amphipolis, once the
jewel of their empire, but which they had never recovered since
its capture by Brasidas in the eighth year of the Peloponnesian
war. Its situation at the mouth of the Strymon rendered it also
valuable to Macedonia, not only as a commercial port, but as
opening a passage into Thrace."

"Philip now crossed the Strymon, on the left bank of which lay
Pangaeus, a range of mountains abounding in gold-mines. He
conquered the district, and founded there a new town called
Philippi, on the site of the ancient Thracian town of Crenides.
By improved methods of working the mines he made them yield an
annual revenue of 1000 talents, nearly 250,000l.”

"The battle of Chaeronea crushed the liberties of Greece, and made
it in reality a province of the Macedonian monarchy."

"On succeeding to the throne Alexander announced his intention of
prosecuting his father's expedition into Asia; but it was first
necessary for him to settle the affairs of Greece, where the news
of Philip's assassination, and the accession of so young a
prince, had excited in several states a hope of shaking off the Macedonian yoke. Athens was the centre of these movements. Demosthenes, although in mourning for the recent loss of an only daughter, now came abroad dressed in white, and crowned with a
chaplet, in which attire he was seen sacrificing at one of the public altars. He also moved a decree that Philip's death should be celebrated by a public thanksgiving, and that religious honours should be paid to the memory of Pausanias. At the same time he made vigorous preparations for action. He despatched envoys to the principal Grecian states for the purpose of inciting them against Macedon. Sparta, and the whole Peloponnesus, with the exception of Megalopolis and Messenia, seemed inclined to shake off their compulsory alliance. Even the Thebans rose against the dominant oligarchy, although the Cadmea was in the hands of the Macedonians."