Notes Friday 8/28/2015 - Throughout the 5th and 4th...

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Throughout the 5th and 4th centuries, the Greek world degenerated into oligarchy Peloponnesian Wars- Sparta and Athens Sparta wins Although Athens was rebuilding itself and Sparta had been invaded by victorious Theban armies, the real center of Greek power in the first half of the 4th century Greek world came from the Macedonian kingdom in the North. Philip of Macedonia In 359 B.C., Philip II of Macedon (383-336 B.C.) came to the throne by a rather typical procedure - a round of family assassinations. Philip was an energetic and ambitious man… Philip’s son, Alexander III, Alexander the Great The son of Philip and Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemus of Epiras, Alexander the Great was born at Pella , and was tutored by Aristotle . He was only sixteen when his father marched against Byzantium and left him regent in his absence . Philip was preparing to attack the Persian Empire when he was assassinated by Pausanias in 336. The twenty-year-old Alexander assumed the throne. Overall, Alexander seems to have inherited much from his brilliant father: physical courage, arrogance, intelligence, and, most importantly, unbridled ambition . He was also periodically depressed, unstable , drank excessively etc. Alexander’s Conquests In 334 BC, Alexander crossed over into Asia Minor to begin his conquest of Persia. To conquer Persia was to conquer the world, for the Persian Empire sprawled over most of the known world: Asia Minor, the Middle East, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Iran. He didn't have much to go on: his army numbered thirty thousand infantry and only five thousand cavalry. He had no navy. He had no money. His strategy was simple. He would move quickly and begin with a few sure victories, so he could gain money and supplies. He would focus on the coastal cities so that he could gain control of the ports. In that way, the Persian navy would have no place to make landfall. He quickly overran Asian Minor after defeating the Persian forces that controlled the territory, and after seizing all the coastal cities, he turned inland towards Syria in 333 BC. There he engaged the main Persian army under the leadership of the Persian king, Darius, at a city called Issus. As he had done at Chaeronia, he led a astounding cavalry charge against a superior opponent and forced them to break ranks. Darius, and much of his army, ran inland towards Mesopotamia, leaving Alexander free to continue south. He seized the coastal towns along the
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