Modern Historians about Macedonia – J. M. Roberts



The history of Greece rapidly becomes less interesting after the fifth century. It is also less important. What remains important is the history of Greek civilization and the shape of this, paradoxically, was determined by a kingdom in northern Greece which some said was not Greek at all: Macedon. In the second half of the fourth century it created an empire bigger than any yet seen, the legatee of both Persia and the city-states. It organized the world we call Hellenistic because of the preponderance and uniting force within it of a culture. Greek in inspiration and language. Yet Macedon was a barbarous place, perhaps centuries behind Athens in the quality of its life and culture…. ……….Whether this was a state which was a part of the world of Hellenes was disputed; some Greeks thought Macedonians barbarians, though their kings claimed descent from Greek houses (one going back to Heracles) and their claim was generally recognized. Philip himself sought status; he wanted Macedon to be thought of as Greek. When he became regent of Macedon in 359 BC he began a steady acquisition of territory at the expense of other Greek states…………..”

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……Alexander was a creative mind, but self-absorbed, obsessed with his pursuit of glory, and something of a visionary. With great intelligence he combined almost reckless courage; he believed his mother’s ancestor to be Homer’s Achilles and strove to emulete the hero. He was ambitious as much to prove himself in men’s eyes – or perhaps those of his forceful and repellent mother – as to win new lands. The idea of Hellenic crusade against Persia undoubtedly had reality for him, but he was also, for all his admiration of the Greek culture of which he had learnt from his tutor Aristotle, too egocentric to be a missionary, and his cosmopolitanism was grounded in an appreciation of realities……

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