Modern Historians – The Pan-Hellenic Crusade of Alexander the Great

 

AncientMacedonianHistory1 Modern Historians   The Pan Hellenic Crusade of Alexander the Great

*Ulrich Wilcken, “Alexander the Great (The Norton Library) ”, 

 page 89

Alexander undertook as his first duty the liberation of the Greek cities of Asia Minor from the Persian yoke.

page 91

Everywhere the liberation from Persian rule was greeted with enthusiasm, and Alexander celebrated as the liberator.

page 94

The first point of the Panhellenic program had been quickly achieved: the Greek cities of Asia Minor were freed from the Persian yoke and incorporated in the Corinthian league.

page 116

his desire was here, as in the case of his previous conquests, to pave the way for Greek culture.

*N.G.L Hammond , The Genius of Alexander,

 Page 18-19

He adviced Philip as the ruler of the strongest state in Europe to bring the city-states into concord, lead them against Persia, liberate the Greeks in Asia and found there new cities to absorb the surplus population of the Greek mainland.

Page 31

His remark ‘if i were not Alexander, i would indeed be Diogenes’ carried the meaning ‘if i were not already King of Macedonia, President of Thessaly, the favourite of the Amphictyonic league and Hegemon of the Greek community’.

*N.G L Hammond [1989] “Alexander The Great”,

 pg.260

Before engaging at Gaugamela Alexander prayed in front of the army, raising his right hand towards the gods and saying, “If I am really descended from Zeus, protect and strengthen the Greeks.” That prayer, appearently, was answered.

 *Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great,

 Page 92.

War, Philip had announced, ‘was being declared against the Persians on behalf of the Greeks, to punish the barbarians for their lawless treatment of the old Greek temples

Page 101

“among the conservative Greek opinion there would be no regrets that Alexander the Greek leader was invading the barbarians

*Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great,

 page 92

War, Philip had announced, ‘was being declared against the Persians on behalf of the Greeks, to punish the barbarians for their lawless treatment of the old Greek temples

page 102

among the conservative Greek opinion there would be no regrets that Alexander the Greek leader was invading the barbarians

Page 123.

As for the hired Greeks in Persian service, thousands of the dead were to be buried, but the prisoners were bound in fetters and sent to hard labour in Macedonia, ‘because they had fought as Greeks against Greeks, on behalf of barbarians, contrary to the common decrees of the Greek allies’

 

Page 256.

Alexander was still the Greek avenger of Persian sacrilege who told his troops, it was said ‘that Persepolis was the most hateful city in the world’. On the road there, he met with the families of Greeks who had deported to Persia by previous kings, and true to his slogan, he honoured them conspicuously, giving them money, five changes of clothing, farm animals, corn, a free passage home, and exemption from taxes and bureaucratic harassments.”

 

Page 261.

 “But Alexander replied that he wished to take revenge on the Persians for invading Greece, for razing Athens and burning her temples.”

*John Maxwell O’Brien, Alexander the Great: The Invisible Enemy,

 page 61 

The 2000 survivors [greek mercenaries], including an appreciable number of Athenians, were treated as Traitors, according to principles adopted by the Corinthian league.

*Bernard Randall, Alexander the Great: Macedonia King and Conqueror”,

 Page 7

yet in the thirteen years of his reign as king Alexander III of Macedon, he went from ruler of the leading state in Greece to conqueror of the biggest empire the world had ever seen.

*M. E. Thalheimer (1872), “A manual of ancient history”,

page 99

 In 334 B.C. Alexander with his 35,000 Greeks crossed the strait which had been passed by Xerxes, with his five millions, less than 150 years before. The Greek army was scarcely more inferior to the Persian in number than superior in efficiency

page 205

Alexander was compelled to turn back. His fleet was now ready, and he descended the Hydaspes to the Indus, in the autumn and winter of 327 B. C. His army marched in two columns along the banks, the entire valley submitting with little resistance. Two more cities were founded, and left with Greek garrisons and governors

*Robin Osborne (2004) Greek History Book,

page 128

Babylon surrendered and Alexander now had the Persian empire and its capitals at Sousa and Persepolis under his control. After Granikos Alexander had already sent back spoils to the Athenian Acropolis, to mark his taking revenge on the Persians who had sacked Athens, and when he took Sousa he sent back to Athens the statues of the tyrannicides who had assassinated Peisistratos’ son Hipparchos, statues which Xerxes had taken in 480 (Arrian Anabasis 3.18.7-8).

 

* Lovett Edwards, Jacques Pirenne; E. P. Dutton, (1962) The Tides of History Vol. 1 Book,

page 230

Philip immediately declared himself the champion of Hellenism against the Persian Empire. Even as Xerxes had earlier called on the solidarity of Asia against Greece, so Philip tried to rally the whole Hellenic world in a campaign of liberation of the Ionian Greeks

page 229

The fate of Greece, from then on, was sealed. Her unity was to be achieved by the King of Macedonia, even as formerly the unity of Egypt had been imposed on the cities of the Delta by the Kings of Nekhen.

page 233

After restoring the unity of the Greek world by the conquest of the Ionian cities, which were immediately incorporated into the Corinthian League, and completing the occupation of Syria, Alexander restored the Egyptian Empire within the frontiers formerly given it by Tutmes III, and united Greece and Egypt for the first time under the same sovereignty

* Lewis Vance Cummings, ‘Alexander the Great’ ,

Page 38

Philip was not only the most powerful ruler but was also a descedant of Heracles, venerated of all the Greeks, and as such the most natural leader fo the proposed coalition.

Page 79

When the delegates from all Greece, except Sparta, met at Corinth the next year, Philip laid his agenda, and proposed program, before them for discussion, and spoke at length of the necessity of union for the sake of succesful prosecution of his Pan-Hellenic ambitions in and against Persia

 page 132

He [Alexander] next ordered the slain Persian noblemen and the dead Greek mercenaries buried, sending back the survivors as captives to slave in the mines and farms of Macedonia, because they, as Greeks in opposition to the decrees of the Corinthian league, had borne arms against their own country

He [Alexander] dedicated three hundred sets of Persian armor to the temple of Athene Polias, over which was to be inscribed: ‘ Alexander son of Philip, and all the Greeks, excepting the Lacedaemonians have devoted these spoils, taken from the barbarians of Asia’

 * James S. Romm, On the War for Greek Freedom: Selections from the ‘histories’ by  Herodotus, page XIII:

Eventually the Greek way of war would prove so superior to that of the barbarian world as to enable a largely Hellenic army, led by Alexander the Great, to conquer not only Egypt but most of Asia as well.

 page 125

In the large scheme of things, Xerxes’ analysis was correct, as would be demonstrated by Alexander the Great and his Greco-Macedonian invasion of Asia, 150 years down the road.

* Donald P. Ryan,“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ancient Egypt”,

page 198

During the next 13 years, Alexander, or “Alexander the Great” as he is regularly referred to, conquered an immense area that comprised the largest empire in ancient times. Persia was added to Greece as was Asia Minor, Syria/Palestine, and lands extending all the way to the Indus River. Everywhere the conquering Greeks went, they instilled their Greek culture in a process that we might call “Hellenization”. Greek religion, thought, and science were passed along, most importantly, the Greek language was instituted as the official means of communication

 page 199

Within a few years, a general named Ptolemy established a dynasty that would rule Egypt for close to 300 years. These were Greek, not Egyptian, rulers of Egypt. Yet they retained most of the roles and obligations of their pharaonic predecessors, albeit with a distinctly Hellenistic favor. All of Ptolemy’s male successors bore his name, and altogether there would be fifteen Greek rulers of Egypt with the name Ptolemy. This is why this era of Greek rule is often referred to as the “Ptolemaic Period”

* René Grousset (1951), A. Patterson, ‘The Sum of History’,

Page 10

Furthermore, when Alexander had made the Greeks masters of the East, they transferred to it their own inability to unite. The Macedonia of the Antigonids, the Syria of the Seleucids and the Egypt of the Ptolemies, like Athens, Sparta and Thebes before them, wore themselves out in an inconclusive struggle which made them fall, one by one, an easy prey to the foreigner – in this case to the Romans. Not with impunity had the Græco-Macedonian dynasties assumed the mantle of the old oriental despots.

*Samuel Eddy “The King Is Dead – Studies in the Near Eastern Resistance to Hellenism, 334-31 B. C.”

Page 335


In the East, religious resistance against alien domination was not new in 334 B.C., and the reaction of Babylonians or Egyptians to their Persian overlords was the prototype of the resistance offered their Hellenic conquerors.

Page 335,

The East frequently had to respond to Greco-Makedonian imperialism with spiritual weapons as well as by warfare. This was due to two reasons. First, kingship was explained in theological terms. This was simply a fact of Eastern culture. But spiritual resistance was also necessary because Eastern societies at first could not stand up to Greek armies.

Page 5

More importantly, occasional easy victories over Persian forces served to create a contempt for Oriental strength and fighting power which remained part of the climate of opinion during the years when a Greco-Makedonian regime replaced the Achaemenids

Page 21


The progression of empire in Daniel 2 and 7 is nowadays interpreted to refer to the successive rule of the Assyrians, Medes, Persians, and Greeks in the Near East. But if these two chapters were native Jewish, it would be difficult to explain why the Median kingdom would appear. The Jews themselves had never experienced Median rule. The historical progression was Assyria, Chaldea, Persia, and Greece

 Page 31

Dareios is made to say that the Greeks are madmen struck with frenzy whom the gods of the Persian Empire are about to defeat, and that Alexander is like a wild beast rushing upon destruction.

Page 39

When the Makedonian satrap of Media, Nikanor, was sent by Antigonos to undo Seleukos’ occupation of Babylon, the former’s forces included a contingent of Persians. They deserted to Seleukos when their commanding officer Evagoras, satrap of Areia, was killed, because they objected to Antigonos’ regime in Iran. This episode shows that some Persians were at least willing to cooperate with whatever Greek power seemed least likely to be a burden to Persis.

* Richard Gabriel ‘Great Captains of Antiquity’,

Page 84

Philip II of Macedonia (382–336 B.C.E.), father of Alexander the Great, unifier of Greece, author of Greece’s first federal constitution, founder of the first territorial state with a centralized administrative structure in Europe, forger of the first Western national army, the first great general of the Greek imperial age, and dreamer of great dreams, was one of the greatest captains in the history of the West

Page 94

Philip’s “new model army” was the first in Greek history to be structured and trained on rational principles of military science

Page 99

as a conflict of principle, of Hellenic culture and civilization against Asiatic barbarism in an unrelenting struggle for survival. They advocated a crusade to be carried out by a unified Greek nation that was to include all that partook of Greek civilization. However, the traditional leadership of Athens and the other prominent city-states, exhausted by the long external and internal wars, were unable to mobilize the support necessary for an effective response to the Persian challenge. Nonetheless, the pan-Hellenic crusade was soon to be undertaken, but not by Athens. It was Macedonia that was to impose its own leadership on Greece and undertake the renewed struggle against Persia in the name of the Hellenes

* Martin Sicker (2000), The Pre-Islamic Middle East,

The campaign began in the early spring of 334 BC. Alexander had assembled his invasion army in Macedonia over the previous winter. It totalled 32,000 foot and approximately 5,000 cavalry; and, when it joined with the adviance force operating in Asia, the entire complement was close to 50,000. This was by far the largest and most formidable expedition that had ever left Greek shores, but as yet Macedonian numbers were far from exhausted

A. B. Bosworth, “Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great”, page 35

With the allied contingents that would normally take the field with him they amounted to an army without parallel in GREEK history

 page 10

Just as the Hellenic League had forbidden medism, so the corinthian synedrion issued decrees prohibiting collaboration with Persia

page 92

Persis was to be a satrapy like any other, a subordinate part of the empire of the new king whose prinipal centre of government woud be Babylon (Strabo 731). Its titular governor might be Persian, but there was a permanent garrison of Hellenic troops (Curt. v.6.1 i; Plut. AJ.69.3) to enforce the will of the victor.

page 189

It [Corinthian League] comprised states which were each bound to Macedon by bilateral treaties; and it was perfectly natural that they should create a general alliance under the leadership of the Macedonian king, acting as the spiritual successors of the Hellenic League of 480 BC.

* Vilho Harle ‘Ideas of Social Order in the Ancient World’ ,Page 24

The idea of the city-state was first challenged by the ideal of pan-Hellenic unity supported by some writers and orators, among which the Athenian Isocrates ( 436338) became a leading proponent with his Panegyrics of 380 suggesting a Greek holy war against Persia. However, only the rise of Macedonia made the realization of panHellenic unity possible.

* Nigel Guy wilson (2006), Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece

Philip II of Macedon was anxius to pacify and unify Greeks at any cost.

* Michael Burger, The Shaping of Western Civilization

In the end, the Greeks would fall under the rule of a single man, who would unify Greece: Philip Ii, king of Macedon (360-336 BC). His son, Alexander the Great, would lead the Greeks on a conquest of the ancient Near East vastly expanding the Greek world and leaving it a world of large kingdoms rather than city states. Historians say that Alexander’s career marks an important turning point in Greek history, closing the Classical period and ushering in the Hellenistic world. The term “Hellenistic” mean “Greekish”, referring to a fusion, with limits, between Greek and Near Eastern societies, and so the emergence of a new culture and society, made up of elemenets both Greek and Near Eastern.

* Nigel Guy wilson (2006), Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece

Philip II of Macedon was anxius to pacify and unify Greeks at any cost.

Related posts:

Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Modern historians about Macedonia – Robin Lane Fox
  2. Modern historians about Macedonia – Frank Lipsius
  3. Modern Historians about Macedonia – J. D. Fage
  4. Modern historians about Macedonia – Richard Stoneman
  5. Modern historians about Macedonia – Richard Stoneman
Comments