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B.C. 330. The Lacedaemonians endeavour to create a rising in Greece against the Macedonian power; they are defeated by Antipater, Alexander's viceroy; and their king, Agis, falls in the battle.
330 to 327. Alexander's campaigns in Upper Asia. "Having conquered Darius, Alexander pursued his way, encountering difficulties which would have appalled almost any other general, through Bactriana, and taking Bactra, or Zariaspa, (now Balkh), the chief city of that province, where he spent the winter. Crossing the Oxus, he advanced in the following spring to Marakanda (Samarcand) to replace the loss of horses which he had sustained in crossing the Caucasus, to obtain supplies from the rich valley of Sogd (the Mahometan Paradise of Mader-al-Nahr), and to enforce the submission of Transoxiana. The northern limit of his march is probably represented by the modern Uskand, or Aderkand, a village on the Iaxartes, near the end of the Ferganah district. In Margiana he founded another Alexandria. Returning from the north, he led on his army in the hope of conquering India, till at length, marching in a line apparently nearly parallel with the Kabul river, he arrived at the celebrated rock Aornos, the position of which must have been on the right bank of the Indus, at some distance from Attock; and it may perhaps be represented by the modern Akora"--(VAUX.)
327, 326. Alexander marches through, Affghanistan to the Punjaub. He defeats Porus. His troops refuse to march towards the Ganges, and he commences the descent of the Indus. On his march he attacks and subdues several Indian tribes, among others the Malli; in the storming of whose capital (Mooltan), he is severely wounded. He directs his admiral, Nearchus, to sail round from the Indus to the Persian Gulf; and leads the army back across Scinde and Beloochistan.
324. Alexander returns to Babylon. "In the tenth year after he had crossed the Hellespont, Alexander, having won his vast dominion, entered Babylon; and resting from his career in that oldest seat of earthly empire, he steadily surveyed the mass of various nations which owned his sovereignty, and revolved in his mind the great work of breathing into this huge but inert body the living spirit of Greek civilization. In the bloom of youthful manhood, at the age of thirty-two, he paused from the fiery speed of his earlier course; and for the first time gave the nations an opportunity of offering their homage before his throne. They came from all the extremities of the earth to propitiate his anger, to celebrate his greatness, or to solicit his protection. . . . History may allow us to think that Alexander and a Roman ambassador did meet at Babylon; that the greatest man of the ancient world saw and spoke with a citizen of that great nation, which was destined to succeed him in his appointed work, and to found a wider and still more enduring empire. They met, too, in Babylon, almost beneath the shadow of the temple of Bel, perhaps the earliest monument ever raised by human pride and power, in a city stricken, as it were, by the word of God's heaviest judgment, as the symbol of greatness apart from and opposed to goodness."--(ARNOLD.)
323. Alexander dies at Babylon. On his death being known at Greece, the Athenians, and others of the southern states, take up arms to shake off the domination of Macedon. They are at first successful; but the return of some of Alexander's veterans from Asia enables Antipater to prevail over them.
317 to 289. Agathocles is tyrant of Syracuse; and carries on repeated wars with the Carthaginians; in the course of which (311) he invades Africa, and reduces the Carthaginians to great distress.
306. After a long series of wars with each other, and after all the heirs of Alexander had been murdered, his principal surviving generals assume the title of king, each over the provinces which he has occupied. The four chief among them were Antigonus, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Seleucus. Antipater was now dead, but his son Cassander succeeded to his power in Macedonia and Greece.
301. Seleucus and Lysimachus defeat Antigonus at Ipsus. Antigonus is killed in the battle.
280. Seleucus, the last of Alexander's captains, is assassinated. Of all Alexander's successors, Seleucus had formed the most powerful empire. He had acquired all the provinces between Phrygia and the Indus. He extended his dominion in India beyond the limits reached by Alexander. Seleucus had some sparks of his great master's genius in promoting civilization and commerce, as well as in gaining victories. Under his successors, the Seleucidae, this vast empire rapidly diminished; Bactria became independent, and a separate dynasty of Greek kings ruled there in the year 125, when it was overthrown by the Scythian tribes. Parthia threw off its allegiance to the Seleucidae in 250 B.C., and the powerful Parthian kingdom, which afterwards proved so formidable a foe to Rome, absorbed nearly all the provinces west of the Euphrates, that had obeyed the first Seleucus. Before the battle of Ipsus, Mithridates, a Persian prince of the blood-royal of the Achaemenidae, had escaped to Pontus, and founded there the kingdom of that name.
Besides the kingdom of Seleucus, which, when limited to Syria, Palestine, and parts of Asia Minor, long survived; the most important kingdom formed by a general of Alexander was that of the Ptolemies in Egypt. The throne of Macedonia was long and obstinately contended for by Cassander, Polysperchon, Lysimachus, Pyrrhus, Antigonus, and others; but at last was secured by the dynasty of Antigonus Gonatas. The old republics of southern Greece suffered severely during these tumults, and the only Greek states that showed any strength and spirit were the cities of the Achaean league, the AEtolians, and the islanders of Rhodes.
290. Rome had now thoroughly subdued the Samnites and the Etruscans, and had gained numerous victories over the Cisalpine Gauls. Wishing to confirm her dominion in Lower Italy, she became entangled in a war with Pyrrhus, fourth king of Epirus, who was called over by the Tarentines to aid them. Pyrrhus was at first victorious, but in the year 275 was defeated by the Roman legions in a pitched battle. He returned to Greece, remarking, "Rome becomes mistress of all Italy from the Rubicon to the Straits of Messina."
264. The first Punic war begins. Its primary cause was the desire of both the Romans and the Carthaginians to possess themselves of Sicily. The Romans form a fleet, and successfully compete with the marine of Carthage. [There is at this present moment [written in June, 1851] in the Great Exhibition at Hyde Park a model of a piratical galley of Labuan, part of the mast of which can be let down on an enemy, and form a bridge for boarders. It is worth while to compare this with the account in Polybius of the boarding bridges which the Roman admiral Dullius, affixed to the masts of his galleys and by means of which he won his great victory over the Carthaginian fleet.] During the latter half of the war, the military genius of Hamilcar Barca sustains the Carthaginian cause in Sicily. At the end of twenty- four years, the Carthaginians sue for peace, though their aggregate loss in ships and men had been less than that sustained by the Romans since the beginning of the war. Sicily becomes a Roman province.
240 to 218. The Carthaginian mercenaries who had been brought back from Sicily to Africa, mutiny against Carthage, and nearly succeed in destroying her. After a sanguinary and desperate struggle, Hamilcar Barca crushes them. During this season of weakness to Carthage, Rome takes from her the island of Sardinia. Hamilcar Barca forms the project of obtaining compensation by conquests in Spain, and thus enabling Carthage to renew the struggle with Rome. He takes Hannibal (then a child) to Spain with him. He and, after his death, his brother, win great part of southern Spain to the Carthaginian interest. Hannibal obtains the command of the Carthaginian armies in Spain, 221 B.C., being then twenty-six years old. He attacks Saguntum, a city on the Ebro in alliance with Rome, which is the immediate pretext for the second Punic war.
During this interval Rome had to sustain a storm from the north. The Cisalpine Gauls, in 226, formed an alliance with one of the fiercest tribes of their brethren north of the Alps, and began a furious war against the Romans, which lasted six years. The Romans gave them several severe defeats, and took from them part of their territories near the Po. It was on this occasion that the Roman colonies of Cremona and Placentia were founded, the latter of which did such essential service to Rome in the second Punic war, by the resistance which it made to the army of Hasdrubal. A muster-roll was made in this war of the effective military force of the Romans themselves, and of those Italian states that were subject to them. The return showed a force of seven hundred thousand foot, and seventy thousand horse. Polybius mentions this muster.
228. Hannibal crosses the Alps and invades Italy.
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