Greece History – From the Lamia War to the Ipso War Part I

By | January 24, 2022

The death of Alexander, which occurred almost suddenly in Babylon in 323, while he was still in the prime of life, plunged the empire into a terrible crisis and caused the adversaries of Macedonia to rise up in Greece, led by Athens. Demosthenes, who oblivious to the wrongs received preached the war of freedom in the Peloponnese, was recalled to his homeland and returned there triumphantly and directed together with Hyperides the Athenian policy during the new war, which was called the Lamia war. The defeat of the Hellenic federation at Chaeronea had already demonstrated the military inferiority of the linked Greeks vis-à-vis the Macedonians at the height of their power. Now the conquest of Asia, with the immense treasures that he placed at the disposal of the victor and with the armies of war that had been created in the Greek and Phoenician ports of the empire, made the superiority of the Macedonians even more overwhelming. So that the hopes of success of the Greek confederates, even if the surprise of the adversaries and the expertise of the generals assured them some victory, could only be based on the crisis of the Macedonian empire, which, already latent in the conflicts that arose during the last years of Alexander, it didn’t take long to burst. But the short delay with which it broke out and the haste with which the Greeks, exasperated by Alexander’s latest measures, took up arms, allowed the Macedonians to suffocate the rebellion. Aware of the common interest in taming Greece, the Macedonian officers who ruled the fate of the vast empire curbed their rivalries to defeat the rebels. Yet the dissensions between them had not intensified to the point of using one against the other as a weapon the autonomist and republican sentiment of Greece. Now to the aid of Antipater, the governor of Macedonia, who by the Confederates, for the advantage of the momentary superiority of the forces, had been besieged in Lamia, they first moved from Asia, then, after Leonnato fell in battle, after giving Antipater the way to disengage from the siege, Craterus, the ruler of the empire. The enormous preponderance of forces that the Macedonians now had gave them the victory over those connected to Crannone. After which, having the victors offered peace to the individual rebel cities, while they refused to deal with the league, it fell apart and Athens found itself alone, as after Chaeronea and after the fall of Thebes, before the enemy. But now she no longer had the naval superiority that could secure her honorable peace. The prevalence of the number, which, still intact the empire, possessed the Macedonian army, had allowed Admiral Clitus to bring back the decisive victory of Amorgos on the Athenian fleet, putting an end forever to the Athenian supremacy in the Aegean, although the Athenians to preserve it, with a war effort such as they no longer carried out after the battle of the Arginuse, they had put 170 triremes into the sea. Athens therefore had to yield to the victor (322). Which imposed the condemnation of the major perpetrators of the war, the abolition of democracy, the limitation of full citizenship to the wealthiest class. Such a reactionary order, established with violence, could only be maintained with violence; and therefore a Macedonian garrison was introduced in Munichia, the hill overlooking Piraeus. Similar arrangements were introduced in the rest of Greece. The Corinthian league was not reconstituted. After the fall of the larva of the free confederate republics, under the hegemony of a Macedonian king, for the national struggle against the barbarian, Greeia was clearly reduced to conditions of subjection; and to keep it there was counted on the rivalry of the classes, tying the more affluent class to the ruler, who alone could preserve their power against the recalcitrant masses and could only prevent the revenge they yearned for. But it was so suppressed the moral support that a united Greece could give to the unity of the empire and, with the dissent made permanent and sharpened between the Greeks, transformed Greece into the most suitable ground to foment and gangrene the struggles for the primacy, which began immediately afterwards among the officers of Alexander, and which led you to the stable split of the empire. In Greece, Aetolia still remained in arms against the Macedonians, which had then become one of the major Hellenic powers when the first of the great crises that destroyed imperial unity broke out. Without analyzing the deep reasons for this crisis (v.diadochi), suffice it to say here that one of the main reasons was the impossibility for Macedonia, especially so morally separated from Greece as it was, both to govern the vast empire from its eccentric position, and to become the distant province of an empire having its center in Babylon. These separatist tendencies in Macedonia were embodied, though not entirely consciously, by Antipater when, together with the ruler Crater, the satrap of Egypt Ptolemy and other Macedonian governors, he took up arms against Perdiccas. Perdiccas at the meeting represented, albeit for his own profit, the unitary tendency, exercising and wishing to exercise as prime minister in the empire the maximum authority, in the name of the two kings, the posthumous son of Alexander and his deficient brother, Filippo Arrideo. Antipater who had passed through Asia, after the assassination of Perdiccas and the triumph of the coalition (321) recognized as regent, returned to Europe leading the two kings with him (320) and thus gave another blow to the unity of the empire and to the prestige of the dynasty. When he died (319), leaving the regency to an elderly Macedonian officer, Polypercon, rather than to his own son Cassander, he believed he had faithfully served his kings. But the league that immediately struck against Polypercon among the most powerful governors to which Cassander had joined, who enjoyed the favor of not a few of the Macedonians who remained in the mother country and in the presidencies of Greece, showed what dissolution work he had done, unwillingly, Antipater.

Greece History - From the Lamia War to the Ipso War 1