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

By | January 31, 2022

Polypercon, whose power was wavering, tried to consolidate it by appealing in Greece to a policy completely opposite to that followed by his predecessor, that is, proclaiming the freedom of Greek cities and re-establishing democracy there. The class and party struggles then burned terribly in the peninsula and there was no lack of victims, including the most noble Phocion (318), who had led the reactionary government in Athens. And certainly, if Poliperconte had managed to forge a firm bond between Macedonia and Greece, satisfied in its republican and democratic aspirations, he would have anticipated the work of Antigono Dosone by a century, which would have allowed it to consolidate before the intervention. Roman. But Polypercon was opposed by most of the Macedonians and his opponents found a hearing in the royal family itself. It seemed to Queen Eurydice that it was not worthwhile to endanger the dynasty and the unity of the state because the power belonged to Polypercon rather than to Cassander, and she agreed with Cassander, believing it easier to be able to exercise, in agreement with him, an effective authority, in the name of her moron husband, Filippo Arrideo. To protect the rights of the child Alexander, thus endangered, the mother of Alexander the Great, Queen Olympiad, intervened with the help of Polypercon and Epirote weapons. The prestige that Philip’s widow enjoyed among the Macedonians undoubtedly gave Macedonia into her hands. But the ferocity of her revenge against Eurydice and Philip Arrideo (317), which she put to death, against the family of Antipater, against many Macedonian rulers, who had been against her, he quickly alienated the souls of his subjects from her. So Cassander was able to return to Macedonia, besiege her in Pydna, force her to capitulate and have her put to death (316). The child Alexander was held by him a prisoner in Amphipolis, and thus that pledge of the unity of the empire, which was constituted by the dynasty of the Argeadi and the loyalty towards it of all Macedonians, was crippled. These events and the resistance of the Greek reactionaries, by now closely linked to Cassander, prevented democracy from triumphing, despite the proclamation of Polypercon. And in the same Athens where Cassander, thanks to the support of the officer who commanded the Munichia garrison, had managed to preserve Piraeus, an agreement had to be reached, with which an oligarchic government was established, but more moderate than the one established. from Antipater. He was at the head, with powers that, without violating the constitutionality of the forms, approached those of a tyrant, an expert and prudent statesman, Demetrius of Falero (317). Cassander in fact can be said to be the initiator of that restoration of the ancient tyranny in Greece, which lasted for about three quarters of a century. The new tyrants did not derive their power from the endogenous forces of the cities, but they were in fact, even if they did not bear the name, even if they more or less respected the constitutional forms, Macedonian governors, who often had the support of presidents. This institution that could temporarily serve Macedonian interests, which however, given the traditional aversion of the Greeks to any arbitrary power, instead kept the anti-Macedonia sentiment awake and prepared in the second half of the century. III the spread of the republican movement. By then Demetrius of Falero gave Athens peace and tranquility after so many struggles, thus ensuring a material well-being that perhaps he had not known since the age of Pericles. But this was not enough to bind neither the Athenians nor the Greeks to the cause of Cassander. The spirit which had animated the Hellenic leagues of Demosthenes and Hyperides was always vigorous in Greece. When Cassander joined forces with other Macedonian governors against the most powerful of the governors, Antigonus (315), who, lord of much of Asia, threatened to rebuild the unity of Alexander’s empire for his own profit, Antigonus availed himself of the sentiment republican as a lever to shake the authority of the adversary in the peninsula. And in Greece the struggles between the various tendencies and the different Macedonian potentates who sponsored them raged more than ever, nor did the peace concluded in 311 between Antigonus and his adversaries calm them, in which among other things a clause sanctioned the autonomy of the Greek cities and another recognized the young Alexander as king, whom Cassander hastened a little later to get rid of. The autonomy of the Greek cities was once again proclaimed by Ptolemy of Egypt (308), who used it to try to extend his authority in Greece, occupying Corinth and Sicyon. Then the fight between Antigonus and Cassander was renewed. Antigonus resumed autonomist and republican propaganda on a large scale in Greece, and managed to wrest Athens (307) from Cassandro, who welcomed with open arms the son of Antigonus, Demetrius, later delto Poliorcete, when he showed up with a strong naval team in Piraeus and drove the Macedonian garrison from Munichia. While Demetrius of Falero fled, democracy was restored in Athens and Demetrius Poliorcete was proclaimed savior and filled with honors. The struggle to restore freedom and defend the restored freedom became more bitter when, renewed the coalition against Antigonus and Demetrius recalled by his father in Asia (306), Cassander took advantage of it to recover the lost ground in the peninsula. The assumption of the title of king by Antigonus and Demetrius first, then by Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus and Cassander (who thus legitimized the actual possession he already had of Macedonia), marked the collapse in various states of great Macedonian empire, but did not give peace to Greece, in which the Poliorcete rushed back with strength to repel Cassander who was now besieging Athens (304). Victorious of Cassander, Demetrius seemed to renew for a moment with greater consistency the work of Philip and Alexander the Great, reconstituting the Corinthian league on the basis of the autonomies and democracies he had restored and defended.

Greece History - From the Lamia War to the Ipso War 2