Alexander and the Hellenistic Age Macedonia Philip of Macedonia

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Alexander and the Hellenistic Age

Philip of Macedonia

  • Philip of Macedonia → also Philip II, sought to extend Macedonian rule throughout all of Greece.

  • Learned of Greek culture, politics, and tactics from his time in Thebes

  • Extended the empire as far south as Thermoplyae

Tactics of Philip

  • Known for using an extremely large phalanx coupled with a cavalry.

    • Would use the cavalry to strike at enemy flanks
  • Made extensive use of the catapult

    • Catapult → device that propelled large projectiles at speeds fast enough to do significant damage to opposing lines


  • Demosthenes was a skilled orator who rallied the Greek city-states to fight against Philip.

  • Initially, was not respected but would later boost the morale of the city-states.

  • Managed to encourage Sparta and Thebes to unify


  • Battle of Chaeronea in 338 B.C. Would mark the fall of the Theban/Athenian union to Philip.

  • The Greeks were unable to withstand the Macedonian force, more likely because of the absence of Sparta during the resistance.

  • Philip would have control over Greece and liberate the Peloponnesian states from oppressive Spartan control.

  • Philip sought to extend control into the Asia Minor but would be murdered by an assassin.

Alexander the Great

  • Alexander the Great would follow Philip as Macedonian king.

  • Would come into power at age 20.

  • Was tutored by Aristotle

  • Sought to continue the work his father had begun.

Greek Resistance

  • Would be met with opposition immediately after acceding to the throne.

  • Thrace and Thebes would lead an uprising against Alexander

  • Alexander would crush the rebellions and dismantle Thebes and place its citizens in slavery.

  • This served as an example to the other Greeks to not rise against Alexander

The Expedition of the Ten Thousand

  • Seventy years before Alexander marched through Persia, another Greek force had made its way through Persia and exposed its weakness.

  • Ten Thousand → a group of 10,000 Greeks that made it into the heart of the Persian Empire and managed to return to Greece

  • Exposed the weakness of the Persian Empire; the exterior of the empire is well fortified but the center is extremely weak.

Battle of Granicus – 334 B.C.

  • Alexander would cross the Hellespont with roughly 40,000 men and arrive near the old site of Troy.

  • Alexander would encounter the satraps of the Persian Empire on the Asia Minor and inflict a massive defeat upon them.

    • Satrap → Persian governors/officials
  • Alexander would only lose 100 men in the battle.

  • This would allow Alexander to free the Ionian city-states.

Darius III

  • Darius III → Persian emperor during the 4th Century that would see the Persian Empire fall under his reign.

  • Alexander would encounter Darius' forces near Syria and win the Battle of Issus due to cramped quarters.

  • Alexander would claim Darius' wife, children and mother.

Capture of Tyre

  • - Tyre → site of Persian naval base that was also a former Phoenician colony.

  • - Alexander would build a causeway to go around the massive fortifications of Tyre.

  • - The capture of Tyre provided Alexander the ability to cripple the Persian navy.

The Founding of Alexandria

  • - Alexander would march into Egypt and claim Memphis.

  • - From Memphis, he would sail down the Nile and subdue the remaining territories.

  • - He would lay the foundations for his first city in Egypt, known as Alexandria

Capture of Libya

  • - Alexander would continue to march westward through Africa.

  • - Alexander would claim the territory which would become future Libya.

  • - Alexander would stop near Carthaginian boundaries.

End of the Persian Empire

  • - Alexander would encounter Darius in the field during the Battle of Arbela near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

  • - Alexander would rout the Persian forces and put Darius to flight.

  • - Alexander would continue to march and while Darius was in flight he would be murdered by his own men.

March to India

  • - Alexander would cross the Hindu-Kush Mountains and enter into India with his tired soldiers.

  • - Alexander would claim a victory in northeastern India before his troops would refuse to go further.

  • - The troops would force Alexander to return back to Greece

  • - Alexander would not survive the return home as he would die of a fever in 323 B.C. At the age of 33.

Hellenistic Culture

  • - Alexander's travels would open up the eastern portion of the world to the Greeks considering no person had traveled that far before.

  • - He would hire numerous Persians to trusted positions and establish Babylon as his Macedonian capital.

  • - The intermingling or mixture of races and ethnicities would construct the Hellenistic culture.

  • - Hellenistic → blend of Greek culture and Eastern cultures (Persian, Indian, Egyptian).

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