II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > D. Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World > 4. The Classical Age, 510–323 B.C.E. > h. The Macedonian Empire
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
h. The Macedonian Empire
ALEXANDER THE GREAT. Alexander III (336–323) succeeded to the Macedonian throne and immediately invaded Illyria and Thrace.  1
Inspired by a rumor that Alexander had died while on campaign, Thebes, Athens, Arcadia, Elis, and Aetolia revolted against Macedonian hegemony. Alexander swiftly moved south, took Thebes, destroyed it, and enslaved its inhabitants. The other revolting states submitted.  2
In the spring, Alexander left Antipater as governor in Greece and crossed the Hellespont with an army of 32,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry. The army was supported by a navy of 160 ships, mostly made up of Greek allies. Memnon of Rhodes, the commander of Greek forces in the Persian service, advised a tactical retreat, but the satraps insisted on fighting. The Persians were completely defeated by Alexander at the Battle of Granicus.  3
Alexander I of Epirus (342–330) was called in to assist the Italiote League which was fighting the Lucanians in southern Italy. He won a series of victories and concluded a treaty with Rome. But the Italiote League broke up, and when Alexander was killed in battle (330) the Epirotes left Italy.  4
Most of the Greek cities of Ionia revolted against the Persians. Memnon died and Darius withdrew the Greek mercenaries into Syria, where he gathered a large army.  5
Alexander subdued Caria and Cilicia, then advanced into Syria. He again defeated the Persian army, under the personal command of Darius III, at the Battle of Issus. After this defeat, Darius offered to give up all of Asia west of the Euphrates and to pay 10,000 talents, but Alexander demanded unconditional surrender. After Issus, all of Phoenicia except Tyre submitted to Alexander.  6
After a difficult siege of seven months, Tyre was captured. The provinces of Galilee, Samaria, and Judah surrendered to Alexander. When he approached Egypt, its satrap turned the richest province of the Persian Empire over to Alexander without a fight.  7
During a year-long stay, Alexander founded Alexandria on the coast of Egypt and visited the oracle of Ammon at the oasis of Siwa in the Western Desert, where he was proclaimed the son of a god.  8
Leaving Egypt during the spring, Alexander marched into Mesopotamia. In October he met and defeated another Persian army under Darius in the Battle of Gaugamela. Babylonia and Susa soon surrendered. One of the Persian capitals, Persepolis, was looted and burned, ostensibly in revenge for the destruction of Athens in 480.  9
Sparta under King Agis III (338–331), aided by Persian money and in alliance with Elis, Achaea, and part of Arcadia, defeated a Macedonian force and besieged Megalopolis. Antipater marched into the Peloponnese with a greatly superior force and crushed the Spartans and their allies.  10
In the spring, Alexander pursued Darius through Media. Finally, the Persian king was murdered by the satrap Bessus. Alexander subdued the Caspian region and then marched southward. Once Parmenio's son Philotas had been executed for complicity in a plot, Alexander sent messengers who murdered Parmenio in Media: Alexander feared a revolt and Parmenio was too powerful to be discharged.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.