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Among the several républics of which Greece was composed, Athens and Lacedæmon were undoubtedly the chief. These two great commonwealths, whose manners and conduct were directly opposite, perplexed and incommoded one another, in the common design they had of subjecting all Greece ; so that they were eternally at variance, and this more from a contrariety of interests than an opposition of tempers and dispositions.
The Grecian cities would not subject themselves to either; for, besides that every one of them desired to live free and independent, they were not pleased with the government of either of those two commonwealths. We have shown, in the course of this history, that the Peloponnesian, and other wars, were either owing to, or supported by, the reciprocal jealousy of Lacedæmonia and Athens. But at the same time that this jealousy disturbed, it supported Greece in some measure; and kept it from being dependent on either of those republics.
The Persians soon perceived this state and condition of Greece; after which, the whole secret of their politics was to keep up these jealousies, and foment these divisions. Lacedæmonia, being the most ambitious, was the first that made them engage in the Grecian quarrels. The Persians took part in them with the view of subjecting the whole nation; and industrious to niake the Greeks weaken 'one another, they only waited for the favourable instant to crush them all together. *And now the cities of Greece considered, in their wars, only the king of Persia , whom they called 'the great king, or the king, by way of eminence, as if they als ready thought themselves his subjects. However, when Greece was upon the brink of slavery, and ready to fall into the hands of the barbarians, it was impossible for the genius, the ancient spirit of the country, not to rouse and take the alarm. Agesilaus, king of Lacedæmonia, made the Persians tremble in Asia Minor, and showed that they might be humbled. Their weakness was still more evident by the glorious retreat of the ten thousand Greeks who had followed the younger Cyrus.
It was then that all Greece saw' more plainly than ever, that it possessed an invincible body of soldiery, which was able to subdue all nations; and that nothing but its feuds and divisions could subject it to an enemy, who was too weak to resist it when united.
Philip of Macedon, a prince whose abilities were equal to his valour, took so great advantage of the divisions which
* Plat. de Leg. I. iii. Isocrat. in Paneg.
reigned between the various cities and commonwealths, that though his kingdom was but small, yet, as it was united, and his power absolute, he at last, partly by artifice, and partly by strength, rose to greater power than any of the Grecian states, and obliged them all to march under his standards against the cammon enemy. This was the state of Greece when Philip lost his life, and Alexander, his son, succeeded to his kingdomn and to the designs he had projected.
The Macedonians, at his accession, were not only well dis. ciplined, and inured'to toils, bul triumphant; and become, by so many successes, almost as much superior to the other Greeks in valour and discipline, as the rest of the Greeks were superior to the Persians and to such nations as resembled them.
Darius, who reigned over Persia in Alexander's time, was a just, brave, and generous prince ; was beloved by his subjects, and wanted neither good sense nor vigour for the execution of his designs, But if we compare them ; if we oppose the genius of Darius, to the penetrating sublime one of Alexander ; the valour of the former, to the mighty, invincible courage, which obstacles animated, of the latter ; with that boundless desire of Alexander, of augmenting his glory, and his entire belief that all things ought to bow the neck to him, as being formed by providence superior to the rest of mortals-a belief with which he inspired not only his gene. rals, but the meanest of his soldiers, who thereby rose above difficulties, and even above themselves—the reader will easily judge which of the monarchs was to be yictorious.
If to these considerations we add the advantages which the Greeks and Macedonians had over their enemies, it must be confessed, that it was impossible for the Persian empire to subsist any longer, when invaded by so great a hero, and by such invincible armies. And thus we discover, at one and the same time, the circumstance which ruined the empire of the Persians, and raised that of Alexander.
To smooth his way to victory, the Persians happened to lose the only general who was able to make head against the Greeks, and this was Memnon of Rhodes. So long
as Alexander fought against this illustrious warrior, he might glory in having vanquished an enemy worthy of himself. But in the very infancy of a diversion, which began already to divide Greece, Memnon died, after which Alexander obliged all things to give way before him.
This prince made his entrance into Babylon, with a splendour and magnificence which had never been seen before ; and, after having revenged Greece; after subduing, with incredible swiftness, all the nations subject to Persia ; to secure his new empire on every side, or rather to satiate his ambition, and render his name more famous than that of Bacchus, he marched into India, and there extended his conquests farther than that celebrated conqueror had done. But the monarch, whose impetuous career neither deserts, rivers, nor mountains could stop, was obliged to yield to the murmurs of his soldiers, who called aloud for case and repose.
Alexander returned to Babylon, dreaded and respected, not as a conqueror, but as a god. Nevertheless, the formi. dable empire he had acquired, subsisted no longer than his bfe, which was but short. At 33 years of age, in the midst of the grandest designs that ever man formed, and flushed 'with the surest hopes of success, he died, before he had ieisure to settle his affairs on a solid foundation ; leaving behind him a weak brother, and children very young, all incapable of supporting the weight of such a power.
But the circumstance which proved most fatal to his fam. ily and empire, was his having taught the generals who sur, vived him, to breatije gothing but ambition and war. He foresaw the prodigious lengths they would go after his death. To curb their ambitious views, and for fear of mistaking in his conjectures, he did not dare to name his successor, or the guardian of his children. He cnly foretold, that his friends would solemnise his obsequies with bloody battles ; and he expired in the flower of his age, full of the sad images of the confusion which would follow his death.
And indeed Macedonia, the kingdom he inherited, which his ancestors had governed during so many ages, was invad: ed on all sides, as a succession that was become vacant; and, after being long exposed a prey, was at last possessed by another family. Thus this great conqueror, the most re, nowned the world ever saw, was the last king of his family. Harl he lived peaceably in Macedon, the vast bounds of his empire would not have proved a temptation to his generals; and he would have left to his children the kingdom he inherited from his ancestors. But rising to too exalted a height of power, he proved the destruction of his posterity ; and such was the inglorious fruit of all his conquests,
THE HISTORY OF
PLAN. *This chapter contains the competition and wars that subsist.
ed between the generals of Alexander, from the death of that prince to the battle of Ipsus in Phrygia, which des cided their several fates. These events include the space of 23 years, which coincide with the first 23 years of the reign of Ptolemy the son of Lagus, from the year of the world 3681, to the year 3704.
SECTION I. TROUBLES WHICH FOLLOWED THE DEATH OF ALEXANDER -PARTITION OF THE PROVINCESARIDA EUS IS DE. CLARED KING-PER D'ICCAS APPOINTED HIS GUARDIAN. IN relating the death of Alexander the Great, I mentioned
many troubles and commotions that arose in the army on the first news of that event. All the troops in general, soldiers as well as officers, had their thoughts entirely taken up at first with the loss of a prince whom they loved as a father, and reverenced almost as a god, and abandoned them. selves immoderately to grief and tears. A mournful silence reigned throughout the camp; but this was soon succeeded by dismal sighs and cries, which speak the true language of the heart, and never flow from a vain ostentation of sorrow, which is too often paid to custom and decorum on such occasions.*
When the first impressions of grief had given place to re. flection, they began to consider, with the utmost consterna. tion, the state in which Alexander had left them. They found themselves at an infinite distance from their native country, and amidst a people lately subdued, so little accustomed to their new yoke, that they were hardly acquainted with their present masters, and har, not as yet had sufficient time to forget their ancient laws, and that form of government under which they had always lived. What measures could be taken to keep a country of such vast extent in subjection ? How could it be possible to suppress those seditions
*Passim silentia et gemitus ; nihil composicum in ostentationemallius madrebant. Tacit.
and revolts which would naturally break out on all sides in that decisive moment? What expedients could be formed to restrain those troops within the limits of their duty, who had so long been habituated to complaints and murmurs, and were commanded by chiefs whose views and pretensions were so different.
The only remedy for these various calamities seemed to .consist in a speedy nomination of a successor to Alexander;
and the troops, as well as the officers, and the whole Mace. donian state, seemed at first to be very desirous of this expe. dient : And, indeed, their common interest and security, with the preservation of their new conquests, amidst the barbarous nations that surrounded them, made it necessary for them to consider this election, as their first and most in. portant care, and to turn their thoughts to the choice of a person qualified to fill so arduous a station, and sustain the weight of it in such a manner, as to be capable of support ing the general order and tranquillity. But it had already been written * "that the kingdom of Alexander should be di, "vided and rent asunder after his death," and that it should not be transmitted in the usual manner to his posterity." No efforts of human wisdom could establish a sole successor to that prince. In vain did they deliberate, consult and des cide ; nothing couid be executed contrary to the pre-ordained event, and nothing short of it could possibly subsist. A superior and invincible power had already disposed of the kingdom, and divided it by an inevitable decree, as will be evident in the sequel. The circumstances of this partition had been denounced near three centuries before this time ; the portions of it had already been assigned to different possessors, and nothing could frustrate that division which was oniy to be deferred for a few years,' Till the arrival of that period, men indeed might raise commotions, and concert a variety of movements ; but all their efforts would only tend to the accomplishment of what had been ordained by the sovereign master of kingcoms, and of what had been foretold by his prophet.
Alexander had a son by Barsina, and had conferred th: name of Hercules upon him. Roxana, another of his wives, was advanced in her pregnancy when that prince died. t.e had likewise a natural brother called Aridæus ; but he would not upon his death bed dispose of his dominions in favour of any heir ; for which reason this vast empire, which no longer had a master to sway it, became a source of competition and wars, as Alexander had plainly foreseen, when he declared that his friends would celebrate his funeral with bloody battles.