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3. History of Civilization (3.7-3.8.1)

3.7    Macedonian Empire

The history of Macedonia begins in early 7th century BC with its founder Peridiccas I. After a short period of Persian over lordship, the state regained its independence under King Alexander I (495-450 BC) and began to expand. Macedonian Empire was attacked by the forces of Sitalkes, King of the Odrysian Empire in 429 BC. The attack was a complete failure and Sitalkes along with his army was defeated. Some years later, Aristotle was born in Macedonia. Aristotle moved to Athens and studied at Plato’s Academy. Aristotle returned to Macedonia after Plato died, year 347 BC. Back in Macedonia, King Philip hired him to prepare his thirteen year old son, Alexander, for his future role as a military leader.

Alexander became King of Macedonia when his father was assassinated in 336BC. Aristotle then returned to Athens and opened the school of Lyceum. Aristotle organized his school as a center of research on astronomy, zoology, geography, geology, physics, anatomy, and many other fields. Aristotle became the greatest scientist of the ancient world. Alexander conquered the Persians and when he moved into Egypt, 332 BC, he was declared a God by the Pharaoh. Alexander truly changed the world. He carried the ideas of the Greeks and their love of learning throughout his empire. He founded the great city of Alexandria, which became a center of learning and culture in Egypt.

Alexander, known as “Alexander the Great”, died of fever in 323 BC leaving a huge empire to crumble without his strong leadership. Alexander’s mother, wives, and children were all killed in the struggle for power that followed his death. The Macedonian Empire was divided among his generals in three parts. Starting year 215 BC and ending year 168 BC, the remains of the Macedonian Empire was involved in three battles with the rising power of Rome. This became the end of the Macedonian Empire and the territories became a part of the Roman republics.

3.8    Roman Republic

3.8.1    Building up

Foundation of the city-state Rome was done by the twins Romulus and Remus in 753BC according to the legend, which in date has been verified to be very likely by archeologists and historians. The legend further tells about the seven kings of Rome, starting with the twin Romulus, who made the city bigger in both power and population without major notice from other great powers in the region. In 510BC Roman leaders Brutus and Collatinus reformed the state into a republic. Romans became dominant in Italy through a network of allies, conquered city-states, colonies, and strategic garrisons in year 268 BC.

The battle of Pydna against the Macedonian Empire, in 168 BC, divided Macedon into four small republics under Roman rule. In year 73-71 BC, the Roman republic was attacked by the revolting slave known as “Spartacus”. Spartacus was a deserter from the Roman legions who had been sold into slavery as a gladiator. His army of over 90,000 escaped gladiators and slaves attacked the roman republic in the third large slave rebellion, which also is known as the “Gladiator War”. The rebellion was ended by Pompey the Great who at the time was one of three great leaders of Rome (Pompey, Crassus and Julius). Crassus died in war against Parthian's leaving Caesar and Pompey as the two strong leaders of Rome.

In year 59 BC, Julius Caesar became elected to the Rome consulship and in 58 BC he was governor of Rome. A series of wars across Western Europe was initiated on his demand. While Caesar was away from Rome, Pompey managed to get him declared, by the senate, to be an enemy of the republic serving his own purposes. Pompey was elected consul of Rome in 53 BC as result. When the information reached Caesar, he marched on Rome. He crossed the River of Rubicon in 49 BC and initiated a civil war against Pompey that eventually was ended by Egyptians who had the fleeing Pompey murdered - an act the angered Caesar, who didn’t like interference in his war against Pompey. While tracing the path of Pompey, Caesar found himself involved in a local conflict in Egypt. His successive progress was rewarded with enormous honors from the Senate. He became called “the founding father of Rome” and started to wear clothing of the old Roman kings. Caesar reformed the calendar and put his own name on the 7th month (July). This also created a gap between him and some aristocrats, who he had pardoned during the civil war.

 

 


 
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