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History of Greece, Macedonia, and Syria

History of Greece, Macedonia, and Syria

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Excerpt from History of Greece, Macedonia, and Syria: From the Age of Xenophon to the Incorporation of Those States With the Roman Empire

In this volume will be found successive notices of the gradual decadence of Hellenic power throughout its internal relations. Its agency, however, is still powerful, but the centre of its vitality is changed. The Peloponnesian battle-field is the birth-place of the Greek soldier of fortune - the patriot loses his distinctive character. Henceforth, the martial energies of Greece are expended on her external life - Xenophon and Agesilaus are the pioneers of the great captain-general of Greece. The kingdoms of Macedon, Syria, and Egypt, not less than the Indo-Greek dynasties, are now seen to contribute their respective groups to the crowded historical canvas; and although, with the exception of the great Macedonian Hero, no figures are seen replete with the political or warlike grandeur of Solon, Miltiades, and Pericles; yet these chieftains are, even amidst the quarrels of dynastic ambition, replaced by an age of more practical and utilitarian tendencies. The period embraced by the following pages is profoundly instructive to the statesman. He cannot but perceive that the noblest physical and intellectual endowments, called into exercise on the narrow base of individual and jealous isolation - strengthened by no comprehensive federalization and guided by no controlling hand - must ever fall a prey to ambitious intelligence. It is impossible not to be struck with the small circle of Athenian or Spartan influences, when viewed in contrast with that mighty political machine which, wheel within wheel, revolved in ceaseless energy under the master mind of Alexander. Never was there an era when denationalization, multiform and rapid, became the source of a new nationality so vast and so uniform.

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