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A brief summary of Alexander's Progress through Greece

Philip was not loved by the Athenians. They saw him as a threat because he was empire building in Macedon. They also thought that he was a bit of a barbarian. Ultimately he was forced into pitched battle with them. With Alexander as an able partner he beat the Athenians in a pitched battle and took total control of mainland Greece. It was a crushing victory, with the famous "Sacred Band", which had never retreated, being killed to the last man. Alexander was 17.

Alexander must have learned a lot on the march south to the final battle plain at Chaeronea. Thebes, which had betrayed a treaty and gone over to the Athenian side was besieged and totally destroyed. 6,000 were killed, and the remaining 30,000 were sold into slavery. The finality and brutality of the conquest was something that crops up throughout Alexander's conquests. His basic tenet (I think) was this:

"If you go along with my rule you will be rewarded with your lives, my protection and my taxes. If you go against me I will conquer you. If you betray me you will be utterly (and nastily) destroyed."

Maybe he would have put it slightly better.

Anyway, Alexander was sent to Athens to offer terms. He was welcomed with great enthusiasm (well, they were hardly going to boo someone who had just slaughtered the defence force for the city were they.....).

Written by thomaswp