The sufferings that fate inflicts on us should be borne with patience, what enemies inflict with manly courage. — Thucydides

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Philip Begins His Conquests

As we have already seen, when Philip found himself in the wrong, he was not afraid to admit his mistake, and to try to do better. He was also very patient and forgiving. On one occasion he heard that a man named Nicanor was always speaking ill of him.

He therefore sent for the man, who came in fear and trembling, thinking that the king would either imprison or slay him. Philip, however, received him kindly, made him sit at his own table, and let him go only after giving him many rich gifts. As the king had not found fault with him in any way, Nicanor was greatly surprised, and vowed that he would not speak another word against so generous a man.

As soon as Philip had made sure of his authority at home, drilled his army, and piled up enough gold, he began to carry out his bold plans. First of all, he wished to subdue a few of his most unruly neighbors, such as the Thracians and Olynthians.

An archer named Aster came to him just before he began this war. This man offered his help to the king, and began to boast how well he could shoot. Philip, who believed only in spears for fighting, sent the man away, after saying that he would call for his help when he began to war against starlings and other birds.

This answer made Aster so angry that he went over to the enemy and enlisted in their ranks. Philip soon came to besiege the city where Aster was stationed; and as soon as the archer heard of it, he got an arrow upon which he wrote, "To Philip's left eye."

Aster then went up on the wall, took careful aim, and actually put out the king's left eye. Philip was so angry when he heard of the writing on the arrow, that he ordered another shot into the city. On this arrow was written, "If Philip takes the city, he will hang Aster."

The city was taken, and the archer hung; for Philip always prided himself upon keeping promises of this kind. The Olynthians, finding that they would not be able to resist long, now wrote a letter to the Athenians, begging them to come to their rescue.

The Athenians read the letter in the public square, so that every one could hear it, and then began to discuss whether they should send any help. As was always the case, some were for, and others against, the plan, and there was much talking. Among the best speakers of the city was the orator Demosthenes, a very clear-sighted man, who suspected Philip's designs. He therefore warmly advised the Athenians to do all they could to oppose the Macedonian king, so as to prevent his ever getting a foothold in Greece. Indeed, he spoke so eloquently and severely against Philip, and told the people so plainly that the king was already plotting to harm them, that violent speeches directed against any one have ever since been called "Philippics," like these orations against the King of Macedon.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

Early Inhabitants of Greece
The Deluge of Ogyges
Founding of Important Cities
Story of Deucalion
Daedalus and Icarus
The Adventures of Jason
Theseus Visits the Labyrinth
The Terrible Prophecy
The Sphinx's Riddle
Death of Oedipus
The Brothers' Quarrel
The Taking of Thebes
The Childhood of Paris
Muster of the Troops
Sacrifice of Iphigenia
The Wrath of Achilles
Death of Hector and Achilles
The Burning of Troy
Heroic Death of Codrus
The Blind Poet
The Rise of Sparta
The Spartan Training
The Brave Spartan Boy
Public Tables in Sparta
Laws of Lycurgus
The Messenian War
The Music of Tyrtaeus
Aristomenes' Escape
The Olympic Games
Milo of Croton
The Jealous Athlete
The Girls' Games
The Bloody Laws of Draco
The Laws of Solon
The First Plays
The Tyrant Pisistratus
The Tyrant's Insult
Death of the Conspirators
Hippias Driven out of Athens
The Great King
Hippias Visits Darius
Destruction of the Persian Host
Advance of the Second Host
The Battle of Marathon
Miltiades' Disgrace
Aristides the Just
Two Noble Spartan Youths
The Great Army
Preparations for Defense
Leonidas at Thermopylae
Death of Leonidas
The Burning of Athens
Battles of Salamis and Plataea
The Rebuilding of Athens
Death of Pausanias
Cimon Improves Athens
The Earthquake
The Age of Pericles
Teachings of Anaxagoras
Peloponnesian War Begins
Death of Pericles
The Philosopher Socrates
Socrates' Favorite Pupil
Youth of Alcibiades
Greek Colonies in Italy
Alcibiades in Disgrace
Death of Alcibiades
Overthrow of Thirty Tyrants
Accusation of Socrates
Death of Socrates
The Defeat of Cyrus
Retreat of the Ten Thousand
Agesilaus in Asia
A Strange Interview
The Peace of Antalcidas
The Theban Friends
Thebes Free Once More
The Battle of Leuctra
Death of Pelopidas
The Battle of Mantinea
The Tyrant of Syracuse
Damon and Pythias
The Sword of Damocles
Dion and Dionysius
Civil War in Syracuse
Death of Dion
Philip of Macedon
Philip Begins His Conquests
The Orator Demosthenes
Philip Masters Greece
Birth of Alexander
The Steed Bucephalus
Alexander as King
Alexander and Diogenes
Alexander's Beginning
The Gordian Knot
Alexander's Royal Captives
Alexander at Jerusalem
The African Desert
Death of Darius
Defeat of Porus
Return to Babylon
Death of Alexander
Division of the Realm
Death of Demosthenes
Last of the Athenians
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Battle of Ipsus
Demetrius and the Athenians
The Achaean League
Division in Sparta
Death of Agis
War of the Two Leagues
The Last of the Greeks
Greece a Roman Province