The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right. — G. K. Chesterton

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




The Division of the Realm

The day after Alexander's death there was a sad assembly in the palace. All the Macedonian generals sat there in silence and dismay, gazing at the empty golden throne, upon which Perdiccas had solemnly laid the royal signet ring.

Who was to take the place of the king whose military genius and great conquests had won for him the title of "Great"? It is true that Alexander had a half-brother, named Arridæus, but he was weak-minded. The only other heir was an infant son, born shortly after his father's death.

The generals gravely talked the matter over, and finally said that Arridæus and the child should be publicly named successors of the dead king, while four of their own number should be appointed guardians of the princes, and regents of the vast realm.

This decision was considered wise, and the kingdom of Alexander was divided into thirty-three provinces, each governed by a Macedonian officer, who was to hold it in the name of Arridæus and of the child.

In dying, Alexander had foretold that his funeral would be followed by bloodshed, and this prediction came true. The generals who had met so solemnly around the empty throne soon became dissatisfied at being only governors, and each wanted to be king in his own right, of the land intrusted to his care.

Perdiccas, having received Alexander's signet ring from his dying hand, was, of course, their leader, and took under his own protection the infant king and the Persian mother Roxana.

He fancied that it would thus be an easy matter to keep the power in his own hands, and to govern the vast realm as he pleased. But Antipater, governor of Macedon, no sooner heard that Alexander was dead, than he placed the idiot Arridæus on the throne, proclaimed him king, and began to rule as if he were the only regent.

The other Macedonian generals daily claimed new rights, which Perdiccas was forced to grant in order to pacify them; but when it was too late, he found out how mistaken he had been, and regretted that he had yielded to their demands.

The various governors, never satisfied with the honors given them, were not only suspicious of each other, but particularly jealous of Perdiccas, the head of the realm. In their envy, they rose up against him; and for many years Perdiccas was forced to hold his own against them all, while trying to make his way back to Macedon, where he wanted to place Alexander's son upon the throne.



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