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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
II. THE GREAT AGE OF THE GREEK REPUBLICS TO 362 B.C.
» Contents of this Chapter* The Perils of Hellas * Expeditions of Darius against Greece * Xerxes and the Great Persian War * Athens under Themistocles, Aristides, and Cimon * Athens under Pericles * The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 B.C. * The Spartan and Theban Supremacies, 404-362 B.C. * Decline of the City-State
THE PERILS OF HELLAS
ASIATIC GREEKS CONQUERED BY CROESUS
The history of the Greeks for many centuries had been uneventful—a history of their uninterrupted expansion over barbarian lands. But now the time was approaching when the independent and isolated Greek communities must meet the attack of the great despotic empires of Asia. The Greek cities of Asia Minor were the first part of the Hellenic world to be involved. Their conquest by the Lydian king, Croesus, about the middle of the sixth century B.C., showed how grave was the danger to Greek independence from the ambitious designs of Oriental monarchs.
CONQUESTS OF CYRUS AND CAMBYSES
As we have already learned, Croesus himself soon had to submit to a foreign overlord, in the person of Cyrus the Great. The subjugation of Lydia and the Greek seaboard by Cyrus extended the Persian Empire to the Mediterranean. The conquest of Phoenicia and Cyprus by Cambyses added the Phoenician navy to the resources of the mighty empire. Persia had now become a sea power, able to cope with the Greeks on their own element. The subjection of Egypt by the same king led naturally to the annexation of the Greek colonies on the north African shore. The entire coast of the eastern Mediterranean had now come under the control of a new, powerful, and hostile state.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy