The half century following Alexander's death is a confused
and troubled period in ancient history. The king had left no legitimate son—no
one with an undisputed title to the succession. On his deathbed Alexander had
himself declared that the realm should go "to the strongest."  It
was certain, under these circumstances, that his possessions would become the
prey of the leading Macedonian generals. The unwieldy empire at length broke in
pieces. Out of the fragments arose three great states, namely, Macedonia,
Egypt, and Syria. The kingdom of Egypt was ruled by Ptolemy, one of Alexander's
generals. Seleucus, another of his generals, established the kingdom of Syria.
It comprised nearly all western Asia. These kingdoms remained independent until
the era of Roman conquest in the East.
 Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, vii, 26.
MINOR INDEPENDENT STATES
Several small states also arose from the break-up of
Alexander's empire. Each had its royal dynasty, its capital city, and its
own national life. Thus the conquests of Alexander, instead of establishing a
world- power under one ruler, led to the destruction of the unity of government
which Persia had given to the East.