Philip II of Macedon

This is part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Ἀρχή τε οὐδεμία προῆλθέ πω μέχρι νῦν εἰς τοσοῦτο μεγέθους καὶ χρόνου. οὔτε γὰρ τὰ Ἑλλήνων, εἴ τις ὁμοῦ τὰ Ἀθηναίων καὶ Λακεδαιμονίων καὶ Θηβαίων, δυναστευσάντων παρὰ μέρος, ἀπὸ τῆς Δαρείου στρατείας, ὅθεν αὐτοῖς ἐστιν ἐλλαμπρύνεσθαι μάλιστα, ἐς τὴν Φιλίππου τοῦ Ἀμύντου τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἡγεμονίαν συναγάγοι, πολλὰ ἂν ἔτη φανείη. οἵ τε ἀγῶνες αὐτοῖς ἐγένοντο οὐκ ἐπὶ ἀρχῆς περικτήσει μᾶλλον ἢ φιλοτιμίᾳ πρὸς ἀλλήλους, καὶ οἱ λαμπρότατοι περὶ τῆς αὐτῶν ἐλευθερίας πρὸς ἀρχὰς ἄλλας ἐπιούσας. οἳ δέ τινες αὐτῶν ἐς Σικελίαν πλεύσαντες ἐπὶ ἀρχῆς ἑτέρας ἐλπίδι προσέπταισαν, ἤ, εἴ τις ἐς τὴν Ἀσίαν διῆλθεν, μικρὰ καὶ ὅδε δράσας εὐθὺς ἐπανῄει. ὅλως τε ἡ Ἑλληνικὴ δύναμις, καίπερ ἐκθύμως ὑπὲρ ἡγεμονίας ἀγωνισαμένων, οὐ προῆλθεν ὑπὲρ τὴν Ἑλλάδα βεβαίως, ἀλλὰ δεινοὶ μὲν ἐγένοντο ἀδούλωτον αὐτὴν καὶ ἀήττητον κατασχεῖν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον, ἀπὸ δὲ Φιλίππου τοῦ Ἀμύντου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ Φιλίππου καὶ πάνυ μοι δοκοῦσι πρᾶξαι κακῶς καὶ ἀναξίως αὑτῶν.
(Appian, Rhōmaïka prooem. 8)

No government down to the present time ever attained to such size and duration. That of the Greeks, even if we count the mastery of Athens, Sparta, and Thebes successively from the invasion of Darius, which was the beginning of their glory, to the hegemony of Greece held by Philip, the son of Amyntas, lasted comparatively but few years. Their wars were not for conquest abroad but rather for preeminence among themselves, and they were most distinguished for the defense of their freedom against foreign invaders. Those of them who invaded Sicily with the hope of extending their dominion made a failure, and whenever they marched into Asia they accomplished small results and speedily returned. In short the Greek power, although ardent in fighting for the Grecian hegemony, never advanced steadfastly beyond the boundaries of Greece, but took pride in holding itself unenslaved and seldom conquered, and from the time of Philip the son of Amyntas, and of Alexander the son of Philip, they seem to me to have done very badly and to have been unworthy of themselves. (tr. Horace White)

2 thoughts on “Anaxiōs”

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