Recognized as the hegemon by almost all Hellenic policies, Philip II began to prepare for a big campaign to the East. However, he did not live to see his plan come true: he fell at the hands of an assassin in 336 BC. The Greco-Macedonian conquest of the Persian state of the Achaemenids was carried out under the leadership of his son and heir - Alexander (336-323 BC). From this moment, modern historians begin the countdown of the Hellenistic era, which ended three centuries later.
The huge empire created by Alexander the Great, stretching from the Lower Danube and Kira-naiki to the Syr Darya and the Indus, collapsed after his death, but several states arose on its ruins - the power of the Seleucids, Ptolemaic Egypt, the Bactrian kingdom, Pontus, Pergamum, Cappadocia, Bithynia and others where the Greek ethnic element and Hellenic culture retained a dominant position (see Art. "Hellenistic States").
Of the monarchies inherited by the successors of the great conqueror, the most significant role in the history of Ancient Greece in the last centuries of its independence was played by the same Macedonia. The kings of the Macedonian Antigonid dynasty repeatedly interfered in the affairs of the Hellenistic city-states, subordinating them to their power.
They took place in the second half of the 3rd century. - the beginning of the 2nd century BC. attempts by individual kings of Sparta (Agi-sa IV, Cleomenes III, Mahanid, Nabis) to revive at least to some extent the former power and glory of the once leading Dorian policy. At the same time, the Spartan dynasts, classified by ancient authors as tyrants by the nature of their rule, tried to recreate the economic base and human resources through radical reforms (cassation of debts, redistribution of land and money, increase in the number of full citizens due to the release of slaves, etc.). states. But such risky social experiments always aroused active opposition from other slave-owning policies of the Peloponnese and the Macedonian kings who, on this occasion, entered into an alliance with them.
After the destruction by the Romans in 168 BC. In the Macedonian kingdom, only the Aetolian and Achaean unions retained a certain influence in mainland Greece. But they could not resist the powerful expansion of Rome. In 146 BC. the Romans destroyed Corinth and some other Hellenic cities as a warning to the disobedient. Greece came under the control of the Roman authorities in the province of Macedonia.
The final moment of the Hellenistic era is considered to be the conquest by the first emperor-princeps of Rome, Augustus, of the last major state formation from the inheritance of Alexander the Great - Egypt, which was ruled from 323 to 30 BC. the Ptolemaic dynasty.
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