Thursday, June 21, 2012

Story of Greece - Mary Macgregor


"...Philip of Macedon began to reign in 359 B.C. When he was sixteen years of age he was taken by Pelopidas as a hostage to Thebes. Here he stayed for three years, reading Greek literature and learning to love it, studying Greek art and learning to admire it. The craft of war he gained from the great Theban general Epaminondas..."


"Alexander, the son of Philip of Macedon, became king in 336 B.C. The queen-mother adored her brave son and dreamed of the great things he would do when he became a man. She did all she could to awake his ambition, telling him that he was descended from Achilles, the hero of Troy, and bidding him, when he was older, strive to do nobler deeds than his great ancestor had done. One of his tutors called the young prince Achilles, while he named himself Phoenix, after the tutor of the old Greek hero..."


"...The king then went to Corinth, where ambassadors from many of the Greek states met him. Young as he was, they chose Alexander to be general over the Greek troops which were to go with the Macedonians to invade Asia..."

"...Of the loyalty of the Greek troops the king was sure, for were they not going to avenge the invasion of Greece by Xerxes?..."


"...On the tomb of his ancestor, Achilles, he laid a garland, while Hephæstion, his beloved friend, placed one on the grave of Patroclus. The old Greek stories had entered into the very fibre of the young king, and in this way he did honour, as he deemed, to his glorious ancestor. He felt ready now to do deeds as great as his hero had done..."

"...The Greeks fought desperately, and Alexander lost more men in this struggle than he had lost in all the rest of the battle. His horse, which was not the famous Bucephalus, was killed on the field..."

"...The spoil was enormous, and Alexander determined that the Greeks should have a generous share. To Athens he sent three hundred Persian bucklers to be offered to Athene, with these words inscribed, 'Alexander, son of Philip, and the Grecians, except the Lacedæmonians, won these from the barbarians who inhabit Asia...."


"...Before the king gave the signal to attack, he stretched out his right hand to heaven, and called upon the gods to defend and strengthen the Greeks, if he indeed were the son of Zeus..."


"...They bade the king discharge not only the veterans but his loyal Macedonians. Some even dared to shout, 'Go and conquer with Zeus, your father.'..."

Source: Heritage-History


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