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MEDALLIONS OF TARSUS.
and mere regard for political expediencies, changes of attitude and plan in the very and held him at temple and oracle in awe face of action involved no difficulty. They before the mysteries of the great unseen, rather served his purpose, and were his wont. stamped him, too, as the son of Olympias. He remained, as he wished to remain, a puz
zle to his foes, and a mystery to his friends.
His character was full of apparent contradictions. Perhaps, after all, it was only his extraordinary versatility that was responsible for them. At one time he appears as a creature of passion enraged by anger or lust, again he is cool, deliberate, calculating, when others are carried away with excitement or prejudice; now he is a half-savage, again he is a smooth, subtle, temperate Greek; now he is pitilessly brutal, again he is generous and large-hearted; now he gives himself, body and soul, to some petty aim of lust or envy, again he is the prophet and preacher of a national ideal. In everything he was, however, a strong individuality. His personality dominated every enterprise in which he was concerned. He was a natural leader of men. He could organize as well as lead. He not only made himself absolute
master of Macedon, but he so organized its HEAD OF ALEXANDER, OBVERSE OF ONE OF THE GOLD
force that it became of permanent value and See the note to the medallion on page 19.
could be transmitted to his successor. His
organizing talent was, however, military In Philip there predominated the charac- rather than political. He lacked that fine teristics which mark in modern times the practical politician. He was sagacious and alert of mind. His eye followed sharply and unceasingly every turn of events that might yield him an advantage. The weakness, the embarrassment, the preoccupation, of his opponent, he always made his opportunity. He was a keen judge of character, and adapted himself readily to those with whom he came in contact. He knew how to gratify the weaknesses, ambitions, lusts, and ideals of men, and chain them to his service. Few who came in contact with him failed to be captivated by him. He was perfectly unscrupulous as to the methods to be employed
ZIONPOO in attaining an end. Nothing of the sort ordinarily known as principles ever impeded his movement. He was an opportunist of the deepest dye. Flattery, promises, beneficence, cruelty, deceit, and gold he used when and where each would avail; but bribery was his REVERSE OF THE ABOVE MEDALLION: ALEXANDER AND most familiar tool. He allowed no one to THE LION, AFTER THE STATUARY GROUP BY LYSIPPUS, reckon with him as a constant quantity. His CALLED “
ALEXANDER'S HUNT," IN COMMEMORATION OF A ultimate plans and purposes were concealed FACT IN ALEXANDER'S LIFE. from friends and foes alike. In announcing ING THIS EXERCISE, AND LYSIPPUS THAT OF ORIENTAL his decisions and proclaiming his views, he ARTISTS IN DEPICTING IT. followed the ordinary politician's watchword: 'We will not cross the bridge till we come to sense for the civic and religious instincts of it.” As success was to him the only right, other peoples which developed in his son the and availability the only justice, radical capacity for founding empire as well as leading
armies. And yet without him Alexander's ing Pæonia, about the size and shape of Conachievements would have been impossible. necticut and Rhode Island. The sea-coast in
Philip's great permanent achievements are Philip's early days was occupied by a fringe two: the first is the organization of a power of Greek settlements, and the early history which Alexander was able, after him, to use of Macedonia is that of an inland state. Not for the founding of an empire; the second is until it acquired a sea-coast did it figure as the formulation and practical initiation of the an international quantity. idea of uniting Greece through a great na The people themselves were a plain, hardy, tional undertaking. These two are enough peasant population, preserving the older conto set upon him the stamp of greatness. He ditions of life and the older institutions of was certainly great-great in personal force, the kingship and the tribal organizationin practical alertness, in
much, indeed, as they organizing talent, and in
appear in the society of sagacious intelligence.
Homer's times. Only among Theopompus says well:
the Spartans, the Molos“Taking all in all, Europe
sians, and the Macedonians, has never seen such a man
says Aristotle, had the form as the son of Amyntas."
of the ancient kingship surSo much for the parents
vived, and only among the of Alexander. How truly
Macedonians the full exerhe was their son the story
cise of its prerogatives. of his life will tell. The
The consolidation of the
PROVADENIM improvement which he made
classes into a strong op
ELINE-XIV OOLOS upon their record, particu
position, which in the other larly in point of greater
states had first, in the form self-restraint, of higher and
of an aristocratic opposimore ideal interests, and of
tion, throttled the kingship, It is clear by comparison with the nobler ideas of life and duty, reverse of the medal on the previous and later, in the form of this is to be traced, at least page that Napoleon's medalist bor
a democratic opposition, rowed from the Roman medals of in some degree, to his ex Commodus and Constantine what the throttled the aristocracy,
medalists of their day had taken from cellent training and educathose of Alexander.
was in Macedonia prevented tion.
by the predominance of peaAlexander was born at Pella, the city sant life and the persistence of tribal unity. which his father, in place of ancient Ægæ, The state consisted of tribes and clans, not had made the capital of Macedonia. Hard divided into orders and classes. The kingby a vast swamp lake, and on the banks of ship belonged always in one and the same the sluggish Ludias, it stood near the center family, but definite rules for the succession of the plain which formed the nucleus of the within the family seem not to have been little kingdom. The sea, the modern Gulf of fully established. Seniority alone was not Saloniki, was twenty miles away. Twenty enough to determine a selection among the miles to the east or west or north brought princes. In the turmoils that almost certainly one to the foot-hills of the highlands that followed the death of a king, force, daring, raised their amphitheater about the plain. and leadership often asserted, by a species One great river, the Axius, modern Vardar, of natural right, their superior claim. came down through the northern hills and The larger landed proprietors owed to the traversed the plain. The Ludias was a lesser king a military allegiance as vassals and stream a little to the west. From the west, companions-at-arms, and constituted a body draining the mountain-locked plain of Elimea, known as the hetairoi (companions), not uncame the Haliacmon. Philip's ancestors from like the comitatus of the early Germans. their old citadel at Ægæ, near the modern The army consisted entirely of the free Vodena, had long ruled the plain, and vari- land holding peasantry. Mercenaries were ous tribes in the highlands behind had recog- unknown. It was this force that the stern nized a more or less stable allegiance to discipline and careful organization of Philip their power. Such were the Elimiotæ of raised into the most terrible war-machine the Haliacmon valley, the Lyncestæ of the that ancient Greece had ever yet known, in Erigon valley, and the Pæonians on the firmness and energy the equal of the Sparupper courses of the Axius. The congeries tan, in sizė, organization, and suppleness of tribes which made up this loosely jointed immeasurably its superior. That the MaceMacedonian state covered a territory, exclud- donians were Greek by race there can be no
longer any doubt. They were the northern- never used, so far as we know, in written most fragments of the race left stranded be- form, has left evidences of its Greek charhind the barriers of Olympus. They had not acter in stray words that have crept into the shared the historical experience of their kins- glossaries, and from soldiers' lips into the men to the south, and had not been kneaded common speech. It is evident that the dialect with the mass. If isolation from the Ægean was regarded as so base a patois that even had withheld them from progress in the arts when Macedon rose to world-power no atof civilization, still they had kept the fresh- tempt was made to elevate it into use as a ness and purity of the Northern blood better literary language. The higher classes, prethan those who had mixed with the primitive sumably, all learned Attic Greek, much as populations of Greece and were sinking the the children in the Tyrol to-day are taught old fair-haired, blue-eyed type of the North- Hochdeutsch, which is to them a half-foreign men in the dark-haired type of the South. tongue. Plutarch reports that Attic Greek It is the experience of history that force and was the medium of intercourse at Philip's will must be continually replenished from the court. Macedonian was, however, the comNorth, and the Macedonians were waiting mon spoken language of the Macedonian only for their turn.
soldiery. Thus Plutarch reports a scene Their language, mere patois as it was, and in the camp before Eumenes's tent: “And
when they saw him, they saluted him in the ing that barbarians had no right to enter the Macedonian dialect, and took up their competition, but only Greeks. But when shields, and, striking them with their pikes, Alexander proved that he was an Argive, he gave a great shout.” That Alexander him- was formally adjudged a Greek, and on parself usually spoke Attic Greek may be in- ticipating in the race, he came off with the ferred from the statement of Plutarch that first prize.” when he did speak in Macedonian it was It was this same king who, during the ininterpreted by his attendants as indicating vasion of Xerxes, showed himself so firm a unusual excitement or perturbation.
friend of the Greek cause as to win the title Rude people as the Macedonians were, we “Philhellene.” The memory of his action on have no reason to think that the Greeks gen- this occasion became an heirloom in his erally classed them as “barbarians.” When family. The espousal of Hellenic interests Demosthenes seeks to arouse political an as against the power of Persia remained the tipathy against Philip by calling him and policy and the ideal of his successors. It his people barbarians, we shall interpret his was left to his namesake, a century and a words as we do ante-election editorials, and quarter after him, to realize the ideal in its not as a sober contribution to ethnology. fullest sense. However the other Greek Bitterest is his expression in a passage of states might vacillate in alternately opposthe Third Philippic: “ Philip-a man who not ing Persia or paying court to her, according only is no Greek, and no way akin to the to the momentary advantage, the MacedoGreeks, but is not even a barbarian from a nian kings always remained firm in their respectable country-no, a pestilent fellow hereditary aversion to the effeminate empire of Macedon, a country from which we never and civilization of the East; and in this we get even a decent slave.” If this tirade con- may find one of the strongest grounds of tains any basis of fact, it is that the Macedo- their popularity with the Greeks at large, as nians were rarely found in slavery, a testi- it surely also gave a certain moral basis mony, on the one hand, to their own manliness, for the claims of their ambition to lead the and, on the other, to their general recognition united force of Hellenism against the East. as Greeks. There is no evidence that Demos Another family tradition that took its rise thenes's detestation of the Macedonians was with Alexander the Philhellene, or perhaps commonly shared by his Athenian country- even with his father, Amyntas (540-499), asmen, though the two peoples surely had very sociated itself with the cultivation and little in common. In institutions, customs, patronage of the higher elements of Greek and culture they represented the extreme civilization. It was the natural tribute which contrast afforded within the limits of the the lesser pays the greater, but it was none Greek race.
the less a credit to have discerned the Whatever may have been the current greater. Alexander's eagerness to particiopinions in Greece concerning the Macedo- pate in the Olympian games was part of a nian people, there can be no doubt that their general desire to be recognized by the royal family had been for generations re- Greeks. He showed himself highly sensigarded with great respect. They claimed to tive to their opinions about him. He sought be descended from the ancient royal family the acquaintance and society of their eminent of Argos, a branch of which, tradition said, men, and brought it about that Pindar, then had in the early days of Grecian history the first literary name of Greece, should taken refuge in the north. Though it is im- celebrate his Olympian victories in verse. possible for us to test the reliability of this The efforts to introduce Greek culture tradition, or to determine whether the name into Macedonian society, which began with borne by the family, the Argeadæ, is to be Alexander the Philhellene, were continued regarded as evidence to the truth of the under his successors. History gives us no tradition, or merely as the deceptive cause connected account-only stray hints, but of its origin, certain it is that it was gener- they are broad enough to follow. Greek ally accepted among the Greeks, and had settlers were welcomed. Men eminent in received the most decisive official verification letters and in art were induced to visit the from the highest Greek tribunal. When country and reside at court. Thus AlexAlexander, a Macedonian king of the earlier ander's immediate successor, Perdiccas II part of the fifth century (498–454 B. C.), pre- (454-413 B.C.), entertained at his court sented himself as a competitor at the Olym- Melanippides, the dithyrambic poet of Mepian games, Herodotus says that the other los, who was regarded as one of the forecompetitors undertook to exclude him, say- most lyric composers of his day; and tradition,
which was ever busy with the half-mythical there in 406. The tragedian Agathon, the career of Hippocrates, did not fail to report epic poet Cherilus, the musician and poet that the great physician had once been Timotheus, and the artist Zeuxis all resided called to practise his art at the palace of there for longer or shorter periods, finding the same king.
under the hospitable roof of the king a welIn the reign of the next king, Archelaus come refuge from the turmoils that the long (413-399), the Philhellenist tendency, which course of the Peloponnesian war was bringhad become almost a craze of imitation, ing to the Greek states. Great progress was reached its climax, and by developing a made in all the arts and practices of peacenationalist party drew after it a reaction. ful civilized life. Thucydides says of ArcheArchelaus sought to make his court a laus: “He built the fortresses now existing Weimar. Though Sophocles and Socrates in the country, and built direct roads, and, declined his invitations, Euripides spent the among other things, regulated the military last years of his life in Macedonia, dying system with provision of horses, equipment,