Welcome
   Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Authors
Works by Thucydides
Pages of History of The Peloponnesian War - Book II



Previous | Next
                  

History of The Peloponnesian War - Book II   


Assembling in Doberus, they prepared for descending from the heights
upon Lower Macedonia, where the dominions of Perdiccas lay; for the
Lyncestae, Elimiots, and other tribes more inland, though
Macedonians by blood, and allies and dependants of their kindred,
still have their own separate governments. The country on the sea
coast, now called Macedonia, was first acquired by Alexander, the
father of Perdiccas, and his ancestors, originally Temenids from
Argos. This was effected by the expulsion from Pieria of the Pierians,
who afterwards inhabited Phagres and other places under Mount
Pangaeus, beyond the Strymon (indeed the country between Pangaeus
and the sea is still called the Pierian Gulf); of the Bottiaeans, at
present neighbours of the Chalcidians, from Bottia, and by the
acquisition in Paeonia of a narrow strip along the river Axius
extending to Pella and the sea; the district of Mygdonia, between
the Axius and the Strymon, being also added by the expulsion of the
Edonians. From Eordia also were driven the Eordians, most of whom
perished, though a few of them still live round Physca, and the
Almopians from Almopia. These Macedonians also conquered places
belonging to the other tribes, which are still theirs- Anthemus,
Crestonia, Bisaltia, and much of Macedonia proper. The whole is now
called Macedonia, and at the time of the invasion of Sitalces,
Perdiccas, Alexander's son, was the reigning king.
These Macedonians, unable to take the field against so numerous an
invader, shut themselves up in such strong places and fortresses as
the country possessed. Of these there was no great number, most of
those now found in the country having been erected subsequently by
Archelaus, the son of Perdiccas, on his accession, who also cut
straight roads, and otherwise put the kingdom on a better footing as
regards horses, heavy infantry, and other war material than had been
done by all the eight kings that preceded him. Advancing from Doberus,
the Thracian host first invaded what had been once Philip's
government, and took Idomene by assault, Gortynia, Atalanta, and
some other places by negotiation, these last coming over for love of
Philip's son, Amyntas, then with Sitalces. Laying siege to Europus,
and failing to take it, he next advanced into the rest of Macedonia to
the left of Pella and Cyrrhus, not proceeding beyond this into
Bottiaea and Pieria, but staying to lay waste Mygdonia, Crestonia, and
Anthemus.
The Macedonians never even thought of meeting him with infantry; but
the Thracian host was, as opportunity offered, attacked by handfuls of
their horse, which had been reinforced from their allies in the
interior. Armed with cuirasses, and excellent horsemen, wherever these
charged they overthrew all before them, but ran considerable risk in
entangling themselves in the masses of the enemy, and so finally
desisted from these efforts, deciding that they were not strong enough
to venture against numbers so superior.
Meanwhile Sitalces opened negotiations with Perdiccas on the objects
of his expedition; and finding that the Athenians, not believing
that he would come, did not appear with their fleet, though they
sent presents and envoys, dispatched a large part of his army
against the Chalcidians and Bottiaeans, and shutting them up inside
their walls laid waste their country. While he remained in these
parts, the people farther south, such as the Thessalians, Magnetes,
and the other tribes subject to the Thessalians, and the Hellenes as
far as Thermopylae, all feared that the army might advance against
them, and prepared accordingly. These fears were shared by the
Thracians beyond the Strymon to the north, who inhabited the plains,
such as the Panaeans, the Odomanti, the Droi, and the Dersaeans, all
of whom are independent. It was even matter of conversation among
the Hellenes who were enemies of Athens whether he might not be
invited by his ally to advance also against them. Meanwhile he held
Chalcidice and Bottice and Macedonia, and was ravaging them all; but
finding that he was not succeeding in any of the objects of his
invasion, and that his army was without provisions and was suffering

Previous | Next
Site Search