Macedon(redirected from Ancient Macedon)
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Macedon (măsˈədŏn), ancient country, roughly equivalent to the modern region of Macedonia. In the history of Greek culture Macedon had its single significance in producing the conquerors and armies who created the Hellenistic empires and civilizations.
Macedon proper constituted the coast plain NW, N, and NE of the Chalcidice (now Khalkidhikí) peninsula; Upper Macedon was the highland to the west and the north of the plain. The plain was fertile and productive, and there were important silver mines in the eastern part. The population of the region was complex when first known and included Anatolian peoples as well as several Hellenic groups. The capital of Macedon from c.400 to 167 B.C. was Pella.
Rise of Macedon
The first influence of Greek culture in Macedon came from the colonies along the shore founded in the 8th cent. B.C. and after; they had ties to their mother cities that tended to isolate them politically from Macedon. By the 7th cent. B.C. there was developing in W Macedon a political unit led by a Greek-speaking family, which assumed the title of king and aggrandized itself. Macedon was a Persian tributary in 500 B.C. but took no real part in the Persian Wars.
Alexander I (d. 450 B.C.) was the first Macedonian king to enter into Greek politics; he began a policy of imitating features of Greek civilization. For the next century the Hellenic influences grew and the state became stronger. With Philip II (reigned 359–336 B.C.) these processes reached their culmination, for by annexing Upper Macedon, Chalcidice, and Thrace he made himself the strongest power in Greece; then he became its ruler. He created an excellent army with which his son, Alexander the Great, forged his empire. That empire, although it was a Macedonian conquest, was a personal creation.
Successors of Alexander the Great
Wars with Rome
See S. Casson, Macedonia, Thrace, and Illyria (1926); W. W. Tarn, Hellenistic Civilization (3d ed. 1952); F. E. Adcock, The Greek and Macedonian Art of War (1957); N. G. C. Hammond, A History of Macedonia (2 vol., 1972–78); S. Pribichevich, Macedonia: Its People and History (1982).