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In the Pyrrhic Epoch timeline, Epoch Theory is the proposed cyclical nature of civilization between the 13th century BC and the late 18th century AD. It states that the rise and decline of Greek influence in the international community can be broken up into periods called epochs, periods in history when all or most of Greece was united under a single rule.
First postulated by the Byzantine historian Makedonikos Konstantinou in the late 15th century in his letter to the king, Epoch Theory has since undergone numerous revisions refining superstitious and religious undertones.
"This world is fated... to turn like a coin, belonging in succession to the sons of Olympus and to the hordes. Each period of glory gives way to one of darkness... History has shown that Greece, united, is unstoppable. Troy saw this. The Persian Empire saw this. Rome saw this. Divided, though, darkness rules the land." - Makedonikos, Letter to the King, 1498
In his works, Makedonikos' repeatedly uses the flipping of a coin as a metaphor, possibly as reference to the Orphan Coin, the heirloom of the early Pyrrhic dynasty.
First Epoch: Mycenaean Greece & the Trojan War
The Mycenaeans are believed to have flourished between the 13th and 11th centuries BC. Expanding their empire by conquest and subjugation of neighboring city states, they reached their height under the Argive King Agamemnon, who secured Mycenaean dominance in the region following the legendary Trojan war. As accounts of this time period are steeped in mythology and legend, details of the Mycenaean empire and its ruling dynasty are unknown, though it is believed to have encompassed most of the Hellenic states. Following their triumph over Troy, Mycenaean Greece declined quickly. Lacking a common cause, the union between city states gave way to bickering which, coupled with an invasion by the Dorians, ended the Mycenaean rule of Greece and causing the region to enter a dark age.
Second Epoch: The Delian League & the Persian War
The Delian League, also known as the Athenian Empire at its height, encompassed almost the entirety of coastal Greece and Turkey from 478-355 BC. A loose maritime confederation of over a hundred city states led by Athens, the league served to organize resistance against the increasing encroachment of the Persian Empire.
United, the league proved nearly unbeatable during the Persian war, culminating with the crushing defeat of Xerxes and his army. Unable to defeat the Greeks in such a state, the Persians instead turned their efforts to fomenting rivalry within Greece, funding the Spartan-led peloponnesian league and playing the city states off against each other. Consumed by revolts and militarily exhausted by their war with Sparta, the league fragmented and the Persians gained rule of Macedonia and most of northern Greece.
Third Epoch: Alexander the Great
The Macedonian Empire spanned the areas of conquest of Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III of Macedon. Originally a vassal to the Persians, Macedonia was the seat of power of King Philip II who, through alliance and conquest, successfully united Greece under a single authority after a generation of brutal Persian rule.
Inheriting his father's throne in 336 BC, Alexander led the Greeks in a thirteen-year war against Persia, conquering it entirely and establishing Greek rule over a vast territory. On the eve of his death, Alexander's empire stretched from the Ionian Sea to India. Lacking a legitimate male heir however, Alexander's empire fragmented amongst his generals and governors, each seeking to claim the Macedonian throne and reunite the empire through conquest in a war that consumed the civilized world.