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Greek Civil War (Spithridates' Axe)

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The Hellenic Civil War is a name given to a period lasting eight years in which Macedon lost its hegemony over several important Greek city-states who had been members of the Corinthian League and in which Sparta reappeared as a major power in the Hellenic world.


Athens defects from the Corinthian League

August 334, Demosthenes gives a speech in the Ekklesia stating the Macedonians are unworthy of being Athens' superiors. His speech is received very well by the people and the people vote to have Athens step out of the Corinthian League.

Boeotian Revolt

September 334, Antipater marches toward Athens, knowing that if he would be able crush the Athenian resistance it would be a great boost to his credibility as the new leader. During his march through Boeotia, furious Boeotians remembering the destruction of Thebes just a year ago harass the Macedonian army with guerrilla-style warfare. Antipater manages to get his army through Boeotia and to the gates of Athens anyway.

From September 21 to October 12 Antipater besieges Athens. In the meanwhile many Boeotian commoners join the guerrilla's and a vast popular uprising throughout Boeotia occurs. Macedonian garrisons are thrown out and lynched by commoners. The revolt isn't in any way organized and spreads quickly. By the end of October also the Phocians have started revolting. Worried by these developments, Antipater breaks the siege of Athens and goes to Boeotia.

Antipater spends the winter of 334/333 in Boeotia, re-establishing Macedonian authority one city at a time to make sure they won't rebel again too soon. By the end of the winter, most major Boeotian cities have Macedonian garrisons again, although the rural areas remain far from peaceful.

April 333, a few reckless rebel leaders decide to march toward the Macedonian homeland for a great 'revenge attack' and cross the border into Thessaly, raiding the border villages. Antipater is forced to retreat to Thessaly in order to defend it. If he can't even keep some Boeotian peasants from attacking his loyal vassal, he knows he will lose all credibility. After several battles on the open field, the leaders of the invading rebels have been captured and are executed in public on June 5, 333 in Larissa, Thessaly. Antipater then immediately marches back to Boeotia.

From 333 to 328, Antipater is working hard to restore order and loyalty to Macedon in Boeotia again. To win the hearts and minds of the people, Antipater promises to rebuild Thebes exactly three years after it was destroyed. By October 328, Boeotia and Phocis are officially pacified. All cities answer to Antipater again, no rebel armies to speak of are present in the land and all rebel leaders Antipater has captured since 333 are brought to death exactly six years after Antipater was forced to break the siege of Athens to fight the rebels.


Spartan victories

While Antipater is fighting in Boeotia and Thessaly, king Agis III of Sparta sends letters to all cities and states in the Peloponnese, asking them to join him and defect from the League of Corinth. Most cities in Arcadia, Achaea and Elis agree to do so. In the summer of 333, Agis III and his allies start a major campaign in order to simply conquer all cities that refused to join him.

In the summer of 333 he conquers all of the Peloponnese except for Megalopolis and Corinth. In the summer of 332, after a siege lasting six weeks, the Spartans capture Megalopolis. In the summer of 331 the Spartans besiege Corinth, but after two weeks of siege the Corinthians turn over their city to Agis. The very city after which the League of Corinth was named now answered to Sparta.

In October 328, just after the Boeotian Revolt was officially ended, Agis declares that all of his allies on the Peloponnese are now his vassals and that he is now king over all of them. He also invites king Aeacides of Epirus to enter into an alliance with him in which they both are equals.


Restoration of the Delian League

Again inspired by Demosthenes, the Athenian 'demos' votes to restore the Delian League on May 15, 331. Many island states in the Aegean and a large part of Euboia were already supporting Athens and recently the Ionian states in Asia have been liberated by, how ironic, the Macedonians Parmenion and Kleitos. Antipater recognises, although he doesn't say it out loud, that he won't be able to retake Athens.


Battle of the Isthmus

After having pacified Boeotia and Phocis, but knowing that he had lost Athens and that Sparta took over the Peloponessian members of the League of Corinth, including Corinth itself, Antipater decided to make a statement. In June 327, Antipater marches toward Corinth. Agis in return marches toward Antipater's army. They meet on the narrowest part of the Isthmus of Corinth. A great battle is fought and the Spartans lose many men. Agis decides to head back inside Corinth's city walls, which is indeed more prudent, but also a break with the traditional Spartan mentality. Antipater wins but it's a Pyrrhic victory. The remaining troops are not enough to successfully besiege Corinth. He retreats and in September 327, Antipater and Agis agree to a peace treaty.


Delian League is recognized by Macedon

After having done all that he could to defend Macedon's power, Antipater meets with Demosthenes and recognises the independence of Athens and all Delian League members in October 326. This event marks the end of the Hellenic Civil War.

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