The Importance Of Isocrates Address To Philip Of Macedonia

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The conquests of Alexander the Great during the 4th century BC undoubtedly transformed the ancient world, bringing people of foreign lands into contact with Greek ideals and customs that spawned a unique Hellenistic period of both decaying and generative traditions. Despite the historical dramatization of Alexander, emphasizing his charisma and intellect as being the driving forces in creating an empire of a size that had never been imagined before, the contexts of cultural tension between Greek and Persian societies, a fractious Greek political state, and civil strife from an overpopulated Greek world greatly supplemented Alexander’s inherent traits in clearing a path for him to rise and embark on a path of conquest in the pursuit of eternal…show more content…
In Isocrates Address to Philip of Macedonia, he found “that on no other condition could Athens remain at peace, unless the greatest states of Hellas should resolve to put an end to their mutual quarrels and carry the war beyond our borders into wrest from the barbarians the advantages which they now think it proper to get for themselves at the expense of the Hellenes” (Isocrates). The barbaric, omnipresent influence of the Persians, which Isocrates and the rest of the Greek world felt was truly responsible for their misfortunes was quickly recognized by Philip as an fruitful opportunity for magnifying his power and authority over Greek affairs. The motivation to punish the Persians for the glory of Greece was not the ultimate goal of Philip as stated by the historian Polybius who perceived that Philip “reckoned on the cowardice and indolence of the Persians…further fixing his eyes on the splendor of the great prizes which the war promised… seizing on the pretext that it was his urgent duty to take vengeance on the Persians for the injurious treatment of the Greeks” (qtd. in Fredericksmeyers). The Persian characterization was powerful in conjuring intense emotions among both Macedonians and Greeks, creating an avenue for
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