Alexander the Great and Greek polices.
This work can be divided into two parts: 1) Understanding the meaning of the word police and its crisis; 2) Relations between Alexander and Greek polices.
Before 400-300 BC Greece was a great empire with a long history and culture. The first invention of a Greeks was the deductive proof, which was extraordinary step. Any other civilization has not reached idea of reception of the conclusions extremely on the basis of the deductive reasoning which is starting with obviously formulated axioms. The reason is a greek society of the classical period. Mathematicians and philosophers (quite often it there were same persons) belonged to the supreme layers of a society where any practical activities were considered as unworthy employment. Mathematics preferred abstract reasoning on numbers and spatial attitudes to the solving of practical problems. The mathematics consisted of a arithmetic - theoretical aspect and logistic - computing aspect. The lowest layers were engaged in logistic. In a greek society there were such a great names like Plato, Eratosthenes, Pythagoras, Euclid and Aristotle. They were a ancestors of a algebra and geometry. They’ve made a good work, they’ve deducted the rules and axioms that we still use in our life. For example, Pythagoreans deducted a theorem, which is now called “a Pythagoras’ theorem”. That is the one of the hundreds rules, theorems and axioms that were deducted by greek minds.
Also Greece had a good states (polices). The most famous greek police were Athens. That was a democratic state, the first commercial center. Some people call Athens a slave society country. It’s not so: Athens had slaves, but they were not a lot – around 18-20% of the population of the state. Athens was a prospering country.
But a Greek empire fell down. What were the reasons we will try to understand now. At first let’s think about the problem of the polices. In a book called «Греки и Александр Македонский» (Москва, Наука, 1993 p.5-13) it’s said that in a classical works of XIX and of the beginnings of the XX century there is no problem about a polices. That is because it was realized simply like a part of the system 4 society. This system existed from about 2000-3000 BC and until the middle of the Middle age and internal divisions of such a huge period seemed to be not very important.
For the other historians, modernizators, this topic also was not very important. They preferred a method that made closer the ancient world to the modern one – capitalistic.
In a Soviet Union in the 20’s and 30’s years of a XX century the crisis of police was apprehended like a decline of a slave society.
The opinion has changed in the 30’s of XX century. It was changed by Heserbroek. He said that the police is not only a political, it’s also a economic structure of the society. The crisis of the police was realized from the social and economic side, and ideological side was considered like a consequence.
The basis of the crisis is the Peloponnesus war. At this time economy in the Athens fell down. That is because in the war the men were needed to fight, but there were no men in the agricultural land. A peasantry became poor: peasants sold their land and became a mercenary. Handicraft also was declined. In the time of war many of the neighbors of the country (police) stopped trading. As a consequence in that country many of the artisans didn’t know where to sell their products. As a result of this crisis the social life of the police became different. The standard of the life decreased. The crime increased. Finally it was difficult to drive the police.
But there are some scientists who denied the crisis concept. One of them is Shtaerman. She thinks that changes in the IV century BC were not so important in a society’s life.
Other topic is a cities of a Asia Minor and Alexander the Great. One of the scientists, who worked on this topic, is Droesden. He wrote about the generosity of the Alexander the Great, who returned to greeks the freedom. But Droesden supposed that it was a benefit to Alexander to give some freedom to the greek cities. He thought that it’s better to have loyal cities in Asia Minor, that to have not stable polices in Greece, which can make a rising, and they did; but Alexander pushed them back and greeks were punished.
But other historian doesn’t think so. He thinks that for ancient states it was better to assault the cities and lands. The cities, that were taken by force, had been robbed. But cities, that complacently surrendered, were spared. Exactly this method were used by Alexander the Great. Evidence of the giving freedom to cities Beckerman named as some exceptions.
The conquest of Asia was not only by the Macedonian forces, but also Greek – the members of a Corinthian union. But neither Greece, nor other states in Corinthian union hadn’t got any conquered cities or other spoils. However, greeks didn’t worried about such thing. Why? They wanted to take vengeance on Persians. Persians burnt greek cities and temples – Alexander the Great burnt Persepole, Persians came into Halide (Эллада) – Alexander took his army to Ekbatan. (Moscow, “Science”, 1993 p.155-158)
Thus Alexander conquered Persians, also subordinated Greek cities, which some of them he gave freedom. But he gave them not full freedom, he made that cities like an autonomy. According to greek concept of freedom, free police- it’s independent country, that decides internal and xternal pilitics for itself. I.e. they had their own ruler, their own rules; but they couldn’t make external politics. They couldn’t fight with each other, but that was happened in Greece.
The politics of the Alexander to a Asian cities were discovered by Ranovich (Ранович, «Эллинизм и его историческая роль». 1950 Институт Истории,Москва p. 49-58). He says that Alexander the Great needed the interior support because he didn’t have enough money and military force. So he secured himself by a liking of the greek cities. Repairing the democratic structure he also made a military ally. In this situation Alexander’s thinking was similar to thinking of his father – Philip. Philip sent an army in Asia to liberate Hellenic cities.
Ranovich spared a lot of attention on a meaning of the word “freedom”. Ranovich says that exactly the Alexander’s policy might change the meaning of that word, that was unproper to the monarchy. Meaning of the freedom was not a meaning like in a classical police, it was new. The new meaning is a independence from the Persian empire. (Ранович, «Эллинизм и его историческая роль», Москва, 1950, Институт Истории, p.53).
But I think Ranovich overstated the role of the Macedonian ruler. He said that Alexander’s conquests are so important and made a revolution in relationships between defeated country and a defeater, that any other civilizations didn’t know. (Ранович, «Эллинизм и его историческая роль», Москва, 1950, Институт Истории, p.51)
Another historian thinks that it’s no reason to dispute about differences of a legal status of the police and of a actual one. That is because it’s foolish to show the small differences in a statement de jure and de facto, where the state is ruled by one person, so Badian thinks that it’s necessary to start discover with the Alexander’s father- Philip. Philip sent an army to defeat the Persians to give freedom to the greek polices. Thus it’s true that Philip planned the Asian conquest, he organized a Corinthian union. It means that Alexander the Great inherited some Asian cities. Philip just didn’t organized them well.
As a Ranovich Shoffman shows us political thoughts, which had been used by Alexander. He spoke about Alexander’s policy:” Widely advertising the demagogical slogan of clearing Asian Greeks from oppression and humiliations which half-centuries ago they have undergone because of dictatorship of the Persian government, Alexander used it in political ends for a gain of sympathies at the population of cities of Asia Minor”. (Шофман А.С., «Восточная политика Александра Македонского», Москва, 1976, Издательство Казанского университета, p.52). Alexander believed that he must use antipersian type of war, that he must show himself like a tyrant defeater. Alexander limited the Greek power in Asia Minor. But sometimes he tried to pay attention on the greek traditions, however he didn’t manage to do this, that is because it’s difficult to combine absolute monarchy and democratic state.
All this stuff means that most of historians agrees that Alexander the Great gave some freedom to policies, that he’d conquered, but this freedom meant that policies could decide their internal policy, also Alexander influenced all of the external policy.
A CONCLUSION. In work three basic interconnected problems have been put: specificity of the given stage of crisis of the policy; specificity of display of crisis in policies of various type; features of mutual relations of social and economic and political aspects of crisis of the policy, specificity of display of social and economic bases of crisis in political sphere.
Once again we shall define initial positions: we mean not crisis of the policy in general, but crisis of the Greek classical policy. And the second — in the work the area of political history was discovered. At such approach, summing up, it is necessary to speak about crisis of the policy in aspect of crisis of system of policies.
Specificity of a stage of crisis of the policy considered in the given work, in my opinion, consists first of all that crisis, former earlier internal crisis of separate policies (differently and in a different degree touched them), becomes now crisis of a polices systems. For the first time in the history practically all policies and actually Greece, and Asia Minor appeared depending on one foreign force. In an Hellenistic epoch as a consequence of a place of uniform power Alexander the Great there have come some the competing states, at separate policies or their unions the opportunity has appeared, maneuvering between these forces to carry out even partly an independent policy. But this policy was always a policy, with caution on the powerful neighbors. From the point of view of destinies of the policy Hellenistic world was transitive. The Hellenistic states and could not find organic forms of inclusion of the policy in the structure. Integrally they included only the policies again based in the East, in the won territories, old Greek cities on all an extent of a Hellenism remained an element appreciably alien to the structure of a Hellenistic monarchy. The variety of forms of communications between the policy and a monarchy is observed. Position besides was complicated constant struggle of “great powers” as a result of which separate policies pass from sphere of influence of one state in sphere of influence of another. Logic end of this process became inclusion of the policy in structure of Roman empire.
So, despite of all originality of destinies, development of policies of both regions goes in one direction. Its essence will be that the policy ceases to be the subject of history and turns to its object. Elide from system of politically independent policies which course of history was defined, first of all, by interaction of separate policies with each other or with external forces, turns to a field of struggle various external in relation to the world of policies of forces. The world of policies tried to defend the existence. All three most significant states of Greece IV century BC - Thebes, Sparta and Athens, at this or that support of other states, have acted against Macedonia. In these performances it is possible to note three features. All of them were at war under slogans of struggle for freedom of Greeks, however not all Greece has supported them. The policy distinctly enough understood, that the macedonian authority threatens freedom of all Elide, and not just its own independence. At the same time hardly this struggle was perceived as struggle of a monarchy against the policy as such. Further, all these policies have suffered defeat, that distinctly enough shows final hopelessness of the polices’ world. At last, all three policies have never acted in common. The little strong and long association of Greeks was impossible, and enmity of policies, within IV century BC Applying for hegemony, appeared more strongly external threat. Specificity of crisis in policies of various type in the best way comes to light at comparison of Athens and Sparta. I agree with those researchers who see the final reason of crisis in economic development which character comes in the contradiction with traditional structure of the policy. In a number of researches some symptoms of crisis in political sphere have been revealed. Studying of the Athenian material allows to speak about washing out earlier very precise borders of civil collective and, on the other hand, about known isolation of various groups of the citizenship having the economic and political interests. In Athens it were some political groups, which heads in the sights and social behavior reflect interests of separate layers of citizens at this time of operate. Interests of these groups come in the contradiction with each other, between them there is a struggle accepting from time to time sharp character. All this leads to decomposition of civil collective and easing of communications in it. At the same time in speeches of political orators obviously almost general aversion modern him democratic building in Athens. Though adherence of democracy is constantly declared, in them the aspiration to this or that restriction of this democracy distinctly enough appears. The analysis of political strike given in work testifies to crisis of democracy which is considered as one of aspects of crisis of the policy in Athens. Crisis in Sparta is differently shown. In my opinion, as an starting point of revealing of its attributes fight at Leuctrah can serve. In what essence of this event? All build Sparta, all its life were based that belonged to it Massena, which grounds have been divided on some structure, providing existence of citizens. Now appeared bases of it building are undermined, that the point in development of crisis can be considered as some kind of condition. How crisis of the policy appears in since this time? We know about social performances during earlier time, for the subsequent Sparta gives time vivid examples of sharp social struggle. But the considered period — time of relative internal calmness, anyway, is not observed. On the other hand, Sparta at this particular time conducts struggle for restoration of the hegemony in Peloponnesus, she aspires to revive the authority above Messiness. The policy ventures direct military collision with Macedonia, i.e. aspires to carry out a traditional policy traditional methods in completely others, radically changed conditions. Crisis found here expression in full discrepancy of a policy of the policy to external conditions, that arrangement of forces which has developed in Elide. Differently, we again approach to a problem of crisis of the policy as crisis of system of policies. As to Asia Minor it is necessary to note, that any of Asian policies has not accepted participation in a Limy (ламийской) war. On this circumstance in the literature it has not been inverted that attention which it, certainly, deserves. It is represented, that this fact also should search for an explanation in deep processes of crisis of the policy. In crisis of the policy, more precisely, crisis of the Greek classical policy it is necessary to see process of loss and deformation of its intrinsic characteristics, i.e. those features and attributes which do by those. One of them is a political independence. Speaking about it, I mean in this case not independence of the separate policy, but system of independent policies. The Greek cities of Asia Minor appeared in structure of the Persian power, i.e. have lost the independence. It is possible to come out with the assumption, that and creations of the Corinthian union, for policies of Asia Minor it is necessary to date that stage of crisis of the policy which on Balkan peninsula began from defeat of Greeks at Heroine time. If this assumption is fair, I have the right to allocate Asian variant of crisis of the policy — a variant connected to earlier submission of the policy external, alien it by the social nature to force. The formulation of this assumption again puts us before the person of a problem of crisis of the policy as crisis of system of policies. The world of the Greek cities not once was exposed to an attack on the part of forces alien to it, however during rise and blossoming of the policy Greeks could resist to them. Comparison of an epoch of the Greco-Persian wars and IV century BC is indicative. In Greco-Persian wars Elide could defend freedom in struggle against the Persian power which too was at top of the power. In IV century BC, when the Ahimenide state tended to decline, it nevertheless managed to subordinate to itself Greeks of Asia Minor. Whether we in this submission have no right to see result of development of crisis of system of policies? For Greeks of Balkan peninsula creation of the Corinthian union was the certificate restraining their political sovereignty and by virtue of it by the phenomenon negative, especially for large policies; for Greeks of Asia Minor Alexander's gain became the phenomenon some other character. In a number of attitudes change of the Persian control macedonian meant change of mister, but in one attitude this change was essential: at Alexander democracy everywhere is restored. Revival democratic building though and in conditions of macedonian authority, are equitable to interests of weight of citizenship and has served, probably, finally as the reason of that Asian Greeks appeared away from Limian wars. The final stage of crisis of the policy was time of destruction of system of independent policies, time of transition from the world of the cities-states by an Hellenistic epoch. But crisis of the policy did not mean the end of the policy, its destruction. The policy continued to exist within many centuries, new policies were based also, however in its character there were essential changes.
1. Ранович А.Б. «Эллинизм и его историческая роль» Москва 1950, «Институт истории».
2. Маринович Л.П. «Греки и Александр Македонский» Москва 1993, «Наука».
3. Шофман А.С. «Восточная политика Александра Македонского» Москва 1976, «Издательство Казанского университета».