Philip of Macedon united Greece under his own leadership, and with the power thus secured Alexander the Great laid the Persian Empire prostrate and open for swift and persistent Greek colonization. As Machiavelli in his “Prince”〖H. C., xxxvi, 7.〗 points out, “his successors had to meet no other difficulty than that which arose among themselves from their own ambitions.” This was sufficient, however. It led to a thirty years’ war such as had never before been seen. At its end the Græco-Macedonian world was paralyzed by an unstable balance of power in which Egypt, under the Ptolemies, by using its great wealth to maintain a magnificent fleet held Macedon and Asia in check. The unification of Italy under Rome (343-270 B. C.) and the subsequent destruction of the Carthaginian Empire (264-201 B. C.) brought into hostile conflict with Egypt’s enemies a military state which was far stronger than any individual Greek kingdom. This state had a population of 5,000,000, an army list of 750,000, and it could keep 100,000 men in the field for many years at a stretch. Such a force could be stopped only by a federation of the entire Greek world. The Greeks again paid the just penalty for their disunion, and after a bitter struggle they sank under the Roman sway.

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