This is an extract from the Wikipedia
The Lamian War, or the Hellenic War
(323322 was fought by a coalition of cities including Athens and the
Aetolian League against Macedon and its ally Boeotia. The war broke out after
the death of the King of Macedon, Alexander the Great, and was part of a series
of attempts to challenge Macedonian hegemony over mainland Greece. The war
takes its name from the protracted siege of the Macedonian forces at Lamia.
Although the Athenian coalition was initially successful against the Macedonian
forces in Europe, their inability to take the city of Lamia and their failure
to retain control of the sea gave the Macedonians time to bring reinforcements
from Asia and secure victory
Opponents: Athens, Aetolian League, Locris, Phocis, Argos, Thessaly versus
Macedonia, Boeotia, Amfissa
Commanders and leaders:
Athens - Leosthenes Antiphilus Menon IV
Macedonia - Antipater
In 324, Alexander the Great had the Exiles Decree proclaimed in Greece. The
effect of this decree was that citizens of Greek cities that had previously
been exiled would be able to return to their cities of origin. Though this
affected many of the cities of Greece, two regions where this had a major
effect were Athens and the Aetolian League. This was a problem for the
Aetolians as they had previously occupied the city of Oeniadae and evicted the
original inhabitants of the city, settling it with their own citizens.
Similarly, the Athenians had taken over and colonized the island of Samos. The
outcome of the decree was that the Aetolians and Athenians would be required to
surrender control of these occupied territories. The hostility to Macedonian
suzerainty was compounded by a grain shortage in Greece, worsened by the fact
the Alexander was requisitioning supplies for his campaigns in the East.
Outbreak of war:
The death of Alexander in 323 left Macedon in the midst of a succession crisis,
with no universally accepted successor to the throne. While awaiting the birth
of the child of Alexander, a regency headed by Perdiccas was formed for the yet
unborn child and the mentally deficient brother of Alexander, Philip III. News
of his death was considered by the Athenians as an opportunity to shatter the
Macedonian hegemony. After vigorous debate in the ecclesia, it was determined
despite the opposition of prominent individuals such as Demades and
Phocion that Athens would wage war against Macedon. Making use of 50
talents that had been seized from Harpalus, the treasurer of Alexander who had
fled to Athens, the Athenians sent the commander Leosthenes to Taenarum with
the aim of engaging mercenaries. Leosthenes was given the order by the ecclesia
to make it appear that he was engaging the mercenaries on his own behalf, so as
to give Athens additional time to prepare for the upcoming war.
The total anti-Macedonian force at the outset of the war appears to have been
25,000 strong and was composed of up to 10,000 Athenians, 12,000 Aetolians, and
various contingents of mercenary forces. The Athenian forces commanded by
Leosthenes had some initial successes defeating the Boeotians at Plataea.
Antipater, commander of the Macedonian forces in Europe, meanwhile scrambled to
assemble Macedonian troops, most of which were engaged in Asia or in transit to
or from that continent. He set out against the Athenians with an initial force
of some 13,000 troops, with messages sent to various commanders to bring
reinforcements. The Thessalians originally sided with Antipater, but were
quickly persuaded to join the Athenians as allies. Together, they defeated
Antipater at Thermopylae. The defeated Macedonians fled to the fortified city
of Lamia, where they were besieged by the Athenians as Antipater waited for
reinforcements to arrive from Asia. The Athenians and their allies, despite
their early successes, were bogged down in their
siege of Lamia. The well-walled town proved impregnable to the Athenians,
and their commander Leosthenes was mortally wounded during a sallying forth
from the city by the Macedonians who sought to harass their ditch-digging
besiegers. His death prompted the Athenians to retreat. That year Hypereides
pronounced the funeral oration over the dead including his friend Leosthenes.
Antiphilus was appointed as his replacement. Soon after the Athenian retreat
from the walls of Lamia, Macedonian reinforcements (20,000 infantry and 1,500
cavalry) arrived from Asia under the command of Leonnatus. The Athenian naval
fleet had been defeated at the Battle of Amorgos in 322. Once the Macedonians
had control of the sea, Leonnatus was able to transfer troops from Asia to
Europe. Though the Athenians defeated Leonnatus and his reinforcements at an
unknown location in Thessaly, Antipater was able to escape from Lamia. Combined
with the remnants of the defeated army and with further forces brought from
Asia by Craterus, the Macedonians finally defeated the Athenian coalition in
322 at the Battle of Crannon in central
Thessaly. Together they beat back the weary Athenians in a long series of
cavalry and hoplite engagements. Although the allied forces were not routed,
the outcome was decisive enough to compel the Athenians and their allies to sue
for peace on Antipaters terms.
Earlier, Antipater made peace treaties with the defeated cities separately on
generous terms, in order to disband the Greek alliance against Macedonia. The
Athenians and Aetolians were left on their own. The Athenians were forced to
dissolve their democracy and establish a plutocratic system in its stead,
whereby only the 9,000 richest citizens were left in exclusive possession of
the city. The 12,000 poorest men, or 60% of the entire citizenship, were
permanently exiled. Many other Greek cities met a similar fate. Antipater often
installed in each a subservient oligarchy and a Macedonian garrison, and
executed democrats and champions of self-determination. Hypereides was
condemned to death, fled, and was probably captured and killed in Euboea.
Demosthenes committed suicide to avoid being captured and tortured by
Macedonian exile hunters.
George Grote considers the outcome of the Lamian War a calamitous tragedy,
marking the extinction of an "autonomous Hellenic world." It
extinguished free speech in Greece and dispersed the Athenian Demos to distant
lands. Nevertheless, the war, in spite of its disastrous result, was a
"glorious effort for the recovery of Grecian liberty, undertaken under
circumstances which promised a fair chance of success."
Penelope - U Chicago Hypereides, Funeral Oration
Plutarch, Lives, Phocion 2329 and Demosthenes 2730.
Ashton, N. G. "The Lamian War. A false start?" Antichthon 17 (1983)
Ashton, N. G. "The Lamian War-stat magni nominis umbra" The Journal
of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 104, (1984), pp. 152157
Brill's New Pauly vol.7 (2005) pp. 183:
Errington, R. M. "Samos and the Lamian war." Chiron 5 (1975) 51-57.
Martin, G., "Antipater after the Lamian War: New Readings in Vat. Gr. 73
(Dexippus fr. 33)".
The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 55, No. 1 (2005), pp. 301305
Oikonomides, A. N. "Athens and the Phokians at the outbreak of the Lamian
War (=IG II 367)."
The Ancient World 5 (1982) pp. 123127.
Schmitt, O., Der Lamische Krieg (1992)
Walsh, J., "Historical Method and a Chronological Problem in Diodorus,
Book 18" In P. Wheatley and R. Hannah (eds), Alexander and His Successors:
Essays from the Antipodes (Claremont: 2009) 72-88.
Walsh, J., "The Lamiaka of Choerilus and the Genesis of the term 'Lamian
War'." Classical Quarterly (2011) 61.2: 53844.
Westlake, H. D. "The Aftermath of the Lamian War." Classical Review
63 (1949) 87-90
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 June 2007), Lamian or Hellenic
War, 323-321 BC, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/wars_lamian.html.
The Lamian War was one of the first serious revolts to break out in
Alexander the Greats empire after his death. Alexanders unexpected
death left a power vacuum which would soon result in a series of wars between
his generals (the diadochi, or successors). This apparent weakness was noticed
in Athens, already resentful of Macedonian control after Alexander forced them
to take back all of their political exiles in 324. With Alexander gone, and no
clear heir to his empire, Athens decided the time was right to make a bid for
freedom. She certainly had the money to fight a war. Alexanders treasurer
Harpalus had fled to the city after Alexander returned from India with at least
some of Alexanders plunder. There were also a large number of mercenaries
cheaply available in the aftermath of Alexanders stunning victories in
Persia. Athens raised a sizable army, created a fleet of 200 warships and
appointed Leosthenes to command. In 323 the Aetolians and Thessalians joined
the rebellions, soon to be joined by Corinth and Argos. Leosthenes took up a
defensive position in the pass of Thermopylae, and then advanced north to
besiege Lamia. There he trapped
Antipater, the regent of
Macedonia, but was then himself killed by a slingshot fired from the walls of
the town. The Greeks had moved too soon. Enough of Alexanders former
generals still saw each other as colleagues (or rivals) rather than as enemies,
and when Antipater sent out a call for help, Leonnatus and Craterus both responded.
Leonnatus had been allocated
Phrygia (the north-west corner of Asia Minor) in the division of commands
at Babylon after Alexanders death. He was now planning to marry
Alexanders sister Cleopatra, and possibly to claim the Macedonian throne.
In the first half of 322 he led his army into Europe, but was defeated and
killed in a cavalry battle against the Thessalians.
Craterus was both more cautious and more successful. He had been allocated the
honorary guardianship of the monarchy in the division of commands. However,
prior to Alexanders death he had been on his way to replace Antipater as
regent of Macedonia, and had been dispatched back home with 10,000 veteran
troops. When Alexander died he had reached Cilicia (south-east Asia Minor).
When the news of Alexanders death reached him, he stopped where he was to
wait for events to unfold at Babylon. When news reached him of the Greek
revolt, Craterus sent one of his officers, Cleitus, to take command of the
powerful Macedonian fleet. For the final time Athens had created a powerful
fleet of her own, hoping to win control of the Aegean, and perhaps prevent
reinforcements reaching Antipater from the rest of the empire. This fleet
suffered two defeats at the hands of Cleitus, close to Abydos (on the south
coast of the Hellespont) in the spring of 322, and then decisively off the
island of Amorgos (south west of Samos) in July 322. Athenian naval power would
never rise again. With the Athenian fleet gone, Craterus was free to transport
his army across the Aegean to Greece. There the combined Macedonian forces
inflicted a defeat on the allied Greek army at Cronnon in August 322.
Faced with the prospect of a siege, Athens surrendered. Her constitution was
re-written to reduce the franchise, and a Macedonian garrison placed in the
Piraeus. The orator Demosthenes, who had played an important role in provoking
the revolt committed suicide, his colleague Hyperides was captured and
executed. The Aetolians managed to hold out until 321, at which point
Macedonian politics intervened to save them. Antigonus and Craterus needed to
cross over into Asia Minor to deal with Perdiccas, another of Alexanders
generals with pretensions to the throne of Macedonia, and so arranged a truce
with the Aetolians. The Lamian War was the last time Athens would play an
important military role in Greece, although the city would retain her
democratic traditions for longer, and would continue to produce writers and
philosophers into Roman times.
Alexander the Greats Regent and his Successors, John D
Grainger . A useful study of the short-lived dynasty founded by Antipater,
Alexander the Greats deputy in Macedonia during his great campaign, and
continued by his son Cassander, who overthrew Alexanders dynasty and
declared himself to be king of Macedonia. A good choice of topic, filling a gap
in the history of the period, and demonstrating just how significant this pair
of father and son were in the creation and then the destruction of