the progress of hellenism in alexanders empire

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: LECTURE IV SYRIA In treating so large a subject in a single lecture I must avoid all small details, and above all perplexing you with the various Antiochuses and Seleucuses who make up the pedigree of the Syrian royal house —a pedigree by no means so interesting as those of the other two kingdoms, for history has preserved to us nothing worth mention save of two, Antiochus III and IV; the former the king who warred with the Romans and was defeated at Magnesia (190 B. C.), the latter (Epiphanes) his elder son, who succeeded his younger brother, and who is famous not only for the circle of Popilius Laenas, but for his persecution of the Jews, and the prominent place he thus occupies in the book of Daniel. But if the kings of Syria are obscure, their kingdom is by far the most important and interesting in the Hellenistic world from many points of view. I have already told you that the two great struggles in which Macedon was now engaged were that with the northern barbarians and that with the over- cultivated Greeks. Egypt had only internal enemies to fear, and, though often struggling for the possession of Cyprus and Cyrene, was secure from invasion or dismemberment. It was the deep severance of the native population from all that was Greek which ultimately drew away that kingdom from the rest of Alexander's empire, and so demoralised the ruling class that Ptolemaic Egypt succumbed to Rome from the mere internal decay of its rulers. All the conflicts which Syria had to endure were at the same time like and unlike those of her rivals. The very name Syria is a sort of absurdity, seeing that the empire founded by Seleucus had Babylon for its natural centre, and included the "upper provinces," Parthia, Bactria, Ariana, and indeed part of India, till the first great war of Se...
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