|The Story of the Greeks|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Greece, made up principally of stories about persons, giving at the same time a clear idea of the most important events in the ancient world and calculated to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described. Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome. Ages 10-14 |
THE LAST OF THE ATHENIANS
 ANTIPATER, although master of all Greece, did not treat
the people cruelly, for he was very anxious to secure
friends who would help him to keep his share of
He soon heard that Perdiccas was marching homeward with
the infant king, who was named, like his father,
Alexander; and he knew that the general wanted to place
the child on the Macedonian throne. This plan was very
distasteful to Antipater. He was not at all afraid of
the infant Alexander, but he knew that Perdiccas would
want to be regent, and he wished that position himself.
Rather than give up his authority, Antipater decided to
fight; and, as many of Alexander's generals were
dissatisfied, they all rose up in arms at the same
time, as we have seen.
Perdiccas was surrounded by enemies, but he faced them
all bravely, and even led an army into Egypt to subdue
Ptolemy, his greatest foe. To reach the enemy, the
soldiers under Perdiccas were obliged to swim across
the Nile. Here so many of them were eaten up by huge
crocodiles, that the rest, angry with their general for
leading them into such danger, fell upon him and killed
Almost at the same time, Antipater died, leaving his
son, Cassander, and his general, Polysperchon, to
quarrel over the government of Macedon. Each gathered
together an army, and tried to get as many friends as
possible, especially among the Greeks.
 The Athenians vainly tried to remain neutral during
this quarrel; but in the course of the war,
Polysperchon came into their city, said that Phocion
and many other great citizens were siding with
Cassander, and condemned them to die by drinking poison
brewed from the hemlock plant.
It seems, however, that there was not enough poison
ready to kill them all, so the jailer made Phocion give
him some money to buy more. The noble old man, forced
to do as he was bidden, gave the necessary amount,
saying, "It seems that one cannot even die for nothing
As he was the last really noted politician in the city,
he has been called the "Last of the Athenians." No one
ever dared to uphold the city's power after his death,
or tried to help it win back its old freedom.
As soon as Perdiccas was dead, Roxana and her son were
brought to Maceon, where they were finally placed under
the protection of Polysperchon. When Olympias, the
mother of Alexander the Great, saw his infant son, she
was so anxious to secure the throne for him alone, that
she slew the idiot king Arridæus and all his family.
Under pretext of avenging this crime, Cassander
captured and slew Olympias; and then, having won
Macedon and Greece from Polysperchon, and seeing that
there was no one left to protect Roxana and the child
king, he put both mother and son in prison, where they
were killed by his order shortly after.
Thus, twelve years after Alexander's death, all his
family were dead, and his vast kingdom was a prey to
quarreling, which broke it up into several states.
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