|The Story of Greece|
|by Mary Macgregor|
| Stories from the history of ancient Greece beginning with mythical and legendary stories of gods and heroes and ending with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Gives short accounts of battles and sieges, and of the men who made Greece a great nation. Ages 10-14 |
ALEXANDER AND DIOGENES
 WHEN Alexander marched at the head of his army into
Thessaly, not a blow was struck. His presence seemed
enough to gain the allegiance of the Thessalians.
The king then went to Corinth, where ambassadors from
many of the Greek states met him. Young as he was,
they chose Alexander to be general over the Greek
troops which were to go with the Macedonians to invade
Every one in Corinth was eager to see the king. From
the surrounding towns, too, the people crowded into the
city, that they might look at the young monarch who was
going to lead their soldiers on so great an expedition.
They did not dream of all that he would do, how he
would spread their customs, their language, their
culture over Asia first, and then over all the world.
But looking at him they knew that he would be a
Among those who wished to see Alexander were many
philosophers and great men. But one strange
philosopher, called Diogenes, showed no interest in the
Alexander heard of this man, who was said to sit all
day in a tub or barrel. As Diogenes did not come to
see him, he resolved to go to see Diogenes. He found
the philosopher outside the gates of Corinth, sitting
in a tub which was placed so that the rays of the sun
fell upon him.
When the philosopher saw the king and the courtiers who
accompanied him, he roused himself from his meditations
and looked at the young sovereign.
 Alexander spoke kindly to him, and asked if there was
anything he wished.
"Yes," answered Diogenes, "I would have you not stand
between me and the sun."
The couriers were indignant at such an answer, but
Alexander laughed, and being pleased with the
philosopher's indifference to his rank, he said to
them, "If I were not Alexander, I should like to be
Soon after this the king, believing that he had secured
the fealty of Greece, went back to Macedon. In the
spring of 335 B.C. he hoped to set out to invade Asia.
But the wild tribes on the borders of Macedon began to
be restless, and the king was forced to subdue these
foes nearer home before he went to Asia. While he was
driving them beyond his borders, a rumour that he was
dead reached Greece.
If Alexander was dead it was a good chance, thought the
Thebans, to drive the Macedonians from their citadel,
and without waiting to find out if the rumour was true
they revolted. Demosthenes tried to persuade the
Athenians to go to the help of the Thebans, but
although his eloquence moved them it had not power to
make them act.
The Thebans soon found to their cost that Alexander was
not dead. He was, indeed, on his way to Greece to
punish them for revolting.
Outside the walls of their city he halted, so that the
citizens might submit, if so they willed. But they,
still dreaming of liberty, refused to surrender.
Then Alexander attacked the city and captured it with
little difficulty. He determined to give the other
cities in Greece a lesson by punishing the rebels
severely. So he pulled down their houses and utterly
destroyed their town, leaving untouched only the
temples, and a house in which a great poet named Pindar
Demosthenes was bitterly disappointed that the
Athenians had not sent to help the Thebans. He feared,
 Alexander would now march against Athens, and
destroy her as he had destroyed Thebes. But the king
only sent to demand that eight of the orators who had
done their best to incite the people to rebel against
him, should be sent to him as hostages.
Demosthenes would have been among the eight, and he
urged the Athenians not to "hand over their sheep-dogs
to the wolf." But Phocion said that it would be wise
to do as Alexander asked.
At length the assembly sent Damocles to the king to
plead the cause of his comrades, for he was, after
Demosthenes, the greatest orator in Athens.
Alexander listened to Damocles and was persuaded to
leave the orators in their own city, for he believed
that the fate of Thebes would make Athens afraid to
Of the loyalty of the Greek troops the king was sure,
for were they not going to avenge the invasion of
Greece by Xerxes?
The king did not mean to return to Macedon to reign,
rather did he dream of a throne in one of the great
cities which he was going to conquer. So before he
marched away, he divided his royal domain and his
wealth among his friends.
Perdiccas, one of his friends, was dismayed at the
generosity of the king, and asked him what he was
keeping for himself.
"Hope," answered Alexander. Then Perdiccas refused to
accept his share of the king's gifts, saying, "We who
go forth to fight with you need share only in your
Antipater, one of his father's generals, Alexander left
in Macedon to look after his kingdom.
At length in the spring of 334 B.C., after saying
good-bye to his mother, whom he dearly loved, the king
marched with an enormous force to the Hellespont and
crossed it. The great expedition had really begun.
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