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Александр Македонский и греческие полисы

Александр Македонский и греческие полисы

Alexander the Great and Greek polices.

This work can be divided into two parts: 1) Understanding the meaning of

the word police and its crisis; 2) Relations between Alexander and Greek


Before 400-300 BC Greece was a great empire with a long history and

culture. The first invention of a Greeks was the deductive proof, which was

extraordinary step. Any other civilization has not reached idea of

reception of the conclusions extremely on the basis of the deductive

reasoning which is starting with obviously formulated axioms. The reason is

a greek society of the classical period. Mathematicians and philosophers

(quite often it there were same persons) belonged to the supreme layers of

a society where any practical activities were considered as unworthy

employment. Mathematics preferred abstract reasoning on numbers and spatial

attitudes to the solving of practical problems. The mathematics consisted

of a arithmetic - theoretical aspect and logistic - computing aspect. The

lowest layers were engaged in logistic. In a greek society there were such

a great names like Plato, Eratosthenes, Pythagoras, Euclid and Aristotle.

They were a ancestors of a algebra and geometry. They’ve made a good work,

they’ve deducted the rules and axioms that we still use in our life. For

example, Pythagoreans deducted a theorem, which is now called “a

Pythagoras’ theorem”. That is the one of the hundreds rules, theorems and

axioms that were deducted by greek minds.

Also Greece had a good states (polices). The most famous greek police were

Athens. That was a democratic state, the first commercial center. Some

people call Athens a slave society country. It’s not so: Athens had slaves,

but they were not a lot – around 18-20% of the population of the state.

Athens was a prospering country.

But a Greek empire fell down. What were the reasons we will try to

understand now. At first let’s think about the problem of the polices. In a

book called «Греки и Александр Македонский» (Москва, Наука, 1993 p.5-13)

it’s said that in a classical works of XIX and of the beginnings of the XX

century there is no problem about a polices. That is because it was

realized simply like a part of the system 4 society. This system existed

from about 2000-3000 BC and until the middle of the Middle age and internal

divisions of such a huge period seemed to be not very important.

For the other historians, modernizators, this topic also was not very

important. They preferred a method that made closer the ancient world to

the modern one – capitalistic.

In a Soviet Union in the 20’s and 30’s years of a XX century the crisis of

police was apprehended like a decline of a slave society.

The opinion has changed in the 30’s of XX century. It was changed by

Heserbroek. He said that the police is not only a political, it’s also a

economic structure of the society. The crisis of the police was realized

from the social and economic side, and ideological side was considered like

a consequence.

The basis of the crisis is the Peloponnesus war. At this time economy in

the Athens fell down. That is because in the war the men were needed to

fight, but there were no men in the agricultural land. A peasantry became

poor: peasants sold their land and became a mercenary. Handicraft also was

declined. In the time of war many of the neighbors of the country (police)

stopped trading. As a consequence in that country many of the artisans

didn’t know where to sell their products. As a result of this crisis the

social life of the police became different. The standard of the life

decreased. The crime increased. Finally it was difficult to drive the


But there are some scientists who denied the crisis concept. One of them is

Shtaerman. She thinks that changes in the IV century BC were not so

important in a society’s life.

Other topic is a cities of a Asia Minor and Alexander the Great. One of the

scientists, who worked on this topic, is Droesden. He wrote about the

generosity of the Alexander the Great, who returned to greeks the freedom.

But Droesden supposed that it was a benefit to Alexander to give some

freedom to the greek cities. He thought that it’s better to have loyal

cities in Asia Minor, that to have not stable polices in Greece, which can

make a rising, and they did; but Alexander pushed them back and greeks were


But other historian doesn’t think so. He thinks that for ancient states it

was better to assault the cities and lands. The cities, that were taken by

force, had been robbed. But cities, that complacently surrendered, were

spared. Exactly this method were used by Alexander the Great. Evidence of

the giving freedom to cities Beckerman named as some exceptions.

The conquest of Asia was not only by the Macedonian forces, but also Greek

– the members of a Corinthian union. But neither Greece, nor other states

in Corinthian union hadn’t got any conquered cities or other spoils.

However, greeks didn’t worried about such thing. Why? They wanted to take

vengeance on Persians. Persians burnt greek cities and temples – Alexander

the Great burnt Persepole, Persians came into Halide (Эллада) – Alexander

took his army to Ekbatan. (Moscow, “Science”, 1993 p.155-158)

Thus Alexander conquered Persians, also subordinated Greek cities, which

some of them he gave freedom. But he gave them not full freedom, he made

that cities like an autonomy. According to greek concept of freedom, free

police- it’s independent country, that decides internal and xternal

pilitics for itself. I.e. they had their own ruler, their own rules; but

they couldn’t make external politics. They couldn’t fight with each other,

but that was happened in Greece.

The politics of the Alexander to a Asian cities were discovered by Ranovich

(Ранович, «Эллинизм и его историческая роль». 1950 Институт Истории,Москва

p. 49-58). He says that Alexander the Great needed the interior support

because he didn’t have enough money and military force. So he secured

himself by a liking of the greek cities. Repairing the democratic structure

he also made a military ally. In this situation Alexander’s thinking was

similar to thinking of his father – Philip. Philip sent an army in Asia to

liberate Hellenic cities.

Ranovich spared a lot of attention on a meaning of the word “freedom”.

Ranovich says that exactly the Alexander’s policy might change the meaning

of that word, that was unproper to the monarchy. Meaning of the freedom was

not a meaning like in a classical police, it was new. The new meaning is a

independence from the Persian empire. (Ранович, «Эллинизм и его

историческая роль», Москва, 1950, Институт Истории, p.53).

But I think Ranovich overstated the role of the Macedonian ruler. He said

that Alexander’s conquests are so important and made a revolution in

relationships between defeated country and a defeater, that any other

civilizations didn’t know. (Ранович, «Эллинизм и его историческая роль»,

Москва, 1950, Институт Истории, p.51)

Another historian thinks that it’s no reason to dispute about differences

of a legal status of the police and of a actual one. That is because it’s

foolish to show the small differences in a statement de jure and de facto,

where the state is ruled by one person, so Badian thinks that it’s

necessary to start discover with the Alexander’s father- Philip. Philip

sent an army to defeat the Persians to give freedom to the greek polices.

Thus it’s true that Philip planned the Asian conquest, he organized a

Corinthian union. It means that Alexander the Great inherited some Asian

cities. Philip just didn’t organized them well.

As a Ranovich Shoffman shows us political thoughts, which had been used by

Alexander. He spoke about Alexander’s policy:” Widely advertising the

demagogical slogan of clearing Asian Greeks from oppression and

humiliations which half-centuries ago they have undergone because of

dictatorship of the Persian government, Alexander used it in political ends

for a gain of sympathies at the population of cities of Asia Minor”.

(Шофман А.С., «Восточная политика Александра Македонского», Москва, 1976,

Издательство Казанского университета, p.52). Alexander believed that he

must use antipersian type of war, that he must show himself like a tyrant

defeater. Alexander limited the Greek power in Asia Minor. But sometimes he

tried to pay attention on the greek traditions, however he didn’t manage to

do this, that is because it’s difficult to combine absolute monarchy and

democratic state.

All this stuff means that most of historians agrees that Alexander the

Great gave some freedom to policies, that he’d conquered, but this freedom

meant that policies could decide their internal policy, also Alexander

influenced all of the external policy.

A CONCLUSION. In work three basic interconnected problems have been put:

specificity of the given stage of crisis of the policy; specificity of

display of crisis in policies of various type; features of mutual relations

of social and economic and political aspects of crisis of the policy,

specificity of display of social and economic bases of crisis in political


Once again we shall define initial positions: we mean not crisis of the

policy in general, but crisis of the Greek classical policy. And the second

— in the work the area of political history was discovered. At such

approach, summing up, it is necessary to speak about crisis of the policy

in aspect of crisis of system of policies.

Specificity of a stage of crisis of the policy considered in the given

work, in my opinion, consists first of all that crisis, former earlier

internal crisis of separate policies (differently and in a different degree

touched them), becomes now crisis of a polices systems. For the first time

in the history practically all policies and actually Greece, and Asia Minor

appeared depending on one foreign force. In an Hellenistic epoch as a

consequence of a place of uniform power Alexander the Great there have come

some the competing states, at separate policies or their unions the

opportunity has appeared, maneuvering between these forces to carry out

even partly an independent policy. But this policy was always a policy,

with caution on the powerful neighbors. From the point of view of destinies

of the policy Hellenistic world was transitive. The Hellenistic states and

could not find organic forms of inclusion of the policy in the structure.

Integrally they included only the policies again based in the East, in the

won territories, old Greek cities on all an extent of a Hellenism remained

an element appreciably alien to the structure of a Hellenistic monarchy.

The variety of forms of communications between the policy and a monarchy is

observed. Position besides was complicated constant struggle of “great

powers” as a result of which separate policies pass from sphere of

influence of one state in sphere of influence of another. Logic end of this

process became inclusion of the policy in structure of Roman empire.

So, despite of all originality of destinies, development of policies of

both regions goes in one direction. Its essence will be that the policy

ceases to be the subject of history and turns to its object. Elide from

system of politically independent policies which course of history was

defined, first of all, by interaction of separate policies with each other

or with external forces, turns to a field of struggle various external in

relation to the world of policies of forces. The world of policies tried to

defend the existence. All three most significant states of Greece IV

century BC - Thebes, Sparta and Athens, at this or that support of other

states, have acted against Macedonia. In these performances it is possible

to note three features. All of them were at war under slogans of struggle

for freedom of Greeks, however not all Greece has supported them. The

policy distinctly enough understood, that the macedonian authority

threatens freedom of all Elide, and not just its own independence. At the

same time hardly this struggle was perceived as struggle of a monarchy

against the policy as such. Further, all these policies have suffered

defeat, that distinctly enough shows final hopelessness of the polices’

world. At last, all three policies have never acted in common. The little

strong and long association of Greeks was impossible, and enmity of

policies, within IV century BC Applying for hegemony, appeared more

strongly external threat. Specificity of crisis in policies of various type

in the best way comes to light at comparison of Athens and Sparta. I agree

with those researchers who see the final reason of crisis in economic

development which character comes in the contradiction with traditional

structure of the policy. In a number of researches some symptoms of crisis

in political sphere have been revealed. Studying of the Athenian material

allows to speak about washing out earlier very precise borders of civil

collective and, on the other hand, about known isolation of various groups

of the citizenship having the economic and political interests. In Athens

it were some political groups, which heads in the sights and social

behavior reflect interests of separate layers of citizens at this time of

operate. Interests of these groups come in the contradiction with each

other, between them there is a struggle accepting from time to time sharp

character. All this leads to decomposition of civil collective and easing

of communications in it. At the same time in speeches of political orators

obviously almost general aversion modern him democratic building in Athens.

Though adherence of democracy is constantly declared, in them the

aspiration to this or that restriction of this democracy distinctly enough

appears. The analysis of political strike given in work testifies to crisis

of democracy which is considered as one of aspects of crisis of the policy

in Athens. Crisis in Sparta is differently shown. In my opinion, as an

starting point of revealing of its attributes fight at Leuctrah can serve.

In what essence of this event? All build Sparta, all its life were based

that belonged to it Massena, which grounds have been divided on some

structure, providing existence of citizens. Now appeared bases of it

building are undermined, that the point in development of crisis can be

considered as some kind of condition. How crisis of the policy appears in

since this time? We know about social performances during earlier time, for

the subsequent Sparta gives time vivid examples of sharp social struggle.

But the considered period — time of relative internal calmness, anyway, is

not observed. On the other hand, Sparta at this particular time conducts

struggle for restoration of the hegemony in Peloponnesus, she aspires to

revive the authority above Messiness. The policy ventures direct military

collision with Macedonia, i.e. aspires to carry out a traditional policy

traditional methods in completely others, radically changed conditions.

Crisis found here expression in full discrepancy of a policy of the policy

to external conditions, that arrangement of forces which has developed in

Elide. Differently, we again approach to a problem of crisis of the policy

as crisis of system of policies. As to Asia Minor it is necessary to note,

that any of Asian policies has not accepted participation in a Limy

(ламийской) war. On this circumstance in the literature it has not been

inverted that attention which it, certainly, deserves. It is represented,

that this fact also should search for an explanation in deep processes of

crisis of the policy. In crisis of the policy, more precisely, crisis of

the Greek classical policy it is necessary to see process of loss and

deformation of its intrinsic characteristics, i.e. those features and

attributes which do by those. One of them is a political independence.

Speaking about it, I mean in this case not independence of the separate

policy, but system of independent policies. The Greek cities of Asia Minor

appeared in structure of the Persian power, i.e. have lost the

independence. It is possible to come out with the assumption, that and

creations of the Corinthian union, for policies of Asia Minor it is

necessary to date that stage of crisis of the policy which on Balkan

peninsula began from defeat of Greeks at Heroine time. If this assumption

is fair, I have the right to allocate Asian variant of crisis of the policy

— a variant connected to earlier submission of the policy external, alien

it by the social nature to force. The formulation of this assumption again

puts us before the person of a problem of crisis of the policy as crisis of

system of policies. The world of the Greek cities not once was exposed to

an attack on the part of forces alien to it, however during rise and

blossoming of the policy Greeks could resist to them. Comparison of an

epoch of the Greco-Persian wars and IV century BC is indicative. In Greco-

Persian wars Elide could defend freedom in struggle against the Persian

power which too was at top of the power. In IV century BC, when the

Ahimenide state tended to decline, it nevertheless managed to subordinate

to itself Greeks of Asia Minor. Whether we in this submission have no right

to see result of development of crisis of system of policies? For Greeks of

Balkan peninsula creation of the Corinthian union was the certificate

restraining their political sovereignty and by virtue of it by the

phenomenon negative, especially for large policies; for Greeks of Asia

Minor Alexander's gain became the phenomenon some other character. In a

number of attitudes change of the Persian control macedonian meant change

of mister, but in one attitude this change was essential: at Alexander

democracy everywhere is restored. Revival democratic building though and in

conditions of macedonian authority, are equitable to interests of weight of

citizenship and has served, probably, finally as the reason of that Asian

Greeks appeared away from Limian wars. The final stage of crisis of the

policy was time of destruction of system of independent policies, time of

transition from the world of the cities-states by an Hellenistic epoch. But

crisis of the policy did not mean the end of the policy, its destruction.

The policy continued to exist within many centuries, new policies were

based also, however in its character there were essential changes.


1. Ранович А.Б. «Эллинизм и его историческая роль» Москва 1950,

«Институт истории».

2. Маринович Л.П. «Греки и Александр Македонский» Москва 1993, «Наука».

3. Шофман А.С. «Восточная политика Александра Македонского» Москва 1976,

«Издательство Казанского университета».


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