In the beginning of this period the Greeks were extending the sphere of their influence through colonization. About 750 }Lc. they had begun to settle in southern Italy and Sicily; and for two centuries the movement of expan sion continued, till their settlements extended from Naucratis, Egypt, to the Pillars of Her cules, and from the northern coast of the Black Sea to Libya. With colonial enterprise the in dustries and commerce kept full pace. They manufactured armor, artistic bronze-ware, and tastefully painted vases. From Lydia they learned the art of weaving and dyeing fine woolens; from Egypt they derived the elements of astronomy, of surveying, and of the other practical sciences. Great intellectual progress took place; lyric poetry, which flourished in all parts of Greece, shows by its contents that the Greeks were actively thinking on all sub jects suggested by their expanding environment. They made a beginning of geography, history and philosophy. Thinking led to religious and moral progress; the Greeks began to exercise self-restraint and moderation in life. Their sympathies widened with their intelligence; they discovered that they were all of one blood. one speech, and one religion, and began to call themselves by the common name of Hellenes. They became aware, too, of the differences be tween themselves and foreigners, whom they termed "barbarians,)) and of their own superior ity to all other races. Conflicts with foreigners made the Greeks feel that they ought to com bine for mutual defense. In the preceding age (1200-700 c.) their whole country was divided among a multitude of small city-states, each under an independent king. While in the more progressive parts of the nation in the period now before us the government was rapidly de veloping from kingship through aristocracy, oligarchy or timocracy, and tyranny in the di rection of democracy, a corresponding move ment was going on toward political unity. The city of Sparta, after uniting by conquest La conia, Messenia, and Cynuria in the strong military state of Lacemon, built up the Peloponnesian league with herself as leader. The basis of her superior military organization was the phalanx. Under the fear of Persian invasion this power expanded into an Hellenic league of 'all the loyal Greek states on the peninsula and on the neighboring islands. In Sicily a similar league grew up under Syractfise for defense against two formidable powers, Etruria and Carthage. The Etruscan dominion extended from the Alps to the vicinity of the present Naples, and probably included the then insignificant city of Rome, which after having been ruled from the earliest times by kings set up a republic in 509 ac. The Etruscans, now at the height of their development, were equally powerful by land and sea. Even more formidable to the Greeks was Carthage, the greatest Phoenician colony, which united under its leadership all the other Phoenician settle ments in the western Mediterranean region. By means of enormous wealth. accumulated through commerce, this city recruited a vast army of mercenaries, with which she hoped to overwhelm the western Greeks.
Checked by the growth of foreign powers, Greek colonial expansion came to an end about 550 s.c. Then the boundary of free Hellas on the east was pushed back by the Lydian and Persian conquests in Asia Minor. A revolt of the Ionians against Darius, in which the in surgents were aided by the mother country, precipitated between Asia and Europe a conflict destined to affect the whole future history of the world. An army sent into Greece by Darius, was beaten back by the Athenians at Marathon in 490 3.c.. Ten years afterward, Xerxes, son and successor of Darius, led a vast host into Greece, hoping to overwhelm the free little country by the sheer force of numbers. But his fleet was shattered in the battle of Salamis (480 B.c.) and his army destroyed at Platara by the forces of the Hellenic league (479 s.c.). Meantime at Himera, Sicily, the
despot of Syracuse destroyed the invading mercenary army of Carthage (480 a.c.). The Greeks met with brilliant success both in the East and in the West: those of their race in Asia Minor were liberated; all were relieved from fear of foreigners; Greek civilization was free to develop without the restraint of alien rule; Greece came out of the struggle strong, proud, self-conscious, ready for great achieve ments in peace and in war.
VI. The Culmination and Decline of Greek Political Power and of Greek Civili zation; the Hellenization of the Orient; the Unification of Italy Under Rome, 479-264 The splendid naval force which Athens furnished for the war, together with superior statesmanship, placed her at the head of a new maritime Greek states, known as the Confederacy (organized 477 3.c.). Rivalry for the headship of Greece between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta led to the Peloponnesian War, which involved a great part of the Greek world (431-404 B.C.), and which ended in the establishment of Spartan supremacy (404-371 ac.) over eastern Greece, while nearly all western Greece was united under Syracuse. Oppression on the one hand, and on the other the love of the Greeks for city-autonomy, caused the down. fall of both political powers. For a short time under Epaminondas (371-362 3.c.). Thebes attempted to take the place of Sparta, but in vain; the Greek state system, consisting of leagues and hegemonies of cities, was rapidly crumbling. Meanwhile Macedon, a territorial state under King Philip, taking advantage of the political disunion and mutual jealousies of the city republics, began to encroach on free Hellas. After defeating the combined forces of Athens and Thebes at Charonea (338 s.c.) he imposed his protectorate upon the Hellenic state-system. His son Alex ander the Great in a series of brilliant cam paigns (334-331 tic.) conquered the Persian Empire, and afterward extended its boundaries to the northeast and the east. His empire was the largest the world had known. Among his improvements was the specialization of adminis trative functions, financial, judicial and mili tary. When he died, the empire after a long struggle among his generals ultimately divided into three great states, Egypt, Asia (the Seleucid Empire) and Macedon. including Greece. To regain and preserve their liberty many of the cities of eastern Greece entered into two federal unions, the d'Etolian and the Adman. These institutions, though long known to the Greeks, came into favor too late to save them from the domination not of Macedon but of Rome. The western Greeks, however, were first to meet their fate.
After adopting a Republican constitution Rome engaged with her neighbors in a long, desperate struggle for existence (509-431 tic.). Then by securing the headship of Latium (431. 406 tic) and by the conquest of Veii she be came one of the strongest powers in Italy. A series of wars with the Latins, Samnites and Italiot Greeks (342-290 s.c.) gave her control of all Italy south of the Rubicon River. The success of the Romans was due to their im provement on the Greek phalanx, their strict discipline and obedience . to authority, their laborious patience in fortifying acquired terri tory and their liberality in the treatment of conquered peoples. The political system which in thisperiod they gradually built up on the basis of Italian nationality recognized various gradations of rights and obligations among the communities of the system from the tributary subjection of the Gauls to the full Roman citi zenship. Though partly federal, the system left to Rome absolute control of foreign and military affairs. At the close of the period (264 Lc.) Rome and Carthage were the great powers of the western Mediterranean; those of the East were Macedon, Egypt and the Seleucid Empire.