What were the reasons why the Greek couldn't be united before Alexander's conquest of Greece?

Why were there rivalries or secessions or divisions among the Greek?


If there were moments when all the Greek were united was only in emergency situations such as the invasion of the Persians. But that "union" didn't last for a long time.

Update 2:

I think the Greek ( all the cities/states ) should have been united as a just one unique nation and people

2 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    Actually, a lot of Hellenic states were not united against the Persian invasion, but rather fought on the Persian side against other Hellenes. And even under Alexandros III not all of them were united. Thebai rebelled and was destroyed and the Spartans simply refused to give in to Makedonian leadership. 

    But why the majority of Hellenic poleis were able to be united under Philippos II and his son Alexandros III, when previously, even in times of a more pressing need for mutuality, they did not? That's a good question. I think it may have something to do with the exhaustion of the Hellenic states after so many decades of constant militarized rivalries. Since the Persian Wars (and to a lesser extent prior to as well) Hellas had been in continuous internal warfare: the Peloponnesian War, Korinthian War, Boiotian War, Sacred Wars, the Theban-Spartan War, and even mercenary wars fought in foreign regions like Egypt. All this warfare had significantly weakened the poleis and allowed outside forces to finally make a power grab against them. While Makedonians are technically still Hellenic the southern cities perceived them as semi-barbaric, so when Philippos II proved himself capable of conquering most of Hellas it was a wake up call to the rest of the Hellenes. The thing was that even though the Persians had been kicked out over a hundred years prior they were still an ever leering threat, even infiltrating Hellas and instigating/funding the poleis to fight among themselves. When Philippos seized power he reminded the Hellenes of what their true concern and priority should be: Persia. And since they had already taken control the Hellenes saw it better to ally under Makedonian hegemony in their crusade against the Persians, than to continue resistance against Makedon and be further weakened by that effort, becoming yet more vulnerable to Persia. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em". And being joined to such a power as Makedon, the time for renewed war against Persia had never been better for the Hellenes. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Well, he was just like that, the Greek. He was the sort of guy who just couldn't get on with anyone.

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