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MACEDONIA-SUCCESSORS OF ALEXANDER.

maintained a shadowy authority. Having thus gained a foothold, Antigonus

made war on Cassander and stripped him of all his Grecian dependencies.

He next turned his arms against Lysimachus, governor of Thrace; and him

also he overthrew and drove from his dominions. Syria was next

conquered, chiefly through the warlike abilities of Demetrius, the son

of the Regent. The government of Ptolemy still remained intact.

At this juncture the confederates made known their desire for peace; but

the ambition of Antigonus had grown with what it fed on, and he would

listen to nothing. Ptolemy thereupon took up arms and went forth with a

large army to Gaza. Here a decisive battle was fought, in which the

Egyptian was completely victorious. The fortunes of Antigonus were so

badly shattered that Seleucus was enabled to return to Babylon and

resume the duties of his satrapy. The Syrian cities opened their gates

to Ptolemy, who intrusted the defense of the conquered countries to

Cilles and returned to Alexandria. His lieutenant, however, was soon

defeated in two battles by Demetrius, and all that Egypt had gained was

as suddenly lost. Ptolemy was obliged to give up Syria to the foe. (1)

After his return to Babylon, Seleucus was obliged to defend himself

against the satraps of Media and Persia. It will be remembered that

these officers had been elevated to power by Antigonus, and their

continuance in authority now depended upon their supporting his cause.

But Seleucus, collecting his forces, went forth against them and they

were overwhelmingly defeated. Evagoras, the Persian governor, was left

dead on the field, and Nicanor of Media was obliged to save himself by

flight. This victory, B.C. 312, was decisive in one part of the

struggle. Seleucus was firmly seated. A Greek kingdom in the East was

thus established, with its capital at Babylon. The great dynasty of the

Seleucidae was founded on the Euphrates, under whose beneficent

government the eastern part of the dominions conquered by Alexander were

destined for a long time to enjoy a measure of peace and prosperity.

The sudden success achieved by Seleucus induced Antigonus to listen to

proposals for a general settlement. An important conference was

accordingly held between himself and the confederate leaders, and

conditions of peace were agreed upon. It was decided that Egypt should

be given to Ptolemy and his successors. Thrace went to Lysimachus; and

Macedonia, not including Greece, was awarded to Cassander until such

time as Alexander AEgus, the son of the conqueror, should arrive at his

majority. Antigonus reserved Asia for himself, thus refusing to

recognize the government of Seleucus at Babylon. Thus by the successors

of Philip's son was the world again parceled out into kingdoms.

Scarcely had this settlement been effected when Cassander opened the

ball by the murder of the young Alexander and his mother, Roxana. Then

followed soon afterwards the destruction of Hercules, another son of the

conqueror, and Barcina, his mother. Thus at last was the deck cleared of

the legitimate claimants to the crown of the Macedonian Empire. The

bloody conspirators now had the game to themselves.

In a short time, Ptolemy, in disregard of the terms of the treaty, made

a campaign into Syria and retook certain cities belonging to Antigonus.

He then opened a correspondence with Cleopatra, sister of Alexander the

Great, with a view to marriage; but Antigonus, having discovered what

was going on, sent a dispatch to the satrap of Sardis, where Cleopatra

resided, and had the princess assassinated.

Soon after this event Demetrius raised a large force and invaded Greece.

By the terms of the treaty the Grecian states were to remain

independent; but Cassander had at once seized them as a part of the

spoils belonging to him. With an armament of two hundred and fifty

galleys, and five thousand talents in money, Demetrius now proceeded to

enforce the settlement. The Athenians went wild over this ghastly

restoration of __________________________________________ 1 It was in

the withdrawal of Ptolemy from Syria that he was accompanied to

Alexandria by the Jews, who thenceforth constituted so important an

element of population in that city.