400 - 300 BC

400 - 300 BC, the Middle East

The Greek states of Athens and Sparta fought each other to exhaustion. In Macedon a strong king, Phillip, came to the throne in 356 and began a deliberate expansion of his kingdom. He based his armies on heavy cavalry and in improved phalanx, a disciplined formation of spear-carrying professional soldiers. Greece fell under his rule by 338 BC and he turned his attention to Persia. In 336 BC his son Alexander inherited his throne and his momentum. The far-flung Persian Empire fell to this remarkable young man before 330 BC.

And fell apart abruptly when he died in 323 BC leaving no strong successor. His generals divided the realm among themselves.

Far from the Asian empire little Rome continued to develop its strength. By mid-century it was clearly the strongest power in Italy.

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