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Scriptures were first translated into Greek, by order of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, about the year B. C. 277;* and about 132, B. C., Jesus the son of Sirach, a Jew of Jerusalem, settled in Egypt, translated into Greek the book of Ecclesiasticus, written in Hebrew by Jesus his grandfather...
In the Grecian History, we see the succession of the 3rd Scriptural Empire, B. C. 331, (see Table of Prophecy, 6th and 7th Periods, R. S. T. V. Div. 3d) which we are now to trace through the conquests of Alexander the Great in the East, terminating at his death, B. C. 323; the anarchy which followed that event, till the final division of his dominions into the kingdoms of Egypt, Syria, Thrace, and Macedon, B. C. 301. The history of these four states will require a distinct examination; but as general features we may remark the early ascendancy of Syria, upon which Macedon and Thrace soon became dependent, by the conquest and death of Lysimachus by Seleucus, B. C. 281; the rise of the kingdom of Pergamus by the revolt of Philetærus, B. C. 283; and of those of Parthia and Bactria, B. C. 251. The contentions of Syria with Egypt, carried on at intervals during the whole of this period; the reign of Antiochus the Great, B. C. 223; his league with Macedon against Egypt, B. C. 203, and his war with the Romans, B. C. 192, ending in the subjection of Syria by their arms, B. C. 190. In Egypt we observe principally the league of Ptolemy Soter with Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, B. C. 298; and the subsequent support of his usurpation of Macedon, B. C. 287 the alliance of Ptolemy Philadelphus with the
* The date of this event is of considerable importance, for it proves that those prophecies of the Old Testament, which, from the exactness of their completion, have been said to be fabrications made after the occurrence of the events they pretended to predict, were at that early period received as authentic records of the divine revelations; and from the prevalence of the Greek language, the Scriptures now became accessible to the learned of every country.
Romans, B. C. 274; his wars with Syria, B. C. 264, continued by his successors during the rest of this period. The interference of the Romans in the Egyptian affairs, in consequence of an appeal to them for protection, against Syria, B. C. 202. In Greece, we see the unsettled state of Athens, B. C. 287, 268, 256; the reign of Cassander in Macedon, B. C. 301; and after his death, and that of his sons Philip and Antipater, B. C. 298, and Alexander, 294; the recovery of Macedon by Demetrius, son of Antigonus; the usurpations of Lysimachus, B. C. 287; of Pyrrhus, B. C. 286; and of Ptolemy Ceraunus and Sosthenes, B.C. 280: the reign of Philip III. B. C. 221; his alliance with the Achæans against the Ætolians, in the Social war, B. C. 220; his league with the Carthaginians, leading to the Auxiliary war, B. C. 214; that with Antiochus the Great against Egypt, B. C. 203, and the 1st Macedonian war, B. C. 200: the succession of Perseus to the throne, B. C. 179; the 2nd Macedonian war, B. C. 171, ending in the complete subjugation of Macedon by the Romans, B. C. 168. As another branch of Grecian history, we may observe the founding of the Achæan league, B. C. 281, which is gradually strengthened by the coalition of Sicyon, B. C. 251; Megalopolis, B. C. 232; and other free cities of the Peloponnesus; the opposition made to it by the Lacedemonians, leading to the war between Cleomenes and Aratus, B. C. 227; and by the Etolians, giving rise to the Social war, B. C. 220; the assistance given by the Achæans to Philip, against the Romans and Ætolians, B. C. 214; their alliance afterwards with the Romans in the 1st Macedonian war, B. C. 200; the accession of Lacedemon to the league, B. C. 191; the revolt of the Messenians, B. C. 183; the artful and unjust policy of the Romans leading to the Achæan war, B. C. 147; and their total subjection of all Greece the next year, B. C. 146.
During this period flourished the following military and political characters, viz.
PERDICCAS, Macedonian General, received the ring from Alexander the Great, whose sister, Cleopatra, he marries, and becomes Guardian to the kings, PhilipAridæus, and Alexander Egus, 323; is opposed by Ptolemy, Antipater, and Craterus, and slain in Egypt, in a mutiny of his army, 321.
ANTIPATER, Macedonian General, and Governor in the absence of Alexander the Great, after whose death, he attempts to make himself absolute, but is opposed by the Athenians under Phocion; being joined by Craterus, he defeats them, and requires to have the orators Demosthenes, Hyperides, and Demades (whose eloquence had excited the war) delivered up to him, 322; makes war upon Perdiccas, who sends Eumenes with an army against him; upon the death of Perdiccas, he becomes Guardian to the kings, 321; dies, 319, leaving the supreme power to Polysperchon, instead of his own son, Cassander.
PTOLEMY, (surnamed Lagus and Soter) Macedonian General; upon the death of Alexander, he obtained Egypt, Lybia, and part of Arabia for his province, 323; resisted the attempts of Perdiccas to drive him away, and conquered Colosyria, Phoenicia, and Jerusalem, 320; he became king of Egypt after the battle of Ipsus, 301.
SELEUCUS, (surnamed Nicator) Governor of Babylon, after the death of Alexander the Great, 323; opposes Eumenes; is defeated, and obliged to fly into Egypt; recovers Babylon, (which had been seized by Antigonus), 312; joins Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander, against Antigonus, 301; and becomes king of Syria, after the battle of Ipsus.
LYSIMACHUS, takes possession of a part of Thrace, 323; joins Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Cassander, against Antigonus, 301; seizes Macedon, and expels Pyrrhus, 286; is defeated and killed by Seleucus, 281.
CASSANDEE, (son of Antipater) seizes upon Macedon, 319; aspires to the throne; puts to death Alexander Egus, 310; joins Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Lysimachus, against Antigonus, 301; becomes king of Macedon after the battle of Ipsus.
ANTIGONUS, (surnamed the Cyclop) Governor of Pamphylia, Lycia, and Phrygia, 323; unites with Antipater against Perdiccas and Eumenes; takes the latter prisoner, and puts him to death, 315; declares war against Cassander and Lysimachus; defeats Ptolemy's fleet, and assumes the title of king of Asia, 306; is defeated and killed in the battle of Ipsus, by Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Cassander, 301. POLYSPERCHON, appointed Guardian of the kings, upon the death of Antipater, 319; in order to ingratiate himself with the Athenians, he declares Athens free, and attempts to restore the democracy; is opposed by Phocion, who is put to death, 318; after the murder of Alexander Ægus, by Cassander, 310, Polysperchon sets up Hercules (another son of Alexander the Great), but makes away with him the next year; he was killed in battle, 309.
CRATERUS, Macedonian General, colleague of Antipater,
supports Neoptolemus against Eumenes, by whom he is defeated and killed, 321.
NEOPTOLEMUS, Governor of the Province of Armenia, makes war upon Eumenes, by whom he is defeated and killed, 321: EUMENES, Governor of Paphlagonia and Cappadocia, being dispossessed by Antigonus, joins Perdiccas; defeats Craterus and Neoptolemus, 321; defeats Antipater; is delivered up by his army to Antigonus, and put to death, 315.
DEMETRIUS POLIORCETES, (son of Antigonus) sent by his father against Ptolemy, 313; delivered the Athenians from Cassander and Ptolemy, 307; after the defeat
and death of his father, in the battle of Ipsus, 301, he retired to Ephesus; he soon after reconciled himself with Seleucus, and gave him his daughter in marriage, 300; took Athens, 296; expelled Alexander (son of Cassander) and took possession of Macedon, 294; was expelled by Pyrrhus, 287; went into Asia, and, after various losses, was taken prisoner by Seleucus, and died in confinement, 286.
Of Athenians we notice,
LEOSTHENES, who opposed Antipater, drove him into Thessaly, and besieged him in Lamia, 323; was killed there the same year.
PHOCION, defended Athens against Antipater, 323; accused of treason, and put to death, 318.
Other celebrated Grecians during this period were PYRRHUS, king of Epirus, assists Demetrius in the battle of Ipsus, 301; makes an alliance with Ptolemy Soter, king of Egypt, 298, who assists him in his designs upon Macedon, 287; he is expelled by Lysimachus, 286; goes into Italy to assist the Tarentines, 280; goes into Sicily against the Carthaginians, 278; returns to Italy to assist the Samnites against the Romans, 275; is totally defeated by Curius Dentatus at Maleventum, and retires out of Italy to Epirus, 274; makes a successful attack upon Antigonus Gonatus, king of Macedon; marches against Sparta, but is killed at Argos, 272. CLINIAS, Sicyonian General, father of Aratus, killed by Abantidas, 263.
ABANTIDAS, Tyrant of Sicyon, 263; murdered by the people, 251.
ARATUS, of Sicyon, puts to death Nicocles the Tyrant, and joins Sicyon to the Achæan league, 251; makes a treaty with Corinth, and with Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt; made Prætor of the League; defeats