Ancient Macedonia was settled by a people whom the cultured Greeks of the city-states to the south considered rude and barbaric.
The people of the region became known as Macedonians after 700 BC, when they pushed southward from their original home under King Perdicas I and his successors.
Athenian control of the coastal areas forced the Macedonians to concentrate on unifying the uplands and plains. This task was achieved by Amyntas III, who reigned from about 393 to 369 BC.
Philip II, the third son of Amyntas III, extended the borders of Macedonia to the north and in 338 BC conquered Greece and laid the foundation of a mighty empire (see Greece, Ancient, "The End of the Greek City-States" ).
Philip first extended his kingdom to the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. Then, at the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, he defeated the Greek city-states and was elected captain-general of all the Greeks.
He planned to lead the Greeks in a war against Persia, but in 336 he was murdered. His intentions were ably carried out by his son Alexander II, known as the Great.
Alexander conquered Persia and Egypt and extended the Macedonian Empire across Asia to northern India. After Alexander the empire broke into smaller kingdoms.
Warfare among them continued from 321 to 301 BC. Antipater, Alexander's regent in Europe, and his son Cassander regained control of Macedonia and Greece until the latter's death in 297 BC.
The country fell into civil war and internal confusion until 277 BC, when it came under the control of Antigonus II Gonatus, founder of the Antigonid Dynasty. The Antigonids lasted until 197 BC, when they were defeated by the Romans.
Beginning in the 4th century AD, Macedonia was overrun by Goths, Huns, Vandals, Slavs, Bulgars, and Turks.
From 1371 to 1912 it remained a possession of the Ottoman Empire, but Turkish rule was marked by revolution and massacres, growing out of conflicts between Muslims and Christians.
In the 19th century, during the Balkan states' struggle for freedom from Turkey, Macedonia became an international problem.
As a result of the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, Macedonia was divided between Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia--later part of Yugoslavia.
- Compton's Encyclopedia
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