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Imperium, pouvoir, auctoritas, and strength are all words for the same con cept: power.

Whether one looks at the most ancient of Mesopotamian civilizations or the most industrialized of modern societies, power s incredible ability to sha pe and corrupt the path of history remains the same. This ability is no more evi dent than in the Hellenistic world (around 200-45BCE in portions of southern Eur asia), in which usurpations, wars, and revolts were lengthy, influential, and un deniably common. Using the civilizations of Ptolemaic Egypt and Macedonia as exa mples of power in the Hellenistic world, this essay aims to compare the many thr eats to their success, including internal strifes and external conflicts, and to determine which factors were most integral to shaping the future of each empire . In particular, the Roman Invasion and internal politics of the Macedonia Monar chy will be directly contrasted with Ptolemaic insurrections and battles over Ko ine Syria. Macedonia s history is painted richly in shades of blood, domination, and ruthlessness. This gritty past is especially relevant when analyzing the Roman c onquest of Greece in ___. Located in the northern plains of Greece, Macedonia ha d held dominion over the entirety of the Greek states in a period lasting from _ ___ to ____. During this time power passed through many ruling families linked o nly in their Macedonian blood and thirst for power. In addition, Macedonian rule spread to kingships throughout southern Eurasia in the conquests of Alexander, most notably in the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Kingdoms in Persia and Egypt, respect ively. Macedonian rule in Greece was not entirely peaceful, however. Notable upr isings and conflicts include the Chremodean War of ____, in which an Athenian an d Spartan coalition unsuccessfully attempted to free the Greek states from Maced onian rule, and the First Macedonian War in which Rome intervened in Greece, eff ectively eliminating Macedonian control in the area. Understanding the context o f these conflicts is integral to explicating the challenges Macedonians faced to their power. One important factor in the pre-Roman uprisings in Macedonia was history itself. With the advent of Macedonian rule, Greece s long-standing tradition of f reedom and self-rule for each constituent city-state was eliminated. Garrisons i n defensively-important cities like Korinth and Athens allowed the Macedonian ki ngs to keep a watchful and intimidating eye over their subjects. Before long, Gr eek dissidents began using the past as a rallying cry for revolt; they were able to gain public funds, soldiers, and trust through powerful speeches about forgo tten freedom and lost autonomy. Athens and Sparta were particularly susceptible targets to these ideas, having had illustrious histories filled with luxury and autonomy. History was by no means the only determining factor in the Grecian revol ts, however. Economic woes were a much larger concern for the Greeks, especially for citizens in garrisoned cities. Although history may have provided the desse rt of the revolt dinner, economics supplied the meat and potatoes. Macedonia was not the only place which had to worry about its own citize nry, however; civil revolts also challenged authority in Egypt, where a long lin e of kings descending from Alexander s advisor Ptolemy ruled. These revolts, parti cularly widespread in southern regions around Memphis, began under the rule of P tolemy III and continued to haunt the pharaohs of Egypt through ____. Although t he initial causes of revolt are unclear, there seems to have been a conflict bet ween priest class and the peasantry, in which the king was sided with the priest s. By the time of Ptolemy VIII (Euergetes II), the people downright despised t he kingship. Famous historian Livy writes the following passage about Ptolemy in his Periochae: Ptolemaeus (Euergetes cognominatus) ob nimiam crudelitatem suis invisus, incensa a populo regia clam Cypron profugit, et cum sorori eius Cleopatrae, quam filia eius virgine per vim compressa atque in matrimonium ducta repudiaverat, regnum a populo datum esset, infensus filium quem ex illa habebat in Cypro occidit caput que eius et manus et pedes matri misit. In simple translation, Ptolemy angered his people by being too cruel to them, an d fled from Egypt to Cyprus when the people burned his palace. When he discovere d that his sister and ex-wife Cleopatra (whom he had divorced after raping and m

arrying her virgin daughter) had taken the throne in his absence, he killed thei r son and sent his hands and feet to her. Although at first glance the above passage seems to only reiterate the fac t that Egyptians were revolting against their king, several other important thre ats to power are contained in its text. The Egyptian tradition of incest, which was once integral to the ruler cult and success of the kingship, appears weakene d in this passage; Ptolemy s rash actions and cruelty with his wife seem to upset Egypt s balance. Additionally, the incest tradition may have finally reached his b reaking point in Ptolemy VIII, who seemed to be afflicted with some kind of gene tic defect in regards to his anger and judgment. One final challenge to power ev ident in this passage is Of course there is nothing like being invaded by the Romans. Although in ternal dissidence contributed to weakening Macedonian control and ultimately pro vided a reason for invasion, the true threat to power lied in the external Roman force. No amount of internal conflict can compare to the sheer force, disciplin e, and intimidation that the Roman army brought into every territory it occupied . A quote describing the size of the army will suffice to illustrate this point: The grand total of the forces was over 150,000 foot [soldiers], and 6000 cavalry , and of the men able to bear arms, Romans and allies, over 700,000 foot and 70, 000 [calvary].1 The army was also well organized: There were now three lines of so ldiers, the hastati in the front, the principes forming the second row, and the triarii in the rear. The hastati contained the young fighters, the principes wer e the picked men of experience and maturity [and] the triarii were veterans 2 The sh eer size and incredibly meticulous organization of the Roman invasionary force p roved too much for the Macedonian Empire to handle; they lost control over Greek city states in 197 BCE. Considering that Macedonian power was actually defeated by Rome, there is no doubt that this external conflict was ultimately the great est concern to Macedonian success. Although Macedonia had the lion s share of external conflict during this t ime period, Ptolemaic Egypt also suffered several wars with the Seleucid Empire, its neighbor to the east. Since the establishment of post-Alexandrian kingdoms, the area known as Koine (southern) Syria had been a point of contention between Ptolemies and the Seleucids. War arose in this area no less than ___ times in t he time span between ____ and ____. A crucial difference between Ptolemaic Egypt and Macedonia arises in lig ht of these conflicts. Although external conflicts were the primary threat to Ma cedonian power, internal conflicts were much more devastating to Ptolemaic Egypt .