Epirus ancient state Pyrrhus and his elephants. Epirus was a northwestern Greek kingdom in the western Balkans ruled by the Molossian Aeacidae dynasty. In Pyrrhus nicknamed "the eagle", aetos invaded southern Italy to aid the city state of Tarentum. Though victorious, he was forced to retreat due to heavy losses, hence the term " Pyrrhic victory ". Pyrrhus then turned south and invaded Sicily but was unsuccessful and returned to Italy.
Pyrrhus then went to war with Macedonia in , deposing Antigonus II Gonatas and briefly ruling over Macedonia and Thessaly until Afterwards he invaded southern Greece, and was killed in battle against Argos in BC. After the death of Pyrrhus, Epirus remained a minor power. In BC the Aeacid royal family was deposed and a federal state was set up called the Epirote League. Kingdom of Macedon[ edit ] Philip V , "the darling of Hellas", wearing the royal diadem.
Under the Antigonids, Macedonia was often short on funds, the Pangaeum mines were no longer as productive as under Philip II, the wealth from Alexander's campaigns had been used up and the countryside pillaged by the Gallic invasion. Up to two thirds of the population emigrated, and the Macedonian army could only count on a levy of 25, men, a significantly smaller force than under Philip II.
Philip V , who came to power when Doson died in BC, was the last Macedonian ruler with both the talent and the opportunity to unite Greece and preserve its independence against the "cloud rising in the west": He was known as "the darling of Hellas". Under his auspices the Peace of Naupactus BC brought the latest war between Macedon and the Greek leagues the social war to an end, and at this time he controlled all of Greece except Athens, Rhodes and Pergamum. Philip continued to wage war against Pergamum and Rhodes for control of the Aegean BC and ignored Roman demands for non-intervention in Greece by invading Attica.
Southern Greece was now thoroughly brought into the Roman sphere of influence , though it retained nominal autonomy. Rest of Greece[ edit ] Main article: Hellenistic Greece Greece and the Aegean World c.
During the Hellenistic period the importance of Greece proper within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The conquests of Alexander greatly widened the horizons of the Greek world, making the endless conflicts between the cities which had marked the 5th and 4th centuries BC seem petty and unimportant.
It led to a steady emigration, particularly of the young and ambitious, to the new Greek empires in the east. Many Greeks migrated to Alexandria, Antioch and the many other new Hellenistic cities founded in Alexander's wake, as far away as modern Afghanistan and Pakistan. Independent city states were unable to compete with Hellenistic kingdoms and were usually forced to ally themselves to one of them for defense, giving honors to Hellenistic rulers in return for protection.
One example is Athens , which had been decisively defeated by Antipater in the Lamian war and had its port in the Piraeus garrisoned by Macedonian troops who supported a conservative oligarchy.
Athens later allied itself to Ptolemaic Egypt to throw off Macedonian rule, eventually setting up a religious cult for the Ptolemaic kings and naming one of the city's phyles in honour of Ptolemy for his aid against Macedon. In spite of the Ptolemaic monies and fleets backing their endeavors, Athens and Sparta were defeated by Antigonus II during the Chremonidean War Athens was then occupied by Macedonian troops, and run by Macedonian officials.
Sparta remained independent, but it was no longer the leading military power in the Peloponnese. The Spartan king Cleomenes III — BC staged a military coup against the conservative ephors and pushed through radical social and land reforms in order to increase the size of the shrinking Spartan citizenry able to provide military service and restore Spartan power. Sparta's bid for supremacy was crushed at the Battle of Sellasia by the Achaean league and Macedon, who restored the power of the ephors.
Other city states formed federated states in self-defense, such as the Aetolian League est. These federations involved a central government which controlled foreign policy and military affairs, while leaving most of the local governing to the city states, a system termed sympoliteia.
In states such as the Achaean league, this also involved the admission of other ethnic groups into the federation with equal rights, in this case, non- Achaeans. The Colossus of Rhodes , one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. One of the few city states who managed to maintain full independence from the control of any Hellenistic kingdom was Rhodes. With a skilled navy to protect its trade fleets from pirates and an ideal strategic position covering the routes from the east into the Aegean, Rhodes prospered during the Hellenistic period.
It became a center of culture and commerce, its coins were widely circulated and its philosophical schools became one of the best in the Mediterranean. After holding out for one year under siege by Demetrius Poliorcetes — BC , the Rhodians built the Colossus of Rhodes to commemorate their victory.
They retained their independence by the maintenance of a powerful navy, by maintaining a carefully neutral posture and acting to preserve the balance of power between the major Hellenistic kingdoms.
Rome eventually turned on Rhodes and annexed the island as a Roman province. The west Balkan coast was inhabited by various Illyrian tribes and kingdoms such as the kingdom of the Dalmatae and of the Ardiaei , who often engaged in piracy under Queen Teuta reigned BC to BC.
Further inland was the Illyrian Paeonian Kingdom and the tribe of the Agrianes. Illyrians on the coast of the Adriatic were under the effects and influence of Hellenisation and some tribes adopted Greek, becoming bilingual    due to their proximity to the Greek colonies in Illyria. Illyrians imported weapons and armor from the Ancient Greeks such as the Illyrian type helmet , originally a Greek type and also adopted the ornamentation of Ancient Macedon on their shields  and their war belts  a single one has been found, dated 3rd century BC at modern Selce e Poshtme , a part of Macedon at the time under Philip V of Macedon .
The Odrysian Kingdom was a union of Thracian tribes under the kings of the powerful Odrysian tribe centered around the region of Thrace. The Thracians and Agrianes were widely used by Alexander as peltasts and light cavalry , forming about one fifth of his army.
The Odrysians used Greek as the language of administration  and of the nobility. The nobility also adopted Greek fashions in dress , ornament and military equipment, spreading it to the other tribes. Colonies in antiquity Southern Italy Magna Graecia and south-eastern Sicily had been colonized by the Greeks during the 8th century. In 4th century Sicily the leading Greek city and hegemon was Syracuse. During the Hellenistic period the leading figure in Sicily was Agathocles of Syracuse — BC who seized the city with an army of mercenaries in BC.
Agathocles extended his power throughout most of the Greek cities in Sicily, fought a long war with the Carthaginians , at one point invading Tunisia in and defeating a Carthaginian army there.
This was the first time a European force had invaded the region. After this war he controlled most of south-east Sicily and had himself proclaimed king, in imitation of the Hellenistic monarchs of the east.
The first Greek colony in the region was Massalia , which became one of the largest trading ports of Mediterranean by the 4th century BC with 6, inhabitants.
Massalia was also the local hegemon , controlling various coastal Greek cities like Nice and Agde. The coins minted in Massalia have been found in all parts of Ligurian-Celtic Gaul. Celtic coinage was influenced by Greek designs,  and Greek letters can be found on various Celtic coins, especially those of Southern France.
The Hellenistic period saw the Greek alphabet spread into southern Gaul from Massalia 3rd and 2nd centuries BC and according to Strabo , Massalia was also a center of education, where Celts went to learn Greek. Hellenistic monarchs ran their kingdoms as royal estates and most of the heavy tax revenues went into the military and paramilitary forces which preserved their rule from any kind of revolution.
Macedonian and Hellenistic monarchs were expected to lead their armies on the field, along with a group of privileged aristocratic companions or friends hetairoi, philoi which dined and drank with the king and acted as his advisory council.