After the Peloponnesian War, a defeated Athens became a secondlevel power. The Greek cities continued their usual pattern offighting each other under various coalitions, with at first Spartadominant, then Thebes which defeated it. Persia intervened,imposing the King’s Peace to stop the fighting spilling over intoits territories.

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This fighting allowed the rise of Macedonia in the background.
As the eminent J. B. Bury Writes:

“As the hegemony or first placeamong Greek states had passed successively from Athens to Sparta,and to Thebes, so now it passed to Macedon. The statement thatGreek liberty perished on the plain of Chaeronea is as true or as false as that it perishedon the field of Leuctra or the strand of the Goat’s River.Whenever a Greek state became supreme, that supremacy entailed thedepression of some states and the dependency or subjection ofothers. Athens was reduced to a secondary place by Macedon, andThebes fared still worse; but we must not forget what Sparta, inthe day of her triumph, did to Athens, or the more evil thingswhich Thebes proposed”.

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