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Macedon

Macedon is a historical region and former kingdom of northern Greece, from which Alexander the Great originated, and which provided the initial base for his conquests of Persia, Egypt and the northwestern borderlands of India.

Prior to its conquests in the 4th century BC, the kingdom covered the southern half of the modern region of Macedonia. Under king Philip II it incorporated the present-day Greek administrative region of Macedonia and the Bitola (formerly Monastir) and Gevgelija districts of what is now the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The area's ancient inhabitants spoke a language closely related to the Greek of the states to the south, and from the 5th century BC Macedon was closely associated with Greek cultural and political development.

The Macedonian state emerged around the first half of the 7th century BC: after a brief period of Persian overlordship the country regained its independence under king Alexander I (498-454 BC). Under king Philip II (359-336 BC) and his son Alexander the Great (336-323 BC), Macedon extended its power in the 4th century BC over not only Greece but also the Persian empire, including Egypt and lands as far east as the fringes of India.

Alexander's adoption of the styles of government of the conquered territories was counterbalanced by the spread of Greek culture and learning through his vast empire: although the empire fell apart shortly after his death, his conquests left a lasting legacy, not least in the new cities founded across Persia's western territories.

In 215 BC Macedon became involved in the first of three wars with the rising power of Rome: defeat in the second (197 BC) and third (168 BC) led to the deposition of the Macedonian dynasty and the establishment of Roman client republics. Macedonian independence came to an end with the country's annexation as a province of Rome (146 BC).

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