Battle of Crannon, August 322 B.C.

The battle of Crannon was the decisive land battle of the Lamian War, an attempt by a Greek coalition led by Athens to win freedom from Macedonia. The Athenians had been able to raise a sizable army from amongst the many mercenaries left unemployed by the end of Alexander’s Persian wars. Under the command of a general called Leosthenes the Greeks had advanced to Thermopylae, and then to the town of Lamia, in the south of Thessaly. There Leosthenes had been killed by a slingshot fired from the town walls.

Meanwhile, the Athenian fleet had suffered two defeats at sea, at Abydos and then Amorgos. This allowed Macedonian reinforcements, under Craterus to reach Greece. The Greek army abandoned the siege of Lamia, and moved north to oppose them. At Crannon, the Macedonians won a major victory over the Greek army. Alexander might have been dead, but his army was still largely intact.

In the aftermath of the battle, the Macedonians threatened to besiege Athens. Faced with this threat, the Athenians surrendered. Their democratic institutions were dramatically modified to increase the power of the wealthier citizens, who had opposed the revolt, and a Macedonian garrison placed in the Piraeus. The defeat at Crannon marked the end of ancient Athens’s last attempt to regain her own liberty. Later in the wars of the Diadochi she would regain many of the internal freedoms lost in 322 BC, but always as a gift from a foreign king.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 June 2007), Battle of Crannon, August 322 B.C., http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_crannon.html

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