Now that the unrest in Greece had been
brought under control, Alexander shifted his field of operations into Thrace.1
Many of the tribes in this region had risen but, terrified by
his appearance, felt constrained to make their submission. Then he swung west to Paeonia and
Illyria and the territories that bordered on them. Many of the local tribesmen had revolted,
but these he overpowered, and established his control over all the natives in the area.
This task was not yet finished when messengers reached him
reporting that many of the Greeks were in revolt.2
Many cities had actually taken steps to
throw off the Macedonian alliance, the most important of these being Thebes. At this
intelligence, the king was roused to return in haste to Macedonia in his anxiety to put an end
to the unrest in Greece.
sought first of all to expel
the Macedonian garrison from the Cadmeia and laid siege to this citadel; this was the situation
when the king appeared suddenly before the city and encamped with his whole army near by.
Before the king's arrival, the Thebans had had time to
surround the Cadmeia with deep trenches and heavy stockades so that neither reinforcements nor
supplies could be sent in, and they had sent an appeal to the Arcadians, Argives, and Eleians
They appealed for support from the Athenians also,
and when they received from Demosthenes a free gift of weapons, they equipped all of their
citizens who lacked heavy armour.
Of those who were asked for
reinforcements, however, the Peloponnesians sent soldiers as far as the Isthmus and waited to
see what would happen, since the king's arrival was now expected, and the Athenians, under the
influence of Demosthenes, voted to support the Thebans, but failed to send out their forces,
waiting to see how the war would go.4
In the Cadmeia, the garrison commander Philotas observed the
Thebans making great preparations for the siege, strengthened his walls as well as he could,
and made ready a stock of missiles of all sorts.