The period after the reign of Alexander the Great is generally regarded as a depressing anticlimax. It was characterized by destabilisation and virtual anarchy, as the great king's marshals fought for the empire which he had allegedly left to the strongest of them. The army which he had led into Asia was dissipated in a sequence of futile civil wars, and the elite Macedonian troops were progressively reduced by combat, much of it against fellow Macedonians. Out of the conflict emerged a number of kingdoms, created by the ambitions of individual satraps, which gradually coalesced into hereditary dynasties.
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