325 BC

World About B. C. 325.—This little map  represents the short-lived Macedonian empire of Alexander, at the date of his return to Persia, when his power was at its height. To his victorious career the world owed a vast increase of geographical knowledge; all eastern Asia had been unveiled, and the road to India, with its boundless wealth, was disclosed to Europeans.

Westward also, about Alexander's time, the geography of the Greeks was greatly extended by Pytheas, a bold navigator of the Greek colony of Massilia (Marseilles), who, from Gadiera (Cadiz), coasted Iberia and the country of the Celts (France), and reached Britain. He followed the southern and eastern shores of the islands, and, after six days' sail from the Orcades (Orkney Islands), discovered Thule, a land of fogs in the north, which has been variously identified as the Shetland Islands, the Norwegian coast, or even Iceland.

In Italy the Romans were continuing their struggles with the neighboring nations. The whole of southern Etruria had yielded to their supremacy, and was kept in check by Roman garrisons; while towards the south, at this time, a terrible conflict was in progress with the heroic Samnite highlanders. Of Sicily the Carthaginians held the western, the Greek colonists the eastern half, a brief lull having taken place in the fierce wars which had been waging between these powers for the possession of the island, during which the prosperity of the great fortified city and seaport of Syracuse was rapidly reviving.

ABOUT B.C. 325