CALLISTHENES (c. 360-328 B.C.), of Olynthus, Greek historian, a relative and pupil of Aristotle, through whose recommendation he was appointed to attend Alexander the Great in his Asiatic expedition.
The fall of Olynthus (348) brought Aeschines into the political arena, and he was sent on an embassy to rouse the Peloponnesus against Philip. In 347 he was a member of the peace embassy to Philip of Macedon, who seems to have won him over entirely to his side.
In 349 Euboea and Olynthus were lost to the league, of which indeed nothing remained but an empty form, in spite of the facts that the expelled Olynthians appealed to it in 348 and that Mytilene rejoined in 347.
For the chief of these, indeed, Olynthus, he continued to profess friendship till its neighbour cities were in his hands.
The chief Greek federations were those of Thessaly, Boeotia, Acarnania, Olynthus, Arcadia, Aetolia, Achaea, the most important as well as the most complete in respect of organization being the Aetolian League and the Achaean League.
It was in many respects based on liberal principles, but Olynthus did not hesitate to exercise force against recalcitrants such as Acanthus.
Lastly, he had begun to show designs on the great Confederacy of Olynthus, the more warlike Miletus of the North.
In 350 a second Olynthian embassy had sought and obtained Athenian help. The hour of Olynthus had indeed come.
The First and Second Olynthiacs of Demosthenes were spoken in that year in support of sending one force to defend Olynthus and another to attack Philip. "Better now than later," is the thought of the First Olynthiac. The Second argues that Philip's strength is overrated.
A few months later, Olynthus and the thirty-two towns of the confederacy were swept from the earth.
Philip has annihilated Olynthus and the Chalcidic towns.