Macedonia is an historic region that spans parts of northern Greece and the Balkan Peninsula. The ancient kingdom of Macedonia sometimes called Macedon was a crossroads between Mediterranean and Balkan civilizations. Macedonia briefly became the largest empire in the world under the reign of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B. Since the formation of the Republic of Macedonia in , Macedonians and Greeks have sparred over which country gets to claim the history of ancient Macedonia as its own. Macedonia was a small kingdom centered along the Aegean Sea on the northeastern part of the Greek Peninsula.
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Its boundaries have changed considerably over time; however, it came to be defined as the modern geographical region by the mid 19th century. Its oldest known settlements date back approximately to 7, BC. From the middle of the 4th century BC, the Kingdom of Macedon became the dominant power on the Balkan Peninsula; since then Macedonia has had a diverse history. The definition of Macedonia has changed several times throughout history. In the 2nd century, Macedonia covered approximately the area where it is considered to be today, but the northern regions of today Republic of North Macedonia were not identified as Macedonian lands.
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There were no decisive engagements, and the war ended in a stalemate. During the war, Macedon attempted to gain control over parts of Illyria and Greece , but without success. It is commonly thought that these skirmishes in the east prevented Macedon from aiding the Carthaginian general Hannibal in the war with Rome.
In the 4th century bce it achieved hegemony over Greece and conquered lands as far east as the Indus River , establishing a short-lived empire that introduced the Hellenistic Age of ancient Greek civilization. The cultural links of prehistoric Macedonia were mainly with Greece and Anatolia. This dispute hinges in part on the question of whether this people spoke a form of Greek before the 5th century bce ; it is known, however, that by the 5th century bce the Macedonian elite had adopted a form of ancient Greek and had also forged a unified kingdom.