Philip II of Macedon

Philip II of Macedon

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10 Amazing Facts About Philip II of Macedon, the Father of Alexander the Great

Philip II of Macedon was born in Pella, Macedon in 382 BC and was the third son of King Amyntas III. He was held captive in Thebes as a teenager and it was here where he learned his remarkable military and diplomatic skills. Five years after his return to Macedon, Philip became regent for King Amyntas IV but he was able to secure the crown for himself within a few months. Over the next 23 years, Philip enjoyed some incredible victories and a handful of defeats as he expanded his kingdom.

During that period, Philip transformed Macedon from a struggling state with a weak military into one of the strongest kingdoms in Europe. He had planned to expand into Persia by the time of his death in 336 BC but his son, Alexander the Great, took up the mantle and produced the single greatest set of conquests the world had yet seen. However, his father deserves an immense amount of credit for setting the platform and several historians believe Philip was an even greater commander than Alexander. In this piece, I look at 10 fascinating facts about this legendary king.

Macedonian conquests by 348 BC during Philip&rsquos reign &ndash History of Macedonia

Philip II of Macedon

Philip II developed into the master-statesman of his time, a creative politician whose work made Macedon a world power for three decades and a great power for a century after that. This aspect of his achievement took some years to emerge, however, since for the first period of his reign he was preoccupied with securing his own position, and with providing security for his kingdom. These were, of course, much the same problem.

Philip had to use a combination of qualities: a wily and cunning diplomacy, military leadership which brought victories, and a keen eye for developing the resources of his kingdom. He had precedents in the activity of previous Macedonian kings, but not every new king in his early twenties would have deployed them. It is part of Philip’s genius that he was able to utilize all these actions and qualities successfully at the same time.

Philip was about 23 years old when he became king, a few years older than his brothers at their accessions, with a life experience somewhat different from theirs. He grew up at the court of his father, Amyntas III, in a time when Macedon was more or less at peace, having been born in the year following Amyntas’ recovery of his kingdom in 383/382. He saw the efforts his father had made to develop his kingdom, but he had also witnessed the threats the outside world forced upon him. In his family he was one of the middle children, with older brothers, an older sister and their younger half-brothers. Getting attention cannot have been easy.

At the age of 12 he was sent as a hostage to the Illyrians – presumably to King Bardylis – along with tribute which Alexander II paid to avoid an invasion. Soon after, at 14 or so, he was sent to Thebes, again as a hostage. This was not a situation of danger or discomfort. A hostage, especially a child, was taken into the house hold of a prominent man, treated as a member of the family and given an education. At Thebes Philip lived in the house of Pammenes, an important politician, in the years when Thebes was the greatest power in the Greek peninsula. He missed the killings in Macedon of his brother Alexander and of Ptolemy of Aloros, returning home when his other brother Perdikkas emerged as king in his own right in 365. For the next five or six years he was completely loyal to Perdikkas, and was entrusted, perhaps after some years, with lands of his own, on which he is said to have maintained an armed force, possibly little more than a bodyguard.

His conduct in his first year as king suggests that he had given thought to what was required. In what he accomplished in his first years, Philip was clearly helped by two important factors: the crisis in Macedon was so bad that he had a free hand in dealing with it and the Greek powers ignored what was going on in Macedon, reasonably assuming that the continuing political collapse of the kingdom was yet another example of its fragility and instability. They were rather slow to intervene, and then only minimally. Despite the Common Peace of 360, further international crises developed, notably at Athens, whose league began to crumble in 357 then the `Sacred’ war embroiled all central Greece for the next ten years. Philip had a breathing space in which Macedon’s main enemies were either uninterested or preoccupied elsewhere. In this time he laid the basis for his later more extensive achievements.

The first priority was to attend to the internal condition of the kingdom. Philip had his half-brother Archelaos killed this secured him the throne, for Archelaos was the next member of his family. The invading pretenders were next. Pausanias came with Thracian backing, originally that of King Kotys, and then his successor Berisades. Perhaps because Berisades was also newly in power he was persuaded to accept a bribe to leave. Philip’s persuasiveness was at work here: Berisades was joint heir to Kotys with his two brothers, who now fought each other Thrace could thus now been ignored for a time.

Argaios’ support from Athens was as uncertain as that of Pausanias from Thrace. A force of 3,000 Athenian hoplites landed with him at Methone, but Argaios was then expected to make his own way to the throne. This was reasonable, since a pretender needed to show he had local support, and without it no backer would bother with him. Athens’ main ambition in the north was to gain control of Amphipolis, now an independent city, with a Macedonian garrison. Philip withdrew these troops. No doubt he was glad to have them available for more active uses, but the act of withdrawal was also directed at influencing Athens. Supposedly it signalled Amphipolis’ new vulnerability, and by implication Philip’s political acquiescence in an Athenian takeover. Argaios’ Athenian troops stayed in Methone, and Argaios went on to Aigai with only his own small force of mercenaries and the few Macedonian exiles and Athenians who supported his enterprise.

He marched the 20 km to Aigai, but gained no support from the locals, either on the march or in the city. He turned back to return to Methone, perhaps hoping to persuade the Athenians there to be more active in his cause, but was intercepted by Philip on his march. Philip easily beat Argaios’ troops: many of the mercenaries were killed the Macedonian exiles, many of them related to loyal Macedonians, were taken prisoner the Athenians were released with gifts. Philip had no wish to set up a situation where Athens might seek revenge the Athenian force in Methone then sailed home, taking the released men away as well. At Athens, the prospect of regaining Amphipolis, combined with the failure of the intervention in Macedon, persuaded the Assembly towards peace. Argaios vanished, no doubt executed, if he had survived the fight. What happened to the exiles is not known, but Philip is as likely to have held them as hostages for the good behaviour of their relatives as to have had them executed as traitors.

The landward invaders of the kingdom were tackled with a similar mixture of force and diplomacy. Bardylis did not follow up his successful invasion, either because of the casualties his own forces had suffered in the battle, or because Philip had arranged a truce with him. Philip certainly bought off the threatened Paeonian invasion from the north by gifts to the Paeonian king. Neither of these measures could be decisive in the long term: gifts would only whet the Paeonian appetite, and Bardylis’ victory could only encourage him to mount another invasion.

The precise sequence of all these invasions, diplomacies and manoeuvres is uncertain, but they certainly all took place during 359, very early in Philip’s reign indeed, most of the manoeuvres and diplomacy probably took only a fairly short time, probably more or less simultaneously. Their success will have consolidated his local support among the Macedonians. The unwillingness of the people of Aigai to join Argaios is a sign of this.

Philip had to attend to internal governmental matters. Even in his first year he had no difficulty in finding gifts rich enough to buy off the Paeonian and Thracian kings, and to give presents to the Athenians in Argaios’ force – nor to forgo the ransoming or selling of those captives – though where he found the money is unclear. 9 Kallistratos’ customs reforms may have helped, but not by much. But the main internal problem he faced was the development of an effective army.

In 358, after a year as king, Philip was able to muster a force of 10,000 infantry and 600 cavalry for a campaign in which he needed his full strength. Perdikkas’ defeat had cost 4,000 Macedonian lives. By adding these figures together it seems that the maximum force available to the Macedonian kings before Philip was about 15,000 men, of which the effective element, the cavalry, numbered 1,000 at most. This was a fairly small force for such a large kingdom – Athens could produce forces double that. Yet even with that smaller force, Philip won battles against larger armies. This was due to his intelligent generalship in part, but he also instituted better training for the men, in particular the infantry. He had seen, during his earlier life in Thebes and Macedon, that infantry needed to be properly trained, drilled and equipped for them to be effective he only needed to compare the old ineffective Macedonian foot soldiers with the all-conquering Theban phalanx. He was up-to-date with the military developments which had taken place in recent years in Greece, including the use of light infantry, peltasts, developed by Athenian commanders. And he added something particularly Macedonian, the use of a shock force of heavy cavalry.

It will not do to emphasize the innovations Philip made at the expense of the continuities. The kings had always had a bodyguard of cavalrymen, called Companions (hetairoi). The very name shows that they were of high status, socially almost the equals to the king by birth, being noble landowners and their sons. They numbered only 600 in Philip’s army of 358, no doubt the survivors of Perdikkas’ disaster, and probably others were available who did not turn out for the new king. Their numbers increased in the next generation as Macedonians and Greeks were awarded lands in conquered territory: by 334 the cavalry numbered 3,500. As the numbers grew, Philip implanted change. One group was singled out as the Royal Squadron, 300 strong, and the rest were organized as squadrons (ilai), recruited from the several regions of Macedonia. They rode bareback, wore a metal breastplate and helmet and were armed with a longish spear. They were `heavy’ only in a relative sense, owing their shock value to their ability to charge in formation, particularly in a `wedge formation’, in which the narrower front allowed a widening penetration of the enemy formation and the maintenance of good control.

This is the most remarkable of Philip’s military innovations. By the end of his reign it is clear the cavalry had been induced to put aside their innate individualism and submit to discipline, just like hoplites. This involved a major change in behaviour by the baronage, whose preferred method of fighting was in loose formation, leaving room for individual display and activity. This would seem to have been one of the lessons Philip had brought from Greece. The Balkan tribes fought in the `old’ manner, loosely, and the Persians in Alexander’s battles were almost as undisciplined. The carefully controlled cavalry Philip developed was capable of defeating any number of their undisciplined enemies – just as hoplites could beat their less controlled light infantry enemies.

The infantry were little more than a mob in earlier battles, more notable for their speed of retreat than their constancy in the fight. There had been an earlier elite group, called the Foot-Companions (pezhetairoi), which may have fallen out of use Philip re-formed it. They were the equivalent of the hetairoi of the cavalry: well equipped, polished, proud, and capable of standing guard over the king and the palace. The rest of the infantry was levied, like the cavalry, by regions. This was not a new system, but Philip did insist on improvements: drill, discipline, uniform armament and, above all, obedience to orders. It seems likely that the improvement was mainly due to the fact that the infantry had earlier been simply the followers of the nobles, brought along when the army was called out. Philip’s innovation was thus to separate them from their landlords to organize them into disciplined formations. Both cavalry and infantry became better drilled and more competently employed. He spent a good deal of time in the first year of his reign meeting his forces, consulting them in assemblies, speaking to them, drilling them, getting to know them, and them to know him. The infantry were trained to move and march as units instead of a mob they became a phalanx.

It is in this organization of the troops that Philip’s real contribution to Macedon’s military power lies, but he is also credited with the introduction of a longer infantry spear, the sarissa. Its effect in battle was to keep the enemy at a greater, and so safer, distance. The heavier weapon also required a reduction in defensive armament, so the troops used a smaller shield, and wore no breastplate. The net effect was to make the infantry much more mobile and aggressive, and yet also more vulnerable. Philip had taken in the power of the heavier Theban phalanx, and the Athenian innovation of the use of peltasts and the overall value of drill, discipline and careful preparation, and had added in his own longer spear. He was able to do much of this reorganization in his first year, which suggests that he had worked out what needed to be done during his years as his brother’s subordinate, based in part on his experience at Thebes. But to think it all out and to apply his ideas were two different things and to put into practice what he was preaching required him to win battles. The Paeonians and the Illyrians of Bardylis were to be his testing ground. No doubt the disaster suffered by Perdikkas’ army had predisposed Macedonians to accept, or at least to try out, new methods, but only victory would be convincing.

Most of what Philip imposed on the Macedonians was not new. The sarissa, possibly, but the Macedonian barons were used to wielding long spears in hunting. Infantry in phalanxes, cavalry under discipline, uniform equipment, drill, obedience to shouted orders, pride after victory, were all part and parcel of Greek warfare. He adopted the use of siege weapons developed particularly in Dionysian Sicily, and had them available for use by 357. This basic unoriginality may be an aspect of the changes which led to their acceptance: Greek warfare was something familiar to the Macedonians, who had been easily beaten in the past by smaller Greek forces. Earlier kings back to Alexander I had tried to implement many of these innovations, but Philip would seem to have been the first to try them all out at once on a receptive population at the beginning of his reign. There was also Philip’s generalship, a quality enhanced in his son, which was even more important than all his innovations.

That he was able to do all this so early in his reign is what makes Philip so important in Macedonian history. Earlier kings had established themselves in power first and then introduced changes, generally on a fairly small scale. Given that the average reign of a successful Macedonian king was only two decades, the reforms had only started to have effect when the king died, and were then lost in the subsequent succession crisis. Philip, compelled by the all-enveloping crisis at his accession, had a relatively free hand as well as a compelling necessity to innovate. It was essentially a succession crisis followed by a military crisis the first was dealt with diplomatically and by assassination, so it was in the military area that he introduced his changes. Other governmental deficiencies were ignored or tackled later. The emphasis on the current crises coloured the future indelibly with a military hue once Philip had survived, any other innovations could be introduced in the old manner, slowly and cautiously, if at all.

The several pretenders had not, thanks to Philip’s diplomacy, presented a real threat. The Macedonians’ northern and western neighbours were more dangerous. The Paeonian king died soon after the agreement with Philip, and the agreement became void. Philip had made progress with his new army, and in the spring of 358 he invaded Paeonia, won a victory, and imposed a treaty on the new king, making him a subordinate ally of the type well understood in the region. This was an easy victory Philip was able to choose his victim, so giving his new army confidence, something the army surely needed after Perdikkas’ disaster.

The Illyrians were next. Bardylis, perhaps prompted by a peace offer from Philip, demanded that Philip accept that Bardylis should keep those parts of Upper Macedon he had occupied, regions such as Orestis and Lynkos. These Illyrian demands, when publicized, demonstrated to the Macedonians that the Illyrian threat remained, so an Illyrian war could be justified, both as revenge for their dead comrades and Philip’s dead brother, and as a preventive against future Illyrian attacks. Philip inevitably refused Bardylis’ demands, and marched his new army into Illyrian-occupied Lynkos.

Of all the enemies besetting Macedon in 359, Bardylis was the most formidable, and it was no doubt for this reason that Philip had left him to the last. Philip had agreed to an armistice – perhaps he even requested one – as soon as he became king, though this left Bardylis in possession of the conquered lands. Philip had, it seems, accepted an Illyrian princess, Audata, as his wife. Philip was always willing to marry, but if Bardylis imagined that Philip was now his ally, or even his subordinate, he discovered otherwise when he presented his peace terms. Between Perdikkas’ death and the spring of 358, Philip had survived, seen off many enemies and invaders, and trained up his new army. He had been king for a year, and had done very little actual fighting, for the victories over Argaios and the Paeonians were fairly minor affairs. Bardylis had good cause to be confident that he could again win a battle.

The two armies were approximately equal in numbers, each with 10,000 infantry, and Bardylis with 500 and Philip 600 cavalry. Bardylis formed his men into a square, which is an interesting action, suggesting that he was well aware of the new Macedonian tactics. Philip commanded the pezhetairoi, his newly trained Foot Companions (described by Diodoros as `the best of the Macedonians’) personally. They were armed with the new long sarissa, and were used to break into the square, no doubt at a corner. When the square broke he sent the cavalry on a ferocious pursuit. Bardylis’ army was destroyed, losing 7,000 men killed, and he at once made peace. The terms were the return of the Upper Macedonian kingdoms to Macedonian suzerainty.

The battle, described fully enough by Diodoros for us to appreciate the tactics involved, demonstrated to any who cared to notice that a military commander of genius had arrived. Philip coordinated the actions of his soldiers and operated on his opponent’s weakest point. He cannot have faced an infantry square before, nor can he have expected to face one now, but he took command personally at the decisive point, and understood that the battle was only won after the pursuit was finished. He was able to inspire his soldiers to fight, and to fight as he wished.

On top of this newly revealed military expertise, Philip showed in his dealings with his enemies that he was a most cunning and accomplished diplomatist, using negotiations to hold off dangerous enemies (Bardylis, the Paeonians, Athens) until he was ready to confront them, to deal with his enemies one at a time, and to choose the time to strike. This combination of military genius and diplomatic finesse was the key to the history of Greece for the next quarter-century.

If Audata was not given to Philip at the armistice in 359, she was now, in the peace terms. One of Philip’s diplomatic innovations is here on view: instead of offering daughters and sisters to neighbouring kings as wives and daughters-in-law, he used himself, collecting daughters of other kings. These marriages performed differing diplomatic purposes: Audata symbolized peace and the subordination of an enemy, whereas his second marriage, to Phila, daughter of Derdas of Orestis, bound the important Elimaian region to Macedon. A year later he married Olympias, the niece of the king of the Molossi, whose lands had also been subjected to Illyrian raids just as had the Macedonians’. These marriages linked these areas together politically, but the destruction of Bardylis’ army had been the key to the whole system. This diplomatic structure was designed, presumably, to block Illyrian expansion southwards. By these military and diplomatic victories Philip revived Macedonian power and added an association with the Molossi to a serious restriction on the power of Bardylis.

There was little reason for others to take much note of what was going on. To southern Greeks, the battle in Lynkos was one between barbarian kings, of no real interest. Dangers still lurked to the south, in Thessaly, and to the east, at Amphipolis, areas that were possible sources of hostility to Macedon. Athens’ enmity was not something to be conjured away by eliminating a pretender, and the possibility of it recovering control of Amphipolis was ominous. Thessaly had been troublesome for Macedonia repeatedly for the past 20 years, either in the persons of Thessalians, or from Thebes by way of Thessaly.

There are very few writers in antiquity that have ever written an unbiased account of Philip&rsquos personality. Greek sources in particular, are scathing in their criticism of the Macedonian king and suggest he was an alcoholic, temperamental, lying, cheating, violent, aggressive, cowardly womanizer who also had sex with young boys. While there is little doubt that Philip was a fighting man who enjoyed sex with both genders, there is evidence to suggest that the king wasn&rsquot the tyrannical despot of lore.

In fact, a Greek diplomat named Ctesiphon claimed that Philip was &ldquosweet and charming&rdquo while also possessing an excellent memory and outstanding oratory skills. The king was a known lover of theatre and drama and was interested in philosophy, history, and poetry. In fact, some of the greatest intellectuals of the age were invited to the Macedonian court, including Speusippus (nephew of Plato). Also, Aristotle was hired as Alexander&rsquos tutor.

Despite his outstanding military prowess, Philip wasn&rsquot averse to diplomacy as a means of avoiding war. When his brother, Perdiccas III, was killed by the Illyrians, and his army destroyed, Philip renewed the confidence of his men and he did so again after suffering defeat to Onomarchus in 353 BC. One of his great skills was the ability to hide his true feelings and intentions he was able to do so even when in the company of great diplomats known for their ability to read an individual.

The writer Justin noted the difference in personality when compared to his son, Alexander. According to Justin: &ldquoPhilip preferred to be loved while his son, Alexander, preferred to be feared.&rdquo As his ultimate goal was to transform the semi-feudal Macedonian state into a superpower, Philip knew that diplomacy would occasionally be necessary. Historian J. F. C. Fuller concluded his assessment of Philip by suggesting that the king was &ldquoa man of outstanding character practical, long-sighted and unscrupulous.

Expansion of Macedonian Power

In 357, Philip successfully faced off with Athens for control of the strategically located city of Amphipolis. Over the next two decades, Philip would achieve a series of victories in the region, only suffering a major defeat in 353. His able use of shifting alliances, combined with his military supremacy, granted him territory and influence that increased Macedonia&aposs wealth, security and unity.

At Chaeronea in 338, Philip&aposs army fought against a large assembly of Greek forces. Using a feigned retreat that created openings for his cavalry, Philip won a great victory over the Greeks. In consequence, he was able to form the League of Corinth in 337, which brought almost all of the Greek city-states into an alliance that was beholden to Philip.

After years of military campaigns, Philip was blind in one eye from being shot by an arrow and walked with a limp thanks to a devastating injury to his leg. In spite of these blows, he still dreamed of reaching Persia and its riches. He got the League of Corinth to sanction this invasion and began to prepare for the upcoming campaign.

Philip II of Macedon

Philip II of Macedon was the youngest son of the king Amyntas III and Eurydice I. In his youth (c. 368 – 365 BC), Philip was held as a hostage in Thebes, which was the leading city of Greece during the Theban hegemony. While a captive there, Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas, became eromenos of Pelopidas, and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes.

In 364 BC, Philip returned to Macedon. The deaths of Philip's elder brothers, King Alexander II and Perdiccas III, allowed him to take the throne in 359 BC. Originally appointed regent for his infant nephew Amyntas IV, who was the son of Perdiccas III, Philip managed to take the kingdom for himself that same year.

Philip's military skills and expansionist vision of Macedonian greatness brought him early success. He first had to re-establish a situation which had been greatly worsened by the defeat against the Illyrians in which King Perdiccas himself had died. The Paionians and the Thracians had sacked and invaded the eastern regions of the country, while the Athenians had landed, at Methoni on the coast, a contingent under a Macedonian pretender called Argeus.

Using diplomacy, Philip pushed back Paionians and Thracians promising tributes, and crushed the 3,000 Athenian hoplites (359). Momentarily free from his opponents, he concentrated on strengthening his internal position and, above all, his army. His most important innovation was doubtless the introduction of the phalanx infantry corps, armed with the famous sarissa, an exceedingly long spear, at the time the most important army corps in Macedonia.

Philip had married Audata, great-granddaughter of the Illyrian king of Dardania, Bardyllis. However, this did not prevent him from marching against them in 358 and crushing them in a ferocious battle in which some 7,000 Illyrians died (357). By this move, Philip established his authority inland as far as Lake Ohrid and the favour of the Epirotes.

Was This Really the Tomb of Alexander the Great's Father?

Analysis of bones raises new questions about the final resting place of Philip II of Macedon.

A new forensic study appears to solve a long-standing debate in Greek archaeology over the burial location of King Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great.

Since the excavation of the three Great Tombs of the Royal Tumulus at Vergina in 1977 and 1978, many archaeologists have believed that Philip II was buried in Tomb II, dubbed “The Tomb of Philip.” But a skeletal analysis of the leg bones from the remains of an adult male in Tomb I shows a severe lance wound that matches accounts in ancient written sources of an injury Philip II sustained during battle in 339.

The authors of the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, argue that this not only offers the first definitive proof of where Philip II was buried, but it also suggests that some of the grave goods in Tomb II may in fact belong to Alexander the Great. (Learn more about Alexander’s family connections.)

The team of Greek and Spanish archaeologists is the first to analyze the remains of the three skeletons in Tomb I. They found that the bones belong to a middle-aged man, a young woman who was approximately 18 years old when she died, and a newborn infant of unknown sex. The forensic evidence confirms the ages-at-death reported in ancient literary sources for Philip II and the last of his seven wives, as well as their their infant child.

Three years before his assassination in 336 BC, Philip II suffered a devastating injury during a dispute with the Thracian tribe of Triballi after he refused to share the spoils from his recent campaign against the Scythians. Though ancient authors such as Seneca, Plutarch, and Demosthenes differ on the precise location of the wound, the sources all indicate that he sustained a leg injury that left him permanently crippled.

The leg bones of the adult male from Tomb I show a massive hole in the left knee that caused a severe ankylosis—an abnormal fusion of bones that inhibits movement.

Before his injury, the length of his tibia and femur indicate that he would have stood nearly 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 meters) tall, a height well above average at the time.

After the wound, likely inflicted by a fast-moving projectile such as a lance or spear, Philip II would have walked with a waddling gait and a compensatory tilting of his head to the right.

Philip II of Macedon - History

Video f rom the Youtube channel of eformisis

Philip II (Greek: Φιλιππος) was a Greek king of Macedon from 359 BC until his death in 336 BC. The famous king (Βασιλεύς) and father of Alexander the Great, was born in 383/82 BC. He was son of the king Amyntas III and queen Eurydice. His brothers were Alexander II, Perdiccas III and Eurynoe, while he had also 3 half brothers, the sons of Gygaea, namely Menelaus, Arrhidaeus and Archelaus. [1]

In 368 BC when his elder brother Alexander II allied himself with Thebans, Philip was taken as a hostage in Thebes where he stayed for about 3 years. In Thebes as Justin attests, “Philip was given fine opportunities of improving his extraordinary abilities for being kept as a hostage at Thebes three years, he received the first rudiments of education in a city distinguished for strictness of discipline in the house of Epaminondas, an eminent philosopher, as well as commander.” [2]

After his brother Perdiccas, the King of Macedon, was killed in the battle against Illyrians along with 4,000 Macedonians, Philip returned to Macedon either as a king or as a regent to his young nephew Amyntas. Based on his experiences gained close to Epaminondas in Thebes, Philip made many innovations in Macedonian army by bringing discipline, better training and new equipment like the introduction of Sarissa[3]. This way he created the famous “Macedonian Phalanx“. At the beginning of his reign he dealt with many difficult situations. On one hand he managed to get rid of the internal threats to his kingdom, namely his 3 half brothers and the pretender Argaeus, supported by Atheneans. Argaeus was finally defeated by Philip’s general Mantias. Afterwards in 358 BC he defeated in battle the Illyrians of Bardyllis while he sealed the peace-treaty with Illyrians by marrying Audate, daughter of Bardyllis. From this marriage Philip had his first daughter, Cynane. In 358 BC Philip was involved in Thessaly where he had another political marriage. This time with Philine of Larrisa who bore Philip, his son Arrhidaeus.

His alliance with Epirus resulted to marry with Olympias, a Molossian princess who would be destined to be the mother of one of the most famous persons of history, Alexander the Great. She also bore Philip his daugher Cleopatra. Philip took with him in Macedonia, Alexander, brother of Olympias. Later he installed Alexander as king of Epirus and he remained known as Alexander of Molossis. In a string of successful campaigns, he managed to reach as far as Thrace and took under his own control both the gold mines of Mt Pangaion, as well as the silver mines in Thrace. He gained the control of Amphipolis, Pydna, Potidaea and Methoni. During the siege of Methoni he lost his eye from an arrow. Next he turned on the South and intervened in the third Sacred war, against the Phocians. Unexpectedly Philip met his two first loses in the background from the Phocian leader Onormachus who introduced the use of catapults in the battlefield. However he succeeded in defeating them and Onormachus met a tragic end in his life. Now Philip took under his own control Thessaly. He took another wife from Thessaly, this time Nikesipolis from Pherae. She bore him a daughter named Thessalonike and the greatest city of Macedonia nowadays is named after her.

The Athenean orator and leader of Anti-Macedonian party of Athens, Demosthenes tried to cause a stir of Atheneans and other Southern Greeks against Philip firstly with his “Olynthiacs”. It was at the time Philip turned against Olynthians, Athens’ allies in the area, and in 348 BC he attacked his former ally Olynthus and destroyed it on the grounds they have given refuge to two of his half-brothers, the pretenders of the thone of Macedon. At the time Isocrates urged him on his letters to Philip , to unite Greeks against Persians.

His last years

In 338 BC Philip and his allies defeated in the battle of Chaeronea the alliance of Athens and Thebes. With this battle he asserted his authority in Greece and created the League of Corinth, where he was elected as “Hegemon” by the rest of Greeks. The Greeks, except Spartans, were finally united against an old common enemy, the Persian empire. However Philip was not destined to be the one who will lead the Pan-Hellenic campaign against Achaemenids since in 336 BC, Philip was assasinated by Pausanias of Orestis, during the marriage of his daughter Cleopatra to Alexander of Epirus. He had reigned for about 25 years and according to the account of the historian TheopompusEurope had never seen a man like Philip of Macedon“.

8.1: Macedon and Philip II

  • Christopher Brooks
  • Full-time faculty (History) at Portland Community College

The story starts in Macedon, a kingdom to the north of Greece. The Macedonians were warriors and traders. They lived in villages instead of poleis and, while they were recognized as Greeks because of their language and culture, they were also thought of as being a bit like country bumpkins by the more &ldquocivilized&rdquo Greeks of the south. Macedon was a kingdom ruled by a single monarch, but that monarch had to constantly deal with both his conniving relatives and his disloyal nobles, all of whom frequently conspired to get more power for themselves. Macedon was also bordered by nomadic peoples to the north, particularly the Thracians (from present-day Bulgaria), who repeatedly invaded and had to be repelled. The Macedonian army was comprised of free citizens who demanded payment after every campaign, payment that could only be secured by looting from defeated enemies. In short, Macedon bred some of the toughest and most wily fighters and political operators in Greece out of sheer necessity.

By the fifth century BCE, some of the larger villages of Macedon grew big enough to be considered cities, and elite Macedonians made efforts to civilize their country in the style of the southern Greeks. They competed in the Olympics and patronized the arts and literature. They tended to stay out of the political affairs of the other Greeks, however they did not invade the Greek peninsula itself in their constant wars, nor did they take sides in conflicts like the Peloponnesian War. This did nothing to improve the situation in Macedon itself, of course, which remained split between the royal family and the nobility. In 399 BCE, Macedon slid into an ongoing civil war, with the nobles openly rejecting the authority of the king and the country sliding into anarchy. The war lasted for forty years.

In 359 BCE, the Macedonian king, Philip II, re-unified the country. Philip was the classic Macedonian leader: shrewd, clever, skilled in battle, and quick to reward loyalty or punish sedition. He started a campaign across Macedonia and the surrounding areas to the north, defeating and usually killing his noble rivals as well as hostile tribes. When men joined with him, he rewarded them with looted wealth, and his army grew.

Philip was a tactical innovator as well. He found a way to secure the loyalty of his nobles by organizing them into elite cavalry units who swore loyalty to him, and he proudly led his troops personally into battle. He also reorganized the infantry into a new kind of phalanx that used longer spears than did traditional hoplites these new spearmen would hold the enemy in place and then the cavalry would charge them, a tactic that proved effective against both barbarian tribes and traditional Greek phalanxes. Philip was the first Macedonian king to insist on the drilling and training of his infantry, and the combination of his updated phalanx and the cavalry proved unstoppable. Philip attacked neighboring Greek settlements and seized gold mines in the north of Greece, which paid his soldiers and paid to equip them as well. He hired mercenaries to supplement his Macedonian troops, ending up with the largest army Macedon had ever seen.

Figure (PageIndex<1>): The expansion of Macedon under Philip II, from the small region marked in the red border to the larger blue region, along with the dependent regions surrounding it.

The Greek poleis were understandably worried about these developments. Under the leadership of Athens, they organized into a defensive league to resist Macedonian aggression. For about ten years, the Macedonians bribed potential Greek allies, threatened those that opposed them, and launched attacks in northern Greece while the larger poleis to the south prepared for war. In 338 BCE, following a full-scale Macedonian invasion, the Macedonian army crushed the coalition armies. The key point of the battle was when Philip's eighteen-year-old son Alexander led the noble cavalry unit in a charge that smashed the Greek forces.

In the aftermath of the invasion, Philip set up a new league of Greek cities under his control and stationed troops throughout Greece. As of 338 BCE, Greece was no longer the collection of independent city-states it had been for over a thousand years it was now united under an invader from the north. The Greeks deeply resented this occupation. They only grudgingly accepted the Macedonians as fellow Greeks and had celebrated the independence of the Greek poleis as one of the defining characteristics of Greek civilization for centuries. Philip thus had his job cut out for him in managing his new conquest.

The more immediate problem facing Philip in the aftermath of the Greek conquest was that his men demanded more loot &ndash the only way he could pay them was to find new places to invade and sack. Thus, Philip ruled Greece but he could not afford to sit idle with troops aching for more victories. Cleverly, having just defeated the Greek poleis, Philip began behaving like a Greek statesman and assuming a kind of symbolic leadership role for Greek culture itself, not just Greek politics. He began agitating for a Greek invasion of Persia under his leadership to &ldquoavenge&rdquo the Persian invasion of the prior century. All things considered, this was a far-fetched scheme Persia was by far the &ldquosuperpower&rdquo of its day, and since the end of the Persian War over a century earlier numerous Greeks had served Persian kings as mercenaries and merchants. Nevertheless, the idea of an invasion created an excuse for Macedonian and Greek imperialism and aggression under cultural pretext of revenge.

Unfortunately for Philip, he was murdered by one of his bodyguards in 336 BCE, just two years after conquering Greece. Family politics was to blame here, as his estranged wife Olympias likely ordered his murder, as well as the murder of his other wife and children. Alexander was the son of Olympias, and he ascended to the throne at the age of twenty.


King Philip II ruled Macedonia from 359 to 336 BC. He was born in Pella, the capital of the ancient Macedonian kingdom, as the youngest son of king Amyntas III.  After his fathers death, Macedonia slowly disintegrated as his elder brothers and future kings Alexander II and Perdiccas III, unsuccessfully fought against the continuous attacks of the neighboring Thracians, Illyrians, and Greeks. The Thracians were already in possession of eastern Macedonia, the strongest Greek military power of Thebes continuously intervened in the internal Macedonian politics, the Greeks colonies on the edge of Macedonia, particularly Olynthus, were obstacle to Macedonia's economy and presented a military danger, and the invasions of the Illyrians put north-western Macedonia under their occupation.

Philip II was a hostage of the Greeks at Thebes, between 368 and 365 BC.  But while in captivity there, he observed the military techniques of then the greatest power in Greece. When he returned to Macedonia he immediately set forth in helping his brother Perdiccas III, who was then king of Macedonia, to strengthen and reorganize the Macedonian army.  But in 359, when king Perdiccas III set out to battle the Illyrians to free north-western Macedonia, the Macedonian army suffered a disastrous defeat.   4,000 Macedonian soldiers, including their king lay dead on the battlefield.  The Illyrians enforced their occupation of north-western Macedonia and were now an even greater threat to the very existence of the Macedonian kingdom.

          Philip II on the Macedonian Throne and the Campaign against the Illyrians

Philip ascended on the Macedonian throne in the most difficult times the country was virtually at the brink of collapse, its neighbors ready to put an end to its existence. The Macedonian state was further weakened by internal turmoil, Paeonia was independent of Macedonian control, and additional claimants to the throne now supported by foreign powers were a serious threat to Philip's reign. 

Macedonia and its occupied territories in 359 BC

Despite the tremendous danger, the 21-year-old king was not discouraged, and will soon demonstrate his diplomatic skills. He bought off the Thracian king with gifts and persuaded him to put to death the first Macedonian pretender to the throne who had found a refuge at the Thracian court. Then he defeated in battle the second pretender who was supported by the Greek power of Athens. Careful not to upset the Athenians, he made a treaty with them, ceding the city of Amphipolis on the Macedonian coast to them. Thus in little more then a year he removed the internal treats and secured the safety of his kingdom by firmly establishing himself on the throne.   

Philip was now determined to free north-western Macedonia from the Illyrians. In 358 BC he met them in battle with his reorganized Macedonian phalanx, and utterly defeated them. The Illyrians fled in panic, leaving 7,000 dead (3/4 of their whole force) on the battleground. North-western Macedonia was free, and all of the Upper Macedonia cantons, including Lyncestia, the birthplace of Philip’s mother, were now firmly under Macedonian control, loyal to their liberator.  The Macedonian army grew in size overnight and invaded Illyria itself, conquering all Illyrian tribes deep into the country, stopping short near the Adriatic coast.

Philip provided his Macedonian solders in the phalanx with sarissa, a spear which was long 6 meters, about 18 feet. The sarissa, when held upright by the rear rows of the phalanx (there were usually eight rows), helped hide maneuvers behind the phalanx from the view of the enemy. When held horizontal by the front rows of the phalanx, it was a brutal weapon for people could be run through from 20 feet away.

The Macedonian phalanx

Philip made the military a way of life for the Macedonian men. It became a professional occupation that paid well enough that the soldiers could afford to do it year-round, unlike in the past when the soldiering had only been a part-time job, something the men would do during the off peak times of farming. This allowed him to count on his man regularly, building unity and cohesion among his men.

Apart from military, Philip had several political inventions that helped turn Macedonia into a power. His primary method of creating alliances and strengthening loyalties was through marriages, and it is said that he was more prouder of his diplomatic maneuvers then of his military victories. First he married the Illyrian princess Audata, thus sealing an alliance with the Illyrians, then he married Phila, the princess of the Macedonian canton of Elimea, with which he strengthened the internal Macedonian unity. In 357 BC he married princess Olympias from the neighboring country of Epirus. A year later Olympias gave him a son which he named Alexander . Philip also allowed the sons of the Macedonian nobles to receive education at the court in Pella. Here these young men would develop a fierce loyalty for the king, while the king kept their parents from interfering with his authority.

After the defeat of the Illyrians, Macedonia’s policy became increasingly aggressive. Paeonia was already forcefully integrated into Macedonia under Philip's rule. In 357 BC Philip broke the treaty with Athens and attacked Amphipolis which he surrendered to the Greeks when he came to power. The city fell back in the hands of Macedonia after an intense siege. Then he secured possession over the gold mines of nearby Mount Pangaeus, which will enable him to finance his future wars.  

In 356 the Macedonian army advanced further eastward and captured the town of Crenides (near modern Drama) which was in the hands of the Thracians, and which Philip renamed after himself to Philippi. The Macedonian eastern border with Thrace was now secured at the river Nestus (Mesta).

In the same year the Macedonian army attacked and captured the Greek city Potidaea in Chalcidice. While Athens was preparing to send force north, Philip captured Pydna, another Greek colony on the Macedonian coast, and the following year, the Greek city of Methone, located not far from Pydna, which had been an Athenian base for a long time, surrendered to the Macedonians.  All non-Macedonian citizens were expelled, the city was razed to the ground, and re-founded as a Macedonian city.

Philip next marched into northern Greece. In Thessaly he defeated his enemies and by 352, he was firmly in control of this northern Greek region. The Macedonian army advanced as far as the pass of Thermopylae which divides Greece in two parts, but it did not attempt to take it because it was strongly guarded by a joint Greek force of Athenians, Spartans, and Achaeans.

Philip returned to Macedonia and begun preparations for a complete expulsion of the remaining Greek colonies on Macedonian land. In 348 BC, the Macedonian army attacked the Chalcidice peninsula and defeated the city-state of Olynthus. Like Methone, Olynthus and the other 31 Greek cities in Chalcidice were utterly demolished and razed to the ground, their Greek citizens sold as slaves, and their land distributed to the Macedonians. Among these Greek cities was Stageira, the birthplace of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. The whole of Chalcidice peninsula was annexed to Macedonia, marking an end of Greek settlements on Macedonian soil.

Macedonian Expansion 348 BC

Philip then returned to central Greece where through his aggressive politics forced his presence at the Greek Delphic council as part of the settlement of 346 BC. His money were buying off supporters where he desired, supporters which the ancient Greek historians called ‘traitors of Greece’. It was for first time ever that a Macedonian entered the council which was sacred to the Greeks. With the seat at the Delphic council, Philip was now able to exercise his influence over the other Greek city-states and establish recognized position in Greece. But the Macedonian intrusion in internal Greek policies did not sit well with the Greeks and the their resistance was growing steadily.

The great Athenian orator Demosthenes ,already in 351 BC delivered the first of his Philippics, a series of speeches warning the Greeks about the Macedonian menace to Greek liberty. His Philippics (the second in 344 BC, the third in 341 BC) and his three Olynthiacs (349 BC, in which he urged aid for Olynthus against Philip), were all directed in arousing Greece against the foreign conqueror. In the third of the Philippics, which is considered the finest of his orations, the great Athenian statesman spoke of Philip II as of:

"not only no Greek, nor related to the Greeks, but not even a barbarian from any place that can be named with honors, but a pestilent knave from Macedonia, whence it was never yet possible to buy a decent slave" (Third Philippic, 31)

These words echo the fact that the ancient Greeks regarded the ancient Macedonians as dangerous neighbors, never as kinsmen. They viewed them and their kings as barbarians (non-Greeks), a manner in which they treated all non-Greeks. Long before Philip II, the ancient Greek historian Herodotus , related how the Macedonian king Alexander I (498-454 BC), the Philhellene, that is "a friend of the Greeks" and naturally a non-Greek, wanted to take a part in the Olympic games. The Greek athletes protested, saying they would not run with a barbarian. Historian Thucydides  also considered the Macedonians as barbarians and Thracymachus explicitly referred to the Macedonian king Archelaus (413-399 BC) as barbarian.

The Macedonian king spent most of 345 subduing the rebellions of the conquered nations. He led the Macedonian army against the Illyrians, Dardanians, and the Thracians. In 344 the Greeks in Thessaly rebelled, but their uprisings was also swiftly put down. The same year he marched into Epirus and pacified the country.

Having secured the bordering regions of Macedonia, Philip assembled a large Macedonian army and marched deep into Thrace for a long conquering campaign. By 339 after defeating the Thracians in series of battles, most of Thrace was firmly in Macedonian hands save the most eastern Greek coastal cities of Byzantium and Perinthus who successfully withstand the long and difficult sieges. But both Byzantium and Perinthus would have surely fell had it not been for the help they received from the various Greek city-states, and the Persian king himself, who now viewed the rise of Macedonia and its eastern expansion with concern. Ironically, the Greeks invited and sided with the Persians against the Macedonians, although the Persians had been the most hated nation in Greece for more then a century. The memory of the Persian invasion of Greece some 150 years ago was still alive but the Greek hatred for the Macedonians had put it aside.

Ordering the Macedonian troops to lift the sieges of the two Greek cities, Philip led the army northward across Thrace. In the spring of 339 the Macedonians clashed with the Scythians near Danube, who had recently crossed the river with large army. Philip won a stunning victory in which the Scythian king Areas was killed and took 20,000 Scythian women and children as slaves. But on the return to Macedonia, the Thracian Triballians attacked the Macedonian convoy. The booty was lost, Philip suffered a severe injury which left him permanently lame, and the army returned home empty-handed.

Philip spent the following months in Macedonia recovering from the injury, but there was no time to relax. The Greeks were uniting and assembling a large army, and as historian Peter Green  observed 'if Philip did not move fast it would be they who invaded his territory, not he theirs’. As soon as he recovered, Philip assembled the largest Macedonian army yet, gave his 18-year-old son Alexander a commanding post among the senior Macedonian generals, and marched into Greece. The Greeks likewise assembled their largest army since the Persian invasion to face the Macedonian invasion. At Chaeronea in central Greece where the two armies met, the whole of Greece put 35,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry on the field, while the Macedonians had 30,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry. Although outnumbered, with suburb tactics and well coordination of the phalanx with the cavalry, the Macedonian ‘barbarian’ defeated the united Greek army. Among the Greeks, the Athenians, Thebans, and the Achaeans suffered the biggest losses. The ancient Roman and Greek historians, consider the battle of Chaeronea, on August 2 nd , 338 BC as an end to Greek liberty and history. Greece will not regain its freedom from foreign occupation until early 19 th century AD.

Philip now proceeded in securing his newest conquest. Macedonian garrisons were strategically positioned in Thebes (the city where he spent 3 years as hostage), Chalcis, Ambracia, Peloponnesus, Corinth the gateway of Peloponnesus, along the many more already in existence in Thessaly and in central Greece. Then he summoned the representatives of the Greek states at Corinth, and under the presence of the Macedonian garrison troops, secured ‘peace’ with the Greeks. He organized all Greek states into a Greek league. The Greek league was to form a separate alliance with Macedonia, but Macedonia itself will not be a member of the Greek league as neither Philip nor Macedonia had representatives at the council. Philip appointed himself "Commander of the Greeks", as he was already commander of the conquered Illyrians and Thracians. The Greeks, like the Illyrians and Thracians before them, were now obligated to support and obey the commands of the Macedonian king. Philip already had plans for invasion of the Persian Empire, which would crown his career as world conqueror. To win support from the Greeks he proclaimed that he would 'liberate' the Greek cities in Asia Minor from the Persian rule. But this well thought propaganda did not deceive the Greeks who were well aware that Philips's settlement in Greece was just a cloak for his future conquests. Therefore, during the following year (337), as the Greek assembly officially acclaimed Philip's idea for a Persian war, tens of thousands of Greeks sailed off to Asia Minor to enroll in the Persian army against the upcoming Macedonian invasion. The Roman historian Curtius confirmed that by the time the Macedonian army entered Asia, there was a huge force of 50,000 Greeks (both from mainland Greece and from Asia Minor) in the army serving the Persian king, waiting to face off the Macedonians.

Meanwhile Philip had begun the preparations for the Persian invasion. It is now that he made what the ancient historians considered to be the greatest mistake of his life. Having married 6 times before (all non-Macedonian women save Phila), he now married Cleopatra, a Macedonian girl from of high nobility. The ancients say that he married her 'out of love'. This marriage led to a break with Olympias and his son Alexander . At the wedding banquet, Cleopatra's uncle general Attalus made a remark about Philip fathering a "legitimate" heir, i.e., one that was of pure Macedonian blood. Alexander threw his cup at the man, blasting him for calling him 'bastard child. Philip stood up, drew his sward, and charged at Alexander, only to trip and fall on his face in his drunken stupor at which Alexander shouted:

"Here is the man who was making ready to cross from Europe to Asia, and who cannot even cross from one table to another without losing his balance."

He then took his mother and fled the country to Epirus. Although allowed to return later, Alexander remained isolated and insecure at the Macedonian court. Meanwhile Philip and Cleopatra had a male child which they named Caranus, in honor of the founder of the Macedonian royal dynasty.

In the spring of 336 BC, Philip begun the invasion of Persia. He sent generals Attalus and Parmenio with an advance force of 10,000 Macedonian troops, to cross over into Asia Minor and pave the way for the later advance of the main army. And while the Macedonians were crossing the Hellespont, in Macedonia everything was ready for the grand celebration for the wedding of Philip's daughter Cleopatra to prince Alexander of Epirus, brother of Olympias. The first day of the celebrations the guests saw a lavish entertained of every sort. But on the second day of the celebration, while entering the theater passing between his son Alexander and his new son-in-law Alexander, Philip was struck with a dagger and killed on the spot. The assassin Pausanias, a young Macedonian noble, attempted to escape but tripped and was killed on the spot by few close friends of Philip's son Alexander.

The great Macedonian conqueror was dead, the men who liberated his country from foreign occupation and brought if from the edge of the abyss into a world power. His dream for conquering the Persian Empire now lays on his successor, his son king Alexander-III . But both ancient and modern historians recognize that without the military and political efforts of Philip, Alexander would have never been as successful as he was.  After all, it was Philip who created the powerful Macedonian army and turned Macedonia into a strong nation in arms.

Macedonia at Philip's death (336 BC)

Why Pausanias killed the Macedonian king is a question that puzzled both ancient and modern historians. There is a claim that Pausanias was driven into committing the murder after he was denied justice by the king when he sought his support in punishing Cleopatra's uncle Attalus for earlier mistreatment. But there are also reports that claim that both Olympias and Alexander were responsible for the assassination, by driving the young men into committing the act. That might explain why Pausanias was instantly put to death by Alexander's close friends instead of captured alive.

The royal tomb excavated in 1977 in Aegean Macedonia  near Salonica, was at first believed to be the one of Philip II. However, it was later proven that the tomb dates from around 317 BC, suggesting that it belonged to king Philip III Arrhidaeus, the son of Philip II and half-brother of Alexander the Great (Science 2000 April 21 288: 511-514).

Philip's son Alexander took the Macedonian army into Asia, destroyed the Persian Empire and conquered lands as far as India.  But a s soon as the news of Alexander's death in Babylon were known in Europe, the Greeks rebelled yet again and so begun the Lamian War .  The Macedonians were defeated and expelled from Greece, but the Macedonian commander Antipater returned with additional reinforcement of 10,000 veterans from Asia.  The Macedonian army marched into Greece, defeated the Greek army at Crannon in Thessaly and brought the war to an end. Greece will remain under Macedonian rule for the next one and a half century.  

In Asia the Macedonian commanders who served Alexander fought each other for power. Perdiccas  and Meleager were murdered, Antigonus rose to control most of Asia, but his growth of power brought the other Macedonian generals in coalition against him.  He was killed in battle and the Macedonian Empire split into four main kingdoms - the one of Seleucus (Asia), Ptolemy (Egypt), Lysimachus (Thrace), and Antipater's son Cassander (Macedonia, including Greece).

The rise of Rome put an end to Macedonian kingdoms. Macedonia and Greece were conquered in 167/145 BC, Seleucid Asia by 65 BC, and Cleopatra VII, the last Macedonian descendent of Ptolemy committed suicide in 30 BC, and Egypt was added to the Roman Empire. 

With the split of the Roman Empire into Western and Eastern (Byzantium), the Macedonians came to play a major role in Byzantium.  The period of rule of the Macedonian dynasty which ruled the Eastern Roman Empire from 867 to 1056 is known as the "Golgen Age" of the Empire .  The Eastern Roman Empire fell in the 15 th century and Macedonia, Greece, and the whole southern Balkans came under the rule of the Turkish Empire.

Greece gained its independence at the beginning of the 19 th century with the help of the Western European powers,while Macedonia which continued to be occupied by foreign powers,gained independence in 1991, but only over 37% of its historical ethnic territory . With the Balkan Wars of 1912/1913 Macedonia was occupied by the armies of its neighbors - 51% of it's territory came under, and still is under the rule of Greece, while the remaining 12% are still occupied by Bulgaria. Both Greece and Bulgaria had been condemned numerous times for the oppression of their large Macedonian minorities which they had stripped off basic human rights, ever since the partition of the country.  (Bibliography Ancient Greek and Roman Historians and Modern Historians).

Further Reading

Biographies of Philip's son, Alexander the Great, usually devote the first chapter to Philip and Macedon. A thorough and scholarly work is Ulrich Wilcken, Alexander the Great (1931 trans. 1932), and interesting and insightful is the study by Andrew Robert Burn, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Empire (1947 2d rev. ed. 1964). Richard Haywood, Ancient Greece and the Near East (1964), contains an excellent description of the rise of Macedon and of Philip's Greek world. See also The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 6: Macedon, 401-301 B.C. (1927), edited by J. B. Bury, S. A. Cook, and F. E. Adcock.

Watch the video: Diplomatic Genius of Philip of Macedon