Phillip II of Macedon
The year was 359 BC. Greece, though weary from constant internal struggling still had supreme power over the Hellenistic world. Persia, though it had suffered large setback in the Persian Wars more then a century before was still a menacing force. The Barbarian State of Macedon was led by warrior kings who aspired to be Greek, yet ruled over a feudal society that was as multicultural as any of its time. Good morning Miss Boeston and class. Today's seminar will conclusively prove to you the statement that "Philip II of Macedon was responsible for the rise to greatness of the Macedonian Empire in the Fourth Century BC" by examining several issues associated with Philip's rule.
Macedon was a weak power, with possible invaders from many points, no access to the Aegean Sea, due to a circle of Greek cities, and a general lack of development in respect to internal governing and external relations. Within the next 36 years the backward state of Macedon would grow into the greatest empire the world had ever seen, enriched with culture of the Greeks, the strength of the Persians and the tactical brilliance of the man the made it all possible, Philip II of Macedon.
Philip II of Macedon was born in 382 BC in the city of Pella, the son of King Amyntas II, but Philip would not ascend to the throne until after the death of his brother.
From the age of fifteen, Philip was a Macedonian hostage living in Thebes during the height of the Theban hegemony. He was a political hostage, and generally treated well. He was held only as an insurance against hostilities between Thebes and Macedon, and it was his three years living as a Greek that gave Philip an advantage as he established himself as the major power in the Greek world. Philip admired the Greek way of life. He began to think of himself more Greek then Macedonian. He became well integrated into the politics and military of Greece, learning Greek political tactics and military strategy. Philip, in effect, had learned to be a Greek general. He had also seen how weak Greece was becoming with its painstakingly slow democratic system and the general disunity that was becoming predominant after many years of internal quarreling. Also, his time in Thebes gave him a greater understanding of the geography of Greece. He learned the strongholds, and the weak cities of Greek society, and this would prove priceless in later expeditions.
When his brother died, he left his infant son, Amyntas as the heir to the throne. Philip was, therefore, made regent, and had control of Macedon. He succeeded to the throne in 359 BC in the traditional Macedonian custom -- a round of family assassinations. Macedon, at the time of Philip's ascension to the throne, was not a very highly regarded northern state whose power depended upon a warrior aristocracy. The kingship rested more on personal ascendancy then institutions. Philip disposed of the young heir and immediately began implementing his plans...