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Philip II, 383-336

philip.jpg (6131 bytes)The father of Alexander the Great and king of Macedonia, Philip II was born at Pella, the youngest son of Amyntas II. The assassination of his eldest brother in 367 and the death in battle of his second in 359, left him guardian to his infant nephew Amyntas. After a few months, Philip made himself king. Within a year, Philip secured the safety of his kingdom -- henceforth his policy was to be aggressive. The Greek towns on the coast of Macedonia were the first objects of his attacks. In Thrace he captured Crenides and its goldmines that he used to pay his armies. Advancing into Thessaly he found Thermopylae heavily guarded by Athenians. He then moved against the Thracians, and captured all the towns of Chalcidice. He marched into Phocas, destroyed its cities and sent its inhabitants to inhabit Thrace. He next secured a foothold in the Peloponnese by standing by the Argives and Messenians against the Spartans. In 339 the Amphictyonic Council declared was against the Locrians of Amphissa, and in 338, appointed Philip commander of their forces. The Athenians reacted by forming a league with Thebes but their army was destroyed at Chaeronea in 338 and Greece was now in the hands of Philip. Philip prepared to invade the Persian Empire but was assassinated by Pausanias in 336 B.C.

[For more on Philip II and Alexander the Great, see the Great Home Page of Alexander.]

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