Who's Who Ancient Greece: Political and military leader

Philip II of Macedon / his rise and assassination

Phillip the 2nd of macedonFather of Alexander the Great, Philip lived from 382-336 BC, and reigned from the Macedonian capital of Pella from 359-336 BC.

The Athenians of that time had regarded the northern land of Macedon as a rather primitive, backwards place, inhabited by hill tribes who spoke a dialect of Greek. The Athenians felt the same way about those just kms to the north in Boeotia as well.

Two years before the end of his reign he defeated an army of Athenians and Thebans in the battle of Chaironeia. Philip was son of King Amyntas II and Eurydice. From the ages of 14 to 17 he was a hostage in Thebes, where he was educated in diplomacy and military arts by Epaminondas.

Upon his return to Macedonia, he took the throne, and achieved military victories, expanding his territory all the way to Lake Ohrid. In n 357 BC, he conquered the Athenian colony of Amphipolis, and hence took control of the gold mines in the mountain known as Pangeon in northeastmost Macedonia.

He married Olymbia, princess of Ipiros (the region to the west/southwest of Macedonia) in the same year. He conquered the town of Crenides in 356 BC, changing its name to Philippi (ie. naming if for himself), and attacked Abdira and Maronea on the coast of Thrace.

He son Alexander was born in 356 BC. In 354 BC he conquered the Athenian-ruled city of Methoni, losing an eye during the siege of that city. His attempt to move into Athenian territory was resisted at Thermopolae (352 BC), but he successfully took power in Thessaly, took and razed the city of Olynthus, and subdued Thrace and the Greek city states in the following years.

The battle of Chaironea (338 BC) marked hegemony over the Athenian city states, followed by Philip's creation of the League of Corinth (337 BC) which was united against the Persian Empire under Philip, but Phillip was assassinated at Aegae, ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedonia, by one of his bodyguards, and was succeeded by his son Alexander.