Philip II of Macedon (Greek: Φίλιππος Β΄ ὁ Μακεδών; 382–336 BC) was the king (basileus) of the kingdom of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was a member of the Argead dynasty of Macedonian kings, the third son of King Amyntas III of Macedon, and father of Alexander the Great and Philip III. The rise of Macedon, its conquest and political consolidation of most of Classical Greece during the reign of Philip II was achieved in part by his reformation of the Ancient Macedonian army, establishing the Macedonian phalanx that proved critical in securing victories on the battlefield. After defeating the Greek city-states of Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, Philip II led the effort to establish a federation of Greek states known as the League of Corinth, with him as the elected hegemon and commander-in-chief of Greece for a planned invasion of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. However, his assassination by a royal bodyguard, Pausanias of Orestis, led to the immediate succession of his son Alexander, who would go on to invade the Achaemenid Empire in his father's stead.
|Basileus of Macedon|
|Successor||Alexander the Great|
|Hegemon of Hellenic League|
|Successor||Alexander the Great|
|Strategos Autokrator of Greece against Achaemenid Empire|
|Successor||Alexander the Great|
|Died||October 336 BC (aged 46)|
|Religion||Ancient Greek religion|
Philip was the youngest son of the king Amyntas III and Eurydice I. In his youth, Philip was held as a hostage in Illyria under Bardylis and then was held in Thebes (c. 368–365 BC), which was then the leading city of Greece. 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 succeeded in taking 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 remedy a predicament 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 Macedonia, while the Athenians had landed, at Methoni on the coast, a contingent under a Macedonian pretender called Argeus.
Using diplomacy, Philip pushed back the 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 the Illyrians 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 earned the favour of the Epirotes.
The Athenians had been unable to conquer Amphipolis, which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaion. So Philip reached an agreement with Athens to lease the city to them after its conquest, in exchange for Pydna (lost by Macedon in 363). However, after conquering Amphipolis, Philip kept both cities (357). As Athens had declared war against him, he allied Macedon with the Chalkidian League of Olynthus. He subsequently conquered Potidaea, this time keeping his word and ceding it to the League in 356.
During 356 BC, Philip conquered the town of Crenides and changed its name to Philippi. He then established a powerful garrison there to control its mines, which yielded much of the gold he later used for his campaigns. In the meantime, his general Parmenion defeated the Illyrians again.
In 355–354 he besieged Methone, the last city on the Thermaic Gulf controlled by Athens. During the siege, Philip was injured in his right eye, which was later removed surgically. Despite the arrival of two Athenian fleets, the city fell in 354. Philip also attacked Abdera and Maronea, on the Thracian coast (354–353).
Philip was involved in the Third Sacred War which had begun in Greece in 356. In summer 353 he invaded Thessaly, defeating 7,000 Phocians under the brother of Onomarchus. The latter however defeated Philip in the two succeeding battles. Philip returned to Thessaly the next summer, this time with an army of 20,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry including all Thessalian troops. In the Battle of Crocus Field 6,000 Phocians fell, while 3,000 were taken as prisoners and later drowned.
This battle earned Philip immense prestige, as well as the free acquisition of Pherae. Philip was also tagus of Thessaly, and he claimed as his own Magnesia, with the important harbour of Pagasae. Philip did not attempt to advance into Central Greece because the Athenians, unable to arrive in time to defend Pagasae, had occupied Thermopylae.
There were no hostilities with Athens yet, but Athens was threatened by the Macedonian party which Philip's gold created in Euboea. From 352 to 346 BC, Philip did not again travel south. He was active in completing the subjugation of the Balkan hill-country to the west and north, and in reducing the Greek cities of the coast as far as the Hebrus. To the chief of these coastal cities, Olynthus, Philip continued to profess friendship until its neighbouring cities were in his hands.
In 349 BC, Philip started the siege of Olynthus, which, apart from its strategic position, housed his relatives Arrhidaeus and Menelaus, pretenders to the Macedonian throne. Olynthus had at first allied itself with Philip, but later shifted its allegiance to Athens. The latter, however, did nothing to help the city, its expeditions held back by a revolt in Euboea (probably paid for by Philip's gold). The Macedonian king finally took Olynthus in 348 BC and razed the city to the ground. The same fate was inflicted on other cities of the Chalcidian peninsula.
Macedon and the regions adjoining it having now been securely consolidated, Philip celebrated his Olympic Games at Dium. In 347 BC, Philip advanced to the conquest of the eastern districts about Hebrus, and compelled the submission of the Thracian prince Cersobleptes. In 346 BC, he intervened effectively in the war between Thebes and the Phocians, but his wars with Athens continued intermittently. However, Athens had made overtures for peace, and when Philip again moved south, peace was sworn in Thessaly.
With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip II turned to Sparta; he sent them a message: "If I win this war, you will be slaves forever." In another version, he warned: "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." According to both accounts, the Spartans' laconic reply was one word: "If." Philip II and Alexander both chose to leave Sparta alone. Later, Macedonian arms were carried across Epirus to the Adriatic Sea.
In 345 BC, Philip conducted a hard-fought campaign against the Ardiaioi (Ardiaei), under their king Pleuratus I, during which Philip was seriously wounded in the lower right leg by an Ardian soldier.
In 340 BC, Philip started the siege of Perinthus. Philip began another siege in 339 of the city of Byzantium. After unsuccessful sieges of both cities, Philip's influence all over Greece was compromised. However, he successfully reasserted his authority in the Aegean by defeating an alliance of Thebans and Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, while in the same year, Philip destroyed Amfissa because the residents had illegally cultivated part of the Crisaian plain which belonged to Delphi.
In 336 BC, Philip and Alexander the Great were honored with numerous decrees passed by the Assembly Presidents proposed by Athenian Philippides of Paiania for their triumph at Chaeronea. Philippides also succored Philip's campaign in Eleuthera, Tenegra and Thebes.
It was these decisive victories that finally secured Philip’s position, with the majority of Greece under Macedonian sovereignty.
Philip created and led the League of Corinth in 337 BC. Members of the League agreed never to wage war against each other, unless it was to suppress revolution. Philip was elected as leader (hegemon) of the army of invasion against the Persian Empire.
Philip II was involved quite early against the Achaemenid Empire. From around 352 BC, he supported several Persian opponents to Artaxerxes III, such as Artabazos II, Amminapes or a Persian nobleman named Sisines, by receiving them for several years as exiles at the Macedonian court. This gave him a good knowledge of Persian issues, and may even have influenced some of his innovations in the management of the Macedonian state. The future Alexander the Great, son of Philip, was also acquainted with these Persian exiles during his youth.
In 336 BC, Philip II sent Parmenion, with Amyntas, Andromenes and Attalus, and an army of 10,000 men into Asia Minor to make preparations for an invasion to free the Greeks living on the western coast and islands from Achaemenid rule. At first, all went well. The Greek cities on the western coast of Anatolia revolted until the news arrived that Philip had been murdered and had been succeeded by his young son Alexander. The Macedonians were demoralized by Philip's death and were subsequently defeated near Magnesia by the Achaemenids under the command of the mercenary Memnon of Rhodes. In 336 BC, with the Persian venture in its earliest stages, Philip was assassinated, and was succeeded as king by his son Alexander III, the soon-to-be conqueror of Persia.
Philip was murdered in October 336 BC, at Aegae, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedon. The court had gathered there for the celebration of the marriage between Alexander I of Epirus and Cleopatra of Macedon, who was Philip's daughter by his fourth wife Olympias. While the king was entering unprotected into the town's theatre (highlighting his approachability to the Greek diplomats present), he was killed by Pausanias of Orestis, one of his seven bodyguards. The assassin immediately tried to escape and reach his associates who were waiting for him with horses at the entrance to Aegae. He was pursued by three of Philip's bodyguards, tripped on a vine, and died by their hands.
The reasons for the assassination are difficult to expound fully: There was already controversy among ancient historians, and the only contemporary account in our possession is that of Aristotle, who states rather tersely that Philip was killed because Pausanias had been offended by the followers of Attalus, uncle of Philip's wife Cleopatra (renamed Eurydice upon marriage).
Fifty years later, the historian Cleitarchus expanded and embellished the story. Centuries later, this version was to be narrated by Diodorus Siculus and all the historians who used Cleitarchus. According to the sixteenth book of Diodorus' history, Pausanias of Orestis had been a lover of Philip, but became jealous when Philip turned his attention to a younger man, also called Pausanias. The elder Pausanias' taunting of the new lover caused the younger Pausanias to throw away his life in battle, which turned his friend Attalus against the elder Pausanias. Attalus took his revenge by getting Pausanias of Orestis drunk at a public dinner and then raping him.
When Pausanias complained to Philip, the king felt unable to chastise Attalus, as he was about to send him to Asia with Parmenion, to establish a bridgehead for his planned invasion. Philip also was recently married to Attalus' niece, Cleopatra Eurydice. Rather than offend Attalus, Philip tried to mollify Pausanias by elevating him within his personal bodyguard. Pausanias' desire for revenge seems to have turned towards the man who had failed to avenge his damaged honour, so he planned to kill Philip. Some time after the alleged rape, while Attalus was away in Asia fighting the Persians, he put his plan in action.
Other historians (e.g., Justin 9.7) suggested that Alexander and / or his mother Olympias were at least privy to the intrigue, if not themselves instigators. The latter seems to have been anything but discreet in manifesting her gratitude to Pausanias, according to Justin's report: He writes that the same night of her return from exile, she placed a crown on the assassin's corpse, and later erected a tumulus over his grave and ordering annual sacrifices to the memory of Pausanias.
Many modern historians have observed that all the accounts are improbable: In the case of Pausanias, the stated motive of the crime hardly seems adequate. On the other hand, the implication of Alexander and Olympias seems specious – to act as they did would have required brazen effrontery in the face of a military personally loyal to Philip. What seems to be recorded are the natural suspicions that fell on the chief beneficiaries of the assassination, however their actions in response to the murder cannot prove their guilt in the crime itself – regardless of how sympathetic they might have seemed afterward.
Whatever the actual background to the assassination, it may have had an enormous effect on later world history, far beyond what any conspirators could have predicted. As asserted by some modern historians, had the older and more settled Philip been the one in charge of the war against Persia, he might have rested content with relatively moderate conquests, e.g., making Anatolia into a Macedonian province, and not pushed further into an overall conquest of Persia and further campaigns in India.
The dates of Philip's multiple marriages and the names of some of his wives are contested. Below is the order of marriages offered by Athenaeus, 13.557b–e:
In 1977, Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos started excavating the Great Tumulus at Aigai near modern Vergina, the capital and burial site of the kings of Macedon, and found that two of the four tombs in the tumulus were undisturbed since antiquity. Moreover, these two, and particularly Tomb II, contained fabulous treasures and objects of great quality and sophistication.
Although there was much debate for some years, as suspected at the time of the discovery Tomb II has been shown to be that of Philip II as indicated by many features, including the greaves, one of which was shaped consistently to fit a leg with a misaligned tibia (Philip II was recorded as having broken his tibia). Also, the remains of the skull show damage to the right eye caused by the penetration of an object (historically recorded to be an arrow).
A study of the bones published in 2015 indicates that Philip was buried in Tomb I, not Tomb II. On the basis of age, knee ankylosis and a hole matching the penetrating wound and lameness suffered by Philip, the authors of the study identified the remains of Tomb I in Vergina as those of Philip II. Tomb II instead was identified in the study as that of King Arrhidaeus and his wife Eurydice II. However this latter theory had previously been shown to be false.
More recent research gives further evidence that Tomb II contains the remains of Philip II.
The heroon at Vergina in Macedonia (the ancient city of Aegae – Αἰγαί) is thought to have been dedicated to the worship of the family of Alexander the Great and may have housed the cult statue of Philip. It is probable that he was regarded as a hero or deified on his death. Though the Macedonians did not consider Philip a god, he did receive other forms of recognition from the Greeks, e.g. at Eresos (altar to Zeus Philippeios), Ephesos (his statue was placed in the temple of Artemis), and at Olympia, where the Philippeion was built.
Isocrates once wrote to Philip that if he defeated Persia, there would be nothing left for him to do but to become a god, and Demades proposed that Philip be regarded as the thirteenth god; however, there is no clear evidence that Philip was raised to the divine status accorded his son Alexander.
Philip II of MacedonBorn: 382 BC Died: 336 BC
| King of Macedon
Alexander III the Great
Aeschines (; Greek: Αἰσχίνης, Aischínēs; 389–314 BC) was a Greek statesman and one of the ten Attic orators.Alexander I of Epirus
Alexander I of Epirus (Ancient Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος Α'; c. 371 BC "Alexander of Molossis". livius.org. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019. – 331 BC), also known as Alexander Molossus (Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μολοσσός), was a king of Epirus (343/2–331 BC) of the Aeacid dynasty. As the son of Neoptolemus I and brother of Olympias, Alexander I was an uncle of Alexander the Great. He was also an uncle of Pyrrhus of Epirus.Antigenes (general)
Antigenes (Ancient Greek: Ἀντιγένης; died 316 BC) was a general of Alexander the Great, who also served under Philip II of Macedon, and lost an eye at the siege of Perinthus (340 BC). After the death of Alexander in 323 he obtained the satrapy of Susiana. He was one of the commanders of the Argyraspides and, with his troops, took the side of Eumenes. On the defeat of Eumenes in 316, Antigenes fell into the hands of his enemy Antigonus, and was burnt alive by him.Argaeus II of Macedon
Argaeus II (Greek: Ἀργαῖος Βʹ ὁ Μακεδών) was a pretender to the Macedonian crown who, with the assistance of the Illyrians, expelled King Amyntas III from his dominions in 393 BC and kept possession of the throne for about a year. With the aid of the Thessalians, Amyntas III later succeeded in expelling Argaeus II and recovering a part of his kingdom.
It was probably the same Argaeus who 35 years later in 359 again appeared as a pretender to the throne. He had persuaded the Athenians to support his claim to the Macedonian throne, but Philip II, who had just succeeded to the regency of the kingdom, persuaded the Athenians to remain inactive.
With a force of mercenaries, some Macedonian exiles and a number of Athenian troops (who were permitted to join the Macedonians by their general, Manlias), Argaeus made an attempt to take Aegae, but was repulsed. On his retreat to Methone, he was intercepted by Philip and defeated. Argaeus was either killed in the battle or executed afterward.Ateas
Ateas (ca. 429 BC – 339 BC) was described in Greek and Roman sources as the most powerful king of Scythia, who lost his life and empire in the conflict with Philip II of Macedon in 339 BC. His name also occurs as Atheas, Ateia, Ataias, and Ateus.Attalus (general)
Attalus (Greek: Ἄτταλος; c. 390 BCE – 336 BCE) was an important courtier of Philip II of Macedonia.Caeria
Caeria was an Illyrian queen who reigned in the second part of the fourth century BC. Cynane, an Illyrian princess and daughter of Philip II of Macedon, engaged in battle with Caeria in 344/343 BC. Caeria was killed by Cynane's own hand, and with great slaughter, her army was also defeated.Cleopatra Eurydice of Macedon
Eurydice (Greek: Εὐρυδίκη), born Cleopatra (Greek: Κλεοπάτρα) was a mid-4th century BC Macedonian noblewoman, niece of Attalus, and last of the seven wives of Philip II of Macedon.Derveni papyrus
The Derveni papyrus is an ancient Macedonian papyrus roll that was found in 1962. It is a philosophical treatise that is an allegorical commentary on an Orphic poem, a theogony concerning the birth of the gods, produced in the circle of the philosopher Anaxagoras. It was composed near the end of the 5th century BC, and "in the fields of Greek religion, the sophistic movement, early philosophy, and the origins of literary criticism it is unquestionably the most important textual discovery of the 20th century." The roll itself dates to around 340 BC, during the reign of Philip II of Macedon, making it Europe's oldest surviving manuscript. While interim editions and translations were published over the subsequent years, the manuscript as a whole was finally published in 2006.Olympias
Olympias (Ancient Greek: Ὀλυμπιάς, pronounced [olympiás], c. 375–316 BC) was a daughter of king Neoptolemus I of Epirus, sister to Alexander I of Epirus, fourth wife of Philip II, the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, and mother of Alexander the Great. According to the 1st century AD biographer, Plutarch, she was a devout member of the orgiastic snake-worshiping cult of Dionysus, and he suggests that she slept with snakes in her bed.Parmenion
Parmenion (also Parmenio; Greek: Παρμενίων; c. 400 – Ecbatana, 330 BC) was an ancient Macedonian general in the service of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great. A nobleman, Parmenion rose to become Philip's chief military lieutenant and Alexander's Strategos (military general). He was assassinated after his son Philotas was convicted on a charge of treason.Pausanias of Orestis
Pausanias of Orestis (Ancient Greek: Παυσανίας ἐκ τῆς Ὀρεστίδος) was a member of Philip II of Macedon's personal bodyguard (somatophylakes). He assassinated Philip in 336 BCE, possibly at the instigation of Philip's wife Olympias, or even his son Alexander the Great. Pausanias was killed while fleeing the assassination.Phila of Elimeia
Phila (Greek: Φίλα τῆς Ἐλίμειας), sister of Derdas and Machatas of Elimeia, was the first or second wife of Philip II of Macedon.Philip II Statue
The Philip II Statue, officially The Founder of Heraclea Statue (name change to avoid conflict with Greece over history), is a large statue of the king Philip of Macedonia in the centre of the Macedonian city of Bitola, in Magnolia Square. Philip II was the founder of the ancient Macedonian city of Heraclea which was the forerunner of the present-day City of Bitola. The monument is 8.5 metres (27.9 feet) tall with Philip II perched on a horse. It is the work of sculptor Angel Korunovski. In the immediate vicinity of the memorial is a fountain which teams in the evening with synchronized music and light effects.
The whole complex of the monument and fountain covers an area of the 600 square meter town square of Magnolia.Philippeion
The Philippeion (Greek: Φιλιππεῖον) in the Altis of Olympia was an Ionic circular memorial in limestone and marble, a tholos, which contained chryselephantine (ivory and gold) statues of Philip's family; himself, Alexander the Great, Olympias, Amyntas III and Eurydice I. It was made by the Athenian sculptor Leochares in celebration of Philip's victory at the battle of Chaeronea (338 BC). It was the only structure inside the Altis dedicated to a human.
The temple consisted of an outer colonnade of Ionic order with 18 columns. Inside, it had nine engaged half-columns of the lavishly- designed Corinthian order. It had a diameter of 15 metres. The naos contains two windows, much like Hera II at Paestum. It had a carved marble roof which was decorated with a bronze poppy head on top. The importance of the chryselephantine material used is that it was also the material used for the statue of Zeus also at Olympus (Comparing the Macedonian royal family to the gods). The fact Alexander is represented here is also important, as Philip had seven wives so after his death there very well could have been claims to the throne by people other than Alexander. By putting Alexander in the statue it makes it clear who his successor should be. It is however disputed whether or not Philip constructed this monument or whether Alexander had it constructed later in which case the motives would be different.Social War (357–355 BC)
The Social War, also known as the War of the Allies, was fought from 357 BC to 355 BC between Athens with the Second Athenian League and the allied city-states of Chios, Rhodes, Cos and Byzantion.Tagus (title)
Tagus (Ancient Greek: τᾱγός, τάγης) was a Thessalian title for a leader or general, especially the military leader of the Thessalian League. When occasion required, a chief magistrate was elected under the name of Tagus, whose commands were obeyed by all the four districts of Thessaly (Phthiotis, Thessaliotis, Histiaeotis, Pelasgiotis). He is sometimes called king ("basileus", Herodotus, V.63), and sometimes "archon" (Dionysius. V.74). Accordingly, Pollux (I.128), in his list of military designations, classes together the Boeotarchs of the Thebans, the Kings of Sparta, the Polemarchs of the Athenians, (in reference to their original duties), and the Tagoi of the Thessalians. When Jason of Pherae was Tagus, he had an army of more than 8000 cavalry and not less than 20,000 hoplites. When Thessaly was not united under a Tagus, the subject towns possessed more independence. Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great exercised control over Thessaly as elected Tagoi. In later times some states called their ordinary magistrates "Tagoi".Theopompus
Theopompus (Greek: Θεόπομπος; c. 380 BC – c. 315 BC) was a Greek historian and rhetorician.Toše Proeski Arena
Toše Proeski National Arena (Macedonian: Национална арена "Тоше Проески") is a sports stadium in Skopje, North Macedonia. It is currently used mostly for football matches, but sometimes also for music concerts or athletics. It is the home stadium of FK Vardar and FK Rabotnički from Skopje, both of which compete in the Macedonian First League, as well as the home ground of the North Macedonia national football team on almost all occasions (the other venues rarely chosen being the Goce Delčev Stadium in Prilep, or SRC Biljanini Izvori in Ohrid). On 30 June 2015 the UEFA announced that the National Arena Toše Proeski will host in 2017 for the first time an UEFA Super Cup final. The stadium was previously known as the City Stadium Skopje (Macedonian: Градски стадион Скопје) until 2009 and Philip II National Arena (Macedonian: Национална арена "Филип Втори") until 2019, when was renamed in a honour of the Macedonian pop icon Toše Proeski.