Philip II of Macedon (382 BC – 21 October 336 BC)

Τhe three-time Olympian Philip II of Macedon
Only Greeks took part in the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece, so King Philip II took part as well, who became a three-time Olympian. In the 106th Olympiad, in 356 BC he ran with his horse. In the 107th Olympiad, in 352 BC he ran with his triplets. In the 108th Olympiad, in 348 BC, he won by a margin.

Philip, the third son of Amyntas III, king of the Argeadian Macedonians, and Eurydice, daughter of the king of Lygist Macedonians, was born in 382 BC.
His elder brother Alexander II, who had succeeded Amyntas, had fallen victim to murder. The other brother of Perdiccas III was dead along with 4,000 Macedonians after a devastating defeat by the Illyrians in the summer of 360 BC.
The kingdom of Macedonia was plunged into a crisis that threatened its very existence. Illyrians, Paeonians, Thracians, Athenians invaded the kingdom from all points of the horizon, either to take provinces from it, or under the pretext of installing someone who would not have been chosen by them on the throne.
The continuation of the story is known. Within the twenty-four years of Philip II's reign, Macedonia went from being a state on the periphery - if not on the fringes - of the Greek empire to becoming the greatest power not only of Greece, but also of South-Eastern Europe.
Bust, tentatively identified as Philip II of Macedonia, mid-4th century BC..

According to the Greek historian Theopompos of Chios (378/377 BC in Chios - 323 or 300 BC, possibly in Alexandria), Europe had never seen a man like King Philip of Macedonia, and he called the history of the middle of the fourth century BC. Philippine History.

Theopompos' main works are the Hellenic ("Hellenic History") and the Philippian ("History of King Philip"). The first publication told the history of Greece from the year 411, where Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War begins, to the year 394. (There is a similar book by Xenophon, with the same title and subject.) Only nineteen fragments survive , which are not enough to say more about the structure and extent of the twelve books of the Greeks.

Philip II of Macedon (382 BC - 336 BC) was a Greek king of the Kingdom of Macedonia from 359 BC. until his assassination by Pausanias, in 336 BC.

He was a member of the Argeadian dynasty of Macedonian kings, third son of King Amyntas III of Macedonia and father of Alexander the Great and Philip III. The rise of Macedonia, its conquest and the political consolidation of most of Classical Greece during the reign of Philip II was achieved in part by reforming the Macedonian army, establishing the famous Macedonian phalanx which proved crucial in securing victories on the battlefield, the extensive use of siege engines and the use of effective diplomacy and marriage alliances.
Statue of Philip II, 350-400 AD. Trier Rhine State Museum.

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 confederation of Greek states known as the Congress of Corinth, headed by himself and aiming to invade the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. However, his assassination by a royal bodyguard, Pausanias of Orestes, led to the immediate succession of his son Alexander, who would invade the Persian Empire in his father's place..
Of Philip's predecessors, undoubtedly the most important was Archelaus (413-399 BC), a successful king who carried out important economic and military reforms and tried to organize a relatively strong central administration and raise the cultural level of the court. Archelaus was succeeded by more than 10 kings within a thirty-year period. Under Alexander II (369-368) the Thebans demanded to be surrendered to them as hostages
50 Macedonian children of nobles. Among them was the king's younger brother, the later Macedonian king Philip II, who stayed in Thebes for 3 years and learned a lot from their military practices. Alexander II was succeeded by Perdiccas III, who ruled the Macedonian kingdom with relative stability until 360/359 BC, when he was killed along with 4,000 Macedonians
fighting against the Illyrians. The heir Amyntas was a minor and so his uncle Philip was to ascend the throne (Worthington 2011: 44-45, Turner 2012: 21).

Philip, after first executing his half-brother Archelaus, was then proclaimed king by the Macedonian army, and finally never killed his young nephew and son of Perdiccas, Amyntas, who lived a quiet life at the Macedonian court and eventually married a daughter of Philip. His calm personality probably played a role in this, which Philip certainly appreciated. The proclamation of Philip as king and not viceroy probably had something to do with the fact that he had already given some indication of his qualifications, those necessary to deal with an extremely dangerous situation for the Macedonian kingdom, with the prospect of an invasion against him from four sides:
1) from the Illyrians, who already occupied some northwestern parts of the kingdom,
2) the Paeons from the north,
3) the Thracians from the east, from the region of Strymonas, where their king Verisadis already hosted the claimant to the throne, Pausanias, and
4) the Athenians, who could attack the coastal regions of Macedonia, and who also harbored another claimant, the Argaeus.
Of decisive importance to Philip was to gain time. "Gaining time is a primary function of diplomacy, and diplomacy was destined to become Philip's favorite field of action" (Hammond & Griffith 1995: 243, 244).
So Philip began by bribing the Paeonian and Thracian kings. As Diodorus 16.3.4 characteristically states "he sent ambassadors to the Paeonians, and corrupting some of them with gifts and others with brave promises, he made an agreement to keep the peace for the time being" Probably the negotiations were not only financial, since the
Philip may not have been able to immediately pay the 100 or 200 talents that would have persuaded them to change the politics of their states, but also policies. It seems that Philip's envoys made many big promises to the Paeonians and Thracians and finally convinced them not to act hostile towards the Macedonians (Hammond & Griffith 1995: 245, Turner 2012: 24). In particular, of the Paeonians, Diodorus writes that Philip "bribed some of them, persuaded others with promises to keep the peace" (16.3.4).

The early years
Before Basel
Philip II was born in 382 BC. in Pella, he was the third son of the king of Macedonia Amyntas III and Eurydice, daughter of Sirra (son-in-law of the king of Lyggistides Arrabeus I) and the most powerful and prominent Greek of his time. After the assassination of his older brother, Alexander II, Philip was sent as a hostage to Illyria by Ptolemy of Allorus.

After the defeat of the Macedonians by the Thebans led by Pelopidas in Thessaly, King Alexander II was forced to conclude a treaty and deliver 50 hostages to Thebes, including Philip. While in Thebes (368-365 BC), Philip received military and diplomatic training from Epaminondas, became the lover of Pelopidas, and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic supporter of the Sacred League of Thebes. When he finally returned to Macedonia, he became governor of the eastern provinces and married a Macedonian aristocrat, Philina. In 359 BC, Philip's other brother, King Perdiccas III, died in battle against the Illyrians. Before he left, Perdiccas had appointed Philip as regent for his infant son Amyntas IV, but Philip managed to take the kingdom for himself.

Philip's military skills and expansive vision for Macedonia brought him early success. He first had to correct the ills facing the kingdom in Macedonia. This was a difficult situation which had been greatly aggravated by the defeat of Macedonia by the Illyrians, a struggle in which King Perdiccas himself had died. The Paeonians and Thracians had plundered and invaded the eastern regions of Macedonia, while the Athenians had landed at Methoni on the coast with a detachment under Argaeus II.

Initial actions
With a series of fundamental reforms in the entire structure of his kingdom, he managed to dynamically enter the foreground of Greek affairs in the middle of the 4th century BC. After radically reorganizing his army, introducing among other things the sarissa, and devising new tactics for the hoplite phalanx. According to Arrian, he copied from the Thracians and adopted the triangular formation for Macedonian cavalry attacks. The reborn army then achieved its first victories, finally neutralizing the marauding raids of the Balkan peoples surrounding Macedonia, and launched lightning offensives against its northern, western, and eastern neighbors. He thus created a large state on the Aemos peninsula with relations of alliance, servitude or subjugation with the following peoples: Illyrians, Paeons, Triballos, Thracians, Getae, Scythians.

Using diplomacy, Philip pushed back the Paeonians and Thracians by promising to pay taxes and defeated 3,000 Athenian hoplites (359 BC). Momentarily freed from his rivals, he concentrated on strengthening his internal position and especially his army. Philip II made many notable contributions to the Macedonian army. Cavalry and infantry, which were the main source of the army's strength, roughly doubled from the time of the Illyrian battles to 334 BC. Discipline and training of the soldiers was also increased, and Macedonian soldiers under Philip were given the possibility of promotion through ranks and rewards and allowances for outstanding service. In addition to these changes, Philip created the Macedonian phalanx, an infantry formation consisting of soldiers all armed with a sarissa. Philip is credited with adding the sarissa to the Macedonian army, where it was soon the common weapon used by most soldiers.

The complete prevalence in southern Greece
Philip had married Audatis, great-granddaughter of the Illyrian king of Dardania, Bardyllis. However, this marriage did not prevent him from marching against the Illyrians in 358 BC. and to defeat them in a battle in which about 7,000 Illyrians were killed (357). With this move, Philip consolidated his power inland as far as Lake Achrid and won the favor of the Epirotes.

After securing the western and southern borders of Macedonia, Philip went on to besiege Amphipolis in 357 BC. The Athenians were unable to conquer Amphipolis, which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaeus, so Philip agreed with Athens to lease the city to them after its conquest, in exchange for Pydna (which Macedonia lost in 363 BC. ). However, after the conquest of Amphipolis, Philip captured Pydna on his behalf and held both cities (357 BC). Athens soon declared war on him, and as a result, Philip allied Macedonia with the Chalcidian League of Olynthos. He then conquered Potidea, this time keeping his word and ceding it to the League in 356 BC.
Το 357 π.Χ., ο Φίλιππος παντρεύτηκε την Ηπειρώτισσα πριγκίπισσα Ολυμπιάδα, η οποία ήταν κόρη του βασιλιά των Μολοσσών. Ο Αλέξανδρος γεννήθηκε το 356 π.Χ., την ίδια χρονιά που το άλογο κούρσας του Φιλίππου κέρδισε στους Ολυμπιακούς Αγώνες.

In 356 BC, Philip captured the city of Krenides and changed its name to Philippus. He then established a strong garrison there to control its mines, which yielded much of the gold he later used for his campaigns. Meanwhile, his general Parmenion defeated the Illyrians again.

Having increased his prestige by becoming a medalist at the 106th (356 BC), 107th (352 BC) and 108th (348 BC) Olympic Games in the equestrian events of the cele, the quadruped and the border respectively , from 346 BC he tried to convince the Greek city-states of the south with the power of diplomacy for a union and joint campaign against the Persians with the main ally until 338 BC. Thebes, but also with considerable rivals Athens and Sparta.

In 355–354 BC besieged Methoni, the last city in the Thermaic Gulf controlled by Athens. During the siege, Philip was wounded in his right eye, which was later surgically removed. Despite the arrival of two Athenian fleets, the city fell in 354 BC. Philip also attacked Abdira and Maroneia, on the Thracian coast (354–353 BC).

During the Third Holy War (355-352 BC) he clashed with the rising power of Phocis and the tyrant Pherae, and despite his initial setbacks he managed to defeat them at the Battle of Crocius Pedi in 352 BC ., achieving at the same time two other victories in the military and diplomatic fields: the submission of Thessaly to Macedonia (and thus the inclusion of the famous Thessalian cavalry in his army) and the acceptance of Macedonia as a member of the Amphictyonic Congress of Delphi, thus promoting Macedonia as a leading force of stability in Greek affairs.

Philip's involvement in the Third Holy War (356-346 BC) began in 354 BC. At the request of the Thessalian League, Philip and his army traveled to Thessaly to occupy the Pagases, thus making an alliance with Thebes. A year later, in 353 BC, Philip was once again called to help in battle, but this time against the tyrant Lycophron who was supported by Onomachus. Philip and his forces invaded Thessaly, defeating 7,000 Phocians and forcing Phaellus, Onomachus' brother, to flee.

In the same year, Onomarchus and his army defeated Philip in two successive battles. Philip returned to Thessaly the following summer, this time with an army of 20,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry and the additional support of the forces of the Thessalian League. At the Battle of Crocius Field, 6,000 Phocians fell and 3,000 were captured and later drowned. This battle gave Philip enormous prestige as well as the free annexation of the Pherae. He became the leader ( archon ) of the Thessalian Alliance and was able to claim Magnesia and Perraivia, which extended his territory to the Pagases. Philip did not attempt to advance into Central Greece because the Athenians, unable to arrive in time to defend the Pagases, had taken Thermopylae.

There were no hostilities with Athens yet, but Athens was threatened by the Macedonians. From 352 to 346 BC, Philip did not travel south again. He was active in completing the subjugation of the Balkan mountain country to the west and north and in reducing the Greek cities of the coast as far as the Evros. To the chief of these coastal cities, Olynthos, Philip continued to profess friendship until the neighboring cities were in his hands.

In 348 BC, Philip began the siege of Olynthos, which, in addition to its strategic location, housed his half-brothers, Arridaeus and Menelaus, claimants to the Macedonian throne. Olynthos was initially allied with Philip, but later shifted its allegiance to Athens. But the latter did nothing to help the city because its campaigns were interrupted by a rebellion in Evia. The Macedonian king took Olynthos in 348 BC. and leveled the city. Other cities of the Halkidiki peninsula had the same fate, resulting in the dissolution of the Halkidiki Alliance.

Macedonia and its neighboring regions having now been safely united, Philip celebrated the Olympic Games at Dion. In 347 BC, Philip proceeded to conquer the eastern districts around the Evros and forced the submission of the Thracian prince Kersovleptos. In 346 BC, he intervened effectively in the war between Thebans and Phocaeans, but his wars with Athens continued intermittently. However, Athens had made overtures for peace, and when Philip moved south again, he swore peace to Thessaly.

With key Greek city-states subdued, Philip II turned to Sparta, warning them: “If I invade Laconia, I will drive you out. The laconic response of the Spartans was one-word: "If". Philip proceeded to invade Laconia, laid waste a great part of it, and expelled the Spartans from various places.

In 345 BC, Philip conducted a fierce campaign against the Ardians ( Ardiaioi ), under their king Pleuratus I, during which Philip was seriously wounded in the lower right leg by an Ardian soldier.

In 342 BC, Philip led a military campaign north against the Scythians, capturing the fortified Thracian settlement of Eumolpia to give it its name, Philippopolis (present-day Plovdiv).

In 340 BC, Philip began the siege of Perinthos and in 339 BC, another siege began against the city of Byzantium. As both sieges failed, Philip's influence in Greece was compromised. He successfully asserted his authority in the Aegean by defeating an alliance of Thebans and Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, and in the same year, he destroyed Amfissa because the inhabitants had illegally cultivated part of the Chrysaian plain that belonged to Delphi. These decisive victories led to Philip's recognition as the military leader of the Congress of Corinth, a Greek confederation allied against the Persian Empire, in 338/7 BC. The members of the conference agreed never to go to war with each other, unless it was to suppress some revolution.

But it was only in 338 BC, after the especially cruel battle of Chaeronea, that Philip managed to unite the Greeks. In this battle, Philip together with Alexander, who commanded a part of the army, faced the coalition of Athenians, Thebans and almost all the southern Greeks and defeated them.

Later, with the conference of Corinth, he united the Greeks politically, except for Sparta, which chose isolation and constant confrontation with the Macedonians, and neutral Crete.

Philip and Alexander the Great
Philip, having banished his first wife and mother of Alexander, Olympias, married a Macedonian princess, Cleopatra, niece of Attalus. At the wedding feast Attalus wishes the couple to quickly have a legitimate heir (implicitly calling Alexander an illegitimate one). Alexander pours his glass in Attalus' face and a terrible fight breaks out. Philip, drunk, draws his sword, but trips and falls. Alexander comments "look at the man who wants to cross to Asia and cannot cross a table".

Olympiada and Alexander flee to her father's house in Epirus. Alexander's flight spoils the plans of Philip, who cannot campaign without a regent. Alexander later returned and Philip resumed his plans, sending in June 336 BC. to the Hellespont Attalus and Parmenion with an army of 10,000, to prepare the campaign.

Campaigns against Persia
Philip II became involved quite early in struggles against the Achaemenid Empire. Around 352 BC, he supported several Persian opponents of Artaxerxes III, such as Artabazus II, Amminapis or a Persian noble named Archelaus, accepting them for several years as exiles at the Macedonian court. The reception of the exiles gave him a good knowledge of Persian affairs, and may even have influenced some of his innovations in the administration of the Macedonian state. Alexander also hung out with these Persian exiles in his youth.

In 336 BC, Philip II sent Parmenion, with Amyntas, Andromenes and Attalus, and an army of 10,000 men to Asia Minor to prepare for an invasion to liberate the Greeks living on the west coast and the islands from Achaemenid rule. At first everything went well. The Greek cities on the west coast of Asia Minor revolted until word arrived that Philip had been assassinated and succeeded as king by his young son Alexander. The Macedonians were demoralized by the death of Philip and were then defeated near Magnesia by the Achaemenids under the command of the mercenary Memnon of Rhodes.

Murder and Succession
He then organized the celebration of the marriage of Cleopatra's daughter with the Molossian king, Alexander I, in the theater of the Goats. According to Diodorus, in a show of strength, Philip made his entrance into the theater without his guard. But then he was murdered by one of his most trusted bodyguards, Pausanias. Pausanias was killed a few minutes later by his pursuers - Leonnatus together with Perdiccas -.

Alexander, with the support of Antipater, who was acting as regent, was proclaimed by the army as the new king. The reasons and moral perpetrators of the murder were not made known. But it seems that she had accomplices, which points the suspicion either to the Persians, who wanted to prevent the invasion of their state, or to Olympias, who felt humiliated, because Philip had divorced her for a younger woman and the niece of the general Attalus. But they could be some internal opponents of Philip in Macedonia and the rest of Greece.

The tomb of Philip II of Macedon at the Museum of Royal Tombs in Vergina

Philip's tomb
On November 8, 1977, the archaeologist Manolis Andronikos announced the discovery of the uncovered tomb (Tomb II, as it has been called by archaeologists) of Philip II in Vergina, Imathia, which was a major archaeological discovery worldwide. The finds from the tomb were later included in the "Looking for Alexander" exhibition that was held in four cities in the USA. from 1980 to 1982. The identification of the tomb has been disputed, often in America and Italy, since 1978 and by Greek archaeologists and continues to be disputed even today. From some archaeologists and historians, such as Professor Olga Palaggia, P. Lehmann, A.M. Prestianni Giallobardo, B. Tripodi, E.N. Borza, it was argued that the deceased of Tomb II is Philip III the Arridaeus who was murdered in 317 BC. The associate professor of archeology Panagiotis Faklaris argued, since 1994, that the tombs in Vergina are not royal, and ruled out the identification of Vergina with Aiges.
The golden larnax and golden burial crown of Philip

Miltiadis Hatzopoulos, summarized all the relevant scientific debate up to 2008, leaning in favor of Philip II's version, noting that the debate on the dating of the tomb was clouded by the pursuit of publicity, political agendas, personal differences and lack of common sense, which led some to a "series of dubious sub-chronologies".

After the disputes, the bones found in Tomb II were re-examined by British experts, which rejects the version of Philip III Arridaeus. Subsequent critical examination of the arguments by 2011 concluded that the tomb definitely does not belong to Philip III Arridaeus and that this view can be rejected by modern scholarship.

In March 2015, it was certified by a team of researchers that the body of Tomb I shows a hole in the knee bone. According to historical sources, in 339 BC, three years before the assassination of Philip, during a battle, he was wounded by a spear that pierced his leg. The bone is also ankylosed between the tibia and femur, indicating that the individual limped, as did Philip after his injury. All this shows, according to the research team, that Tomb I belongs to Philip II and the untouched Tomb II (which Andronikos had connected with Philip II) to Philip III Arridaeus