Admin moved page How did Phillip II of Macedon change Ancient Greek history? to How did Phillip II of Macedon change Ancient Greek history
[[File: Philip II of Macedon.jpg|thumbnail|left|
300px|A modern statue of Phillip II]]
Alexander the Great is one of the most famous men in history. However, it is generally recognized that Alexander’s achievements would have been impossible without his father, Philip II of Macedon, who reigned from 359 to 336 B.C. He is not as well-known as his son, but he laid the foundations for the great Empire of Alexander. Phillip was a great soldier and statesman, and he transformed Macedonia and turned it into a well-run state. He also established a professional army that employed innovative military tactics. Phillip also established an Empire in the Northern Balkans, and most importantly, he subjugated the Greek City-States.
Phillip conquered Greece, and it was to remain under the influence of Macedonia, for almost two hundred years, until the Roman conquest. Phillip II changed the history of Ancient Greece and allowed the rise of his son Alexander the Great.
==Were Ancient Macedonians Greeks?==
The kingdom was never a significant player in Greece's politics and was conquered by Darius during the Second Persian Invasion. Many of Phillip II's critics claimed that the Macedonians were not really Greeks and implied that they were non-Greeks or ‘barbarians.’ <ref> Demosthenes. Philippics. 1 8</ref> The vast majority of scholars today believe that the Macedonians were Greeks. They had originated from North-East Greece and had expanded into the Modern Republic of Macedonia. Evidence of their ‘Greekness’ is that they worshiped the same Pantheon of Gods as those worshiped in Sparta and Athens<ref>. Worthington, Ian. Philip II of Macedonia (Yale: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 13</ref>
==Life of Phillip II ====[[File: Facade of Philip II tomb Vergina Greece.jpg |thumbnail| 300px|left|The tomb of Phillip II]] Phillipe was the son of Macedonia's King Amyntas III and his wife, Queen Eurydice. He was born in 383 BCE, and his elder brother became king after his father’s death.<ref> Lewis, D.M., <i>The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 6: The Fourth Century BC</i> (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,1994), p 37</ref> He was sent as a hostage to Thebes, which was briefly the supreme power in Greece, this was to secure the good behavior of his brother, the king. Later another brother who had become king was able to secure his release. King Peridiccas, Phillip’s brother, was killed in an invasion of his kingdom by a powerful Illyrian army. Phillip was appointed regent of his brother’s eldest son, crowned king of Macedonia upon his coming of age. Phillip, although not the king, was the most powerful man in the kingdom.
Phillip proved to be an excellent military leader and diplomat.<ref>Lewis, p. 39</ref> He first set about re-organizing the Macedonian military. Phillip soon turned the army into a formidable fighting force, and he used it at first to defend the kingdom, and then he used it to expand the territory of the kingdom.
Phillip II lost none of his vigor as he aged despite walking with a limp and blind in one eye. He dreamed of invading and conquering the Persian Empire and had pressurized the Greek City-States to join his proposed invasion army.<ref>Plutarch, <i>Life of Alexander</i>, 6</ref> However, he did not live long enough to invade Persia. During a procession, Phillip II was assassinated by a former friend and bodyguard. Some have claimed that the assassin of Phillip was motivated by a personal grievance. There have long been suspicions that the wife of Phillip II, had been behind the assassination. She was concerned that Phillip II would disinherit her son Alexander and that another of Phillip’s sons would be made his heir. Phillip II was only 46 when he was killed.<ref>Plutarch, <i>Life of Alexander</i>, 7</ref>
==Military Reforms====[[File: 512px-Filip II Macedonia.jpg|thumbnail| 300px|left|A bust of Phillip II]]
As a young man, Phillip was sent as a hostage to Thebes. It had the most powerful army in Greece, and the Theban army had defeated the once invincible Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra in 373 BCE. Phillip was a shrewd young man, and he spent his time in Thebes studying its army and especially the tactics of the renowned Theban commanders Epaminondas and Pelopidas. He also saw how a phalanx could be utilized to drive an enemy from the battlefield. In particular, he studied the famous ‘Theban wedge,’ which was a mass attack over the open ground by a phalanx at pace.
Phillip learned much from Thebes, but he also introduced his own tactics. He adapted the phalanx, and he made it more flexible. He appointed a commander to every phalanx and established a system for communications. The Macedonian King also adapted the equipment of his army. He abandoned the traditional spear and introduced a very long spear, up to twenty feet in length. It meant that the Macedonian phalanx could reach the enemy before they were within reach of their spears. He also equipped every soldier with a short sword that was ideal for close combat. The army that Phillip II developed was to help him establish an empire. This army allowed him to turn Macedonia from a second-rate power into a major Greek power. It was this army that allowed Alexander to conquer most of the known world<ref>Lewis. p 101</ref>.
Phillip was also a state builder. He built the city of Pella, and he made it his capital. It was the administrative and cultural center of the kingdom. Phillip used the vast revenues from Amphipolis's gold mines to expand his army and develop a bureaucracy. To secure his kingdom, he held the son of neighboring rulers as his hostages. He also held the sons of many of his nobles as hostages, which secured their loyalty and ensured that Phillip’s was obeyed in all his realm. During his reign, the nobles generally accepted his rule, and law and order were established for the first time in the kingdom's history. This stability and the expansion of the kingdom led to rapid economic growth. Later, when trying to quell a mutiny, Alexander reminded them how poor Macedonians had been before Phillip became king.<ref>Arian. <i>The campaigns of Alexander</i> 8. 5</ref> Phillip also encouraged urbanization in his kingdom.
To secure his own position, he established the Royal Pages, an elite unit that secured Phillip’s throne. Phillip’s also introduced fiscal reforms and developed tax—gathering facilities that would be later used by Alexander the Great to finance his campaigns. Perhaps Phillip II’s greatest innovation in Macedonia was that he transformed the notion of kingship in the kingdom. He was an autocrat and was an absolute ruler in his realm. He greatly expanded the power of the Macedonian king. Phillip II greatly weakened the power of the nobles and created a well-run, centralized state.<ref> Worthington, p. 113</ref>
Phillip not only build a strong and stable state, but he also built an empire. He expanded Macedonian territory and influence greatly. He conquered Thrace, Molossia, and Thessaly. This greatly expanded the resources of Macedonia and allowed Phillip to pay for his professional army. His great victory over the Greeks allowed him, in the words of Demosthenes, his great enemy, ‘to settle the destiny of Hellas.’<ref> Demosthenes, <i>Philippics</i>, 3.10</ref>. Phillip was so powerful that he could impose his own terms on Greece, except for the defiant Spartans. He forced the defeated city-states to enter into the League of Corinth. The League-bound the various city-states to Macedonia. They did not have an independent foreign policy, and they had to provide military support if requested by the Macedonian monarch.
Phillip II also imposed garrisons on key Greek cities. These garrisons ensured that the Greek city-states complied with the terms of the League of Corinth. Phillip created a system that ensured that Greece was subjugated to Macedonia and was not a threat. Phillip II was able to neutralize any threat from Greece for many decades. This allowed Alexander to concentrate on Persia's invasion without worrying about the obedience and loyalty of the Greek City-States. Greece's conquest effectively ended the autonomy of many Greek states and increasingly became cultural and economic backwaters. The Macedonian victory at the Battle of Chaeronea effectively ended the Greek city-states' age as independent powers and as the center of one of the most remarkable civilizations in western history.<ref>Lewis, p. 118</ref>
Phillip II was a remarkable ruler, and his son, Alexander the Great has eclipsed his achievements. He created a strong Macedonian state that was stable and prosperous for many decades. He created a professional army that was arguably the best in the known world and conquered an empire. The army and the state that Phillip II created changed the history of Macedonia and Greece. His successes and policies also laid the foundation for Greece's Macedonian domination that lasted almost two centuries. Phillip II's conquest of Greece marked the end of the Greek city-states era and the end of a great period of cultural achievement <ref>Lewis, p 119</ref>. He also laid the foundation for the Empire of Alexander the Great and the great Hellenistic monarchies. Phillip II changed the Greek World and paved the way for his more famous son to change World History.
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