Alexander the Great Begins Expansion of Macedonia (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: Following the assassination of his father, Alexander the Great was proclaimed king of Macedonia, setting the stage for his military campaigns that would extend from Egypt to India and create the foundation of a vast empire.
Summary of Event
Philip II, during his reign of more than twenty years, consolidated the Macedonian kingdom and achieved hegemony over the Greek city-states of Europe, thus making possible the famous exploits of his son, Alexander the Great. Philip’s success was due in part to his skillful diplomacy, but even more important was his reorganization of the army into an effective killing machine. Rather than amateurs, Philip’s soldiers were well-paid and well-trained professionals. Fighting in phalanx formations of eight to sixteen rows, they were armed with the sarisa, a 15-foot-long (4.5-meter-long) wooden spear with a metal tip. Philip supplemented the phalanx with many archers and a large cavalry. When these components worked together as intended, Philip’s army was almost invincible.
After defeating Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338, Philip was the recognized master of all Greece. The following year, to preserve peace, he established the League of Corinth, which included all the Greek states except Sparta. As president of the league’s council of representatives, Philip influenced the decisions of its representatives and had the...
(The entire section is 1550 words.)
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