hen Alexander III ascended

the Macedonian throne, he Philip "the Great"
inherited a wealthy kingdom with
hegemony over nearly all of Scenarios for Great Battles of Alexander
Greece, commanding the finest
military machine of the day. That By Stephen Jackson
nation was the creation of King
Philip II of Macedon, who in his
23-year reign took a weak and
impoverished kingdom and
elevated it to the status of a slain. Philip proclaimed himself Philip realized that Macedon
superpower. Had Philip not been Regent for Perdiccas' infant son, could not grow while paying a
assassinated on the eve of his but he was beset by several rival heavy tribute in addition to
long cherished invasion of Persia, claimants, an advancing Illyrian having most of highland
he might have conquered that army, threats of war from Athens Macedonia in Illyrian hands. As a
empire and gone down in history and raids from the Paeonian result, he led his fledgeling army
as Philip the Great. tribes to the North. against the Illyrian King who had
humbled Macedon three times in
*** Philip displayed a whirlwind of three decades.
activity in his first year, at the age
In geo-political terms, ancient of 22 or 23. He renewed tribute to THE ILLYRIAN EMPIRE
Macedon was similar to Scotland, Illyria and married Bardylis'
in that there was a lowland daughter, bringing about Illyrian Bardylis was a dynamic leader. As
Macedonia—which was mainly withdrawal from lowland chieftan of the the largest Illyrian
Greek oriented and "civilized"— Macedonia. He defeated the rival tribe, the Dardanoi, he united the
and a highland Macedonia, which claimants for the throne in Illyrian tribes under his kingship,
shared more with the tribal pitched battle or by assassination, calling his nation the Illyrian
peoples of the interior and was turned over the port of Empire. In 393 BC he defeated
considered barbarian country by Amphipolis to Athens in return Philip's father, Amyntas III, and
the Greeks. Prior to Philip II, the for peace, and drove back the occupied most of Macedonia.
Macedonian army was composed Paeonians with a devastating Amyntas was later restored to his
of the nobility as cavalry and series of cavalry raids on their throne with the assistance of
inexperienced peasant levies as homelands. Finally, he became Thessaly, but Illyria retained
infantry. This sufficed for the King of Macedon in his own right possession of some Macedonian
most part to defend the country by setting aside the infant territory and received annual
from other similar "civilized" Amyntas, who nontheless re- tribute from Macedon. Around
armies. The king ruled with the mained fiercely loyal to Philip 387 BC Bardylis led the Illyrians
consent of the nobility, who (and was eventually executed by south and conquered Epirus. He
weren't above removing a king Alexander). was in turn driven out by Sparta
who failed to ensure prosperity in 385 BC, but from his brief
for the nobles. Macedonian nobles During this year, he used only his tenure as Lord of Epirus he
had close ties with their brethren cavalry. The infantry were being gained appreciation of hoplite
in the Greek city states. In his trained in a new theory of war- tactics, and more importantly,
early life, Philip was sent to fare. Instead of relying on peasant thousands of sets of hoplite
Thebes as a hostage to ensure the levies, Philip created a standing armor, which he began training
good behavior of Macedon. He army. One problem with this was his tribesmen to use. Around 370
stayed at the house of the father the tremendous expense of the BC, Philip's uncle, King Ptolemy
of Epaminondas, where he was no hoplite panoply. Philip responded of Macedon attempted to throw
doubt in regular contact with that by fielding infantry with lighter off tribute once again. This
military genius who had grown armor, and weaponry with a resulted in another Macedonian
up there. longer reach. The Macedonian defeat at Bardylis' hands. Finally,
phalanx was born. Philip's war- there was the defeat in 359 BC
Philip's older brother Perdiccas III riors were armed with long which resulted in the death of
was king of Macedon in 359 BC. sarissas, possibly designed by Perdiccas and Philip's elevation
Perdiccas led the army against Philip himself. The new pikes to the throne.
Illyria to recover portions of were made of cornel wood and
highland Macedonia and to halt consisted of two pieces that fitted As Philip marched Northwest,
the payment of tribute to King together with a socket joint, over Bardylis moved to meet him. The
Bardylis of Illyria. In a battle which an iron sleeve was fitted to armies met on the Lyncestrian
along the Axios River, Perdiccas hold the pieces firmly together. Plain in the Erigon Valley. The
and 4,000 Macedonians were On the march, the sarissa was numbers on each side were equal,
carried disassembled. each side having about 10,000

000 Macedonian. the flank. and expanding punish the Phocians for offenses Onomarchus reversed and the army. Sensing weakness. where he sacked Boeotians to their south and coast and ports. Macedonian army broke and ran. Athens arrow struck him in the cheek.000 Macedonian and the Illyrian hoplites. Philip's superior cavalry could be This is precisely what decisive. valley with hidden stone-throw- killed. main force to refuse then withdrew before that flank. but last of which cost him his right politically the battle was a disas- eye during the seige when an In a series of maneuvers and ter. He knew he was hypaspists punched a hole and WAR outclassed in cavalry. Pydna and Methone. but earned Philip several cities in which the citizens the undying enmity of the orator fomented a civil war in Thessaly. who may the main army of have planned the 20. and defeated a hoping that the Phocian/Thessalian hypaspists and force under Phayllus cavalry could break and Lycophron. The The collapse of the Illyrians mercenary army by offering Macedonians pushed forward and caused most of Greece to take double the normal pay for the the phalanx came under heavy notice of the young King. the War armed phalanx held Archon of Phocis.infantry and 500 Philip of Macedon cavalry. saw an opportunity to cast himself as "The Bardylis deployed Champion of Apollo" with his hoplites in and intervene in the the center. the Theban domination. remnants. Philip regained control of feated by Thebes. their motive was to oppose Potidea. Thebes and the fire from the artillery concealed spent the next years consolidating Amphictyonic Council gleefully on the heights. the Phocians defeated the These actions gained Macedon a Chalcidice. the evict Athenian presence from the but did not get actively involved.000 imminent danger of being de. The at this point consisted Illyrian light cavalry of 20. He linked the center. the new sarissa. sent a force under Chares to the battles. In desperation ing artillery on the valley heights the Macedonian highlands. He de- followed by the Companions. forcing Bardylis to form Onomarchus was a clever and square. were massacred or sold into . Athens and charged. Rocks tore mas- the kingdom. marched north with Parmenion. He allied with the against the gods.000 infantry and battle. flanked by Sacred War. Light up with his brother troops held the Phayllus and his Macedonian left. He quickly took Amphipolis. He times. For the first (and last) Chalcidian League and moved to Sparta supported the Phocians time in Philip's reign. Philip's losses are unknown. the center. area. harassed the Thessalian and Macedonians while Theban infantry with the phalanx pinned 3. Temple precinct at Delphi and army advanced. The Companion cavalry attacked Demosthenes. He fought a somewhat behind the skirmish with Philip. Thessalian cavalry. the Phocians were in ployed his army in a crescent in a Illyrian army collapsed with 7. so he staged penetrated the square. quickly an ambush for Philip. plus they seized the treasures of the covering his flanks. Philip Thessaly in support of deployed on the right the "East Thessalians" with his striking arm. Onomarchus. In 353 BC the tribal warriors on he marched into either side. Philip's army happened. Onomarchus were able to raise a considerable feigned a withdrawal. The In 355 BC. At that point the THE THIRD SACRED effective general. securing the gold declared a "Sacred War" to sive holes in the phalanx as mines of Crenidas. As Philip's an Illyrian buffer zone. commanded 500 cavalry. Tyrant the Illyrian left while of Pherae.

Nearly the entire region rearguard he marched on The Phocians appointed Phayllus repudiated the Macedonian treaty Onomarchus. Philip more drowning as they attempted Over the next decade. with numerical superiority.000 with Athens. hoplites of Onomarchus' mixed Under the urging of Thessalians and several contin. Corinth and at Coronea. Macedonian superiority in cav. Philip the Boeotians were out of the war of Philip's allies. Athens repeatedly gents from the smaller cities and resilience.000 fought on behalf of Apollo against collapsed. with the wealth of their In 352 BC Philip again pushed laurel wreaths to signify that they temples exhausted. and contingents cultivation of a pro-Macedonian began to withdraw. at first in party in Athens. south and defeated the Boeotians Onomarchus fielded 20. Byzantium. Philip decked his army in Finally. Thessaly north through Thrace to before the Athenian fleet could tured.000 cavalry and the sacriligious Phocians. Onomarchus and FINAL YEARS Athens to defeat Philip with 6. and then with in- his army with those of Pherae and creasing panic. Philip conducted a lightning march on to swim to the Athenian triremes secured control of all Greece from the port of Pagasae and seized it offshore. army fought with surprising Demosthenes. 3. until the skillfully thwarted these attempts at this point. diplomacy and CROCUS FIELDS lines sagged. The Sacred War meantime. After that victory he . causing Philip to them with a vow to "return like a nearby where they could unload withdraw rather than storm the ram to butt all the harder. the Phocians south. while the Athenians their leader and withdrew south- and allied with Athens to end the were forced to watch the battle wards. infantry and less than a thousand Sparta all getting involved.000 hoplites marched south in 339 en route to and 500 cavalry.000 of his men were killed. infantry and 3. His army again had 20. holding off the tried to form an alliance against leagues of the North. through a mixture of bribery. Leaving a Chaeronea. cavalry.slavery. pursued by Philip. The Phocian military threats. The was a mixture of Macedonians." In the the troops). until he finally dock and unload 5. fortifications. Thebes and Macedonian phalanx and hoplites Macedonian expansion. alry began to tell. Chares terror. Thebes. Onomarchus moved wound down over several years.000 more were cap. Philip's remaining allies from their triremes anchored and the remnants fortified began to waiver but he reassured offshore (there being no beaches Thermopylae. Onomarchus planned to combine good order.

Thomas. Warry.marched to the Peloponnese. stabbed to death. N. Diodorus Siculus. Alexander of Macedon. John. Peter. Warfare in Antiquity. declared a pan-Hellenic Sparta). John. Delbriick.G. Hammond.L. One wonders what he might have accomplished had he not been struck down in his 46th year. James. His military campaigns Congress with the intent for a Shortly afterward. The Macedonian Empire. but For the first time since the inva. Green. Malcolm. Errington. and was more generous to the vanquished than his successor. History of Macedonia. Hans. Martin. SOURCES Ashley. Connolly. History of Greece. Wilkes. Greece and Rome at War. He also showed more diplomatic ability and patience. . Peter. The lllyrians. from peril and poverty to control would use. R. and Greece was united and ready to of all of Greece and nearby areas in the chambers of the Corinthian strike at the Empire in the East. Philip was are not as well documented. Warfare in the Classical World. Book XVI. (with the notable exception of League. reign. Ancient Greece. he had raised Macedon he built the army that Alexander sions of Darius and Xerxes. nor sacred war against the Persians. In his 23-year as dramatic as Alexander's.