Philip II of Macedon - historical debates concerning the life of KingPhilip of Macedon

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Born in 382 BC, Philip II was one of the most significant figures in Macedonian history. While he is most commonly recognized as the father of the renowned Alexander the Great, Philip also deserves recognition as the man responsible for the unification of a divided Macedon and creator of the most innovative and effective military structure the ancient world had ever seen.

The son of Amyntas III, Philip was taken hostage in Thebes at the age of fifteen, and over the next three years learnt much from the Thebans in regard to military structure and warfare, information which served him well over the length of his career. Upon the death of his brother Perdiccas III, Philip claimed the throne of Macedon and through a mixture of bribery and battle skill eliminated other pretenders to the throne who had gained Athenian and Thracian support. He went on to conduct a wildly successful series of military campaigns to reclaim and then expand the kingdom of Macedon which set the scene for the later conquests of his son Alexander.

An aspect of Philip's life that divided ancient historians and continues to divide modern historians is the question of his true personality, put simply, what Philip was really like as a person. It is undeniable that he made a significant contribution to the country as he reformed the military, brought greater civilisation to the citizens of Macedon and repelled the advances of the surrounding countries who wished to claim Macedon as their own land. One of Philip's greatest achievements was bringing together the divided tribes of Macedon into one unified nation. He ensured his nation prospered by encouraging the development of agricultural practices and creating the opportunity for trade, in addition to the introduction of a more masterful fleet then what Macedon had...