By Ian Worthington

Alexander the good, arguably the main intriguing determine from antiquity, waged battle as a Homeric hero and lived as one, conquering local peoples and territories on a superhuman scale. From the time he invaded Asia in 334 to his loss of life in 323, he improved the Macedonian empire from Greece within the west to Asia Minor, the Levant, Egypt, imperative Asia and "India" (Pakistan and Kashmir) within the east. even if many different kings and generals cast empires, Alexander produced one who was once with out parallel, no matter if it used to be short-lived.

And but, Alexander couldn't have accomplished what he did with out the accomplishments of his father, Philip II (r. 359-336). It used to be Philip who really replaced the process Macedonian historical past, remodeling a susceptible, disunited, and economically backward state right into a army powerhouse. A warrior king par excellence, Philip left Alexander with the best military within the Greek international, a centralized monarchy, monetary prosperity, and a plan to invade Asia.

For the 1st time, by means of the Spear bargains an exciting army narrative of the reigns of those larger-than-life figures in a single quantity. Ian Worthington offers complete breadth to the careers of pop and son, displaying how Philip used to be the architect of the Macedonian empire, which reached its zenith lower than Alexander, purely to crumble upon his demise. via the Spear additionally explores the influence of Greek tradition within the East, as Macedonian armies grew to become avatars of social and cultural swap in lands a long way faraway from the normal sphere of Greek impression. moreover, the ebook discusses the issues Alexander confronted in facing a various topic inhabitants and the innovations he took to what could be known as country construction, all of which make clear modern occasions in culturally numerous areas of the realm. the result's a gripping and extraordinary account of the function those kings performed in making a great empire and the iconic legacy they left in the back of.

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Additional resources for By the Spear: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire

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2 The contemporary speeches of the Athenian politicians Aeschines and Demosthenes provide substantial information about Philip and his aims, although they are biased and have to be read with a large pinch of salt. PHILIP’S BIRTH AND YOUTH Philip was born in either 383 or 382 and was the son of King Amyntas III and his wife Eurydice, a princess most likely from Lyncestis in Upper Macedonia (Map 2). He had two older brothers—who reigned as Alexander II (­369–368) and Perdiccas III (­368–359)—and a sister.

The Trustees of the British Museum/ Art Resource, New York. Figure 7 Portrait of Philip on a gold medallion. Alfredo Dagli Orti/The Art Archive at Art Resource, New York. 26 Philip II and the Rise of Macedonia Figure 8 Ivory head of Philip from Tomb II, Vergina. Gianni Dagli Orti/The Art Archive at Art Resource, New York. Philip would have had a typical Macedonian upbringing, with its emphasis on physical activities, fighting, riding, and hunting. He would have attended symposia and heard the stories that were raucously told there— including those about Macedonia’s enemies.

44 Principal among these were the tribes to the northwest (in the western Balkan Peninsula), collectively called the Illyrians,45 and the Paeonians in the Axius Valley to the north, whose lands bordered on northern Lyncestis. During his reign Archelaus (­413–399) had striven to unite Upper and Lower Macedonia as well as relocated the capital to Pella as part of a series of wide-sweeping military and economic reforms. After his death five kings assumed the throne in just six years and just as quickly lost it, contributing to dynastic upheavals and anarchy over the next three decades that undid all of Archelaus’s achievements.

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