Philip II of Macedon - World History

Philip II of Macedon - World History
Posted on 30-12-2022

Philip II of Macedon ( 350 ) Philip II conquers Greece.

In the second half of the fourth century, the Chinese states were still locked in combat among themselves and against the barbarians. The barbarian threat aroused, especially in the border kingdoms, great patriotic sentiment. Large adobe walls were built to mark borders between the different kingdoms and, above all, facing the northern steppes.

The state of Qin continued to progress with Duke Xiao and his adviser Shang Yang, who in 350 divided the territory into 31 commanderies, headed by a director appointed by the central government. Through this centralized system, efficient agriculture and a strong army were promoted. On the contrary, crafts and trade were neglected. The feudal lords lost all their power. Vassalage was abolished and the penal code was modified, in such a way that the entire population had the same rights. The vassalage relationships were replaced by a system of collective responsibility that turned out to be very efficient. Its main rival was the state of Chu to the east, which had absorbed several small kingdoms.

In the east, the Sarmatians were occupying the region that was to be known as Sarmatia. It included the steppes north of the Black Sea to the Baltic. The Scythians retained the southern territories, but gradually they were being displaced or absorbed by the Sarmatians.

Athens declined. A feeling of disenchantment had gradually spread, culminating in the dissolution of the Athenian confederation five years earlier. During the many wars and disasters he had been through, only one thing had remained intact: the value of the drachma. The Athenian coin always kept the same equivalent value in silver. This made the bankers of Athens the most powerful in Greece. The population had moved to the cities and the fields were cultivated by slaves that the government rented to a few landowners. They were also used in silver mines. Social inequalities increased. Plato said that there were two Athens: the one of the rich and the one of the poor, one at war against the other.

The rich have become so antisocial that they would rather throw all their possessions into the sea than cede a part to the poor, who, for their part, have more hatred of other people's wealth than compassion for their own straits.

It is said that there was an aristocratic club whose members swore by oath to act against the community. Bankers encouraged trade, which grew a gold-hungry bourgeoisie. Faced with this situation, some individual reactions arose. One of the most famous was that of Diogenes. He was born in Sinope, a city in Asia Minor. His father had been a banker, but he was banished for counterfeiting currency. Diogenes became a disciple of Antisthenes and carried his ideas further. According to him, virtue is the sovereign good. Science, honors and riches are false goods that must be banished. The sage must free himself from desires and reduce his needs to a minimum. Plato called him "delusional Socrates" because he walked barefoot, slept in the porticoes of temples, and had a barrel as his only room. They say that one day he saw a child drink water with his hands from a fountain. Diogenes said: "This boy has taught me that I still have superfluous things",and immediately afterwards he dropped his bowl. He professed great contempt for humanity. On one occasion he appeared in broad daylight on the streets of Athens carrying a lighted lantern and saying: "I'm looking for a man." The Athenians made fun of him, but at the same time they respected and feared him. There is no doubt that Diogenes enjoyed scandalizing his fellow citizens. He maintained that man was an animal and that he should live as such, in harmony with nature. He did the needs of him in the streets. Once someone scolded him for masturbating in the street and he replied "I wish I could calm my hunger by rubbing my stomach." Perhaps for this reason, Antisthenes, Diogenes and their followers were called Cynics,which in Greek means something like "dogs". Another theory is that Antisthenes lived on a street called "White Dog", and he called himself "the real dog".

Around this time lived Theodore of Cyrene, called the Atheist, because in his book On the Gods he denied the existence of any divinity.

Philip II of Macedonia had set his sights on Olynthus, whose territory was the only part of Chalcidice not yet under Macedonian rule. Olynthus asked Athens for help and Demosthenes made three speeches in favor of his request being granted, but Athens merely sent Cares at the head of a few mercenaries. Philip II defeated without difficulty and in 348seized Olynthus. Athens sent ten ambassadors to ask for peace. Among them were Demosthenes and Aeschines. The king delayed the negotiations with various excuses until he had secured his rule over all Thrace. He finally signed a treaty with Athens ceding the Thracian Chersonese to him. On this date Rome and Carthage renewed an ancient trade agreement signed in the early years of the republic.

Plato died in 347 . He had spent his later years absorbed by his Academy. They say that a student invited him to be his best man, he accepted and participated in the banquet, then he retired to rest and the next morning he was found lifeless. All Athens accompanied him to the cemetery.

One of the students who mourned the teacher's death the most was Aristotle, who erected a monument to him. At that time he was close to forty years old. He had been born in Stagira, a city in Macedonia, and his father, Nicomacheus, had been in Pella the personal physician of Amyntas III, the father of Philip II. Nicomacheus introduced him to the study of medicine and anatomy, and then sent him to Athens, at the age of 17, where he spent some twenty years with Plato. It seems that he stood out as the smartest and most diligent of his students. He tried to become Plato's successor at the head of the Academy, but in the end the succession fell to Speusippus,teacher's nephew Outraged, he emigrated to the city of Atarmea, in Asia Minor, where his friend Hermias ruled, who had spent time at the Academy years before. There he married Pythia, the daughter of Hermias and wrote the dialogue On Philosophy, in which he expounds ideas that distance him from Plato's positions. At the same time he devoted himself to summarizing the work of the main Greek philosophers.

Other famous disciples of Plato were Eudoxus and Heraclides. Eudoxus was born in Knidos some sixty years ago. He made many contributions to geometry and astronomy. He was the first Greek to prove that the year does not have exactly 365 days, but 6 more hours. He realized that the observations of the planets contradicted the Platonic theory that they revolve around the Earth in circular orbits. Plato believed that the stars and planets were attached to constantly rotating spheres. Eudoxus refined the theory by assuming a total of 26 spheres, each of which rotates uniformly on an axis fixed to the next sphere, so that the combined motions of all of them fit the observations. However, Eudoxo's adjustment was not perfect and, a little later, a disciple of his,Calipo de Cízico, had to increase the number of spheres to a total of 34.

On the other hand, Heraclides, born in Heracleia Pontica (on the coast of Asia Minor in the Black Sea), who would have been about 43 years old at the time, had pointed out that it was not necessary to assume that the Earth remains motionless at the center of the universe while all the stars revolve around it, but the same effect would be produced if it were the Earth that rotated on itself. He is the first known man to conjecture the rotation of the Earth. Heraclides also observed that the movements of Mercury and Venus could be better explained by assuming that instead of revolving around the Earth they revolved around the Sun.

In 346 Philip II ended the Third Sacred War by allying with Thebes and expelling the Phocians from Delos. That year he presided over the Pythian games, established two centuries earlier on the occasion of the First Sacred War. Demosthenes continued to try to get Athens to declare war on Macedonia, but Philip II's supporters were gaining ground in the city. In 344 he delivered his Second Philippic.

Meanwhile Sicily was in chaos. Each city had its own tyrant and they all fought each other. Often some cities asked Carthage for help against others. Finally Carthage laid siege to Syracuse, which asked Corinth in 343 to send him a general capable of unifying the Greeks against the tyrants and against the Carthaginians. It was a lot to ask, but coincidentally the right man existed. His name was Timoleon and he was both a great fighter and a great idealist. His democratic convictions ran so deep that when his sister became tyrant of Corinth some twenty years ago, he himself approved his execution. His family, outraged, sent him into exile. He was now almost sixty years old, but he accepted the invitation from Syracuse and embarked a thousand men in ten ships, with which he sailed towards Reggio, a Greek city in southern Italy. There he met a Carthaginian fleet that demanded that he return to Greece. Timoleon asked to discuss the issue in the Reggio city council. There he delayed the discussion while his ships secretly put to sea. He himself slipped away at the last moment, and by the time the Carthaginians realized the ruse, it was too late. They tried to pursue him, but Timoleon reached Syracuse. There he accepted the surrender of Dionysius, who withdrew to Corinth.

Timoleon managed to become the center of Greek patriotism in Sicily, to the point that the Carthaginians decided to lift the siege of Syracuse for fear that the Greeks they had on their side would change sides. He gradually gained control of the entire island, and in each city he affirmed the anti-Carthaginian faction in power.

Aristotle's attempt to found an academy in Atarnea was frustrated, as he had to flee when the satrap Mentor took Hermias prisoner, had him executed, and seized the city. Aristotle made his way to Lesbos, where he spent time on the estates of another former fellow academy named Tírtamo, although he is better known by the name Aristotle gave him Theophrastus (the divine talker). Pythia died there, after giving birth to a daughter. Shortly after Philip II called him to Pella to be in charge of the education of his son Alexander, who at the time was thirteen years old. Together with Aristotle, he sent for Lysimachus to teach him literature and the Molossian prince Leonidas to train him as a soldier.

Shortly before, a kind of civil war had broken out in Italy between the Samnites of Samnium proper and those who had occupied Campania after the withdrawal of the Etruscans. The Samnites of Campania asked for help from Rome, which had become one of the great powers in the region. Rome signed an alliance with the city of Capua and declared war on the Samnites. Thus began the First Samnite War. After two years of fighting, in 341both parties agreed to peace without a final victory. Rome probably opted for peace realizing that the cities of Latium were not participating in the war as expected, and feared that they would end up rebelling against Roman supremacy.

That same year Philip II founded the city of Philippopolis some 100 miles north of the Aegean. No civilized army had reached this far north since Darius I conquered Thrace. That same year Demosthenes finally got the Greek cities of the Propontis to rise up against Philip II. Among them was Byzantium, and thanks to his Third Philippic Demosthenes managed to receive the support of Athens, which again put Athens and Macedonia at war. For the first time Philip II suffered a setback. After a long siege, he was forced to abandon Byzantium. This increased the prestige of Demosthenes.

Around this time the second Buddhist council was held, in the city of Vaisali. It condemned the relaxation of the rule of the monks of Vajji, and it was agreed that each monk could store a horn of salt, drink curdled milk after meals, and eat during the afternoon.

In 340 Artaxerxes III marched against Egypt again. A confrontation took place near the city of Pelusio, in the Delta. In reality it was very much a battle of Greeks against Greeks, since a good part of both armies was made up of mercenaries. The Persian side won and King Nectanebo II had to flee to Nubia. He was the last native king that Egypt had.

That same year the cities of Lazio revolted against Rome. Thus began the Latin War. Rome's ability to make peace in time with Samnium was confirmed. Her armies had already returned from the south and were ready to face the Latinos. In two pitched battles they defeated the bulk of the rebel forces. It is said that in one of them, the consul Publio Decio Mus (the mouse) deliberately had himself killed so that his men would have the favor of the gods. It is probable that the Romans fought more courageously knowing that Mars was with them, as well as that the enemies felt discouraged. After the battles, Rome set about settling scores with the cities of Lazio one by one.

in 339Carthage found itself in a position to face Timoleon in Sicily. He sent a large force to the island, and Timoleon had to meet him with a much smaller number of men. He quickly marched westward and was able to reach the edge of the Crimiso river valley, some 40 miles east of Lilibaeum. A thick fog arose, so that the Carthaginians did not see the Greeks above them as they began to cross the river. When the mist lifted, only a part of his army had crossed. The cavalry and elite troops were on the Greek side, but the bulk of the army was not. Timoleon immediately attacked and destroyed the most valuable but outnumbered part of the enemy army. When the rest of the army managed to cross the river, a storm arose, and the wind blew so that the rain hit the Carthaginians in the face. They were forced back into the flooded river, and when their ranks broke many drowned. Timoleon won a complete victory. After ascertaining that Sicily was free of danger, he relinquished all power to him and withdrew from public life. He died the following year. he gave up all his power and withdrew from public life. He died the following year. he gave up all his power and withdrew from public life. He died the following year.

Meanwhile it happened that Anfisa, a Phocian city, was cultivating some fields that had been declared cursed after the First Sacred War. The priests of Delphi denounced the fact and a Fourth Sacred War began. Philip II was called once more and his army encamped on the shores of the Gulf of Corinth. Demosthenes then achieved his greatest diplomatic victory. He managed to ally Thebes with Athens against Philip II. The confrontation occurred near the Boeotian city of Chaeronea, in 338. The Athenian troops scattered and fled in dishonour. Among them was Demosthenes himself. When they reproached him for fleeing from him, it is said that he responded with a phrase that has become famous: "Whoever fights and flees, lives to fight again." The Theban performance was more honorable. The Sacred Host has not been defeated since Epaminondas formed it, but there is a first time for everything. The Macedonian phalanx was able to defeat it, although the Thebans all died facing the enemy.

That year the Spartan king Archidamus III also died. Like his father's, he ended his days as a mercenary, this time in the service of the Tarentines, who had requested his aid against the native Italian tribes. He was succeeded by his he son Of him Agis III.

Filipo II occupied Thebes and treated it harshly. Instead, he left Athens intact. Perhaps he decided that it was the best thing to do, since, certainly, with it he achieved that the pro-Macedonian Athenians prevailed in the city. Next, it was the cities of the Peloponnese that accepted Macedonian domination. All except Sparta, which, despite the fact that it lacked any real power, clung to his pride and declared that it would not submit. Philip II sent a message saying: "If I enter Laconia, I will lay waste to Sparta."
King Agis III is said to have replied, "Yes." It is the most famous laconism in history.

For some reason, Philip II decided to leave Sparta alone. Perhaps he admired his response, or simply thought that destroying a defenseless Sparta could generate animosity in Greece. For the first time, all of mainland Greece (save for Sparta, nominally) was ruled by a single man.

By then Rome had already completely pacified Latium based on severe punishments. Since then Rome no longer appeared to be the head of a coalition. Lazio came to be considered Roman territory and its cities lost all form of self-government. They were governed by the laws of Rome and any disputes that arose had to be settled in Rome. On the other hand, any Latin could obtain Roman citizenship and all the rights that it entailed if he moved to Rome.

In the meantime, Artaxerxes III was assassinated and was succeeded by his son Arses, but, unlike his predecessors, he failed to deal with the disorders that inevitably followed the king's death, and the Empire fell into anarchy. This same year Isocrates died, and also Duke Xiao of Qin, in China.

In 337 Philip II summoned an assembly of Greek cities, which met in Corinth. War against Persia was voted on, and Philip II was elected commander-in-chief of the Greek army. An advance party of Macedonian troops was sent to Persia to prepare the attack.

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