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Rise of Macedon

Rise of Macedon
Map Macedonia 336 BC-en.svg
The Kingdom of Macedon in 336 BC
Date 359–336 BC
Location Thrace, Illyria, Greece, Asia Minor
Result Macedonia expands to dominate Ancient Greece
Macedon various
Commanders and leaders
Philip II
Alexander the Great

The rise of Macedon, from a small kingdom at the periphery of classical Greek affairs to one which came to dominate the entire Hellenic world (and beyond), occurred in the span of just 25 years, between 359 and 336 BC. This ascendancy is largely attributable to the personality and policies of Philip II (r. 359–336 BC). This led to the eventual victory of Macedonia over a Greek coalition led by Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. In the aftermath the League of Corinth was established, which brought these former Greek adversaries and others into a formal alliance with Macedonia and elected Philip as strategos for a planned invasion of the Achaemenid Empire. However, Philip was assassinated before he could begin the campaign, a task that instead fell to his son and successor, Alexander the Great.

Intact and relatively detailed histories of Greece cover the period ca. 500–362 BC, in the form of Herodotus's The Histories, Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War, and Xenophon's Hellen. However, no extant history specifically covers the relevant period of Greek history (359–336 BC).

The main source for the period is Diodorus Siculus's Bibliotheca historica, written in the 1st century BC, which is therefore a secondary source. Diodorus devotes Book XVI to the period of Philip's reign, but the action is much compressed, and due to the scope of the work, this book also contains details of happenings during the same period elsewhere in the ancient world. Diodorus is often derided by modern historians for his style and inaccuracies, but he preserves many details of the ancient period found nowhere else. Diodorus worked primarily by epitomizing the works of other historians, omitting many details where they did not suit his purpose, which was to illustrate moral lessons from history; his account of the period therefore contains many gaps.

For further information on this topic, see Third Sacred War (section 'Chronology")


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