Ancient Greek History

The Rise of the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia

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Alexander the GreatAlthough the Kingdom of Macedonia, which was located in the northern area of Ancient Greece, ended up being one of the most prominent and influential kingdoms in all of Ancient Greece, it wasn’t always this way. It began as a small city-state that sprung up in a world where the city-states of Athens and Sparta dominated. It was completely surrounded by other small city-states including Epirus, which was on its western border, Paeonia, which was at its northern border, Thrace, which was located to Macedonia’s east, and Thessaly, which was on its southern  border. However, over time, Macedonia become a large kingdom, particularly through Alexander the Great, who expanded Macedonia’s borders throughout the rest of Ancient Greece and into the Far East. Here’s more information about the Kingdom of Macedonia:

Rise of Macedonia and Phillip II

Although the kingdom was small and lacked influence in Ancient Greece during its early days, that all changed with the reign of King Phillip II, who ruled from 359 to 339 B.C. King Phillip II was the father of Alexander the Great and in many ways, Alexander continued the work that his father began. Phillip II sought to unite Ancient Greece and although he often used force, he did start to achieve his goal. History looks back at his reign in a controversial way because one the one hand, he did begin to unite Ancient Greece but on the other, he often did so by conquering the city-states and making them a part of the Kingdom of Macedon. His twenty year reign ended violently when he was assassinated by one of his body guards, Pausanias of Orestis.

Alexander the Great Conquers the Far East

When Phillip II was assassinated, his 20-year old son, Alexander, took the throne. Alexander III of Macedon, known as Alexander the Great by those who study him in history, was well prepared for his role as king. He was a student of Aristotle, the noted Ancient Greek philosopher. He also learned about military and battle strategy and often accompanied Phillip during his military campaigns. This proved to be excellent training for what was to come.

When he first took the throne, he eliminated any rivals to his throne and then set out to finish his father’s work by conquering the leftover kingdoms and city-states in Ancient Greece. After that, he moved on to expand Greece’s borders. First, he expanded Macedon’s territory into Asia Minor. After he conquered Asia Minor, he crossed into Cilicia and conquered Syria, Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia and then Persia. When Alexander was away from Macedon executing his military campaigns, he left one of his generals in charge.

Alexander spread the territory of Ancient Greece far into the East and also unified Ancient Greece. Although he often did this using military force, this was a prosperous and fairly peaceful time for the Ancient Greeks. They thrived under Alexander’s leadership. It is because of both Phillip II and Alexander the Great that the Kingdom of Macedon was allowed to thrive.

Sources:

Wikipedia – Macedonia (Ancient Kingdom)

Wikipedia – Phillip II of Macedon

Wikipedia – Alexander the Great

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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