« PreviousContinue »
The Reign of Philip, from 359 as far as 352.
IN 359, on the death of his brother Perdiccas in 1 battle with the Illyrians, at a time of great national danger and difficulty, we find Philíp, the third son of king Amyntas and Eurydice, coming forward as the deliverer of Macedonia. When young he had been taken as a hostage, probably by Pelopidas, to Thebes, where he acquired a thorough Greek education and found opportunity to take lessons in the art of war from Epaminondas, the greatest general of the time and the inventor of a new method in tactics. At the same time, as Thebes was then the centre of Greek politics, he was enabled to gain a clear view of the disturbed condition of Greek affairs. After three years stay he returned to Macedonia. His brother Perdiccas gave him a small chieftaincy with a certain independency, on the advice of a pupil of Plato, Euphraeus' of Oreus, who had great influence with the court at Pella to the disgust of the war-loving philosophy-hating Macedonians. Here Philip had secured the nucleus of 1 Plato, Epist. v.
a military power, when on the death of Perdiccas in 359 he undertook the government, at first as regent for the son of Perdiccas, a minor, soon afterwards in view of the perilous circumstances of the time, at the 2 request of the Macedonians, in his own name. The Illyrians were masters of nearly the whole country; the Paeonians were invading it on the north, on the east the Thracians with Pausanias a candidate for the throne, on the south another pretender, Argaeus, whom the Athenians supported. Philip, though only twenty-three years old, shewed rare energy and acuteness in this crisis. He inspirited the Macedonians by his fiery eloquence, bought their retreat of the Thracians and Paeonians, and made known at Athens his readiness to give up all claims to Amphipolis and at the same time his earnest wish to enter into an alliance with Athens as his father Amyntas had done. Next he attacked and completely defeated Argaeus, sending back however to Athens all captive Athenian 3 combatants with all their belongings. Thus the desired peace with Athens was effected in 358, by which Philip recognized the town of Amphipolis as an Athenian possession3. He then overcame and subdued the Paeonians, and in a severe engagement inflicted such a defeat on the Illyrian chieftain Bardylis that the whole of Macedonia was liberated and 4 the country won eastward of Lake Lychnis. Meanwhile the Athenians had done nothing to take possession of the isolated Amphipolis, which Philip was now furiously assailing on every available pretext.
2 Diodorus, xvi. 2--4.
3 Dem. c. Aristocr. § 121.
He pressed the town so hard, that the inhabitants of their own accord offered submission through their envoys at Athens if the Athenians would save them from Macedonian bondage. The Athenians had just returned from their victorious campaign against the Thebans in Euboea and sent Chares with a mercenary force to the Hellespont: so that their support might be confidently expected. But the attempt to gain Athenian support was thwarted, when near its accomplishment, and at the same time an offer for negotiations at Athens made by the Olynthians, who had become interested in the matter, was rejected, in consequence of a deceitful letter from Philip, in which he promised, after occupying the town of Amphipolis, to hand it over to the Athenians. In fact the Athenian ambassadors, Antiphon and Charidemus, who were sent to Macedonia in 358, had made secret proposals to the king to the effect that he should assist the Athenians in the occupation of Amphipolis, in return for which service they promised him Pydna. This agreement, to which Philip consented, was discussed by the ambassadors on their return as a secret with the Boule only*, in order to escape the observation of the Pydnaeans. The Athenian people were inclined to 5 believe in the king's promises the more readily as all their attention and exertion was directed to the Social War then just breaking out. Amphipolis was assailed by blockade, Pydna by storm, and both, by treachery, fell into Philip's hands 357-356. He retained both towns and entered into an alliance with
4 Olynth. ii. 6.
5 Ol. i. 5. 9. 12.
the Olynthians, to whom he not only ceded Anthemus, for the possession of which Macedonia and Olynthus were contending, but also made a present of the Athenian possession Potidaea, the key of the peninsula Pallene, which he had taken in 356 after a long blockade. The Athenian colonists (kλnpovxor) were plundered of their property' and obliged to return home. So, without proclaiming the termination of the peace by open declaration of war, Philip had inflicted the most sensible losses on the Athenians. And though, with bitter resentment, they thought of revenge and punishment, yet all energetic opposition was hindered, partly by the great sacrifices required by the contemporary Social War, partly by the indisposition of the citizens to undertake personally the trouble and danger of a campaign: the only expedition (átóσroλos) of which we hear, that for the 6 relief of Potidaea, came too late. As long as Olynthus was at enmity with Athens and in alliance with Philip, the king could turn his arms eastward with his mind at ease as regarded the most imperilled side of his kingdom. From Amphipolis in 356 he brought `aid to the town Crenides among the gold-mines of Pangaeum, then besieged by the Thracians, and founded there, after subduing the whole district as far as the river Nestus, a new town Philippi, where mining was carried on with such energy that the yearly revenue amounted to more than 1000 talents. In vain did Demosthenes in his first political speech recommend energetic preparations against the real 7 de Halonn. 9. 10. 9 Ol. i. 9. Phil. i. 35.
6 Phil. ii. 20. Ol. i. 9.
enemy of Athens, king Philip 10; the attention of Athens was entirely directed to Persia, partly of her own accord, partly by artifice. Accordingly when
the chieftains of the Illyrians and Paeonians, with Cersobleptes of Thrace, were preparing for war in common, Philip attacked each separately and compelled their submission", and to ensure it, seems, later on, to have established strong fortresses in the Illyrian districts 12. Afterwards he escorted a Theban 7 army, on its way to Asia to help the rebel satrap Artabazus, along the Thracian coast, where he was compelled to halt by the Odrysian chieftain Amadocus who prepared for vigorous resistance: next, after losing a division of his troops in engagement with the Athenian Chares, while however by stratagem he saved his little fleet from the Athenian's attack, he captured on his return the Greek towns Abdera and Maronea13, and in the summer of 353 laid siege to Methone, the last town in alliance with Athens on the Macedonian coast. The town was occupied before the auxiliary expedition from Athens arrived".
The occupation of Methone opened the safe path 8 into Thessaly, to which Philip had already turned his attention, and whither he was now invited by the Aleuadae Simus and Eudicus of Larissa as an auxiliary against the tyrants of Pherae 15. The latter were supported by the Phocian Onomarchus, but, after two defeats in the latter part of the year 353, the Mace
10 de symmor. 11. 41. cf. de Rhod. lib. 6. 24. Phil. i. 42. 11 Ol. i. 13. Phil. i. 4. 35.
13 c. Aristocr. 183.
15 Ol. ii. 14.
12 Phil. i. 48.
14 Phil. i. 35. Ol. i. 9. 12.