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Alexander’s Empire
Chapter 5, Section 4
Philip Builds Macedonian Power
• Macedonia
– Macedonia—Kingdom of mountain villages
north of Greece
– King Philip II—ruler, brilliant general; dreams
of controlling Greece
– Macedonians call themselves Greek; rest of
Greece does not
• Philip’s Army
– Philip creates well-trained professional army;
plans to invade Greece
Philip Builds Macedonian Power
• Conquest of Greece
– It was easy because “more than one Greek
city felt ambivalent about fighting back.”
(Bauer, p. 579)
– Some Greek cities invited Philip to invade
– Athens asked Sparta for help against
invasion, but Sparta declined
– At the Battle of Chaeronea one thousand
Athenians were killed.
– 338 B.C. Macedonians defeat Greece
Philip Builds Macedonian Power (cont.)
• After the Battle of Chaeronea, Philip changes his
strategy and treats Athens with great respect,
releasing Athenian prisoners of war.
• As a result the Athenians then “chose to pretend
that Philip was now a friend of Athens.” (Bauer,
p. 580)
• Philip makes a speech at Corinth suggesting
Greek submission to his kingship would be good
for Greece.
• The Corinthian League is formed, led by King
Philip, with the intent of attacking the Persians.
Murder of Philip
• Philip married again, for a fifth time, a
Macedonian woman.
• His son Alexander was legitimate, but half
• This marriage gave Attalus, one of Philip’s
generals, occasion to call into question the
legitimacy of a half-Greek prince inheriting
the Macedonian throne.
Murder of Philip (cont.)
• Greek historian Diodorus tells us that Philip was killed by
his ex-lover Pausonius (who was one of his guards)
because Philip rejected him.
• Some suspect, however, that Alexander was behind the
• The 2004 film Alexander directed by Oliver Stone puts
the lays the blame at the feet of Olympias, Alexander’s
mother so that her own son would become king and
there would be no full-blood Macedonian heir. The film
depicts Alexander was an innocent bystander.
• This occurs in 336 B.C.
• His son named king of Macedonia and becomes
Alexander the Great
Alexander Defeats Persia
• Alexander’s Early Life
– Tutored by Aristotle
– Inspired by the Iliad
– Military training
– Becomes king when 20 years old
– Destroys Thebes to curb rebellion
Alexander Defeats Persia
• Invasion of Persia
– 334 B.C. Alexander invades Persia with a
quick victory at Granicus River.
– Darius III, King of Persia, assembles an army
of 50,000-75,000 men.
– Alexander defeats Persians again, forces
King of Persia to flee.
Alexander Defeats Persia
• Conquering the Persian Empire
– Alexander marches into Egypt and is crowned
Pharaoh in 332 B.C.
– At Gaugamela in Mesopotamia, Alexander defeats
the Persians again.
– Alexander captures cities of Babylon, Susa, and
– Persepolis, the Persian capitol is burned to the
– Ashes of Persepolis signal total destruction of the
Persian Empire
Alexander’s Other Conquests
• Alexander in India
– Alexander fights his way across the deserts of
Central Asia to India
– Alexander conquers Indus Valley area in 326
– Reluctantly returns to Babylon and dies in 323
Alexander’s Legacy
• Alexander melds Greek and Persian
• He takes a Persian wife.
• Empire becomes three kingdoms
– Macedonia, Greek city-states
– Egypt
– Old Persia, also known as the Seleucid