Philip II, the 18th king of Macedon, counting from Caranus, born in 382 B. C, assassinated at AEgae in August, 336. The accounts of his early life are in many respects contradictory. He was the youngest son of Amyntas II. and Eurydice. He spent his early youth at Thebes, either as a hostage given up by Ptolemy, the Macedonian regent, to Pelopidas as security for the tranquillity of Macedonia, or to insure his own safety from his mother and her paramour, who might have sought to change the succession. Other reasons for his residence there are also given by historians. He remained at Thebes two or three years, a time which he seems to have well employed in acquiring higher military knowledge. When his brother Perdiccas had slain Ptolemy Alo-rites and had ascended the throne, he presented Philip, on the advice of Plato, with the government of a subordinate district. In 360 or 359 Perdiccas was slain in a battle with the Ulyrians, and left the government in a distracted state. Besides the infant son of Perdiccas, the legal heir to the throne, there were claiming it Philip's three half brothers, Archelaus, Arrhidseus, and Menelaus; Pausa-nias, aided by a Thracian prince; and Argseus, >assisted by the Athenians. Moreover, the country was threatened by incursions from the neighboring warlike tribes of Ulyrians, Thra-cians, and Pseonians. Philip at first took charge of the government for his nephew Amyntas, but shortly after, probably in 359, ascended the throne, and immediately took vigorous measures to relieve himself from his difficulties.
One of his half brothers he put to death; the other two saved themselves by flight. The Ulyrians were bought off with presents and promises. The Athenians he contrived to withdraw from the support of Argseus, by removing his garrison from Amphipolis and declaring it a free city; and when that leader returned from his unsuccessful march upon AEgse he was met at Methone by Philip and completely routed. He sent the Athenian prisoners home, and made a treaty of peace with Athens. He next subdued PsBonia, and reduced Illyria as far as Lake Lychnitis. In 358 he began the siege of Amphipolis; and when ambassadors from that city implored the aid of the Athenians, their efforts were counteracted by the Macedonian envoys, who promised that the place if taken should be given up to Athens. Amphipolis fell, and Philip thus secured a convenient maritime port, commanding the country east of the Strymon, and in particular the gold region near Mt. Pan-geeus. The Athenians he continued to deceive with the promise of surrendering the city into their hands; and when the Olynthians, who now began to dread his growing power, sent embassies to Athens proffering an alliance, his partisans succeeded in having their proposals rejected.
But while Athens was engaged in the social war, he suddenly formed an alliance with the Olynthians, and ceded to them An-themus and Potidsea, the latter of which he had reduced. He had previously captured Pydna for himself, and although the siege of these places lasted long enough for aid to arrive from Athens, none came. Extending his conquests east of the Strymon, he took possession of the mining country opposite Thasos, and enlarged the city of Crenides, changing its name to Philippi. In the summer of 356, not long after the taking of Potidaea, three messages reached Philip at once, informing him of the birth of his son Alexander, the defeat of the Ulyrians by his general Parmenio, and the victory of one of his horses in the Olympic games. For a time he now laid aside active operations, but about 353 he began the siege of Methone, the only possession which Athens now held on the Thermaic gulf. After a vigorous defence the city surrendered, and Philip extended his incursions into Thrace, marching as far as Maronea, where he entered into negotiations against Athens with the Thracian prince Ker-sobleptes. He also threatened the Athenian possessions in the Chersonese, but was unable to reach them on account of the hostility of Amadocus, another Thracian prince.
Turning his attention to Thessaly, he marched to the assistance of the Aleuadae of Larissa against Lycophron, the tyrant of Pherae; and the latter implored the aid of Onomarchus, leader of the Phocians, who sent into Thessaly his brother Phayllus with 7,000 men. Philip defeated and drove him out of the country, whereupon Onomarchus, taking the field in person, marched into Thessaly, and routed the Macedonians in two battles, with a loss so great that they were forced to withdraw into their own territory. After considerable difficulty in reviving the courage and devotion of his soldiers, Philip marched again into Thessaly, and, at the head of an army of 20,000 foot and 3,000 horse, signally defeated Onomarchus on the southern coast. He followed up this victory by the capture of Pherae, which he made a free city, and of the maritime station of Pagasae. On his march into Thessaly, the sacred war between Phocis and Thebes having broken out, he had proclaimed himself the avenger of the Delphian god, and before the battle had decorated his soldiers with laurel wreaths.
He now pushed on to the Phocian territory under the pretext of punishing the sacrilegious robbery of Delphi; but his entrance into that country was prevented by the Athenians, who guarded the pass of Thermopylae. He now advanced toward the Chersonese. The Athenians made immediate efforts to equip a fleet for the defence of their possessions in that vicinity, but on a false report of his death they allowed their military operations to languish. About this time Demosthenes delivered his first philippic. Meanwhile the Olynthians, who had formerly been allies of Philip, now began to fear his power, and concluded a treaty with Athens. No offensive operations on his part seem to have been begun until the middle of 350, when he seriously set to work to reduce the whole peninsula of Chalcidice, the pretext for the war against Olynthus being that his two half brothers had obtained a refuge in that city. The success of his arms in the peninsula was gradual but certain. City after city yielded to his power or was betrayed into his hands; and at last, master of Chalcidice, he marched directly against Olynthus and its two confederates, Apollonia and Methone. Near the last named place he was wounded and lost the sight of one eye.
Athens sent an expedition to the assistance of its ally, but the reinforcements were not sufficient. Olynthus was taken, probably early in the spring of 347, nearly as much by the use of money as by actual military strength. The inhabitants were sold into slavery, and Olynthus itself and the other cities of Chalcidice, 32 in all, were dismantled, and so thoroughly ruined that, according to a speech of Demosthenes five years later, their very sites were scarcely discernible. Athens now made a vigorous effort to unite the states of Greece in a common league against Macedon; but failing of much success, she listened to the overtures of peace which Philip indirectly offered. Negotiations were opened, which were skilfully protracted by Philip so as to subserve his own interests. The first embassy left Athens about December, 347, and returned about the beginning of March, bringing back a letter professing the most friendly feelings, but insisting as a condition of peace that each party should retain what it possessed. The treaty was adopted, but a dispute arose on the question of who were the allies included in the terms of the peace, the envoys of Philip refusing to acknowledge the Phocians as such.
Before the second embassy reached him, he had conquered Kersobleptes, the Thracian ally of Athens. He delayed the ratification of the treaty under various pretexts until he was at Pherae, within three days' march of Thermopylae. The Athenians, persuaded by AEschines and others, did nothing for the defence of the pass. Phalae-cus, the nephew and successor in command of Phayllus, thereupon concluded an agreement with Philip to evacuate the territory, and the country fell immediately into the hands of the Macedonians. The amphictyons, assembling, invested Philip with the right of suffrage previously enjoyed by the Phocians, thus recognizing the Hellenic character of his nation; they moreover appointed him president of the Pythian games, which were held in August, 346, two months after the subjugation of Phocis. Athens, indignant at being betrayed, was not disposed to concur in the vote giving him a place in the amphictyonic assembly, but was persuaded by Demosthenes not to display an anger at once dangerous and impotent.
Master of Thermopylae, Philip now began his intrigues in the Peloponnesus, striving to excite the Messenians, Megalopolitans, and Argives against the Spartans. His active spirit was constantly at work throughout the whole of his dominions, confirming his authority in Thessaly, overrunning Paeonia and the Illyrian countries bordering on Macedonia, and capturing cities on the Ambracian gulf. In 344 Athens sent unsuccessful embassies into the Peloponnesus to counteract his efforts. Ill feeling prevailed between the Athenians and Macedonians for a long time before it broke out into open war. Philip began the siege of Perinthus in 340, but an Athenian fleet compelled him to retire; and a similar attempt to capture Byzantium failed in consequence of the presence of a fleet under Phocion, who moreover gained several advantages over him in land and naval actions. Philip therefore made peace with the Byzantines, withdrew his forces from that part of the country, and in the spring of 339 made a successful land expedition against the Scythian king Atheas; but on his return he was attacked by the Triballi, a Thracian tribe, was defeated with the loss of his booty, and received a severe wound in his thigh.
About this time the amphictyons brought a new war into Greece, by resolving that the Amphissian Locrians, who had settled on the Cirrhaean plain, consecrated to the Delphian god, were to be punished for impiety. Philip was called in to execute the decree. He immediately began the march southward, and on his passage through Phocis seized Elatea and began ref ortifying that town. He declared his purpose to invade Attica, and sent envoys to Thebes, where a strong feeling against Athens prevailed, asking her assistance, or at least that a free passage through Boeotia should be granted. By the eloquence of Demosthenes, Thebes was persuaded to enter into an alliance with Athens, and the allied forces kept the field against Philip during the autumn and winter of 339 and 338, and gained several advantages over him. In August, 338, the battle of Chaeronea was fought, in which Philip was signally victorious. The conquered Thebans he treated with severity, but motives of policy led him to adopt mild measures in regard to the Athenians, between whom and himself the treaty called the peace of Demades was negotiated, by which the Athenians recognized Philip as the head of Greece. He now reduced the entire Peloponnesus, with the exception of Sparta, which he did not attack.
He held a congress of Grecian cities at Corinth, in which he unfolded his design of invading the Persian empire, and liberating the Asiatic Greeks. The congress voted him the leader of the Greeks, and decreed that the various states should furnish contingents. During 337 his preparations went steadily on, and early in 336 a body of troops under Attalus and Par-menio was sent over into Asia. Not long before he had repudiated his wife Olympias, the mother of Alexander, on the ground of infidelity, and had married Cleopatra, the niece of Attalus. To retain the good will of the king of Epirus while he himself was in Asia, Philip gave him his daughter in marriage; and festivities of great splendor were celebrated at AEgse in Macedonia. Among the members of his body guard was a noble youth named Pausanias, who had vainly implored Philip to avenge an outrage committed by Attalus. His determination to assassinate Philip is said to have been encouraged by Olympias. As Philip was entering the theatre, Pausanias rushed forward and thrust a sword through his breast, killing him almost instantly.
The assassin was overtaken and slain on the spot.