|The Story of the Greeks|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Greece, made up principally of stories about persons, giving at the same time a clear idea of the most important events in the ancient world and calculated to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described. Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome. Ages 10-14 |
PHILIP OF MACEDON
 IN the days when Thebes was the strongest city in
Greece, and when Epaminondas was the leader in his
native country, he received in his house a young
Macedonian prince called Philip. This young man
had been sent to Greece as a hostage, and was brought
up under the eye of Epaminondas. The Theban hero got
the best teachers for Philip, who was thus trained
with great care, and became not only quite learned, but
also brave and strong.
Macedon, Philip's country, was north of Greece, and
its rulers spoke Greek and were of Greek descent; but,
as the people of Macedon were not of the same race, the
Greeks did not like them, and never allowed them to
send any one to the Amphictyonic Council.
Two years after the battle of Mantinea, when Philip was
eighteen years old, he suddenly learned that the king,
his brother, was dead, and had left an infant to take
his place. Philip knew that a child could not govern:
so he escaped from Thebes, where he was not very
closely watched, and made his way to Macedon.
Arriving there, he offered to rule in his little
nephew's stead. The people were very glad indeed to
accept his services; and when they found that the
child was only half-witted, they formally offered the
crown of Macedon to Philip.
Now, although Macedon was a very small country, Philip
no sooner became king than he made up his mind to place
it at the head of all the Greek states, and make it the
foremost kingdom of the world.
 This was a very ambitious plan; and in order to carry
it out, Philip knew that he would need a good army. He
therefore began to train his men, and, remembering how
successful Epaminondas had been, he taught them to
fight as the Thebans had fought at Leuctra and
Then, instead of drawing up his soldiers in one long
line of battle, he formed them into a solid
body,—an arrangement which soon became known as
the Macedonian phalanx.
Each soldier in the phalanx had a large shield, and
carried a spear. As soon as the signal for battle was
given, the men locked their shields together so as to
form a wall, and stood in ranks one behind the other.
The first row of soldiers had short spears, and the
fourth and last rows very long ones. The weapons of the
other rows were of medium length, so that they all
stuck out beyond the first soldiers, and formed a
bristling array of points which no one dared meet.
Philip not only trained his army so as to have
well-drilled soldiers ready, but also found and began
to work some gold mines in his kingdom. As they yielded
much precious metal, he soon became one of the richest
men of his time.
This wealth proved very useful, for it helped him to
hire a great force of soldiers, and also to buy up a
number of allies. In fact, Philip soon found that his
gold was even more useful than his army, and he was in
the habit of saying that "a fortress can always be
taken if only a mule laden with gold can be got
Philip was so kind and just that he soon won the
 love of all his subjects. It is said that he listened to the
complaints of the poor and humble with as much patience
as to those of his noblest courtiers.
Once, after dining heavily and drinking too much,
Philip was suddenly called upon to try the case of a
poor widow. As the king's head was not very clear, he
was not able to judge as well as usual: so he soon
said that she was in the wrong, and should be punished.
The woman, who knew that she was right, was very angry;
and, as the guards were dragging her away, she
daringly cried, "I appeal!"
"Appeal?" asked Philip, in a mocking tone, "and to
"I appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober!" replied
These words made such an impression upon Philip, that
he said he would try the case again on the next day,
when his head was quite clear. He did not forget his
promise on the morrow; and when he found that the
woman was right, he punished her accuser, and set her
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