| Famous Men of Greece|
|by John H. Haaren|
|Attractive biographical sketches of thirty-five of the most prominent characters in the history of ancient Greece, from legendary times to its fall in 146 B.C. Each story is told in a clear, simple manner, and is well calculated to awaken and stimulate the youthful imagination. Ages 9-12 |
PHILIP OF MACEDONIA
 AFTER the death of Epaminondas Thebes soon lost the high place she
had gained among the states of Greece. For a while no state
held that place. Sparta was never powerful after her
defeats at Leuctra and Mantinea, and although Athens had
rebuilt her Long Walls she was not the strong power that she
had once been.
A state, partly Greek and partly barbarian, lying far to the
north, suddenly took the lead in the affairs of Greece. It
The king of Macedonia had a brother named Philip who had
spent a part of his youth in Thebes. He had seen Thebes
become the greatest of Grecian states through the bravery
and military skill of Epaminondas, and he determined to make
his own state great.
The chance came to carry out his determination. The king of
Macedonia was assassinated, and the brother who succeeded
him was slain in battle.
 Philip's infant nephew was heir to the throne, and Philip
became the guardian of the little king. In a short time the
claims of his nephew had been set aside and Philip was on
the throne of Macedonia.
Not long after he became king Philip was married to
Olympias, a proud and beautiful woman, daughter of the
king of Epirus. Philip had seen her for the first time at
a feast of the god of wine. She and her maidens were
dancing among garlands of vines and flowers. On the head of
Olympias was an ivy crown and in her hand a staff twined
with a vine branch. As she danced her wild beauty won the
heart of Philip. He asked her hand in marriage and she
became his wife.
A DANCE IN HONOR OF THE GOD OF WINE
Philip soon showed that he was a wise ruler. He treated hs
people with fairness, and they became very fond of him.
One day, after he had been drinking, he was acting as a
judge and gave a decision against a woman. His sentence
seemed so unfair to her that she thought he was under the
influence of liquor. "I appeal," she cried.
"I am the king. To whom do you appeal?" asked Philip.
"I appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober," she replied.
The next day Philip considered her case again and decided in
 IT was, however, his skill as a soldier that most endeared
Philip to his people. He knew that the Spartans had become
the masters of Greece because every Spartan was a trained
soldier, and he knew that Epaminondas had won his great
battles because of the way in which he had arranged his men.
Philip, therefore, had his army carefully drilled and in
battle he arranged his soldiers in his famous "phalanx."
This phalanx consisted of a mass of men, sixteen deep. If
there were 16,000 men the front rank had 1,000 standing side
Three feet behind these stood a second rank of 1,000.
Behind the second rank stood a third line of
1,000 equally close, and so on until there was a solid body
of men sixteen deep and a thousand wide. Every man bore a
round shield, about two feet in diameter, and a spike or
spear, twenty-one feet long. The shields were buckled to the
left arm and were held close together. Before them bristled
the spear-points like a hedge. Against these spear-points
neither men nor horses could advance; and the charge of the
phalanx broke down everything before it.
Athens and Thebes were finally aroused to action against
Philip by the eloquence of Demosthenes, the
 great orator, who was constantly sounding a warning. An
army was sent to oppose the Macedonian. Philip met this
army at Chæronea, not far from Thebes, and there
gained a great victory.
This put an end to the power of Athens and Thebes and made
Philip master of all the states of Greece, except Sparta.
But Philip was wise and fair enough not to become a tyrant.
He knew the history of Sparta. The military training of the
Spartans had made them strong; their tyranny had made them
weak, for no state of Greece was ever content to remain
under Spartan rule. Philip, therefore, acted generously
toward the conquered states. He let each manage its own
affairs, while a General Council, like our Congress, managed
matters in which all were concerned.
The first thing that Philip proposed to the Council of the
States was that all Greece should make war against Persia.
The members of the Council were delighted and Philip was
invited to be the commander-in-chief of the expedition.
Preparations for the invasion of Persia had already begun
when Philip's career was suddenly ended by an assassin who,
at a wedding feast, plunged a sword into the body of the
king and killed him.
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