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By John D Grainger

Alexander's dying was once now not unpredictable: he suffered repeated wounds in the course of his lifetime, and a couple of introduced him close to dying; he drank an excessive amount of; he built a fever, within which he endured to drink an excessive amount of; he believed he used to be a god; he ignored his doctor's counsel; he used to be confronted with large difficulties which he deliberate to keep away from through happening crusade ... As a last act of irresponsibility, whilst requested to whom Read more...

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Sample text

Few people paid much attention to it at any time, and other powers rarely had any difficulty in walking all over it when they chose. Philip II changed all that, and from soon after his accession Macedon became an important power, and then a great power. This will be the story pursued in the following chapters. Meanwhile it will be well to take a wider look at the surrounding world, which was to be the political environment in which Philip, and then Alexander, had to operate. When Philip II became king, he already had, unlike most of his royal predecessors, some experience of the world outside his kingdom, and he was also the first Macedonian ruler to make a serious mark on that world.

Hence the repeated instability whenever a king died. A clear pattern can be seen during the century and a half before Amyntas died. It can even be tabulated without too great a distortion of reality, as alternating periods of collapse and royal stability: 10 A L E X A N D E R T H E G R E AT F A I L U R E 1. 497–454: Alexander I’s rule; 2. 454–430: the kingdom breaks up; 3. 430–413: Perdikkas II’s sole rule; 4. 413: a royal bloodbath; 5. 413–399: Archelaos’ rule; 6. 399–391: royal succession dispute; and 7.

The two armies were approximately equal in numbers, each with 10,000 infantry, and Bardylis with 500 and Philip 600 cavalry. Bardylis formed his men into a square, which is an interesting action, suggesting that he was well aware of the new Macedonian tactics. Philip commanded the pezhetairoi, his newly trained Foot Companions (described by Diodoros as ‘the best of the Macedonians’) personally. They were armed with the new long sarissa, and were used to break into the square, no doubt at a corner.

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