Kingdom of Macedon 359-336BC Philip II Gold Stater NGC XF 5x4

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Phillip II Gold Stater – ca. 359-336 B.C.
Kingdom of Macedon
Gold Stater NGC XF 5x4
lifetime-early posthumous
obv Apollo, rv biga

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Phillip II of Macedon (382 – 336 B.C.) ascended to the throne of his country in 359 B.C., upon the death of his brother, King Perdiccas III. The Macedonian army under Perdiccas has just suffered a humiliating and disastrous defeat on the battlefield at the hands of the Illyrians, with 4000 Macedonian soldiers and their king laying dead on the battlefield. Additionally weakened by internal turmoil, the Macedonian kingdom was on the verge of collapse when Phillip II came to the throne in 359 B.C.

Having been a hostage of the Greeks at Thebes between 368 and 365 B.C., Phillip was able to observe the military tactics of the Greek state, then the greatest power in the region. When he was freed and able to return to Macedonia, Phillip set out to transform and re-organize the army, but not in time for his brother to reap the benefits.

The 21 year old King Phillip II quickly set about consolidating his position. Buying off many of his enemies and skillfully strengthening his alliances with strategic marriages, Phillip was able to build up the military power of Macedon, always careful not to upset the Athenians, the still dominant power. He even ceded the city of Amphipolis on the Macedonian coast to Athens – in less than a year, Phillip had removed most of his internal threats and had himself firmly established on the throne.

In 359 B.C. Phillip embarked on two decades of military expeditions, expelling the Greeks from Macedonian territory and conquering neighboring Illyria, Thrace, Thessaly and Scythia. In 338 B.C., Phillip II achieved his greatest military conquest, that of Greece itself, culminating at the Battle of Chaeronea on August 2. Phillip II was now the master of a far flung Macedonian empire, but it would be up to his son, Alexander III, to make it a truly world empire with his defeat of the Persians, and conquering lands as far away as India.