Alexander the Great and the Creation of an Empire, Part I

E. Badian studies the political background of Alexander’s plans for world conquest.


The freedom of the Greek city-states died on September 1st, 3381 on the field of Chaeronea, where Philip II of Macedon defeated a last desperate alliance of Greek cities, headed by Athens and Thebes. For years Philip, who had first made his semi-barbarous kingdom into a great power, had fought and bribed and plotted his way towards this moment.

Now victory was his and the consequences had to be faced. A constitutional settlement must be found, to cloak the rule of the King of Macedon over Greeks (who had always prided themselves on not being subject to any man) with an appearance of legality and spontaneous submission. Thus arose the Hellenic League, uniting nearly all the cities and federations of European Greece under the leadership of Philip as hegemon—a position that appears to have been made hereditary.

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