GREECE-SPARTAN AND THEBAN ASCENDENCIES.
already attracted the attention of the most eminent Greeks of his time.
Nor were there wanting those who could discover in the young prince the
forecasting of a remarkable career.
When Perdiccas was slain by the Illyrians, the crown of Macedonia fell to
his son, with Philip for regent. Two claimants to the throne now arose-
Pausanias, who was supported by the king of Thrace, and Argaeus, with
whom the Athenians were leagued on account of the favor which he had
shown them in gaining possession of Amphipolis.
But Philip, by his address, soon secured the withdrawal of support from
both of the pretenders, and thus brought their cause to naught. Having
thus provided for peace at home, he at once entered upon his campaign
against the Paeonians and Illyrians. Both of these peoples were quickly
and easily subdued. The tactics which Philip had learned from Epaminondas
were put to use in the very first battle, and with terrible effect upon
the Illyrians who were put to utter rout by the heavy column which the
Macedonian massed against a single point in their lines. The effect of
the victory so strengthened Philip at home that by common consent he
assumed the crown; but the son of Perdiccas was treated with
consideration by the new king, who gave him his daughter in marriage.
The first contact of Philip with the Athenians was respecting the
possession of Amphipolis. It will be remembered that this city had been
wrenched from Athens by Brasidas of Sparta, and had subsequently had a
nominal independence. With the organization of the Olynthian league the
members of that confederacy became extremely anxious that Amphipolis
should become a member of the alliance. The position of the city at the
mouth of the Strymon rendered it of vast importance to Philip, whose
ambition reached towards the ocean as well as landward. With
extraordinary skill, not unmixed with craftiness, he secured the
friendliness and support of Athens by promising to give her Amphipolis if
she would yield Pydna to him; and at the same time he procured the
withdrawal of the claim of Olynthus by agreeing to cede to that city the
town of Anthemus. These measures having cleared the field of opposition,
he suddenly laid siege to Amphipolis and took it before assistance could
be rendered by any. He also kept Pydna; and the Olynthians and Athenians
were left to nurse their complaints. The people of Olynthus were soon
placated by the recovery of Potidaea, which town Philip graciously turned
over to them as a kind of compensation for the loss of Amphipolis.
The year B. C. 356 was a fortunate epoch for the Macedonian king. In that
year his general, Parmenio, gained a great victory over the Illyrians, by
which the previous conquest of Philip was strengthened and confirmed. In
the Olympic games the king's chariot won a prize in the face of the
sharpest competition; and last, but not least, a son was born and named
At this time Central Greece-especially Athens-was distracted by the
Social War. A coalition was formed against that state by Byzantium,
Rhodes, Chios, and Cos; and the efforts of the mother city to suppress
the revolt proved unavailing. The conflict, however, was continued (B. C.
357-355) until Artaxerxes interfered, and Athens was obliged to assent to
the independence of her insurgent dependencies. Meanwhile another
contest, known as the Sacred War, had broken out between Thebes and
Phocis. The people of the latter state had long been held in dislike by
the Thebans, who now, using their great influence in the affairs of
Greece, secured a vote at the Amphictyonic council by which a heavy fine
was imposed on the Phocians, who had-as was alleged-been cultivating a
portion of the consecrated plain of Cirrha.
Phocis, after protesting in vain and being afflicted with a second fine,
flew into a passion, and, under the lead of Philomelus, seized Delphi,
temple, oracle, and all. With the enormous treasures thus secured, the
Phocians bid defiance to the Thebans. Ten thousand mercenaries were
hired, and with this force Philomelus, making his way into Locris,
defeated the army which Thebes had put into