UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
Of these sons the eldest was Alexander; the second, Perdiccas; and the
youngest, Philip-that Philip who was destined to make his power felt in
all the West, and to pave the way for the still greater achievements of
his son. Thus through the region of myth and tradition have been traced
the brief annals of Macedonia from the days of the earlier Temenidae to
the time when the great state of the North, under the direction of the
son of Amyntas, began first to be distinctly felt as a political power,
and then to rise rapidly to an unequivocal ascendancy over all the
CHAPTER XLIX- REIGN OF PHILIP.
OF the career of Philip of Macedon a sketch has already been given in
the History of Greece. To him the Macedonian Empire owed its foundation
and strength. Without the masterful abilities of his more distinguished
son, without the far-reaching ambition of Caesar, he nevertheless
possessed the genius to grasp the condition of his times, and to plant
on the ruins of surrounding states the foot of power and dominion.
Philip was the third and youngest son of Amyntas. The eldest brother,
Alexander, lost his life in a civil turmoil. Perdiccas, the next eldest,
was hard pressed by opposition, and was on the eve of losing the
kingdom, when Pelopidas, the Theban, interfered in his behalf, and
secured under his powerful influence the peaceful possession of the
crown. It was in gratitude for this support that Perdiccas, as an
earnest of good faith and a pledge for the fidelity of Macedonia to the
interests of Thebes, gave into the friendly custody of Pelopidas the
youth Philip and thirty others from the best families in the kingdom.
Thus it was that destiny prepared the way for greatness. For Philip
could hardly have become the distinguished monarch that he was but for
the incident which, bringing him to Thebes, threw him into contact with
the civilization of the Greeks. His education was of precisely the sort
to fashion a hero. He was established in the family of Polymnus, father
of Epaminondas; and here he absorbed his first ideas of politics and
generalship. He became at an early age familiar with the literature and
customs of the Greeks, learned their language, became a Greek himself.
The example and influence of Epaminondas, whose conversation and
friendship he enjoyed without restriction, molded his views and
sentiments. The Theban became his model. He grew like that which he
admired; and although his native talents and ambitions were by no means
subordinated to the Theban environment, yet so far as education could go
towards the shaping of character and the determination of future
activities, to that extent undoubtedly was Philip the result of the
forces which played upon him while domiciled in Thebes. It must be
confessed, moreover, that the Macedonian prince showed himself to be a
more apt pupil of Epaminondas in the matter of acquiring military skill
than in imitating the sterling integrity and moral virtues of his model.
For in essential soundness of character Philip was by no means
comparable with the Theban general.
During his residence at the Boeotian capital the prince, accompanied by
his masters, traveled into other parts of Greece. He visited Athens and
was profoundly impressed with the institutions and peculiarities of that
city. There he became acquainted with the greatest geniuses of the age.
Among his acquaintances and friends were Plato, Isocrates, and
Theophrastus. He studied the Athenian character and apprehended its
weakness and its strength. He was initiated into the mysteries of
Demeter, and while attending one of the celebrations held in honor of
this divinity, had the good fortune to meet Olympias, daughter of