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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

surrounding kingdoms.


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