Macedonia History, Location, Map, & Facts

| 16 Febbraio 2023

Alexander the Great was born in the Pella region of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia on July 20, 356 B.C., to parents King Philip II of Macedon and Queen Olympia, daughter of King Neoptolemus. Growing up, the dark-eyed and curly-headed Alexander hardly ever saw his father, who spent most of his time engaged in military campaigns and extra-marital affairs. Although Olympia served as a powerful role model for the boy, Alexander grew to resent his father’s absence and philandering.

After the assassination of Alexander II, Philip was sent as a hostage to Illyria by Ptolemy of Aloros.[10][11] Philip was later held in Thebes (c. 368–365 BC), which at the time was the leading city of Greece. While in Thebes, Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas, and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes. Following decades of continuous conflict, the Antigonids saw the temporary renewal of the kingdom’s fortunes, but were destroyed by Rome after Perseus’ defeat at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC.

king of macedonia

British and French forces on the Macedonian Front employed archaeologists to work alongside troops in the trenches, occasionally using Bulgarian prisoners of war as workmen for their excavations. Ancient Greek biographers at the time, including Plutarch, surmised that Alexander had been poisoned, though modern medical historians suggest he may have died of natural causes, which could have included malaria or an abdominal infection (brought on by heavy drinking). Phillip II created a federation of Greek states called the League of Corinth or Hellenic League to strengthen his military forces. It was the first time in history that most of the Greek states had joined together as a single political entity. Alexander was just 16 when Philip went off to battle and left his son in charge of Macedonia.

After subduing a revolt in Dolopia, he aroused widespread alarm in Greece by visiting Delphi with his army. In 172 Eumenes II of Pergamum incited Rome against Perseus’s allegedly aggressive designs, thus precipitating the Third Macedonian War (171–168). Perseus held off the Romans for three years but in 168 lost the support of Genthius of Illyria, thus exposing his western flank.

Conqueror and, Alexander the Great was born on July 20, 356 B.C., in Pella, in the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia. During his leadership, from 336 to 323 B.C., he united the Greek city-states and led the Corinthian League. He also became the king of Persia, Babylon and Asia, and created Macedonian colonies in the region. While considering the conquests of Carthage and Rome, Alexander died of malaria in Babylon (now Iraq), on June 13, 323 B.C. The subtle, pliant, patient, calculating diplomatist, master of timing in politics and war, ended his life in a tale of irresponsible incompetence. The historian Theopompus, who saw Philip at close quarters, made much of his vices, his love of drink and debauchery, and his wild extravagance with money.

  • But ironically, Alexander often fought Greek mercenaries while campaigning against Darius III, the king of Persia.
  • The tradition that makes him infatuated with Cleopatra is probably right.
  • Meanwhile, Alexander’s general, Parmenion, had already made his way to Asia Minor.
  • Alexander forged eastward to the Ganges but headed back when his armies refused to advance any farther.

Macedon was now a powerful and unified kingdom which also accrued wealth through new trade negotiations and tribute from the south. When Philip II was assassinated in 336 BCE – for reasons which were unclear even in antiquity – the throne went to Alexander III who would make the most of the resources he inherited. Macedon was an ancient kingdom located in the north of the Greek peninsula first inhabited by the Mackednoi tribe who, according to Herodotus, were the first to call themselves ‘Hellenes’ (later applied to all Greeks) and who gave the land their name. Greek political power was concentrated in southern city-states such as Athens, Sparta and Thebes, until the Macedonian king Phillip II conquered these areas during the first half of the fourth century B.C. His death—and the bloody infighting for control that happened afterwards—unraveled the empire he’d fought so hard to create.

Cassander, the ostensible regent of Macedonia, murdered Alexander IV in 310 and installed the Antipatrids as the ruling house. His dynasty was short-lived, however, as his death in 297 triggered a civil war between his sons that further destabilized the kingdom. The following decades saw a rapid and violent succession of Diadochi from various dynasties, each vying for the Macedonian throne. This chaos continued until the death of Pyrrhus in 272 and the accession of the Antigonids under Antigonus II Gonatas. Out of Philip’s seven or eight wives, she enjoyed prestige as the mother of the probable heir to the throne, but it was widely believed that Olympias and her husband had come to loathe each other.

In 343 B.C., King Philip II hired the philosopher Aristotle to tutor Alexander at the Temple of the Nymphs at Meiza. Over the course of three years, Aristotle taught Alexander and a handful of his friends philosophy, poetry, drama, science and politics. Seeing that Homer’s Iliad inspired Alexander to dream of becoming a heroic warrior, Aristotle created an abridged version of the tome for Alexander to carry with him on military campaigns. In one of the tombs at Aigai, the so-called tomb of Persephone, archaeologists uncovered a wall painting showing Hades’ abduction of Persephone to the underworld.

After that victory, he was sent by Alexander in pursuit of Porus, to whom he was charged to offer favourable terms, but narrowly escaped losing his life at the hands of his old enemy. Subsequently, however, the two rivals were reconciled by the personal mediation of Alexander; and Taxiles, after having contributed zealously to the equipment of the fleet on the Hydaspes, was entrusted by the king with the government of the whole territory between that river and the Indus. A considerable accession of power was granted him after the death of Philip, son of Machatas; and he was allowed to retain his authority at the death of Alexander himself (323 BC), as well as in the subsequent partition of the provinces at Triparadisus, 321 BC. Polygamous like all Macedonian kings, Philip was notorious for his numerous affairs with women and young men. Yet soon Philip’s eye wandered, and he replaced Pausanias with another youth. Resentful, Pausanias mocked the new lover, accusing him of being effeminate and an easy conquest.

One was Barsine, daughter of Darius III, and the other was a Persian woman Arrian identified as Parysatis. Roxana likely did not take kindly to her two new co-wives and, after Alexander’s death, she may have had them both killed, Plutarch wrote. Alexander returned to Persia, this time as the ruler of a kingdom that stretched from the Balkans to Egypt to modern-day Pakistan. In 324 B.C., he arrived in Susa in present-day Iran, where a number of his innermost advisers got married. Alexander responded by using his cavalry to attack the wings of Porus’s forces, quickly putting Porus’s cavalry to flight.


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