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Old 02-28-2009, 02:49 AM   #1
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Default The Death of Phillip II of Macedon

What do those interested think about the circumstances surrounding the death of this great king of Macedonia?

We know that Pausanias was the ultimate murderer, but who were the plotters.

Was it the Persians?

Greeks?

Olympia?

Alexander?

A combination of some and/or all?
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:27 AM   #2
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what do you think mate, i would venture to say you have read more on this subject than any of us and would have the most informed view. i am inclined to think because the killer was killed straight away there was a conspiracy behind it, but beyond that in the immortal words of sculttz, i know nothing.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:00 AM   #3
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The common story of Pausanias being his 'lover' and taking action against Phillip II due to the latter unwilling to avenge him for the wrongs done to him by Attalus is well known. Pausanias was murdered as he tried to escape, meaning there could be no confession (wether forced or otherwise), this immediately throws the idea of a conspiracy into the mix. While there can be no doubt that Alexander would have been viewed as a suspect by default due to his mother's hatred for her husband, down the track Alexander would blame Persia's Darius for financing the murder of his father. This may or may not have been used as a smoke-screen to cover his mother's apparent complicity, but it was certainly used as another pretext for the Macedonians to do battle against the enemy of the east.

The words of those who have written on the subject of Phillip and Alexander give conflicting and at times grey views about the matter. For example, Arrian, a Greek, who is considered to be one of the top biographers of Alexander, seems to avoid the matter almost completely, and his story about Phillip's death is limited to a very modest sentence, Phillip of Macedon died when Pythodelus was archon at Athens. He takes the same approach towards the event at Chaeronea, where he refers to it as the defeat at Chaeronea, no doubt to increase the image of 'unity' among Macedonians and Greeks (although he himself cannot avoid stating the obvious in latter passages, such as the old racial rivalry between the two foes). Of course, the Macedonians won a great victory at Chaeronea and the only people that suffered defeat were the Greeks. Arrian largely focuses more on Macedonian history post-Phillip II.

Curtius Rufus gives the following account:
Quote:
When Pythodelus was archon at Athens, Phillip, son of Amyntas, was murdered by Pausanias, a member of his bodyguard. Pausanias was pursued and executed and, when Alexander succeeded to the throne, he punished the sons of Aeropus, Arrhabaeus and Heromenes, for complicity in the plot against his father; their brother Alexander Lyncestes was spared, ostensibly because he had been in the first to hail his namesake as the new king, but, in reality, because he was Antipater's son-in-law.
Plutarch writes:
Quote:
Not long afterwards a Macedonian named Pausanias assasinated the king: he did this because he had been humiliated by Attalus (translators footnote: 8 years prior) and Cleopatra and could get no redress from Phillip. It was Olympias who was chiefly blamed for the assasination, because she was believed to have encouraged the young man and incited him to take his revenge. It was said that when Pausanias met the young prince and complained to him of the injustice he had suffered, Alexander quoted the verse from Euripides' Medea, in which Medea is said to threaten - The father, bride and bridegroom all at once. However this may be, he took care to track down and punish those who were involved in the plot, and he showed his anger against Olympias for the horrible revenge which she took upon Cleopatra during his absence.
Peter Green cites Plutarch and Justin when placing the blame on Olympias, she is the one that,
Quote:
arranged for the horses to be ready for the assassin, so that he could make a quick get-away. Her subsequent behaviour, indeed, suggests that she not only planned her husband's death but openly glorified in it - perhaps as a means of diverting suspicion from Alexander himself, who, after all, stood to gain more by Pausanias' action than anyone. The murderer's corpse was nailed to a public gibbet, and that very same night Olympias placed a gold crown on its head. A few days later she had the body taken down, burnt it over Phillip's ashes, and buried it in a nearby grave. Every year she poured libations there on the anniversary of the murder. She obtained the sword which Pausanias had used, and dedicated it to Apollo - under her maiden name Myrtale. No one, at the time, dared voice a breath of criticism.
Evidently, not even Alexander, as he was no longer in Macedonia to keep track of what his mother was getting up to.

There are of course other opinions and elaborations, personally, I think (and hope) that Alexander was not involved, and that his 'guilt by association' is due solely to his relationship with his mother, which seemed odd and at times somewhat disturbed itself. My guess is Olympias saw an opportunity in Pausanias' emotional state and took advantage. Once queen mother, nobody would dare question her anyway. She mentally scarred the young Alexander, and deep down he probably never forgave her for the murder of his father, which could be the reason why, once departed from Macedonia, never made an attempt to see her or have her invited to wherever he was again.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:36 AM   #4
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thanks mate i thoroughly enjoyed that read .
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:49 AM   #5
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No worries mate, Phillip II has always been one of my favourite Macedonian figures throughout history, so anything about his life is of value and interest to me.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:21 AM   #6
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I wouldnt rule out Alexander being in on it.
He had the most to gain by the death of his father.
To this day, in murder cases, the first thing the detectives look at is who benefits most from a murder.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:33 AM   #7
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I wouldnt rule out Alexander being in on it.
He had the most to gain by the death of his father.
To this day, in murder cases, the first thing the detectives look at is who benefits most from a murder.
It can't be ruled out, of course.

But I think Olympias had more to gain in the immediate time than Alexander, she was still sort of semi-exiled at the time of the murder and with Phillip gone she could manipulate the Macedonian royal court and scene in general as she pleased. While Phillip did take a subsequent wife of Macedonian blood, it does not confirm that Alexander would be second preference afterwards. For all of the bitter animosity between father and son, a problem largely fuelled by Olympias, there can be no doubt that both Phillip and Alexander admired, respected and loved each other, even though they did not often show it, certain events do confirm this such as the purchase of Bucephalas, Alexander taking charge of military units and being placed in command of Macedonia at a young age during Phillip's absence, etc. Again though, there were those moments of Alexander's perceived 'divinity' which led him away from his father's origins and into the delusional idea (again from his mother) that he is Zeus' son.

Who knows what would have eventuated if both Phillip and Alexander went to Asia together, who knows what they could have achieved. More? Less? Interesting questions either way.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
It can't be ruled out, of course.

But I think Olympias had more to gain in the immediate time than Alexander, she was still sort of semi-exiled at the time of the murder and with Phillip gone she could manipulate the Macedonian royal court and scene in general as she pleased.
Agreed
Olympias may have been the 'mastermind' behind the whole thing.
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Who knows what would have eventuated in both Phillip and Alexander went to Asia together, who knows what they could have achieved. More? Less? Interesting questions either way.
Very interesting to say the least
In my opinion they would have accomplished less.
How on earth could they possibly accomplish more!!
If Alexander had to run every plan by Philip, history would have unfolded differently.
Although Philip was a great man, Alexander was greater imo...
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Spartan
How on earth could they possibly accomplish more!!
Eastern Ocean, then the Americas and Australia, lol.
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If Alexander had to run every plan by Philip, history would have unfolded differently.
Maybe the expedition would have been more efficient and the empire more consolidated. Who knows.

As a world figure of course Alexander is greater but Phillip did not live long enough to test himself in this respect. You have to keep in mind that Phillip is credited with creating the first professional and stardardised army and innovative military tactics unknown at the time, he is known as a revolutionary thinker and strategist, the greatest general Europe has produced, and other such references. Phillip made this, Alexander inherited it.

Speaking for internal matters regarding the Macedonian state and people, I would say that Phillip was the greater man. Alexander's visions went well beyond Macedonia, he was an international man.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:21 AM   #10
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SoM

A Spartan measures a mans worth by his ability on the battlefield, lol
In this respect , Alexander is unrivaled in my opinion, except by maybe one man.
But I would agree that Philip was the better 'statesman/politician'...

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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
Eastern Ocean, then the Americas and Australia, lol.
Hahaha, nice one!
All I know is he could have gone to the ends of the Earth and his messengers would still give him news of uprisings and rebellions in Sparti

Last edited by Spartan; 02-28-2009 at 08:27 AM.
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