382 - 336 BC
King of Macedonia

Philip II was a Macedonian king who became master of Greece.

Philip was born in Pella, Macedonia. He spent several years as prisoner of war in the Greek city of Thebes where he learnt much military science.

After he became king Philip developed a novel military tactic and forged a professional army. He combined the Greek infantry phalanx (a densely massed formation eight ranks deep whose members were trained to charge in unison) with a light infantry and mobile cavalry and used them in all-out pursuit which destroyed his opponents.

With his new army Philip conquered Greece and became the leader of the Corinthian league. He was chosen by the League to command the combined Greek forces to attack Persia. He was killed preparing for this war, and his son, Alexander the Great, carried out his father's adventure.

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