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Kevin Spencer (1002) 10/03/19

Philip II or Alexander?

Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, conquered far and many building one of the greatest empires ever. The lands starting at the Mediterranean Sea and stretching all the way to India were all controlled by Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire. This conquest by Alexander was a representation of pure power and dominance. Many argue that the reason for Alexander’s success came from his father, Philip II. Others say that Alexander is responsible for his own success. The argument that Philip II is more responsible for Alexander’s success makes more sense. Philip II laid out a blueprint that helped Alexander put forth the actions to acquire success. All Alexander had to do was follow the layout. 

While under Philip II, Macedon was definitely a rising power in the western world. Philip II made major contributions and innovations in the Macedon army. He came up with the idea of the Macedonian phalanx, torsion catapults, lighter armour, and the companion cavalry. These innovations helped the Macedonian army become elite and have the advantage in every battle they fought. He basically created inventions that allowed Macedon to become the great empire it was. For example, one of the first demonstrations of these innovations coming into play was at the Battle of Issus where Philip II and Alexander conquered Thebes and Athens. As seen in this battle, no army could withstand the Macedonian army due to the calvary, phalanx, and catapults. 

Soon after Philip II’s death, Alexander the Great took the throne. Alexander picked up where his father left off and went even further, conquering city after city. He even captured Persia and caused Darius III to flee. Alexander continued to conquer lands and build the empire even bigger. The Macedonian empire would reach its max potential when the army of Alexander began to feel as if Alexander was not holding true to customs. In Demand Ch. 15 it is stated about Alexander, “many of his men were angry at being married to a woman of conquered people.”  Therefore, they began on their expedition back to Macedon and eventually Alexander would come to his death on this expedition. This ended the era of Alexander the Great.

It is not to be doubted that Alexander did conquer a vast region of the western world. He was a powerful and dominant king bringing Macedon to the peak of its existence. However, without his father, Philip II, the success of Alexander would be half of what it is, and the Macedonian empire would not have been what it is known for in today’s time. Alexander would not be known as Alexander the Great without his father’s contributions. Instead he would have just been another King of Macedon. Philip II was the mastermind behind what made Macedon so powerful. The military innovations and the advances in fighting battles, all that lead to the Dominance of Macedon. As said before, Philip basically made the perfect blueprint and Alexander followed it. Therefore, Philip II is more responsible for Alexander’s success than Alexander himself. 

In relation to the topic of a modern regime and comparing it to Philip II and Alexander the Great, one can look at sports. In sports you basically have teams that have a long history of a winning culture  and other teams that do not. The thing that makes these teams are the past teams or era before it. Present success is usually based on past performance, practice and tradition. To clearly state the comparison, One can see that Philip set the Macedon empire up for success and dominance. He created that winning culture and Alexander followed. In sports, you can look at the University of Alabama football program. Starting in the 20th century Bear Byrant created a winning culture within the university. In the present times, the current coach, Nick Sabin, continued this tradition and culture of winning and  improving the culture to make it even more successful. 


Word count: 653

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