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CL101 - Oct 18, 2012.doc

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Nirmal Dass

Civil War between Sparta and Athens takes back Greece to where its unstable and has no peace again − with defeat ofAthens, their commercial power is gone (wealth is gone, power is gone) − lots of chaos − power vacuum – question is: who will fill the vacuum? Macedonia will rise and become the most powerful Greek state in all of Greece, this government of Greece will be quite different because Macedonia has gone through a diff. History thanAthens, Sparta or even Corinth (diff. Context) Explore context and how Alexander comes to power (background) Macedonia: • North • Spoke Greek • are Greek, a northern Dialect • where most of the Dorians settled • Doris speaking • settled early, didn't participate in stuff like riding cities of kings • not abandon its relationship with its Greek gods, kingship and thus, quite distinct fromAthens, etc • Sacral kingship – seen as someone who is descended from the Gods, directly linked, traditional role • King's power cannot be questioned • different Greek culture, but ancient Greek culture Philip II – 359BC • different person • up till then, Macedonian kings were content in Macedonia • but Philips wants to expand (perhaps he understands the chaos in the south with traditional Athens has fallen) • does it in a kingly fashion, • won olympic games 359BC – games around Olympus (near the gods) • when he wins, he wins glory, kindship, and divinity • Olympus (north) – olympic games = religious worship in honour of the Gods, (Heracles is symbolic for Olympic games?) • Macedonians believed the kings to be descended from Heracles – reconfirms his status • Various other non-greek tribes (Still indo-european) are always and historically has been the enemies of Macedonia • Philip understakes to reorganize the macedonian army which brings new tactics into the field which makes them victorious • he does this in two ways: • 1) Phalanx • 2) Sarissa – new kind of lance, anywhere from 25-30ft long (long lance) – iron head, when they move forward, they have these long lances in front of them – effective way of combat • vary able to subdue his neighbours (powerful neighbours/tribes in the north) • he concludes a treaty with them^ they can retain their kings but will ultimately serve him (client states) – ultimate allegiance = Macedonia • allows for his army to be expanded (treaty required men to be sent) • he takes on wives from the treaty to unionized and make his position stronger • but he originally has a wife (first wife) Olympias • Olympias has already given birth to an heir to Philip • his other wives bear him kids, putting Olympias in a precarious position (power struggle for the heir) • Olympias' son is Alexander – she must protect him and ensure his succession • around this time (340s) Philip comes up with a plan that he won't be content that he's just a king of Macedonia and enters negotiations withAthens – success in thatAthens will look to Macedonia for protection (angersAthen's enemies) • but doesnt matter to him, he quickly subdues Sparta and Corinth • firmly in charge of Macedonia, northern tribes and all the Greeks • he brings stability to Macedonia and Greece, civil wars stop • all allies but Macedonia has the power • commercially interested again, wealth picks up, commercial picks up, etc • around 339 and 338BC, Philip is now more ambitious, wants to invade nearest Persian-territory (Turkey) – he ultimately wants to invade Persia ◦ BC counts backwards (before we count forward after Christ) • he creates more alliance to do so, and find more resources • Olympias decides to honour her husband's win at the Olympics, this will be done at Pelle (Macedonian capital) where kings and princes and others will come • this provides Pelle a grand-event and hoping to create an aura of legitimacy • planned for the summer of 336 (and it is held there) • on the first day, dil? led by Philip, a man leaps out and assassinates him – immense chaos • with Philip gone, chaos ensures again • assassin unknown to this date (Olympias? Sparta?) - cut down right away (can't disclose who sent him) • Macedonian are not polygamous, only Kings are for political reasons • Olympias makes her move – she's shrewd and smart • she has form alliances already who has sworn allegiance to her andAlexander • Philip's other wives and children are assassinated the next day • onlyAlexander is left (though Olympias has an older daughter – Cleopatra who was already married off to another state) • Alexander is about 15years old at this point, must take on this important role • not primogeniture (where first borns have all the rights) – Macedonian: next king is chosen on king's deathbed • if they were not killed, they would have had to battle for the throne since Philip was assassinated and didn't choose and heir • Alexander is in a precarious position due to others mad that their nephews and sisters are dead (Philip's other wives) – he's 15 and has to do something about it because the people are not loyal to him, but is loyal to Philip • butAlexander is smart due to Philip providing him with the best education – one of his teacher wasAristotle, the most famous philosopher to date • Alexander understands that his father is an amazing king and that he has an amazing army (professional 25000? soldiers) that is always ready for battle • he uses his army intelligently • before the rebels can unite into one large group,Alexander moves against each and everyone quickly (surprise attacks) an
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