Friday, September 23, 2022

Battle of Chaeronea

In 338 BC, the Macedonian army, led by King Philip II (c. 382–336) and his young prince Alexander III, marched against a coalition of Greek city-states led by Athens and Thebes. The site of this clash was near the Boeotian city of Chaeronea, which guarded the entry into the northern plain of Boeotia.

The battle of Chaeronea essentially marks the start of the Macedonian domination in the political affairs of Greece that lasted almost a century. The particular battle is also of great interest from a military point of view, clearly demonstrating the superiority of the Macedonian phalanx against the previous corresponding types of military positioning of other city-states.

This battle was the culmination of Philip’s military campaign during the years 340-338 to build a coalition of loyal Greek cities through various “settlements,” which ultimately led to the League of Corinth (the Hellenic League) against Persia.

The battle was a disaster for Athens, Thebes, and their allies. More than 1,000 Athenians were killed and over 2,000 captured.

Philip’s victory at Chaeronea and his military endeavours throughout Central Greece clearly demonstrated the ingenuity of his leadership and the capability of his army. Philip used the victory and the “settlements” which followed as a means of expanding his influence throughout Greece.

Following the battle of Chaeronea and confined to the conditions of the League of Corinth, it is generally accepted that Athens had a relatively peaceful fifteen-year period. This was certainly so when compared to the turmoil of the Peloponnesian war and its aftermath.
Battle of Chaeronea

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