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[[File: Philip II of Macedon.jpg|thumbnail|300px|A modern statue of Phillip II]]
Alexander the Great is one of the most famous men in history. However, it is generally recognized that Alexander’s achievements would have been impossible without his father, Philip II of Macedon, who reigned from 359 to 336 B.C. He is not as well-known as his son but he laid the foundations for the great Empire of Alexander. Phillip was a great soldier and statesman and he transformed Macedonia and turned it into a well-run state. He also established a professional army that employed innovative military tactics. Phillip also established an Empire in the Northern Balkans and most importantly he subjugated the Greek City-States. Phillip conquered Greece and it was to remain under the influence of Macedonia, for almost two hundred years, until the Roman conquest. Phillip II changed the history of Ancient Greece and allowed the rise of his son Alexander the Great.
===Life of Phillip II===
[[File: Facade of Philip II tomb Vergina Greece.jpg |thumbnail|
200px| the tomb of Phillip II]]
Phillipe was the son of Macedonia's King Amyntas III and his wife, Queen Eurydice. He was born in 383 BCE and his elder brother became king after his father’s death.<ref> Lewis, D.M., <i>The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 6: The Fourth Century BC</i> (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,1994), p 37</ref> He was sent as a hostage to Thebes, which was briefly the supreme power in Greece, this was to secure the good behavior of his brother, the king. Later another brother who had become king was able to secure his release. King Peridiccas, Phillip’s brother was killed in an invasion of his kingdom by a powerful Illyrian army. Phillip was appointed regent of his brother’s eldest son, who would be crowned king of Macedonia upon his coming of age. Phillip, although not the king, was the most powerful man in the kingdom.
[[File: 512px-Filip II Macedonia.jpg|thumbnail|300px|A bust of Phillip II]]
As a young man, Phillip was sent as a hostage to Thebes. At the time, it had the most powerful army in Greece and the Theban army had defeated the once invincible Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra in 373 BCE. Phillip was a shrewd young man and he spent his time in Thebes studying its army and especially the tactics of the renowned Theban commanders Epaminondas and Pelopidas. He also saw how a phalanx could be utilized to drive an enemy from the battlefield. In particular, he studied the famous ‘Theban wedge’ and this was a mass attack over open ground by a phalanx at pace. Phillip was also deeply impressed by the Theban elite force the ‘Sacred Band’ and he was later to model his own elite forces on this unit. Using these experiences, he completely reorganized Macedonia’s army. When he became regent of Macedonia he increased the size of the army and indeed doubled its size. He also greatly expanded the cavalry and trained the army in the latest Theban tactics. He ensured that the Macedonians were well drilled and disciplined. He also made sure that the army was regularly paid and received other benefits and he transformed the army from one, that was a militia of citizen-soldiers to one composed of professional soldiers. He provided his army with uniforms and every soldier gave him an oath of allegiance. Phillip II also established a corps of engineers and they were soon to prove adept at siege warfare.