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Philip II reigned over Macedonia from 359 to 336 B.C. He became the head of an empire that was expanded by his son and successor, Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great created a timeless impression of himself as a god-like figure that lasts even until this day.
Both Alexander's father and mother had a great influence on the man he became but his mother held a special significance in his upbringing.
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While preparations were underway for the move into Persia, Philip participated in a procession in Aegae in July 336. There, he was assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Pausanias. Philip was approximately 46 when he died.
The reasons behind Pausanias's actions remain unclear. He may have been acting on his own—allegedly Philip's ally Attalus arranged for Pausanias's sexual assault, and Pausanias was upset that Philip would not help avenge him. However,
Pausanias may have been acting for someone else—perhaps Olympias, who felt supplanted by Philip's latest marriage, or Alexander, who may have worried that his succession was in jeopardy. The Persian king was another possibility, as he would have wanted to avert Philip's invasion.
While it is impossible to know the exact motive behind the assassination, Philip's legacy is much clearer. When Alexander stepped in to lead Macedonia, he was the head of a country that was strong and unified, with the most able military force in the region. While Alexander's accomplishments are impressive, none would have been possible without the legacy that Philip left behind.
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