Ian Worthington


On his book Philip II of Macedonia

Cover Interview of April 24, 2009


Without Philip, then, Greek history would have been entirely different.  So too would the history of Macedonia throughout the ages and into modern times. As my book argues, without the army that Philip created, the advances in siegecraft his engineering corps oversaw, the unity he forged in Macedonia, the strength of the economy he achieved, the empire he brought about, and the plans to invade Asia, Alexander would have achieved little.

This argument also affects Alexander’s kingship: just because he is called “Great” does not mean he is.  When we compare and contrast the legacies of Philip and Alexander, as I do, we see that Alexander’s reign brought to fruition what his father began – and then wrecked it.  His legacy, compared to that of his father, is woeful, and about as “un-great” as it can get.

The historical Alexander should be reassessed, as should Philip’s place in Greek history, and perhaps it is Philip who deserves to be called “Great.”

© 2009 Ian Worthington