When Alexander of Macedonia took the throne of his father Philip, he inherited an expansive and wealthy kingdom; a hardened and meticulously constructed army; and a cadre of aristocrats and nobles who were used to victory, and wanted more of it. Moreover, Alexander was well-educated—in part by none other than Aristotle himself—and a military veteran.
But when Philip took the throne he possessed none of these advantages. It is impossible to understand the campaigns of Alexander against Persia, and how they transformed Eurasia, without first understanding Philip of Macedon and what he accomplished. Such is the premise of Adrian Goldsworthy’s new history, Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors. Adrian Goldsworthy is a prolific historian and novelist, who lives in southern Wales; this is third appearance on Historically Thinking.