Chaironeia: The Battle That Led to Alexander and the Greek Empire

Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Time: 8:00 pm - 9:15 pm
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Chaironeia: The Battle That Led to Alexander and the Greek Empire

Peter Krentz, Professor of Classics and History | Chair of Classics at Davidson College

A century and a half after they repelled the forces of the vast Persian Empire, the southern Greeks lost to Philip II’s Macedonians at Chaironeia in 338 BCE. Philip’s victory was recognized at the time as the end of Greek freedom.

Philip organized the Greeks into an alliance, had himself named its leader, declared war against the Persians, and sent an advance force into Asia. After his assassination, his son Alexander carried out the conquest of the Persians that Philip had planned.

Incorporating archaeological discoveries, this lecture will explore how Philip succeeded where the Great Persian Kings Darius and Xerxes had failed. The battle shares a particular puzzle with the Persian War battle of Marathon in 490: In both cases, the invaders had cavalry, but no cavalry are mentioned in descriptions of the fighting. Did Philip owe his victory to a dramatic cavalry charge led by his son Alexander?

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