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This review is from: Philip II of Macedonia (Hardcover)
I chose to buy this book, because it was written quite recently and I wanted to see the progress made with respect to my older books. I have already read Hammond's "Philip of Macedon" ,"The Macedonian State" and his legendary 3 volume "History of Macedonia" (along with Griffith & Walbank)to mention only the most important books of my library.
Worthington has made a decent & well referenced effort to present Philip to the general public, but just like another reviewer said,it refers to a general reader as a first contact with Philip II. What Worthington has certainly achieved glamorously here is to fill extra-abundantly the facts of Philip's life and of the Greek world fo his time. That he did trully excellently. What in my opinion chokes a little bit his effort are some frequent micro-errors that reduce the overall nice quality. To mention some: in page 18 he says that the Thebans lost the battle of Mantinea , when in reality they have won it , even if Epameinondas died in battle. In page 216 he says that Thyia was the daughter of Hellene, when she was his sister and daughter of Deucalion, or in page 219 where he says that Temenos was Heracles' son , when in reality he was his great-great-grandson (Heracles > Hyllos > Aristomachos > Temenos).In the same page, he refers to the Temenids and the Argeads as two different dynasties, with the latter replacing the former with Amyntas I around 540 BC. This is another error. The dynasty that Perdikkas I established around 650 BC arrived without interruption to Alexander IV, whether one wants to call them Temenids or Argeads. The ancient sources like Herodotus & Thucydides call them strictly Temenids, and modern scholarship is divided on whether if the Argeads were the Macedonian Royal Sub-tribe (like the Peialoi among the Molossians) or another name of the Royal House. In page 34 he surprized me where he refered to Parmenion as a Paeonian and not Macedonian, without providing any reference (ancient & modern) about it. As far as I know, in all my books Parmenion is considered a Macedonian aristocrat from Lower Macedonia, or at least, I haven't found anywere reference of him being a Paeonian who joined Philip after 358 BC. As the most "specialized" readers already know,during the times of Philip (and to a certain degree of Alexander if we remember how the Macedonians reacted to Alexander's Persian Epigonoi) it would be impossible for a Paeonian to become a general of the Macedonian Phalanx (in fact even in the late 3rd ce. BC the Paeonians & Thracians of the kingdom are recruited as separate units under the command of the Paeonian general Didas), since neither "barbarians" like Paeonians,Thracians etc nor other non-Macedonian Greeks (cf. Thessalians etc) could be part of the Sarissophor Phalanx, but were recruited in separate, auxiliary units commanded by their own aristocracy, that accompanied and offered support to the "Royal Forces".
Anyway, I stop here, hoping to have indicated what I intent as "micro-errors".
Maybe a future more careful edition where all these themes will be reviewed will make this book if not equal at least comparable to the well-established bibliography on Philip and his Macedonia.
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Initial post: 21 May 2012 06:31:43 BDT
Dear sir or madam, your comments on this book seem to be those of someone who has a deep knowledge on the subject. I was hoping you could recommend a book on Philip ii, I really just want to fill my knowledge gap between Thucydides and QC Rufus.
Very kind regards,
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