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Philip of Macedon Paperback – 26 Feb 1998
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About the Author
N.G.L. Hammond was Professor of Greek at Gonville and Caius College, and an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge. His publications include The History of Macedonia, Philip of Macedon and Studies in Greek History; he collaborated on The Oxford Classical Dictionary and The Cambridge Ancient History.
Top Customer Reviews
The main reason for this is that it does not even attempt to discuss the merits of Philip versus those of his talented “all-conquering” son Alexander, a discussion which is somewhat sterile even if fashionable to the extent that the son started with what his father left him. In other words, it is highly unlikely that Alexander would have achieved all of his victories, conquests and undying fame (for better or for worse) without the Balkan empire, state and war machine that he received from his father.
The main merit of this book is precisely to try to show in a book of less than 200 pages of text what the “Founding Father” really achieved – the creation of a unified Macedonian kingdom and dominance across the Balkans – and how he achieved it over less than a quarter of a century.
Although a first class piece of scholarship, the book is nevertheless very readable. In particular, while presenting the main debates of the period that saw the rise of Macedon, the author is generally careful not to enter into lengthy (and, for the general reader, often boring) discussions. The notes to the main text are also useful in listing the appropriate references although I would have personally preferred the author to come up with an extent bibliography. There is however a very useful chronology at the end of the book which shows in particular how methodical Philip was in his expansion.
Another element which needs to be mentioned is the author’s somewhat obvious sympathy for his subject.Read more ›
There are few biographies on Philip so Hammond has reached out to many people with this book. We all owe Hammond a great debt for this study on Europes greatest King.
A must for any Hellenistic world enthusiasts!
Philip is portrayed as a very able ruler and an outstanding general but a man whose omnivorous carnal desire ultimately led to his assassination.
This is an excellent research tool for those wanting to know more about Greece in the fourth century BC and Macedon's rise to power.
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