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The Ambitions of Philip II

The Athenian orator and politician Demosthenes spoke so forcefully against Philip II1 because he recognized how dangerous and ambitious2 was this king, who was the person most responsible for making Macedonia into an international power and doing so against heavy odds. For one thing, strife in the royal family3 and disputes among the leading aristocrats had always been so common that Macedonia before Philip's reign had never been sufficiently united to mobilize its full military strength. So real was the fear of violence from their own countrymen that Macedonian kings stationed bodyguards not only outside the door to the royal bedroom but inside the door as well. Moreover, Macedonian princes married earlier than did most men, soon after the age of twenty, because the instability of the kingship demanded the production of male heirs as soon as possible.

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