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Alexander's Rise to Power

A disgruntled Macedonian assassinated Philip1 in 336 B.C. Unconfirmed rumors circulated that the murder had been instigated by one of his several wives, Olympias, a princess from Epirus to the west of Macedonia. In any case, Philip's son by her, Alexander2 (356-323 B.C.), promptly liquidated potential rivals for the throne3 and won recognition as king. In several lightning-fast campaigns, he subdued Macedonia's traditional enemies to the west and north. Next he compelled the southern Greeks, who had rebelled from the League of Corinth4 at the news of Philip's death, to rejoin the alliance. To demonstrate the price of disloyalty, Alexander destroyed Thebes5 in 335 B.C. as punishment for its rebellion from the League.

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