Identity, Ideology, and Policy: Panhellenism and the Last Acts of Philip II

Author: Richardson, William Peter

Date: 2017

Publisher: University of Otago

Type: Thesis

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University of Otago


In the last years before his assassination, Philip II enacted two final, major policies. First was the establishment of a peace through a proto-federal union of the Greek states known as the League of Corinth, and second was the planning and initial stages of an invasion of the Persian Empire by a unified Greek army. Such policies resemble those espoused by, amongst others, Isocrates, who argued that the best way to secure peace between the Greek states was for them to unify behind a joint invasion of the barbarians beyond their borders. This thesis is focussed upon the relationship between Philip’s final policies and the pre-existing notions which modern scholarship classify as Panhellenism. First, building off the works of, for example, Flower (2000), Mitchell (2007), and Pownall (2007), this study proposes a concrete series of definitions for the varying aspects of these ideas. These definitions are then applied practically to a variety of pre-Philippic case studies which are comparable to the King’s polices, as well as to the acts of Philip himself. The conclusions from the application of this series of definitions to the case studies are then compared to those conclusions from the study of Philip. This contextualization of Philip’s policies within the structure of the panhellenic definitions allows a more complete comparison between the acts of the King and his predecessors. This enables us to discuss how Philip’s policies should be considered, from a panhellenic point of view, and may even suggest at direct influence upon the development of his plans. The final conclusions are that, within the structure of Panhellenism, the League of Corinth continued the development of Greek leagues, with more emphasis on the leagues with which Philip had direct contact with, and that his planned invasion of Persia was a combination of the acts proposed by Isocrates, and the panhellenic motives demonstrated by Demosthenes.

Subjects: Philip II of Macedon, Panhellenism, League of Corinth, Ancient Greek Federalism, Ancient Greek Identity, Greco-Persian Conflict

Citation: ["Richardson, W. P. (2017). Identity, Ideology, and Policy: Panhellenism and the Last Acts of Philip II (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from"]

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