Chaeronea (338BC); the coming of age of Alexander the Great

As Peter Green puts it “After Chaeronea, it is said, the Macedonians began to speak about Philip as their general, but of Alexander as their king”. The battle meant a turning point for a young prince looking for the glory to justify his ascension to the throne.

Though it has been studied thoroughly, seldom has it been considered the relevance it had for the young Alexander, who had to fight his first major battle alongside his father with 18 years. For Philip it was his final victory against the Athenians and the Thebans, his greatest obstacles for dominating Greece, but for Alexander it was the day he became a true warrior and gained fame as such.

Alexander commanded the cavalry and played a key role crushing the left wing of the allied army. Spencer C. Tucker further states that it was “an awesome responsability for an 18-year-old and a measure of the confidence Philip had in his son´s military ability”. The fame and glory achieved that day by Alexander ensured he would sit on the throne of his father once he was gone. This was instrumental for him since Philipe did marry many times and had several doughters who possed if not a direct threat, due to their gendre, a potential one.

Therefore when the battle ended Alexander had gained as much as his father. He secured his position in the royal line, gained invaluable experience in the battlefield and understood the nature and meaning of a battle in all of its horror, chaos and death. Chaeronea


-Green, Peter. Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography. University of California Press, 08/01/2013.

– Tucker, Spencer C. Battles that changed History: An Encyclopedia of World Conflict. ABC-CLIO, 2010.

-Battle of Chaeronea (338BC) (2013, October, 29). InWikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16 January 2014, from

Diodorus of Sicily´s translation by MichaelCrowford and David Whitehead (2013, June, 13). In Retrieved 16 January 2014, from


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