What happened in the Battle of Chaeronea?

The Battle of Chaeronea decided the fate of Greece where its freedom perished. The battle took place in early August 338 BC. At dawn, both troops lined up against each other in the Battle of Chaeronea and Philip had only about 32 thousand people, and the Hellenic forces were 50 thousand.


During the Battle of Chaeronea, the right flank of the Macedonian army was commanded by Philip himself, the left was controlled by his 18-year-old son Alexander, and in the center were the Thessalians and Aetolians allied with Macedonia. The Athenian army, led by chief commanders, stood against the right flank of Philip, the Theban – against the left flank of Alexander, and the rest of the Greeks settled against the Macedonian center.

The battle formations of the Greeks began to crumble and the corpses fell in piles, and the units under Alexander’s command were the first to overpower and put their opponents to flight. Soon, the entire Greek army took to an erratic flight. In the Battle of Chaeronea, more than 1 thousand were killed from the Athenians, at least 2 thousand were captured, and the Thebans also lost a lot of prisoners and those killed. Likewise, many of the Boeotians were killed and many were taken alive. Philip put a trophy after the battle, allowed to bury the corpses, made a victorious sacrifice to the gods and awarded the distinguished ones according to the merits.

Philip achieved his goal and in the first moments after the victory at the Battle of Chaeronea he indulged in unbridled and unworthy joy. Having weighed the importance of the war against him, in which he could lose both his dominance and his life, he feared the power and strength of the great orator Demosthenes. Philip threw a wreath from his head to the ground and granted freedom to captives. Philip, having achieved his goal at the Battle of Chaeronea, treated defeated enemies with prudent moderation, without hatred and passion. He gave the Athenians all the prisoners without ransom, and while they were expecting an attack on his city, he offered them friendship and alliance. Having no other choice, the Athenians accepted this proposal, that is, they themselves recognized the hegemony of the king of Macedonia. The Thebans were punished for their treason, and they were forced to again take into their city 300 citizens expelled by them. They also needed to remove Philip’s enemies from their possessions, put his friends at the head of the department and take over the maintenance of the Macedonian garrison. The latter was to observe not only Thebes, but also Attica and all of central Greece.

Having set up his business in central Greece, Philip went to the Peloponnese and pacified Sparta, and she could no longer think of serious resistance afterwards. Thus, after the Battle of Chaeronea, Philip, without noticeably changing the internal order of things, acquired hegemony over all of Greece. He now began to think about the implementation of the plan, which he had been engaged in for a long time and which was supposed to crown the work of his whole life. He wanted the combined forces of the Greek people to conquer the Persian kingdom. For this purpose, he called deputies from all Greek states to an allied council in Corinth and forced him to choose himself as the unlimited leader of the Hellenes against the Persians. However, Philip’s plans did not succeed and, in the midst of well-being and hopes, he was struck by the killer’s sword.

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