The business of war

Before I came to power, my father Philip had radically transformed the culture of war and the military’s role in Ancient Greece. Had it not been for his innovations and designs, no way on Earth would I have ever conquered so much land in such little time. Of course, I never voiced this while I was alive, but a man of my intelligent prowess and military acumen knew this.

Philip introduced the six-meter (about eighteen feet) sarissa, a deadly and lethal addition to his infantry’s already potent arsenal. In laymen’s terms: people could be sliced open from twenty feet away, a nifty advantage to have in land combat.

War was never meant to be tidy, Philip made it messy, and I went all out and made it far messier than Philip could have ever imagined.

But it was not only the arsenal of war that was radicalized during my father’s reign, so was the culture of war and the military’s place in society.

Philip introduced the concept of making the military a way of life for numerous Macedonian men: a well-paying way of life that would keep men fighting – or willing and ready to fight – yearlong. True, he had fallen in arrears – about five hundred talents – at the twilight of his tenure, but his intentions were noble.

Once I was running the show, I first had to secure my base: the Greek city-states. My razing of Thebes took care of that. From then on, my sights were set on the Persian Empire.