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Battle of Chaeronea

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Battle of Chaeronea
Chaeronea
Campaign: War of the League of Corinth
Date: 338 BC
Place: Boeotia, Greece
Outcome: Macedonian victory
Combatants

Macedon Macedon

Sparta Athens
Sparta Thebes

Commanders

Philip II of Macedon

Chares

Strength

11,810 troops

15,510 troops

Casualties

8,480 killed

13,000

The Battle of Chaeronea was a military encounter between the forces of Philip II of Macedon and an allied army of Athens and Thebes.

Background

Philip II of Macedon, having just conquered Scythia, invaded Greece, taking advantage of the infighting between the city-states to rally an army of 11,810 troops. His army consisted of both Hoplites as well as Companion Cavalry, led by his son, Prince Alexander. The city-states of Athens and Thebes gathered an army of 15,500 troops to resist the Macedonian invasion, led by veteran general Chares. This army included the Theban Sacred Band, elite troops who acted as the vanguard.

Battle

While the Macedonian and Greek Cities infantry marched towards each other in phalanx formation, Alexander brought his cavalry and fearlessly charged the Sacred Band spearmen. Although many horsemen were impaled by the pikes, they envepoled the Sacred Band from all sides and slew them. With the vanguard annihilated, the Greeks were open to assault from the rear, with Alexander acting as the hammer while his father was the anvil, catching the Greeks in between. The Greek commander was killed and his men were vigorously pursued, and Philip II won the day.

Aftermath

Having united Greece, Philip created the League of Corinth to consolidate his control. Greece would be in the hands of Macedon until 168 BC, when the Roman Republic destroyed the army of Perseus, leader of the Antigonid Empire (founded by one of Alexander's retainers, Antigonus One-Eye, after Alexander's death), and took over Greece as a province.

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