Chapter 4. ALEXANDER ESTABLISHES HIS POSITION IN MACEDONIA, GREECE
AND THE BALKANS.
1. The Succession and the trial of conspirators.
The sight of his father being killed by a Bodyguard must have haunted
Alexander for the rest of his life. The memory made him aware of the
constant danger of assassination, and of the fact that a King could
not trust even the chosen Bodyguard. At the moment the first
priority was the selection of a successor. As many of the King's men
as could be summoned met as an assembly under arms in the theater,
where the corpse of Philip was laid out to witness proceedings.
Antipater, Philip's senior friend, presided. The election was not a
foregone conclusion, because there was known to be some support for
the claims of Amyntas, who had been king as a minor in 359-357, and
some for the sons of Aeropus, king in 397-394. The Friends generally
gathered around Alexander. One of them, Alexander Lyncestus, son of
Aeropus, was the first to shout, 'Alexander, son of Philip'. and the
assembly elected Alexander with a resounding acclamation. The
Friends put on their cuirasses, the King's men clashed their spears
against their shields, and the new king led a procession to the
That is the firt paragraph in chapter 4 of Fuller's book on
Alexander, which can be found on page 27. paperback edition.
It is interesting to me to consider how much Julius Caesar should
have applied that kind of haunting to his own close associates, as
there is little doubt that William Shakespeare in his play on the
topic of Julius Caesar uses the site of Philippi for Caesar's ghost
to return as a reminder of Philips death also.
One cannot help but wonder at the conflicts that raged within
Alexander at the moment of his father's death...fear of his own title
being stripped from him, grief at the loss of a loved one, wonder at
the possibility of succeeding him...all this happening within minutes
and Alexander probably dazed and confused at apprehending the
assassin, and yet having to confront the awesome task of saving his
father if possible...what a powerful moment for all gathered at that
what was to have been a joyful occasion now turned into a tragedy, a
At that moment, Alexander learned who his true friends are, and as
such, we learn how a man can only become a king because of support
from his closest allies and friends.
Alexander can be compared to the winning coach who is carried from
victory on the backs of his players.
But again, Fuller is very perceptive in his understanding of how the
memory would haunt him, and create in him a knowledge that even he
could fall victim to foul play...who can you trust?
As Caesar said so well, Et tu, Brute?