The Assassination of Philip II
At this point the syllabus suddenly becomes extra-exciting because the death of Philip is a fascinating whodunnit.
Diodorus Siculus's account
Your starting-point on the assassination of Philip has to be Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian who wrote in the first century bc, because this is the set source in the specification. You can read it in Mr Clare's Commentary on Diodorus's account of Philip's death.
However, you need to be aware that the story is possibly rubbish from beginning to end - whilst the fact that it is mentioned in the only surviving contemporary account (Aristotle) shows that it was clearly the 'official story' that Pausanias was a disgruntled jilted-lover who held a grudge against Philip, it is likely that this story covered-up a deeper conspiracy which Macedonian propaganda wanted to keep quiet.
Flaws in Diodorus
Any consideration of an explanation other than the 'lone-avenger' theory MUST start with an analysis of why Diodorus is untrustworthy - here are the key reasons:
1. It is shot through with superstition - all the tales about the Oracle at Delphi, the Athenian denunciation of plotters and Neoptolemus's oration are all 'portent-stories' building up the plot Similarly, the story of the 13th statue is a typical religious 'hubris-and-its-punishment' story.
So - if Diodorus IS unreliable - can we overthrow his theory of a 'lone-assassin-motivated-by-revenge' and suggest that there was a conspiracy to kill the king?
Different people have suggested different suspects:
1. Justin (a Roman historian of perhaps the
second century ad), and also Plutarch, suggest that
Olympias (and perhaps even Alexander) were behind the murder.
This document contains the relevant section of the set
Here is my (rather long-winded) blog on the death of Philip
And here are three more VERY DIFFICULT documents:
Amaleia Skilton - the most accessible, with some very useful comments on the main sources.
www.pothos.org - rambling and not academic, but interesting theories
Ada-Maria Kuskowski - very informative but dense
1. Work with a partner or in a small
group. Imagine you are a 'Cold Case' investigative team re-opening the
murder case of Philip II. Study and analyse the
2. Make a list of all the errors and inadequacies in Diodorus Siculus's account of Philip's death.