The King’s Canvas: The Transformation of Ancient Macedon


ACLS Fellowship Program


Classical Studies


“The King’s Canvas” is a reconstruction of the institutional change that enabled the sudden emergence of Macedon as a major power in the fourth-century BCE Greek world. Macedon’s growth under Philip II and Alexander the Great, with special focus on their leadership, military strategy, and diplomacy, is the subject of considerable scholarship, as is the failure of Greek city-states to adapt to new political realities. This work takes a new perspective by examining the sociopolitical changes within Macedon and the neighboring Balkan tribes that allowed their mutual and rapid transformation from disorganized tribal kingdoms into a powerful new Macedonian state. An accompanying analysis of Philip’s state-building activities explains Macedon’s rise and the political and military decline of city-states like Athens in a broader theoretical perspective.