Athens was supplied with ship building timber for its fleet by Macedonia, and established colonies along its coastline, but following the formation of the Delian League (487/7 B.C.) relations between Athens and Macedonia deteriorated.

Between the death of king Archelaus (394 B.C.) and the rise of Alexander the Greatís father Philip II (359 B.C.), Macedonia was divided by an internal dynastic controversies regarding succession and plagued by Illyrian attacks. Philip II managed to assert his power by suppressing neighbouring tribes, such as the Peones, and annexing them to the Macedonian state. From 358 B.C., contact with Athens resumed, as did conflicts, sometimes diplomatic, sometimes military.

Athens, involved as it was in the allied war, (357-5 B.C.) did not have the ability to respond to Philip IIís expansionist ambitions. The Macedonian king managed to consolidate his positions in the northern Aegean, conquering the coastal Thracian cities, the traditional bases for the Athenian fleet, on the Stena route.

In this way, Macedonia gradually acquired the character of an important naval power in the Aegean, and interfered increasingly in the affairs of southern Greek cities. At that time, those who supported the abandonment of Athenian hegemonic tendencies prevailed in Athens.

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