With the emergence of the Macedonian threat in the mid-4thcentury B.C., Athenian public opinion was in favour of action against Philip II, but it did not have the desired results; the military unrest at Propontis in 351 B.C. caused by Philip II’s launch of his fleet against the Athenians, interrupted food supplies to Athens.

In order to confront the Macedonian threat, many solutions were proposed. Demosthenes’ argued in favour of stepping up military action against Philip, and on his suggestion a military fund was set up in 349 B.C. Another suggestion put into practice, but without any practical results, was the delegation of ambassadors in 348/7 B.C. to other Greek cities with a view to forming an alliance against Philip II. In the end they capitulated to the Macedonian king.

During the peace negotiations Philip II realised that Athens was divided on foreign policy, as it could not decide on the stance it should take regarding the Boeotian cities. After a premeditated delay he eventually agreed to the terms of peace, but the Athenians were not pleased with the results the ambassadors achieved.

After 346 B.C. the Assembly of Citizens followed roughly the political direction of Demosthenes. The loss of the Thracian coastlines, the danger of losing the strait of the Hellespont, the military occupation of Thermopylae by Philip II and his alliance with the Boeotians, troubled the Athenians. The alliance between Philip II and the Great King following Athenian rejection of the Persian proposal of a confederacy, caused turmoil in Athens, which hastened the creation of a large league against the Macedonians. The military operations which followed culminated in the victory of the Macedonians at Chaeronea (338 B.C.), after which Philip II was more conciliatory and moderate when he concluded peace with the Athenians and their allies.

Macedonia was supreme in Greece. A few years later, in 337 B.C., the conference of the Greeks passed Philip’s II suggestion regarding the creation of an alliance aiming at a Panhellenic expedition to Asia and appointed the Macedonian king as “imperial supreme commander”.

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