Philip II, King of Macedonia and father of Alexander the Great, was born in Pella in 382 BC. From 367 – 365 BC, Philip was a hostage in Thebes, and during that period he observed the military techniques of Thebes, then the greatest power in Greece. In 364 he returned to Macedonia.
In 359 he was made Regent for his infant nephew Amyntas; later that year he seized the throne for himself. Faced with internal dissensions and attacked on all sides, Philip reorganized the Macedonian army on the model of the Theban Phalanx. In less than two years he had secured the safety of his kingdom and firmly established himself on the throne. From then on, his policy was aggressive. Philip was the greatest statesman and general of his time. He laid the foundation of the Macedonian military power employed by Alexander the Great, to conquer and hellenize the middle east. A treasure-filled royal tomb, believed to be Philip’s, was excavated at Vergina, near Thessalonika, Greece, in 1977.
This beautiful little gold coin was struck by Phillip to honor the Greek god Heracles, better known by his Roman name of Hercules. Phillip, his ancestors, and his progeny claimed to be descended from the great warrior/god.