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Battle of Chaeronea Area Today

A map of the area around the battle positions

Battle of Chaeronea summary

The Battle of Chaeronea (Greek: Μάχη της Χαιρώνειας) was fought in 338 BC, near the city of Chaeronea in Boeotia, between the forces of Philip II of Macedon and an alliance of some of the Greek city-states including Athens and Thebes.

  1. After several months of stalemate, Philip finally advanced into Boeotia in an attempt to march on Thebes and Athens. Opposing him, and blocking the road near Chaeronea, was the allied Greek army, similar in size and occupying a strong position.
  2. The Athenians took up positions on the left wing, the Thebans on the right, and the other allies in the centre. On the left flank, the Greek line lay across the foothills of Mount Thurion, blocking the side-road that led to Lebedea , while on the right, the line rested against the Kephisos River, near a projecting spur of Mount Aktion
  3. Once joined, the battle was hotly contested for a long time and many fell on both sides, so that for a while the struggle permitted hopes of victory to both.
  4. The young Alexander succeeded in rupturing the Greek line aided by his companions, and eventually put the Greek right wing to flight.
  5. Meanwhile, Philip advanced in person against the Greek left.
  6. Polyaenus suggests that Philip engaged the Greek left, but then withdrew his troops.
  7. The Athenians on the Greek left followed and, when Philip held the high ground, he stopped retreating and attacked the Athenians, eventually routing them
  8. The Greek right wing, under the assault of the Macedonian troops under Alexander's command, then also routed, ending the battle