In the days when Thebes was the strongest city in Greece, and when Epaminondas was the leader in his native country, he received in his house a young Macedonian prince called Philip. This young man had been sent to Greece as a hostage, and was brought up under the eye of Epaminondas. The Theban hero got the best teachers for Philip, who was thus trained with great care, and became not only quite learned, but also brave and strong.

Macedon, Philip’s country, was north of Greece, and its rulers spoke Greek and were of Greek descent. Two years after the battle of Mantinea, when Philip was eighteen years old, he suddenly learned that the king, his brother, was dead, and had left an infant to take his place. Philip knew that a child could not govern: so he escaped from Thebes, where he was not very closely watched, and made his way to Macedon.