Siege of Methone, late 355 - early 354 BC

The siege of Methone (late 355 BC - early 354 BC) saw Philip II of Macedon capture the last potential Athenian base on the Macedonian coast.

Battles and Sieges of Philip II of Macedon
Battles and Sieges of
Philip II of Macedon,
358-338 BC

Methone was a city on the Thermaic Gulf, just to the south of the Macedonian coast, and very close to the old Macedonian capital of Aegae. Early in Philip's reign Argaeus, a pretender to the throne, had landed at Methone with 3,000 Athenian hoplites. The Athenians hadn't taken part in Argaeus's brief, unsuccessful, attempt to raise a revolt in his favour, but the presence of an Athenian port close to the heart of his kingdom must have worried Philip. Athenian power in the north increased when Cersobleptes, son of Cotys, king of Thrace, handed them most of the cities on the Chersonese.

Philip had been campaigning in Thrace, but for a now lost reason he decided to suspend this campaign, and attack Methone.

The defenders held on for some time, hoping for Athenian help. The Athenians probably planned to send help, as Demosthenes mentioned its late arrival, but the city fell before any help arrived. The citizens were forced to leave the city, and were only allowed to take a single garment of clothing with them. The city was then razed, and isn't mentioned again.

Philip was wounded during this siege, losing his right eye after it was hit by an arrow during an attempt to storm the walls.

Polyaenus records an incident from this siege. After some of Philip's men reached the top of the walls using scaling ladders, Philip had the ladders removed to force his men to fight more fiercely.

The exact dating of the events of this period are unclear. Diodorus places the fall of Methone in the same year as the battle of Neon (Third Sacred War), which we have placed in 354 BC. 

After the fall of Methone Philip campaigned in Thessaly, fighting against Lycophron, tyrant of Pherae. This brought him into direct conflict with the Phocians, then defying much of Greece (Third Sacred War). The Phocians sent an army under Phayllus, brother of their leader Onomarchus, to aid Lycophron. This army was defeated, so Onomarchus led his main army into the area. He then inflicted two terribly badly documented battlefield defeats on Philip,

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 January 2017), Siege of Methone, late 355 - early 354 BC , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_methone.html

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