The ophthalmic wound of Philip II of Macedonia (360-336 BCE)

Surv Ophthalmol. Mar-Apr 2004;49(2):256-61. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2003.12.006.


The aim of this report is to present the ophthalmic wound of King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great. From a series of ancient literary and historical sources, a number of archaeological finds, and the paleopathological remains in the supposed tomb of Philip in Vergina, it can be deduced that the king was seriously wounded in his right eye during the siege of Methoni. The renowned physician Critobulos undertook the removal of the arrow that had injured the eye and the postoperative follow-up. He was already experienced and belonged to the official medical family of Asclepiades of Cos Island. It seems that an ugly scar remained in the area of Philip's right eye, possibly causing him psychological problems.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Eye Injuries / history*
  • Famous Persons*
  • Greece, Ancient
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Orbit / injuries
  • Paleopathology

Personal name as subject

  • None Philip II of Macedonia