Biography Of Alexander The Great

Who was Alexander the Great? He was known as the most powerful military leader and conqueror of the ancient world.

Alexander the Great is known as the most powerful military leader and conqueror of the ancient world. Before he turned 30 years old he conquered an empire stretching over 3,000 miles from Greece to India. He was born in 356 BC in Macedonia, known today as northern Greece. Alexander's parents were Philip II and Olympias and his father ruled Macedonia at that time. Philip II hired Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher to live at his royal residence and educate his son Alexander.

Through his schooling Alexander acquired a fondness for Homer and an obsession with the heroic age. Later, Phillip II divorced his wife Olympias to marry a younger princess causing Alexander to run away. As Alexander grew he returned from time to time to Macedonia but remained detached from his father. Around June 336, when Alexander was 20 years old, his father Philip II was murdered mysteriously, leaving Alexander to become king.

His first mission was to conquer the Persians who lived in a country known today as Iran. At this time the Persians were powerful and ruled an immense territory. Their region included not only Persia but also Syria, Asia Minor (Turkey), Egypt and lands stretching all the way to India. Darius, the Persian king ruled from his capital city, Persepolis.



Can you imagine the scene when the heroic Alexander marched into Asia Minor with his military parade of about 30,000 toops, mostly Macedonians? In a matter of two momentous battles he had defeated large Persian armies. Afterwards he marched south, to overtake a territory at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, today known as Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. When Alexander and his invading army marched into Egypt the people rejoiced to see them for they hated being under Persian rule.

After Alexander defeated the Persians in Egypt, he instituted a new city, which he named after himself, Alexandria. It soon became a superior city of education and commerce. In 331 BC Alexander was 25 years old and began his most celebrated crusade. In Persia, King Darius had once again gathered a large army so Alexander and his forces returned back to Persia.

There was a huge battle and the Persians used their most capable weapons against Alexander's army. Their fierce weapons included chariots with knives affixed to the wheels, intended to cut into the horses legs of their enemies. Even still, Alexander's army won the victory and the Persians retreated. Now Alexander possessed the capital city, Persepolis. During the battle one of King Darius own generals killed him and Alexander had himself quickly crowned king of Persia.

The immense army of Alexander the Great then journeyed hundreds of miles east, traveling through Persia and into present-day Pakistan. They stopped in Pakistan and rested, then Alexander wanted to go farther but his men refused for they were weary. After some time they sailed south along the Indus River and then began their long march home. Alexander wanted to integrate the countries he had conquered, making them all part of one big empire, his empire. He favored Greek culture and inspired others to do so and to make it easier to communicate among the countries he introduced the Greek language. Merchants and traders were taught to use Greek money.

Alexander's army was not prejudice and gratefully received soldiers of different nationalities. When Alexander married a Persian princess he encouraged his soldiers to marry Persian women also. Many of them did just as their powerful leader commanded. Although Alexander was a famous and mighty conqueror, there was a dark side to his character. Many times when he conquered a city, he sometimes demolished every structure standing and sold all the people into slavery.

Once, he came upon a small city and found people living there who spoke Greek. He was mystified and discovered they were descendants of a people that were once his country's enemies. He instructed his soldiers to kill the whole city in honor of his ancient people. He was known for his horrendous temper, particularly when he had been drinking and in his later years, he drank heavily. One night while in a drunken madness he murdered his best friend. Alexander was considered a dictator even though he admired the Greek idea of democracy. He wanted people to worship him and some reported that he truly believed he was a god.

At the age of 32, Alexander became afflicted with malaria. Soon after he came to terms with his own death and called for every Macedonian solider in his army to pass through his tent for a final farewell. Soon, after Alexander died, his baby son was murdered. His enormous empire was divided up among his generals and later split again into numerous regions. No one ever again managed to conquer such a massive territory until modern times. Alexander the Great's idea of a universal realm prepared the way for the Roman Empire and Christianity.

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