Alexander the Great

Alexander The Great - The One Who Almost Conquered All

This above Video is a Documentary on Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BCE.) was a legendary Macedonian king and military commander. Renowned for his grand conquests, he created one of history’s largest empires, spreading Greek culture and influence across three continents. His strategic genius and vision profoundly shaped the course of the ancient world.
Date of Birth : 20 or 21 July 356 BCE
Died : 10 or 11 June 323 BCE
Place of Birth : Pella, Macedonia
Father : Philip II of Macedonia
Mother : Olympias of Epirus
Spouse/Partners : Roxane (Wife), Stateria (Wife), Parysatis (Wife)
Children: Illegitimate Kids

Overview

This is the story of Alexander III, most commonly known as Alexander the Great. Born in 356 B.C. to King Philip II and Queen Olympias in Macedonia, he was already on the right path to greatness and a bright future. On top of it, he was loved the most, by his parents and the public.

At the age of 12, Alexander tamed a wild horse who was entirely off his rockers and hard to be controlled, it couldn’t be tamed, even by the greatest wranglers. Bucephalus, the horse, later became the greatest companion of Alexander.

When Alexander turned 13, his father like any other responsible father decided to provide the best education for his son. And who would be better to educate a future general than Aristotle himself? Alexander was often scolded by his father for not taking his studies seriously. But the love of his mother always protected him from the wrath of his father. Aristotle and Alexander had a pretty good relationship as well. He also became an advisor to Alexander in later years.

Philip had to leave for a battle in 338 B.C. Alexander was just 16 at that time and Philip left him in charge of Macedonia. But Alexander, didn’t want to rule because of this opportunity, he wanted to rule because of his abilities. The young Prince then seized the moment and decided to prove his worth to Macedonia. He and his cavalry marched to a battle with the Sacred Band of Thebes. Back then that Band was believed to be undefeated and invincible. But Alexander was born to break the norms and thus defeated the entire fleet by himself and prove his military might to his nation and family.

It was 336 B.C. when a great tragedy struck Alexander. Philip was assassinated and the culprit was no one other than a trusted bodyguard Pausanias. This changed Alexander from within. He was now trusting fewer and fewer people and focused his attention and efforts on expanding his empire. At just the age of 20 Alexander claimed the Throne and destroyed his enemies before they could destroy him.

He also crushed, any sign of rebellion in Greece. Then he continued to move out and conquer all he could see and all there was. He appointed General Antipater as regent and headed towards Persia. He crossed Hellespont and faced Persian armies. But without any major casualties or losses to his troops, Alexander defeated them and moved ahead with his ambition.

After defeating the Persian and Greek Armies, Alexander moved south to the City of Sardes, presently a part of Turkey and captured it with quite ease. Although his armies faced a bit of retaliation and resistance in Miletus Halicarnassus and Mylasa, but eventually they defeated them all.

After Halicarnassus, Alexander decided to move towards Gordium. It was famous for its historic Gordian Knot and fertile land. There was a legend, that who so ever could undo those knots, could conquer all over Asia. Alexander accepted this challenge and decided to undo them. But he was unable to do so. Many believe that Alexander then decided to use a sword and cut through knots. With victory in his mind, Alexander moved ahead to other cities, to rule.

In 333 B.C. he was challenged again by Persian armies under the command of King Darius III. Despite the fact that Alexander and his army was outnumbered, they had more battle experience and the determination to win. When this fact was acknowledged by King Darius III he fled leaving his family and army behind. Sisygambis, the mother of King Durian III was so furious because of her son’s act that she decided to disown him and name Alexander as her son.

After this, almost all the cities and rulers were familiar with Alexander and his might. In every battle Alexander was in, he won. There was no one who could even think of crossing Alexander the wrong way. This is when Alexander quoted one of his most famous quotes, “There is nothing impossible to him who will try”.

Persuing Darius, Alexander now moved to Marathus and Aradus, located in present day Syria. Darius begged for mercy but Alexander rejected his request and captured cities of Byblos and Sidon. In 332 B.C. Alexander moved to Tyre, currently located in Lebanon, in January that year. Tyre was an Island and Alexander did not have Naval forces at that time. Thus he ordered his troops to build him a causeway but the Tyrian armies pushed back his armies as they had a navy, and the geographical conditions were also not favoring Alexander as well. Frustrated but determined, Alexander decided to build his own Naval army and struck the Island of Tyre with all he had. Alas, in July 332 B.C. Alexander won against Tyre and another challenging victory was named under Alexander the Great.

Later, Another request of peace was offered by Darius and Alexander rejected it again, and moved to Egypt. However, he was stuck in Gaza for a bit but Alexander was now prepared for the long battles that were to come his way. In a matter of weeks, he took the city and successfully entered Egypt and established a city. The city of Alexandria which still exists in Egypt, was established and named after himself.

After Alexander successfully conquered Egypt, he then moved to Persia to face Darius. It was October 331 B.C. and Alexander was ready to fight Darius. With heavy casualties and financial losses at both sides, Darius decided to flee again. But this did not end well for him. Darius was killed by his own army men and Alexander was sad at this. Yes, Alexander wanted to defeat Darius and win, but not like this. Out of respect and generosity, he gave Darius a proper Royal Burial.

But soon a new usurper entered the life of Alexander. His name was Bessus. Some historians believe that he was the one behind he assassination of Darius. But you know Alexander, for him dealing with usurpers and enemies was almost like a child’s play. Eventually, Alexander defeated Bessus much before Bessus could make his move. After this, Alexander took control of the whole of Persia and claimed to be the New Persian King.

Once Alexander became the king of Persia, he tried his best to gain the trust and earn the respect of the Persians. He thus started to wear Persian attires and follow some of their traditions. One of those was Proskynesis. As per this tradition, those who were juniors had to bow and kiss the hand of the senior. The introduction of Proskynesis raised many questions and sparks in Alexander’s army. The Macedonians didn’t like it a bit and to make things worse, Alexander attempted to be seen as a Deity, a god. This frustrated a bunch of people and they also planned to kill Alexander.

As soon as Alexander got a whiff of these plans, he decided to take care of the matter. He ordered the execution of his most trusted General Parmenio. Alexander also ordered to execute Philotas, Parmenio’s son because he was also involved in the plan.

It was 328 B.C. and Alexander got into an argument with Cleitus, after drinking. Cleitus was mocking Alexander for his Persian Persona. This enraged Alexander and he killed another trusted and strong general of his army who was Cleitus himself.

Pretty troubled over this, Alexander got stuck while trying to win over Sogdia as they still remained loyal to Bessus and refused to surrender. But he didn’t take no for an answer, fleeing his troops, the city folks took refuge under a huge rock. When Alexander visited the site, Under that rock he saw a beautiful girl, Roxane and fell in love at first site. He then married Roxane and she joined Alexander on his journey.

Alexander now moved to India where many small tribes and kings surrendered to him without fight. But then he met Porus. The one who challenged Alexander like no one ever did. Although Porus had a minimal experience in battles but he had an Ace up his sleeve. Majestic and strong Elephants. A long battle was fought between the two, where Porus fought bravely. But did anyone ever defeat Alexander? No!

And same was true with Porus. When Porus refuse to surrender even after being surrounded and outnumbered, he was captured. When Alexander asked him, how he wished to be treated by him? Porus famously replied “The way king should treat another king”. Alexander was taken back, as he had never met an opponent who could look in his eyes and talk back to him, even when chained. Later, out of respect for this Indian King, Alexander left Porus in charge of his newly conquered land, and moved back.

In 324 B.C. Alexander came up with a new plan to reunite Persians and Macedonians. A mass wedding was organized for the same. He ordered many of his troops to marry Persian women. He himself married two Persian Beauties. This plan backfired and his army was furious and started to retaliate. To teach them a lesson he replaced many of them by Persian Troops. This scared his Macedonian army and they came to the conclusion of stopping the rebellion.

It was 323 B.C. and Alexander decided to invade Arabia and conquer it next. At this time, he almost conquered everything. But he could never see the victory over Arabia he wanted to see. Alexander died in June 323 B.C. at the age of 32. Some say that Alexander died because of Malaria while others have a strong belief that he was poisoned and assassinated by his own people.

As Alexander did not named his successor, after his demise, his large kingdom felt a need for a new strong king. Some generals vouched for the illegitimate child of Philip II named Philip Arrhidaeus while other supported the Son of Alexander and Roxane named Alexander IV. They both divided the regions and accomplishments of Alexander the Great. But As you know, Nepotism sometimes brings down the entire empire. It was not long after 317 B.C. that both Alexander IV and Arrhidaeus lost everything to their enemies. From something to everything, that was Alexander The Great’s life story, and now you know, why he is called “The Great”.

This Article will answer your questions like:

+ What were Alexander the Great’s major achievements? >

Alexander the Great's major achievements include the conquest of the Persian Empire, founding over 20 cities (including Alexandria in Egypt), and spreading Greek culture across three continents. His military genius and visionary leadership left a lasting impact on world history.

+ How did Alexander the Great become king? >

Alexander the Great became king after the assassination of his father, King Philip II of Macedon, in 336 BCE. At the age of 20, he swiftly consolidated power, eliminated rivals, and was proclaimed king by the Macedonian army.

+ What were Alexander’s military strategies? >

Alexander’s military strategies included the use of the phalanx formation, combined arms tactics, rapid cavalry charges, and brilliant siegecraft. His adaptability, use of terrain, and psychological warfare techniques also contributed to his unparalleled success in battle.

+ What territories did Alexander conquer? >

Alexander conquered vast territories, including the Persian Empire, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and regions extending to the Indus Valley. His empire stretched from Greece in the west to modern-day Pakistan in the east.

+ What was the significance of Alexander’s conquests? >

The significance of Alexander’s conquests lies in the cultural diffusion they initiated, blending Greek and Eastern cultures, and the spread of Hellenistic civilization. This fusion influenced art, science, and politics in the regions Alexander conquered.

+ What were the key battles of Alexander the Great? >

Key battles of Alexander the Great include the Battle of Granicus, the Battle of Issus, the Siege of Tyre, the Battle of Gaugamela, and the Battle of Hydaspes. These victories showcased his strategic brilliance and secured his dominance.

+ How did Alexander the Great die? >

Alexander the Great died in 323 BCE in Babylon at the age of 32. The exact cause of his death remains uncertain, with theories ranging from poisoning to malaria, typhoid fever, or other natural causes.

+ What was Alexander’s relationship with his generals and advisors? >

Alexander’s relationship with his generals and advisors was complex. While he inspired loyalty and respect, tensions and rivalries existed. Key figures like Hephaestion, Parmenion, and Antipater played crucial roles, but power struggles emerged after his death.

+ How did Alexander the Great impact Greek culture? >

Alexander the Great significantly impacted Greek culture by spreading Hellenistic ideals across his empire. This led to the blending of Greek culture with Eastern traditions, influencing art, architecture, language, and philosophy throughout the known world.

+ What were Alexander’s ambitions for his empire? >

Alexander’s ambitions for his empire included unifying diverse cultures under one administration, spreading Greek civilization, and creating a legacy of a cosmopolitan world. He aimed to integrate East and West through marriage alliances and cultural exchange.

+ What was the legacy of Alexander the Great? >

The legacy of Alexander the Great includes the spread of Hellenistic culture, the founding of numerous cities, and the blending of Greek and Eastern cultures. His conquests and policies influenced subsequent empires and shaped the course of history.

+ How did Alexander spread Greek influence throughout his empire? >

Alexander spread Greek influence throughout his empire by founding cities, encouraging Greek settlers, and promoting Greek culture, language, and administration. His policies facilitated the fusion of Greek and local cultures, creating the Hellenistic civilization.

+ What were Alexander the Great’s views on leadership and governance? >

Alexander the Great viewed leadership as a means to achieve unity and cultural integration. He adopted elements of local governance, respected traditions, and promoted a vision of a diverse but unified empire under his centralized authority.

+ What was the extent of Alexander’s empire? >

The extent of Alexander’s empire stretched from Greece and Egypt in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, encompassing parts of modern-day Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, forming one of the largest empires in history.

+ What were some of the challenges Alexander faced during his campaigns? >

Alexander faced numerous challenges during his campaigns, including harsh terrain, logistical difficulties, resistance from local populations, maintaining troop morale, and managing the vast, culturally diverse territories he conquered. These obstacles tested his leadership and strategic skills.

Quotes By Alexander The Great

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.”

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

“I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity.”

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”

“I am dying with the help of too many physicians.”

Ruling History
Served As : King of Macedonia
Ruling Period : 336-323 BCE
Predecessor : Philip II
Successor : Alexander IV and Philip III
Served As : Hegemon of the Hellenic League
Ruling Period : 336-323 BCE
Predecessor : Philip II
Successor : Demetrius I of Macedon
Served As : Pharaoh of Egypt
Ruling Period : 332-323 BCE
Predecessor : Darius III
Successor : Alexander IV and Philip III
Served As : King of Persia
Ruling Period : 330-323 BCE
Predecessor : Darius III
Successor : Alexander IV and Philip III

Academic references on Alexander The Great

BOOKS:

  1. Alexander the Great” by Robin Lane Fox
  2. Alexander the Great: A New History” by Waldemar Heckel
  3. Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past” by Paul Cartledge
  4. The Nature of Alexander” by Mary Renault
  5. Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army” by Donald W. Engels
  6. Alexander the Great: A Very Short Introduction” by Hugh Bowden
  7. Alexander the Great: Man and God” by Ian Worthington
  8. Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death” by Anthony Everitt
  9. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age” by Peter Green
  10. The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives” by Plutarch (translated by Ian Scott-Kilvert)

ARTICLES:

  1. The Reign of Alexander the Great: Recent Epigraphic and Numismatic Evidence” by Frank L. Holt – The American Numismatic Society, 2003.
  2. Alexander the Great: His Empire and His Impact” by Pierre Briant – Columbia University Press, 2002.
  3. Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire” by Eugene N. Borza – Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019.
  4. Alexander the Great and the Unity of Mankind” by Erich S. Gruen – University of California Press, 1984.
  5. The Alexander Romance: History and Literature” by Richard Stoneman – Brill, 1991.
  6. The Battle of Issus (333 B.C.E.) in the Miniature from the “Alexander Mosaic” from Pompeii” by Nanette Esseck Brewer – American Journal of Archaeology, 2001.
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