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WHO WAS ALEXANDER THE GREAT?



Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the nature of the ancient world in little more than a decade. His achievements were so great that he became the inspiration for later conquerors such as Hannibal the Carthaginian, the Romans Pompey and Caesar, and more recently, Napoleon.

Alexander was born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia in July 356 BC. His parents were Philip II of Macedon and his wife Olympias. 

Alexander the Great image care of notesofman.wordpress.com
Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle, and he spent his childhood watching his father transforming Macedonia into a great military power, winning victory after victory on the battlefields throughout the Balkans. 

In 340, when Philip assembled a large Macedonian army and invaded Thrace, he left his 16 years old son with the power to rule Macedonia in his absence as regent, which shows that even at such young age Alexander was recognized as quite capable.  

But as the Macedonian army advanced deep into Thrace, the Thracian tribe of Maedi bordering north-eastern Macedonia rebelled and posed a danger to the country.  Alexander assembled an army, led it against the rebels, and with swift action defeated the Maedi, captured their stronghold, and renamed it after himself to Alexandropolis.  Two years later in 338 BC, Philip gave his son a commanding post among the senior generals as the Macedonian army invaded Greece.

 His father Philip was assassinated in 336 BC and Alexander inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom. Once he ascended on the Macedonian throne, Alexander quickly disposed of all of his domestic enemies by ordering their execution. He quickly reasserted Macedonian power within Greece and then set out to conquer the massive Persian Empire.

Map of Alexander the Great's Empire
Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without suffering a single defeat. His greatest victory was at the Battle of Gaugamela, in what is now northern Iraq, in 331 BC. The young king of Macedonia, leader of the Greeks, overlord of Asia Minor and pharaoh of Egypt became 'great king' of Persia at the age of 25.

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army a further 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered around two million square miles. The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far to the east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce. This was united by a common Greek language and culture, while the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Alexander was acknowledged as a military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and those of his soldiers. The fact that his army only refused to follow him once in 13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired.

Shortly before beginning of the planned Arabian campaign, he contracted a high fever after attending a private party at his friend's Medius of Larisa.  

As soon as he drank from the cup he “shrieked aloud as if smitten by a violent blow”. The fever became stronger with each following day to the point that he was unable to move and speak. 

 The Macedonians were allowed to file past their leader for the last time before he finally succumbed to the illness on June 7, 323 BC in the Macedonian month of Daesius. 

Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king and the great conqueror of Persian Empire, died at the age of 33 without designating a successor to the Macedonian Empire. 

Based on an article from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alexander_the_great.shtml and http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/AncientMacedonia/AlexandertheGreat.html
Image care of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_the_Empire_of_Alexander_the_Great_(1893).jpg

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  2. The second picture is of Temur Malik, the Tajik hero who fought the Mongols.

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g811256-d7272959-i237601710-Historical_Local_Lore_Museum_of_Archeology_and_Fortification-Khujand_Sug.html

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