Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great

Was one of the first great strategists and military leader in history. He was king of the Ancient Kingdom of Macedon between 336-323 BC and his conquests made the Macedonians rule over a large empire stretching from Greece to Egypt into northwest India and modern-day Pakistan. He was undefeated in battle, thing which made him one of the best military commanders of all time.

Philip II was a very sever father and offered Alexander a Spartan education, some saying one day he threw Alexander in a pit full of lions. Alexander’s mother, Olympia was of Greek origins, daughter of king Neoptolemus I of Epirus and she was very interested in the occult, having at the same time dynastic ambitions. When Alexander reached the age of 13, his father, Philip, decided to bring him a tutor in order to give him a superior education and that tutor was the one and only Aristotle. The young boy gained from Aristotle a lot of knowledge in various fields, such as: mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, arts, biology, geography and politics.

Alexander The Great was asked by his father in 340 BC to join him and his army to the siege of Perinthus to teach him the art of war. After that, he becomes regent of Pella, defeats the rebellion of the Moesi who were living in the north of Macedonia and names the city where he obtained victory, Alexandropolis.

In 336 BC, Philip II of Macedon is assassinated in an amphiteater at Aegae by Pausanias, the captain of his guards. Alexander was proclaimed king of Macedonia by the army and most of the nobles at the age of 20. His mother oreders the killing of her nephews in order to secure Alexander’s throne and forces his wife to kill herself.

In just 2 years after becoming king, Alexander starts his campaign of conquest. He added to his small army of some 30.000 men and 5.000 horsemen some engineers, constructors, inspectors, architects, scientists and historians. The first fight was taken against the Persians near the Granicus river. After defeating the Persians, he sweeped his way through Asia Minor.

Advancing further south, after conquering Gaza, he headed to Egypt where people greeted him like as a deliverer because he saved them from Persian oppresion. Alexander The Great changes direction heading towards the Tigris river in the northeast, going through Palestine. In 331 BC he encountered the Persians for the thrid time. The battle of Gaugamela was another battle where Alexander defeated the highly superior army and king Darius III was later murdered by his own people. Alexander was quick to take hold of Babylon, the capital of the Persian Empire. He humiliated the persians by burning their great palace, Xerxes. Before realizing it, the whole Persian Empire was under Alexander’s rule. He then chooses to cross the Indus River and enters the region which was neighbouring the persian province of Taxila.

Alexander's Empire
Alexander’s Empire

 

At this point he meets the fearless indian monarch Porus, who, with an army of 25.000 men and 200 elephants almost did what the entire Persian Empire couldn’t. But after heavy fightings, Alexander came out victorious again. Porus surrender himself and he became Alexander’s ally. After an 8-year champaign, Alexander was now ruler of a massive empire. He was eager to conquer territories in the West, but his men were tired and wanter to return to their families. Reluctantly, he respected their wishes. Alexander was a thoughtful military leader, he visited his men after every battle, examined their wounds and praised their courageous efforts. For those fallen in the battle, he organized extravagant funerals and in order to entertain his soldiers, organized games and competitions. The affection for their leader was the reason that excited the troops.

On his return to Babylon, Alexander assumed the role he coveted for so long – a great conqueror. He used to have a licentious lifestyle and used to consume great quantities of alcohol. He also had moments of paranoia and outputs of anger. One night, he even killed one of his closes associates, Clitus, in a huff. This gesture has haunted him for the rest of his short life. In June 323 BC, Alexander The Great fell victim to the malaria fever and he had never recovered. The man whom no man could beat him died on June 10, 323 BC at 32 years old and 8 months in Nebuchadnezzar II Palace in Babylon.

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