Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedonia was the greatest military leader in the history of the world.
Better known as Alexander the Great, he set out to take back the Greek city-states of Asia Minor,
but he intended to do so much more. In his life he was king of Macedonia, General of Greece,
Master of Asia, and the Pharaoh of Egypt. Many world leaders of the future would look up to him.
Julius Caesar said of Alexander "Why have I accomplished so little, when at my age he was the
Master of the world."
The first thing ever recorded about Alexander, was that his mother, Olympias, had
dreamed that a thunderbolt was in her whom the night before she married Phillip, his father, to
some proof that he was descended from the gods. On the night of Alexander's birth many
"Divine" things occurred, one was that the temple of Diana in Athens was destroyed by fire.
Soothsayers interpreted this as; Diana was too busy overseeing Alexander's birth to watch
over her own property. Right at the time of his birth two eagles perched on the roof of the
palace he was born in. Soothsayers interpreted this as; he would be the ruler of to kingdoms. After
the age of seven Phillip thought that he must find the boy an educator. He chose the great
philosopher Aristotle. He saw the young boys genius and introduced the young pupil to the works
of Homer and the Iliad. His mother had told him that one of the heros in the Iliad, Achilles, was
his ancestor. One of the most famous stories about Alexander youth was the story of his
acquisition of the horse Bucephalus. The story goes as told, Alexander was at a fair with his
father, the king of Macedonia. Some men were discussing the seemingly untamable horse
Bucephalus. Alexander looked at his father and told him he could ride the horse, his father and
the other men laughed, understandably, how could this boy think he was more skilled with
horses then they. The king made him a deal, if Alexander could ride the horse he would pay
for it. If he could not Alexander would have to pay for it himself. When Alexander had
completed the task his father said, "You must find a larger kingdom for Macedonia is to small."
Alexander had seen that the horse feared his own shadow, he simply moved it the other way
and mounted it.
Alexander eventually grew up, and at the age of sixteen, he was named his father's
regent while his father was away fighting in Byzantium. During this time a small band of
Thracian's thought this might be an exploitable time to take revenge on Macedonia,
the solider's under Alexander listened to him and they quickly put down the audacious
rebellion. After this battle Alexander, like his father settled a Macedonian stronghold,
Alexander named this one Alexandropolis. It would be the first of many cities baring his name.
Soon after this, his father was assassinated. Alexander swiftly took the vacant throne, no
sooner then had he done this, then did he begin removing and killing any threat to his rule.
Many of his fathers old enemies saw this as an opportunity to refuse Macedonian rule,
but after a few successful battles north of Macedonia, Alexander had consolidated his
claims and made some powerful alliances. Most of the Hellenistic city- states fell into line,
except for Thebes and a few others. An Athenian orator had been able to compel Thebes
so much that they were prepared to fight against Alexander's aggression, after beating
Thebes, Alexander decided he would have to destroy the ancient city to set an example to
the rest of the Grecian Peninsula. After the destruction of Thebes all of Greece fell within rank,
except for Sparta, which had always maintained independence. Alexander was know ready
to attack Persia, but first he had to raise an army large enough to win.
Alexander then began the long journey that would see him as Lord of Asia. When his
ships landed on the coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey), Alexander threw his spear on the ground
to mark that he was taking the continent. A Greek mercenary general, named Memmon, that had
been hired by the Persians saw the threat of the invaders. He suggested that they starve them,
but Darius III refused to let this happen, he was convinced that they could easily destroy this
young Macedonian army, he sent him with a small force. They were slaughtered, and Alexander
only lost 150 men. This conquests propaganda value was enough to make the entire coast of
Asia Minor open their gates willingly. Only one city offered opposition, Tyre, the city was gravelly
punished for its resistance. Thing single greatest battle between Alexander and Darius was at
Issus, a decisive battle that ended with Darius riding away on horseback. His army followed
him and the battle was lost. In Alexander's passive hunt for Darius, Darius would elude his
hunter when a Bactrian chieftain, named, Bessus, killed him. Alexander had in the end
conquered Persia, he would explore it all but first he would go see what Egypt held.
After all the battles in Persia were fought Alexander moved onto Egypt to find its
fortunes and to fight the battles for the fortunes. What he did not find was any resistance.
The Egyptians welcomed him as liberator, and named him Pharaoh. He immediately accepted
there gods and said that the Egyptian God of Gods, Ammon-Ra, was the same as the Greeks
Zeus. He then built the great city of Alexandria, this city became the heart and true capitol
of the empire. After his time was complete in Alexandria and Egypt he went to stretch his empire
to the far reaches of the "known world". He later petitioned to the Greeks to make him a god,
they did make him on although, many thought it was strange and absurd. While returning
from the east he was struck by malaria in Babylon. On June thirteenth, three hundred twenty
three years before the birth of Christ he died at the age of thirty three. His funeral procession
covered one thousand miles, before reaching its final resting place in Alexandria.
Few people in history stand out the way he does, Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus
and Jesus Christ are probably the only exceptions. Alexander the Great was the greatest
military leader of all history, and the fact that this is widely believed he would have appreciated,
but this would not have surprised him. Mine was only a small tap into the great life of Alexander.