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.

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