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The legendary Alexander III of Macedonia

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Alexander the Great is also known as Alexander III of Macedonia. He was the king of Macedonia from 336 to 323 B.C. In history, there are different views of Alexander. Some viewed him as a hero, while others viewed him as an alcoholic or thief. With great consideration, Alexander the Great is one of the greatest conquerors and leaders in history.

At a young age, a relative of Alexander’s mother taught Alexander to fight and ride. That relative is Leonidas of Epirus. Alexander’s father (Phillip II), was interested in preparing a well-mannered king. So Lysimachus of Acarnania, was hired to teach Alexander to read, write, and play the lyre. The lyre is a string instrument used especially in Ancient Greece. When Alexander was 14, his father hired Aristotle as a private tutor for him. Aristotle is a Greek philosopher. Alexander studied under Aristotle for the next three years. Alexander’s tutors had a great influence on him. Alexander completed his education in 340 B.C.

While just a teen, Alexander became a soldier and went on his first military expedition, against the Thracian tribes. In 338 B.C., Alexander was in charge of the Companion Cavalry and aided his father in defeating the Athenian and Theban armies at Chaeronea. After Alexander’s father succeeded in his campaign to unite all the Greek states except Sparta, an alliance between Alexander and his father no longer existed. Alexander’s father dethroned Olympia, Alexander’s mother. Phillip remarried. Alexander and Olympia were forced to leave Macedonia and stay with Olympia’s family until Alexander and King Phillip II were able to solve their differences.

Alexander had sister named Cleopatra of Macedon or Cleopatra of Epirus. In 336 B.C., Cleopatra married the Molossian king. He was an uncle who was also named Alexander. During a festival after the wedding, King Phillip II (Alexander’s father) was murdered by Pausanias, a Macedonian noble. Alexander was 19 during his father’s death. Alexander was determined to take over his father’s throne by any means necessary. Alexander gained support of the Macedonian army and they proclaimed him the feudal king. They helped him murder other potential heirs to his father’s throne. Olympia helped Alexander claim the throne by killing the daughter of King Phillip II and his wife (Cleopatra).

This made Cleopatra commit suicide. Alexander went on to conquer most of the known world during his time. Alexander led the massacre of Thebes. He hoped that his destruction of Thebes would warn other city-states who thought about rebelling against him. The warning did work for some Greek city-states, including Athens. Athens remained neutral to the Macedonian Empire. In 334, Alexander begin on his Asiatic expedition. In the spring, he arrived in Troy. He faced Persian King Darius III’s army and King Darius III’s forces were defeated. In the summer of 333, Alexander and Darius battled against each other at Issus. Alexander defeated the Persians again. It caused Darius to flee. In November of 333, Alexander was the king of Persia after capturing Darius and making him a fugitive. Next, Alexander conquered Egypt. In 331, he created the city of Alexandria. Later in the year, Alexander defeated the Persians at the Battle of Gaugamela. When the Persian army collapsed, Alexander became “King of Babylon, King of Asia, and King of the Four Quarters of the World.” Alexanders next conquest was eastern Iran.

In 327, he took over the fortress in Ariamazes. After capturing Prince Oxyartes, Alexander married the prince’s daughter Rhoxana. In 328, Alexander defeated King Porus’ armies in northern India but he reinstated Porus as king. He won his loyalty and forgiveness. In 325, Alexander and his army went north along the Persian Gulf. Many had illnesses and injuries; they died. Alexander was able to recruit Persian soldiers into his army. Alexander wanted to conquer Carthage and Rome but he died of malaria in Babylon. Babylon is now Iraq. Alexander the Great was 32 years old when he died. His wife, Rhoxana, gave birth to their son a few months after his death.

After Alexander’s death, his empire collapsed. The nations within in his empire battled for power. Over time, the cultures of Greece and the Orient came together and thrived because of Alexander’s empire. It became part of his legacy. He changed many things in the ancient world. Because of Alexander the Great’s accomplishments, contributions, and conquests he remains one of the greatest leaders throughout history. It’s because of Alexander the Great that Greek culture is well-known in the world. If it wasn’t for him, we would probably know more about the Persian culture.

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