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Alexander the Great Summary
Alexander The Great: It is said that he himself was born from Zeus, a semi-deity in the flesh. He tames an unbroken wild horse who feared approaching full-grown men at the age of 12, and that horse would lead him to military victory after military victory until his untimely death at age 32.
He was taught by one of the ancient great thinkers of the world. Alexander the Great‘s name says it all. But how much is true of Alexander, and what is fiction? And finally, with a whopping zero Instagram followers, can we really say he was that great? Haters and historians alike will tell you.
Who Alexander the Great
Also Known as Alexander III, Alexander of Macedonia
Born: 21 July 356 BC
Pella, Macedon, Ancient Greece
Died: 13 June 323 BC (aged 32)
Father: Philip II of Macedon
Mother: Olympias of Epirus
Spouse: Roxana of Bactria, Stateira II of Persia, Parysatis II of Persia
Religion: Greek polytheism
Issue: Alexander IV
Heracles (alleged illegitimate son)
Role In: Battle of Gaugamela, Battle of Granicus, Battle of Issus, Siege of Aornos, Battle of the Hydaspes
Alexander the Great was born in (356 BC) to King Philip II of Macedonia and his wife Olympias. A true Greek, on the other hand, understands that Alexander was Zeus’ love child, who had a nasty habit of descending to Earth and taking the form of various animals in order to seduce women. Zeus was the original frat boy in many ways. Alexander’s father was already an influential figure – both a brilliant military leader and a politician.
He transformed Macedonia into a military and cultural powerhouse via force of arms and political intrigue, which was a remarkable achievement considering Macedonias status in the ancient world.
The backwoods of Greece. Phillips’s goals, however, were not restricted to the strengthening of Macedonia; he had a dream, which he would pass down to his son, Alexander, of conquering Persians’ powerful kingdom. To date, Persia had been a world superpower, premier in many fields of science and philosophy, it was backed by a formidable military that tried again and again to destroy the stubborn, and defiant, Greeks. To say the least, conquering this enormous nation was a highly optimistic dream.
At the age of 13, Alexander was personally tutored by Aristotle, a man so famous that even if you know nothing about his teachings, you definitely recognize the name. Aristotle, one of the greatest minds of the ancient world, piqued the young prince’s interest and honed his already strong intellect. Aristotle taught Alexander philosophy, medicine, politics, and art, as well as the importance of treating non-Greeks as slaves.
Alexander’s Attack on India
Alexander The Great in order to secure his hold on Persia, Alexander granted large amounts of freedom to Persian territories, even allowing them to govern themselves in exchange for loyalty to him. He did not force conversions of Persian culture or religion, the way most rulers did back in his day, and instead actually adopted many Persian customs for himself.
This made him very popular with the Persians, although it made him just as unpopular with his own Macedonian troops. Alexander killed one of his generals and personal friends after he drunkenly ridiculed Alexander’s adoption of Persian culture.
This proved to further drive a wedge between him and his native Macedonians. Feeling that further conquests would help stabilize his political situation, and further feed his appetite for glory, Alexander rallied his forces once more and marched on India. the unity that his conquests had brought to two of the greatest people of the ancient world would spur the Hellenistic age, and Alexander founded many of the ancient world’s most important centers of cultural and scientific development.
The establishment of a silver standard for currency, which eased trade across his former realm, was one of his great achievements. His liberating of huge amounts of wealth from the former Persian empire’s treasury also greatly boosted trade and wealth across the Mediterranean, and a period of prosperity settled over the region.
Death of Alexander the Great
Alexander’s reign was short-lived, however, since he died mysteriously at the age of 32, making him one of history’s shortest-lived monarchs. Some believe he was poisoned by a political foe, of which he had a plethora on both the Greek and Persian sides. Others though believe that he died due to malaria which he contracted during his travels in India.
Whatever the cause of his death, Alexander proved to be the only thing holding the fragile empire he had created together, and following his passing, it immediately began to fall apart at the seams. His generals began to war amongst themselves in a bid to become the new supreme ruler. Ultimately it’s unknown if Alexander could have really held his empire together even if he had lived. His conquests had brought together many disparate peoples under one banner, most of them who did not share a common culture.
Even while alive his empire strained and groaned under the pressure of revolution, and it was only his political shrewdness along with savagery against his political enemies that kept it together alive. How long this could have lasted though remains in doubt, and ultimately it’s likely even if he had not died from disease or poison.