Alexander the Great


Alexander the Great or Alexander III of Macedonia was born in 356 BC, in Pella, which was the capital of Macedonia. His claim to fame is that within a period of 10 years he was able to punish his enemies, calm his own volatile kingdom, re-establish its importance within the Greek Empire and lay claims of conquering Persia.

Alexander was exclusively educated by Aristotle. When Alexander was 20 his father (Philip II of Macedonia) was murdered. This then resulted in Alexander as the heir to a very powerful yet unstable kingdom of Macedonia he had his work cut out.

In order to avenge the death of his father, Alexander firstly had to deal with his enemies and the enemies of his father. Alexander achieved this with speed and precision. His next job was to affirm the importance of Macedonia, as a successful standalone kingdom and at the same time have recognition of Macedonia's importance within the vast Empire of Greece. Alexander than set his sights on Persia.

Alexander led his army across Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt. His army showed consistency throughout the campaign. Alexander's strategies, planning and well trained soldiers were rewarded with continuous victories. The culmination of the onslaught was rewarded with a victory in Gaugamela, Persia (what is now northern Iraq). Alexander achieved all of this within six year of his father's assassination.

Alexander showed himself to be both a scholar and a king. He was also hailed for his leadership as a commander and an explorer, he was also regarded as a great politician. His titles now amassed to King or Macedonia, King of Persia, Pharaoh of Egypt, and was also regarded as an overlord of Asia Minor and a great leader of the Empire of Greece.

But Alexander did not stop there, his explorations and interests led him to expand his empire across a total of three continents that effectively covered over 2 million square miles. He pushed the boundaries from Greece towards the Danube in the west; the boundary of Egypt was pushed further south and to the east the edge was the Punjab. This empire was not just about taking over other lands and peoples. Alexander had the forethought and vision that the Empire would be a system of trade routes and commercial innovation. Greek was the common language of this empire and many of the Greek customs were adopted by the peoples of the new empire.

Alexander was aware of the ethnic diversity of the peoples of the new empire, and he familiarised himself with their customs in order to understand their needs. Alexander inspired loyalty from his subject and his army, his only problem was that he tended to think that he was indestructible. A lot of his success should be credited to his teacher.