Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III or Alexander of Macedonia died June 13, 323 bce. Babylon king of Macedonia (336–323 bce), who overthrew the Persian empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. From age 13 to 16 he was taught by Aristotle, who inspired him with an interest in philosophy, medicine, and science. Alexanders father was murdered and he was the heir of the throne even though he was only half Greek.
Alexander had set his mind on the Persian expedition. He had grown up to the idea. He needed the wealth of Persia if he was going to maintain the army built by Philip and pay off the 500 talents he owed. With a good cavalry force Alexander could expect to defeat any Persian army. This army was to prove remarkable for its balanced combination of arms. Much work fell on the light-armed Cretan and Macedonian archers, Thracian's, and the Agrianian javelin men.
In winter 334–333 Alexander conquered western Asia Minor, subduing the hill tribes of Lycia and Pisidia. At this point Alexander benefited from the sudden death of Memnon, the Greek commander of the Persian fleet. Alexander was already encamped by Myriandrus (near modern Skenderun, Turkey) when he learned that Darius was astride his line of communications at Issus, north of Alexander.
From Issus Alexander marched south into Syria and Phoenicia, his object being to isolate the Persian fleet from its bases and to destroy it as an effective fighting force. After taking Byblos and Sidon, he met with a check at Tyre, where he was refused entry into the island city. Alexander prepared to siege the city but the Tyrians resisted, holding out for seven months. The Persians had counterattacked by land in Asia Minor where they were defeated by Antigonus, the satrap of Greater Phrygia; and by sea, recapturing a number of cities and islands.