After subduing rebellious Greek city-states, Alexander plans his campaign against the Persians, hoping to fulfill his father's dream of conquering the empire. Though his advisers object and Macedonia is virtually bankrupt, Alexander borrows money to supply his troops for one month and departs for Asia in the spring of 334 BCE.
The Macedonians and Persians Meet on the Battlefield: After crossing the Hellespont, Alexander leads the Macedonian army against the Persians at the Granicus river. After savage fighting, the Persians retreat, and Alexander's army moves across the southern coast of Asia toward Gordium. As they travel, they liberate a number of cities from Persian rule.
Alexander Conquers Egypt: After conquering Syria, Alexander sweeps south and easily conquers Egypt after besieging Gaza. In 331 BCE, he creates the city of Alexandria, which is meant to be a hub of Greek commerce and culture. This is just one of many cities he names after himself during his conquests.
Alexander and Darius, king of the Persians, meet at Gaugamela in a decisive battle. Alexander's military skills overwhelm Darius, who orders his men to flee, and the Macedonians are victorious. Alexander moves from one major Persian city to the next, conquering Babylon on October 18, 331 BCE, and taking treasure to distribute among his men. He incorporates Persian officials into his administration and adopts Persian customs in order to hold his empire together.
Suffering from the tensions of warfare and command, Alexander becomes drunk at a banquet in the fall of 328 BCE. He and his close companion Cleitus, who saved his life at the battle of Granicus, fall into an argument. Alexander accidentally stabs Cleitus with a spear, and is filled with remorse at Cleitus' death. However, this incident marks a turning point for Alexander, whose officers begin to fear him.
Alexander Marries Roxanne: After conquering eastern Iran and capturing Prince Oxyartes, Alexander marries Roxane, the prince's daughter. This is meant to be a political alliance, and it serves as an insult to Barsine, Alexander's Persian mistress. Roxane later bears Alexander a son.
Alexander Defeats King Porus in Northern India: Hoping to add even more territory to his empire, Alexander and his troops cross the Hindu Kush into northern India. They defeat King Porus, leader of a kingdom east of the Hydaspes River, after figuring out how to attack Porus' war elephants. After several months in India, however, Alexander's army refuses to go any farther, and he is forced to return to Babylon. He spends the next few years trying to consolidate power in his empire.
Alexander Dies: Alexander died June 10, 323 BCE. Before he can set out on his new campaign, Alexander falls ill with a sudden fever. According to legend, he leaves his empire to "the strongest" of his commanders, but after his death, his empire falls into disorder. His three commanders divide up the empire and compete for control.