Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great also known as Alexander III of Macedon was the 20-year-old son of Philip of Macedon the previous ruler of Greece. He was taught in his childhood by Aristotle. His mother claimed she was a descendant of Achilles. A scholar stated once that Alexander was “self-confident, endlessly curious, and reckless” like Achilles himself (Judge, 138).
After ensuring the loyalty of his rule and killing people who questioned his rule. Alexander destroyed the Greece city of Thebes making the Greeks recognize hum as his father’s rightful successor (Judge, 138).
Alexander continued the invasion of Persia his father had planned. Although Persia wasn’t as powerful as it was under Darius I and Xerxes, the army was strong and its great size was a disadvantage to invaders. Alexander won his first big victory at the Granicus River in northwestern Anatolia in 334 B.C.E. Alexander then entered Asia by the Bridge at Gordium (Judge, 139).
He rationalized the attack on Persia by claiming to be the champion of Greek culture against barbarian beliefs and the mechanism of Greek vengeance for Xerxes’ invasion in 480. Regardless of the rationalization Alexander’s primary objective was gallant conquest (Judge, 139).
In 333 B. C. E Alexander and his army battled with the Persians at Issus, in southwestern Anatolia. The Persian Emperor Darius III was an experienced military leader. He had an army twice the size of Alexanders. Therefore the outcome for Alexander winning was not seen as likely. But then Alexander led a cavalry charge which broke through Darius’s bodyguard, forcing the emperor to flee (Judge, 139).
Alexander then moved south through Syria and Palestine into Egypt. There he founded the city Alexandria, one of the great cultural centers of the world. Egypt’s conquest safeguarded the Mediterranean coastline. Preventing Persia from using it as a springboard to invade Greece (Judge, 139).
After losing Egypt Darius offered to yield the Persian Empire that was west of the Euphrates. Which Alexander refused to the dismay of his commanders. He then headed to Mesopotamia defeating the Persians there as well. He then headed into Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass and then into India (Judge, 139).
In 326 B.C.E. Alexander was east of the Indus River and dreamed of going as far as the “eastern sea” (either the Ganges River or the Bay of Bengal), but headed back when his men refused to continue after being away from home for eight years (Judge, 139).
Forced to turn back, he returned to Persia but died before returning to Greece. After a party in 323 B.C.E. where it was believed he drank more than a gallon of wine in half an hour. He developed a fever and grew weaker over several days than died, at the age of 33 years old. The symptoms are consistent with tropical malaria (Judge, 139-140).
After Alexander’s death his highest ranked generals seized pieces for themselves. Ptomely had Egypt, Antigonus seized Greece and Macedonia, and Seleucus Nikator had control of the rest, from western Anatolia to India’s border. Even though Alexander’s empire was in pieces the importance of his accomplishments remained (Judge, 140).
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Mariah Folk


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