Alexander the Great Essay

Submitted By ryangorrell32
Words: 2929
Pages: 12

Ryan Gorrell

History The Great Ones Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great is said to be one of the greatest military geniuses in all of history. Be it due to his conquest of the Persian Empire along with many other cities and territories without ever losing a single battle, or due to the roughly 70 cities he himself founded which included the great city of Alexandria, which still today stands as Egypt's largest seaport. Alexander III of Macedon indefinitely was more than worthy of his nickname “The Great.” Alexander was born in 356 BC in Pella, the capital city of the Ancient Greek Macedonia. He was son of King Phillip II of Macedon and Phillips fourth wife Olympias, who was princess of the neighboring city Epirus. Alexander grew up in the time when his father Phillip was transforming Macedonia into a strong military power, winning many victories throughout the balkan peninsula. So from an early age Alexander was brought up seeing hard work and dedication to one's kingdom bringing great success. When Alexander was thirteen, King Phillip hired the great ancient greek philosopher Aristotle to be Alexanders tutor. He paid for Aristotle’s tutelage by rebuilding the philosopher’s home town of Stageira which Phillip had destroyed in his conquests. Alexander studied with Aristotle in the city of Mieza. While studying at Mieza, Alexander became close friends with other students, some of them would later become generals in his great army. When Alexander was sixteen, King Phillip set out to wage war on the greek city of Byzantion leaving his son as the heir apparent of Macedonia. While Phillip was away, the Thracian tribe of Maedi rebelled and tried to invade Macedon. Young Alexander assembled an army and quickly defeated the Maedi. Upon capturing their stronghold, he named it Alexandropolis. This was Alexander's first real military experience and he showed without hesitation that he was indeed a naturally gifted leader. Upon Phillips return, he sent Alexander with a small force out to put a stop to revolts going on throughout greece. In 338 BC Phillip and his army joined with Alexander on a march to take the rest of Greece. At the battle of Chaeronea, Phillip and Alexander fought side by side each controlling a wing of their army. Together they defeated the Athenian Hoplites and the Thebans. After this great victory they were welcomed into all the Greek city-states except Sparta. Phillip was named Supreme Commander of Greece and announced his ambitions to attack the Persian empire. Shortly after Alexander and Phillip's return, Phillip fell in love with his general Attulus' niece Cleopatra. He divorced Olympias and married her. This troubled Alexander because it potentially could weaken his chances at becoming his father's heir to the throne. It is said that at the wedding, Attulus insulted Alexander by openly praying to the Gods for a legitimate heir of pure macedonian blood and calling him a bastard. Alexander threw his cup at Attulus cursing him. Phillip taking Attulus' side, in a drunken stupor tries to stab Alexander with his sword only to trip and fall. Alexander then insulted his father by saying, "Here is the man who was making ready to cross from Europe to Asia, and who cannot even cross from one table to another without losing his balance." After this incident, Alexander fled with his mother to her native City of Epirus. After 6 months of exile, Alexander returned to Macedon but remained somewhat isolated in the macedonian court. In 336 BC, with his plans for the invasion of the Persian Empire already set in motion, King Phillip II of Macedon was assassinated by one of his body guards, Pausanias who was quickly caught by two of Alexander's companions and killed. It was rumored that the assassination was part of the plan of Alexander to gain the throne, but none the less, by the age of twenty Alexander was the King of Macedon. Upon Phillip's death, Alexander's rose to power