Alexander the Great Life Essay

Submitted By traceycid
Words: 2141
Pages: 9

Alexander the Great Alexander the great is considered to be one of the greatest military minds in world history. The Macedonian General's empire stretched from Greece to the Indus Valley. Alexander was born in Macedonian city of Pella. His father was King Philip II of Macedonia, his father was an ambitious conqueror in his own right. Alexander's mother, Queen Olympia was a princess from Epuiros, in Northwest Greece near present day Albania. She was known for her beauty as well as her quick-tempered nature. Macedonia was a region to the north of Greece. They are said to be close cousins of the Greeks. Macedonians had come to appreciate Greek culture by the time his father was king. Alexander's father was kept prisoner in Thebes, he learned a lot from Greek culture and was treated quite well as a prisoner. King Philip was able to Study Greek military strategy along with other subjects. Once he became king he was determined to conquer Greece. He spent most of his time developing a strong army by using Greek and Macedonian military techniques. While Philip was away from home he drank heavily and had many mistresses, that put a strain on his relationship with his wife Olympia. She even went so far as to say Alexander wasn't his son, that he was the son of the Greek God Zeus. This factor made him and his mother very close.
From a young age Alexander showed great potential, At the age of thirteen, his father wanted to give his son the best Greek education. His father got Greek philosopher Aristotle to teach Alexander. He learned from Aristotle all about Greek culture, science and philosophy. While learning with Aristotle, he read the epic poem the Iliad, which told the story of the Trojan War. Legend has it that he carried Aristotle's copy of the Iliad while he was conquering the lands in Asia. When he was sixteen he studies were cut short, his father brought him to the battlefield to improve his military capabilities. Right away he exhibited a talent for horses. His talent with horses is described in the legend of how Alexander came to acquire his favorite horse, Bucephala. Bucephala was a wild horse that refused to be tamed by anyone, but Alexander was not afraid of the horse and the only person able to tame the horse. After calming the horse down, Alexander simply mounted the horse and rode him. When he was eighteen he led his first cavalry for his father Philip's attack at the battle of Chaeronea. The battle marked a victory for Macedonia against The Greek city-states, giving Philip control over most of Greece. King Philip was assassinated when Alexander was nineteen. Some speculate that Alexander and his mother had something to do with the assassination.
Alexander took the throne with the support of the Macedonian army. There were many rebellions in the beginning of his reign, Alexander stopped the rebellions and set an example to the rest of Greece decimating Greece. Once Alexander had a hold of Greece he went after the Persian empire, following his father's wishes to conquer them when he was alive. Although the Persian empire as a world power was weakening under the rule of King Darius III, Persia still controlled lands from Asia minor to India. Before he left on a campaign to Asia Minor, known as modern day Turkey today, Alexander went to see an oracle of Apollo in Delphi to have his future foretold. The oracle told him was invincible, this no doubt, gave him the courage to go on with his campaign against Persia. Alexander led his army in 334 B.C to Asia Minor, he had 35,000 men in his army. The army was made up of approximately 5,000 cavalrymen and 30,000 infantrymen, this included some of the Macedonian army and Greek mercenaries eager to fight against the Persians. He also took along doctors, historians and siege engineers, their expertise would be key to the campaign's success. Alexander's army met with the Persian armies for the first time in the city of Granicus. The Persians hoped to lure Alexander