5 March, 2015
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedonia, also known as “Alexander the Great”. He was born in Pella on July 20, 356 B.C. He was son of Phillip II king of Macedonia, and Olympias which was Phillip’s fourth wife. Alexander was raised by Pella’s royal court and educated by a relative of his mother named Leonidas. He was in charge to teach Alexander math, how to write horses, and archery. At a very young age Alexander was taught to fight and hunt along with other noble Macedonian children. His father Phillip II got a new tutor named Aristotle. He taught Alexander about philosophy, drama, science, poetry, and politics. Alexander learned all this over the course of three years. After Alexander finished his education at the Temple of Nymphs at Meiza, he became a soldier. Alexander’s first war was against the Thracian tribes where he was victorious. Growing up Alexander barely saw his father because he spent most of his time in war or affairs. In 338 B.C. Alexander was named general of his Companion Cavalary and he defeated the Athenian and Theban armies. After few years Alexander and Phillip’s relationship was over so Phillip got remarried and forced Alexander and his mother to leave Macedonia and stay with Olympia’s family. In 336 B.C. Phillip II was killed by a Macedonian noble named Pausanias.
Source: Paul Dutton, Suzanne Marchand, Deborah Harkness. Western Civilization. n.d.
After his father’s death, Alexander was called to become the king of Macedonia. At the age of nineteen Alexander became king, and he quickly gained the support of his army, troops, and people. Alexander’s army helped him kill other people that were wanting the throne. His mother Olympia was loyal to him too by killing Cleopatra and her daughter that were also wanting the throne. Even tough Alexander was king of Macedonia, he wasn’t in control of the Corinthian League. Alexander was preparing to go to war with the Persian Empire, but before that he conquered the Thracian Triballians, so he could secure the northern states. After Alexander was done conquering northern states he found out that Thebes kicked out the Macedonian troops that were stationed there. So Alexander went to war with his 33,000 men army. Alexander and his army got to thebes very quickly and destroyed Thebes in just three days, also known as “massacre of Thebes”. He also attacked Thebes to show the other states that he was more powerful than any of them, and it worked. Other states were afraid of Alexander and the Macedonian Empire so other Greek states including Athens became allies with Alexander’s empire. In 334 B.C Alexander started a new campaign and embarked an expedition to Asia. Alexander arrived to Troy and he faced King of Persia Darious III and his army, Alexander defeated him and his army easily.
Source: Foner, Eric. Alexander The Great. 1991. 3 March 2015.
Next up on Alexander's agenda was his intense campaign to conquer Egypt. After besieging Gaza on his way to Egypt, Alexander easily achieved his conquest, when Egypt fell without resistance. In 331, he created the city of Alexandria, which was designed as a hub for Greek culture and commerce. Later that year, Alexander defeated the Persians at the Battle of Gaugamela. With the collapse of the Persian army, Alexander became "King of Babylon, King of Asia, King of the Four Quarters of the World." Alexander's next conquest was eastern Iran, where he created Macedonian colonies and in 327 seized the