Alexander the Great Biography

Alexander the Great (Pella, Macedonia [present-day Greece] 356 BC – Babylon, Persia, 323 BC). Military and political leader, who became king of Macedonia and conquered the kingdoms of Persia, Babylon and Asia, actions that earned him the title of the King of the Four Parts of the World.

His empire did not survive long after his death, however the nations within him, thanks to the syncretism promoted by his conquests, benefited culturally, socially and economically, which is why he is considered one of the most important and influential history.

Early years

Alexander was born in the city of Pella, Macedonia (present-day Greek territory) in 356 BC. He was the son of the King of Macedonia, Philip II, and his wife Olympia, daughter of Neoptolomy, king of Epirus. His education was in the hands of Leonidas and the Greek philosopher, creator of the Lyceum, Aristotle. From an early age he showed great intelligence.

Some historians support Alexander’s fascination from a very young age for the Persian empire, as well as by the figure of The Iliad, Achilles. It is said that he was able to recite from memory complete passages from Homer’s work.

The relationship with his father, King Philip II, was distant, as he remained constantly on the road, due to his numerous military campaigns. However, while still a teenager, Alexander undertook his first military campaign against the Thracians.

In 338, under the command of the Cavalry, he marched with his father against the armies of Thebes and Athens, managing to defeat them in Querona. He also accompanied him in the formation of the Corinthian League, conflagration of the Greek states, with the exception of Sparta.

However, the relationship deteriorated again, when Philip II married the niece of his general Atalo, Cleopatra Eurydice, and banished Olympia. Alexander placed himself on his mother’s side, and with her he took refuge in the city of Epirus, until the death of his father, who was killed by Pausanias, in 336 BC.

King of Macedonia

At the age of nineteen, Alexander the Great returned to Mecedonia, determined to assume his post as King. The troops he had fought in Querona proclaimed him King, and helped him eliminate potential rivals, killing Atalo, as well as the daughter Philip II had had with Cleopatra, whom Olympia itself led to suicide.

Finally, in 336 BC, after an arduous political battle his leadership was recognized by all the Greek states of the Corinthian League, with the exception of Athens. Invested as king of Macedonia and top leader of the League, Alexander prepared a military campaign to march on the Persian empire.

Before leaving, he had to confront the Thracians, the tribals and the Illyrians, whom he defeated, starting his triumphant march, which led him to conquer the territories located up to the Danube River.

For his part, Thebes revolted at the apparent rumour of Alexander’s fall in combat. To his surprise, Alexander marched on Thebes, leaving her unresponsive. In 335 BC, Thebes was ranted and its citizens were enslaved by Alexander’s army. This fact earned him the respect and obedience of the rest of Greece.

Conquest of the Persian Kingdom

Once Macedonia’s borders were secured, Alexander left the kingdom under the tutelage of Antipartum, and headed toward the Persian empire, overthrowing King Darius III in 334 BC, as well as his satraps. He managed to liberate the Greek cities located in Asia, and conquered Miletus.

In 333 BC he managed to defeat King Darius permanently, during the Battle of Issos, officially declaring himself king of Persia, and replacing the squares left by the Persian satraps with Macedonian leaders. Once the conquest of Persian territory was achieved, Alexander decided to march on Egypt, whose conquest he gained without further effort.

In 331 BC he founded Alexandria, a city that paid homage to him and which according to his project was destined to be the center of Greek knowledge and culture. That same year, he finally defeated the last redoubts of the Persian army, becoming the king of Babylon and Asia, becoming the ruler of the four points of the world.

Final years

His campaigns continued to Iranian territory, where he conquered the eastern territory, executing King Bessos. He also marched and triumphed in Hircania, Drangiana, Bactriana and Sogdiana.

In 328 he married Roxana, daughter of a Persian prince. In 328, he advanced on the territory of northern India, where he defeated the troops of King Poros, whose submission nonetheless impressed Alexander, who restored him as king.

Alexander continued on his way to the Ganges, but his army refused to advance. On the way back, Alexander was critically wounded by a Malli warrior. However, at the time, great unease reigned within the Alexandrian troops, who were very angry at the apparent orientation he had adopted.

Once recovered, in 325 BC, he marched with his troops through the territory around the Persian Gulf, on an expedition that produced heavy casualties in his army before arriving in 325 BC to the city of Susa. When planning a military campaign intended for the conquests of Carthage and Rome, Alexander fell ill with malaria and died in Babylon on June 13, 323.

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Alexander the Great Biography
Source: Education  
July 28, 2019

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