Alexander the Great was one of the most powerful military leaders in human history. He never lost and won countless battles to unite much of the eastern world and build the biggest empire known to man. Much of what he did still influences us today.
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But in order to fully understand what he did and how he did it you have to start with the beginning. Alexander was born in 356 B.C. to King Philip II and Queen Olympias in Macedonia, but legend says that his father was really Zeus. Philip was an outstanding military leader and turned Macedonia into a great empire and a powerful force. He had dreams of conquering Persia and uniting the eastern world. Philip was a huge influence in Alexander’s life and gave him most of his drive in conquering Persia and uniting the eastern world. Philip taught Alexander to be fearless and have great courage at a very young age. When Alexander was 12, he tamed a wild horse named Bucephalus. Many men were scared of the great stallion because of how mean and massive it was. This horse became his war horse for the rest of his life and he rode him into countless battles starting with a battle against the Sacred Band of Thebes. Everyone knew them as an unstoppable and unbeatable fighting force. Alexander was only 16 when he was left in charge of Macedonia while his father was off fighting the Byzantiums. Alexander saw this as a chance to prove his worth to his father and lead his cavalry against the Sacred Band of Thebes in 338 B.C., Alexander’s cavalry destroyed them and was praised by Macedonia for it.
In 336 B.C. Philip was assassinated, Alexander being only 20 claimed the throne and killed his rivals before they could take the throne. Once that was finished he followed in his father’s footsteps and began his long journey to world domination. He appointed Antipater as regent and set out for Persia. He crossed the Hellespont and met Persian and Greek forces at the Granicus river and defeated them with ease. He then headed south and took the cities of Sardes, Miletus, Mylasa, and Halicarnassus. In 333 B.C., Alexander was met by a massive Persian army in the town of Issus. Though outnumbered, Alexander’s army had more experience than the Persian and decimated the Persian army. Darius III, king of Persia, fled the battle with a small portion of his troops leaving his family behind. After Alexander claimed Issus he moved toward the Island of Tyre. Tyre resisted for several days but had her walls breached in July 336 B.C. by Alexander. Moving south Alexander conquered Egypt and established the city of Alexandria, it still stands today. After Egypt was conquered Alexander faced Darius at Gaugamela in October 331 B.C. for one final battle. After fierce fighting Darius began to flee but was killed by his own men. When Alexander saw his body he gave him a proper burial and proclaimed himself as the king of Persia, but someone named Bessus had also named himself king.
Alexander chased him until Bessus’ own men handed him over to Alexander who executed him. After many years of fighting, Alexander was finally the true king of Persia. He marched on into India to unite the known world. After conquering tribes in India Alexander’s men had decided that they were tired of fighting. There was mutiny among his men so Alexander agreed to go home. On the way back however Alexander was struck with an illness that ended up killing him on June 323 B.C. at age 35. After all his hard work he died before he could name a successor and the empire he fought so hard to create unraveled and was sent into political turmoil. Nonetheless Alexander was one of the greatest military leaders in all of human history. His cities are still important cultures to this day. He will always be known as the man who united an entire world.
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