Alexander the Great: Significant Figure in Ancient History

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Philip ll was stabbed to death at his daughter’s wedding by a former guardsman. Alexander, Philip’s son, immediately proclaimed himself king of Macedonia following his father’s death. Taught by the superb minds of Aristotle and his father, Alexander flourished as the king of Macedonia and accomplished much. He nearly conquered the entirety of Central Asia and hoped to reach the end of the continent before his death, which, sadly, he was unable to do. In the short life that Alexander lived, he achieved plenty and became very well known, ruling over the majority of Central Asia, as Alexander the Great, which is truly what he was.

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Alexander the Great, the son of Philip ll, was an ancient Macedonian king and one of the greatest military minds. He established the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen, ruling over Macedonia and Persia before he was even thirty years old. Alexander successfully carried out his father’s plans to invade and conquer Persia and within a short period of time after his victory, his army occupied Susa, Babylon, and Persepolis. Alexander was even welcomed as a liberator in Egypt and was crowned pharaoh. In the spring of 323 BC, Alexander announced his plans to organize and unify his empire, but he became deathly ill with a fever before he could carry out his plans. Alexander the Great died a few days later at the young age of just 32 years old.

Throughout his life, Alexander was constantly restless. He was unable to relax or rest for a period of time, which was probably what made him so successful in conquering other lands as to become known as “Alexander the Great.” In 332 BC, Alexander conquered Persia. It was originally his father’s (Philip ll) plan to invade and conquer Persia, but he died before he could go through with it, so with Egypt kept secure under his ruling, Alexander led 35,000 soldiers across the Hellespont into Anatolia. Smashing the Persian defenses at the Granicus River, Alexander’s victory alarmed the Persian king, Darius lll. Darius decided to raise a huge army to face the Macedonians near Issus. Even though his army was outnumbered, Alexander surprised his enemies and ordered his finest troops to break through a weak point in the Persian lines. This action of battle led the Persian king to flee, giving Alexander control over Anatolia. Alexander than announced his plan to conquer the entirety of the Persian Empire. In 332 BC, Alexander marched his troops into Egypt, there he was greatly welcomed as a liberator and was crowned pharaoh. He founded the city of Alexandria during his time in Egypt and afterwards Alexander began moving east towards Mesopotamia to defeat Darius. Darius panicked once more and fled, ending Persia’s power and leaving it to Alexander. Alexander was now the unchallenged ruler of southwest Asia, but he held little interest in governing it. Instead, he wanted to continue expanding his empire. So for three years, Alexander’s army pushed on, in hope of controlling the entire continent. In 326 BC, Alexander and his army reached the Indus Valley, where a strong, powerful army blocked their path. Exhausted from eleven years of fighting, Alexander’s soldiers longed to return home. Relentlessly, Alexander decided to turn back.

At only 20 years old when his father died, Alexander was very well prepared and capable to lead his kingdom. Taught under the profound mind of Aristotle, Alexander held the knowledge many others older than him didn’t. He learned of science, literature, and geography, Alexander even kept a copy of the Iliad under his pillow to inspire himself at night. From his father, Philip ll, Alexander learned to command troops, use a weapon, and ride a horse at a young age. All of his skills were put to good use, especially when the citizens of Thebes rebelled and Alexander destroyed their city, killing around 6,000 Thebans. This gave up all the Greek city-states idea of any rebellion.

Alexander the Great is both hard working and profound. I truly think that he was deserving of the nickname “Alexander the Great.” Ruling over his empire with an iron fist, he was able to expand his territory across most of Central Asia. Alexander was the king of Macedonia, pharaoh in Egypt, in charge of the Greek city-states, and ruled over most of the old Persian Empire.

Alexander the Great, truly is a significant figure in ancient history. Never sitting still, he nearly conquered the entirety of Central Asia at only 32 years old. Without Alexander’s determination, Greek ideas and culture most likely would have remained confined to Greece. Alexander’s reign also marked the beginning of a new era, an era that would not have existed without him.      

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