Alexander the Great

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Alexander the Great
Painting of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was born in 356 BC to Philip II of Macedon. His father conquered Greece in about 335 BC and planned to conquer Persia next, but was assassinated in 336. This left a twenty year-old Alexander king of Macedonia and Greece.

Before he was assassinated, Alexander's father had arranged for him to be tutored by Aristotle. From Aristotle, Alexander learned the art of war. He also was taught many other subjects by Aristotle, including geography. In some cases, Alexander knew the layout of his enemies' nation better then they did[Citation Needed].

Once Alexander gained control of Greece, he decided to put into action his father’s plan of conquering Persia. Alexander thought that if he united the whole world through culture and intermarriage, there would be no reason for anyone to fight. To this end, he formed an army of thirty thousand foot soldiers, five thousand cavalry men, and engineers to build siege engines[Citation Needed].

In four years Alexander conquered the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon, the countries of Canaan and Egypt, the Persian cities of Susa and Persepolis, and many other lands. Wherever he went, Alexander spread Greek language and culture. Finally when he reached the Indus River, his homesick army decided that they would go no farther. Alexander sadly withdraw from extending his military conquests and decided to set up a capital for his new empire in Babylon. He sought to bring about a blending of Greek and Persian cultures, even encouraging his men to take Persian wives. Tragically, in 323 BC, after a period of very heavy drinking, Alexander died of fever. He had ruled in Babylon for about a year. To what extent he could have continued to bring about a harmony of cultures is unknown. Failing to appoint a heir to carry on his legacy, his vast Empire broke apart into 4 major sections upon his death.

See also