Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Modern historians have long been fascinated by empires and their rulings for many years. Among the most interesting emperors to ever make history was Alexander III of Macedon, who was most commonly known as Alexander the Great.

The Macedonian king was known for his one of a kind military mind that took over large chunks of the world and ruled them with a strong command for many years. He was charismatic, ruthless, and most importantly, admired by most of his men and followers wherever he went.

Early Life

Alexander was born in the ancient capital of Macedonia, Pella, in July 356 BC. He was born into a well-established royal family where his father was Phillip II of Macedon, and his mother was Olympias.

The young prince received extensive education by the infamous philosopher Aristotle at the temple of Nymphs in Mieza, which was his very own personal classroom. He grew up making friends in Mieza, which later he would appoint generals during his time as king since he trusted his friends with his life.

When Alexander was only 16, his father, King Philip, went to battle the Byzantine empire with his army and left his son in charge of the matters in Macedonia. The young boy showed great courage and powerful command in his father’s absence. During that time, he led a cavalry against the so-called unbeatable army of Thebes, where he bravely decimated the Sacred Band of Thebes in no time.

Taking Over the Throne

At just 20-years-old, Alexander’s father, Philip II, was assassinated by his bodyguard Pausanias, leaving him to take over the throne and become the new king. As his first order in command, he killed all his rivals so that he could rule peacefully without anyone challenging his sovereignty.

The young king had no time to waste. He was eager and passionate about his new role, and he immediately took matters into his own hands, following in his father’s footsteps in hopes of building a strong empire. He took his army over to Persia, where he faced the Persian and Greek forces that he defeated quite easily.

The ruthless king had a motto, “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” and he lived by that motto throughout his years of ruling, where he entered and conquered numerous countries including, Persia, Egypt, and India. His leadership during wars as well as during peace periods earned him the title of Alexander the Great.

He reigned for eight years, during which he overcame all odds of beating armies from across the globe without ever being defeated. He believed that he was invincible, which meant that Alexander sometimes put himself and his soldiers in reckless positions that nobody else would ever imagine to do, but he often got away with it.

Interesting Facts

Although Alexander’s life was filled with wars and hardships, he still had some time for romance. The Macedonian king was married three times. His first wife was Roxana, the daughter of Oxyartes of Bactria. The couple married after a long-lasting love story that was doomed for failure eventually, as he married two more Persian princesses later on for political gains.

All of these marriages were not enough for the ambitious world-conqueror where he had a mistress called Barsine, from which he had a child, Heracles of Macedon. He also had another son from his first wife, Roxane, called Alexander IV of Macedon, after Roxane lost another baby at Babylon as a result of a miscarriage.

For a long time, people questioned Alexander the Great’s sexuality, as it was rumored that he has been too close to Hephaestion, who was a General in his army as well as his close friend and bodyguard. The rumors continued increasing especially after Hephaestion’s death as Alexander’s mental health deteriorated massively during that period which eventually led to his own death.

When it comes to Alexander’s personality, he was known for being ambitious and passionate about his empire, just like both of his parents were when they were alive. It has been recorded that his mother had a massive influence on him pursuing the Persian empire, as she had always said it was his destiny to conquer it and rule as king. His father was his main role model.

Philip applauded his son every step of the way and encouraged him to go for more and more winnings and ignore any small wounds. The young prince was massively influenced by his father’s character and followed in his footsteps during his reign.

Alexander was also known to be a keen student, always looking to learn more and to have calm debates on any interesting topic. He was an avid reader who had a logical brain that smoothly calculated every little action he ever took. Alexander also had a special love for philosophy that only increased after being tutored by Aristotle. His tutor often complimented him for being extremely intelligent and for being a quick learner.

The Macedonian king ruled for a fairly long period. However, by the end of his reign, he started losing his reputation of being powerful and ruthless. Alexander gradually started transforming into a paranoid and delusional person.

This sudden change in character goes back to his friend, Hephaestion passing away. After that event, he seemed to think of himself as some sort of a god or deity and had the unrealistic vision of conquering the whole world all by himself.

Alexander the Great’s legend was unmatchable. He was a young ruler who quickly learned how to reign by watching his parents and taking on a proper education. The young prince who had suddenly found himself to be king did not waste any time trying to expand his empire and show off his sovereignty. He was a firm leader, a loving son, and a generous father.

He earned the title of Alexander the Great for being pretty much unbeatable in all of his battles and for taking risks no other leader ever dared to take. That helped him build one of the largest empires the world had ever seen and to create an everlasting legacy.

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Updated 3 years ago