A Short History of Alexander the Great

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  2. March 24, 2014 5:01 am

A Short History of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was the legendary conqueror of the ancient world. Astride his famous horse Bucephalus, Alexander and his soldiers controlled the land from Europe to India, north into the Himalayan Mountains and south into Egypt. In the process he founded more than thirty cities, transformed Greek into the language of culture and learning, and united three continents. His military career is the stuff of which legends are made, and his tactics are still taught today in military schools around the world. It is fair to say that he remade the world in his image, and almost nothing of what we know about world history would be the same without him.

Alexander was born to fortunate circumstances, at least by the standards of 356 BCE. He was the son of Philip, the king of Macedon, a small nation on the northern edge of the Aegean Sea. His father was wiser than most people alive at the time, and found him the best tutor that he possibly could. Alexander was made the student of the famous Aristotle, and took quickly to his tutelage. Armed with the military savvy of his father Philip and the wisdom and depth of his teacher Aristotle, Alexander was uniquely fit to rule.

After his bloody ascension to the throne at the age of 20, Alexander first consolidated his rule of the Greek city-states. After that he fought with, and defeated, the legendary Persian Empire, the Egypt of the Pharaohs, and the people of the rivers Indus and Ganges. At the young age of 32 he became ill and died in the city of Babylon. His empire was unable to hold together without his charismatic leadership and dissolved into competing nation-states. There has been no more successful military commander than Alexander before or since.

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