Alexander the Great in the legacy archive at Confinity, preserving the legacy of the ancient Macedonian ruler
Alexander the Great in the legacy archive at Confinity, preserving the legacy of the ancient Macedonian ruler

Politics

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Jul 20, 356

-

Jun 10, 323

Biography

Alexander III of Macedon, usually called Alexander the Great, was a man whose life was integral to the Alexandrine period, born in 356 BC and died in 323 BC. Alexander was born in Pella Macedonia and became king of Macedonia at the young age of twenty when he took over from his father, King Philip II. He went further to create one of the largest empires that was ever witnessed, hence stretching from Greece up to Egypt and even northwest of India. Alexander is well known for his military genius and daring personality, but his campaigns altered the face of the ancient world by spreading Greek civilization and ideas through vast areas of three continents.

The greatest significance the world has ever received from Alexander the Great is echoed in his global city-building and especially in Alexandria and Egypt, and more so in the dramatic opening of civilizations and interactions that his empire facilitated. Intelligence derived from military strategies and the ability to adapt culture made him leave a footprint that branded him as one of the most monumental conquest legends of Hellenistic civilization. His great story of success is recorded in books and monuments, and also the today's civilization is actually a product of the Hellenistic times.

Biography

Alexander III of Macedon, usually called Alexander the Great, was a man whose life was integral to the Alexandrine period, born in 356 BC and died in 323 BC. Alexander was born in Pella Macedonia and became king of Macedonia at the young age of twenty when he took over from his father, King Philip II. He went further to create one of the largest empires that was ever witnessed, hence stretching from Greece up to Egypt and even northwest of India. Alexander is well known for his military genius and daring personality, but his campaigns altered the face of the ancient world by spreading Greek civilization and ideas through vast areas of three continents.

The greatest significance the world has ever received from Alexander the Great is echoed in his global city-building and especially in Alexandria and Egypt, and more so in the dramatic opening of civilizations and interactions that his empire facilitated. Intelligence derived from military strategies and the ability to adapt culture made him leave a footprint that branded him as one of the most monumental conquest legends of Hellenistic civilization. His great story of success is recorded in books and monuments, and also the today's civilization is actually a product of the Hellenistic times.

Life and achievements

Early life

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was born on 356 July in Pella, the then capital of kingdom of Macedon located in Northern Greek peninsula. His father was King Philip II of Macedon and the mother was Queen Olympias, who claimed to be descended from the kings of Epirus. Alexander had all the privileges in his upbringing, and his early life was filled with desire to achieve something big, since he was to inherit a kingdom that aimed at conquering more territory in Greece.

As it can be seen from the account, Alexander was groomed into being a leader from childhood. He received his education under the guidance of Aristotle, who ensured that his knowledge is completed with strong and intense academic program. Thus, Alexander, studying under the guidance of Aristotle, the great thinker, became familiar with different disciplines such as philosophy, ethic, politics, literary and sciences. Though it broadened his intellectual base, it also instilled in him a deep respect towards the Greeks and their conception of philosophy.

While on the same note, Alexander steeped in political turmoil as he was raised in ancient Macedon. Philip II was his father, and he was an excellent military leader and organizer who would ensure that Macedonia became the regional hegemony. He was able to see many of his father’s military ventures and political strategies, alliances, and suppression of insurrections to help gain territory for Macedon.

Inot_my_opinion, Alexander’s exposure to warfare from such an early age was rather sizable. At the early age of sixteen, Alexander traveled to the city of Byzantium with his father on a military campaign. Thus, this expedition was beneficial to Alexander in terms of receiving practical military training and having a feel of how it is to fight on the battlefield, which was beneficial when he turned into the great military leader.

Philip II’s reign was also very unfortunate for the royal family, since he died from an assassination carried out by one of his bodyguards in 340 BC. At only the age of 20, Alexander inherited the throne of the kingdom of Macedon. He encountered them, though, in the form of threat from rival Greek city-states and internal rebellion right after his ascension to the throne. Yet, Alexander reacts with energetic power and tried to show his military and leadership skills by suppressing the opposition and strengthening his power within Macedon.

As the king, Alexander was able to assume a throne of a kingdom that was all set for King-ship-expansion. During his reign, Macedon had already been able to secure a significant portion of the mainland Greece. Alexander though dreamt big, unlike his father, focused more on the Greek empire alone. With the heroes from classic Greek mythology in mind, Alexander was determined to make himself the king of conquerors, who was going to assemble the entire world united by the Greek language and way of life.

This is where Alexander started his military campaigns, which are historically referred to as the Wars of Alexander the Great or the Macedonian Empire. In the decade of 334 to 323 BC, Alexander organized his impressive military campaigns, which brought changes in the political map of the ancient world. He went further eastwards into Asia minor (present day Turkey) and defeated Persians in a series of successful battles; the Battle of Granicus, Issus and Gaugamela.

Alexander’s military management was best represented by the daring strategies, swift movements, and other factors-that made his soldiers be loyal and devoted wholly to him. His conquests were not only driven towards territorial gains, but he also did so to spread Greek influence in terms of culture, art, language, and architecture across the regions under his rule. He established many city-states which he named after him, including Alexandria in Egypt, which grew into strategic commercial, social, and intellectual hubs.

While most would think that Alexander was an invincible king due to the successes that he gained on the battlefield, the same conqueror had his fair share of obstacles and failures during his campaigns. This comprises mutinies among his troops, issues in management of resources to sustain the large empire, and pressures due to long wars on his and his army’s health. Nevertheless, Alexander moved further east, increasing his progress: Alexander was not willing to give up. He advanced into the Indian subcontinent and even went as far as the Beas River before his soldiers, who had become weary and homesick, persuaded him to retreat.

Unfortunately, the great military campaigns of Alexander stopped when he became a victim of a certain illness that killed him in Babylon at 32 years of age in 323 BC. The exact cause of his death remains subject to speculation and there are theories that punctured him to death, malaria, or he was poisoned. However, the reason, whether purely for political reasons or other circumstances, the death of Alexander was the end of an image that would remain a timeless account.

Alexander the Great is widely considered one of the greatest leaders in world history, the founder of a legendary empire, and a great military man and statesman. With these conquests, not only did he physically push the frontiers of the known world, but also laid the foundations for the syncretism of two civilizations that would determine the developmental trajectory of successive epochs.

Legacy

After his death, Alexander the Great made great changes in history that would continue on even more after his lifetime. His conquests altered territorial features and determined other shifts in culture that were to influence so many civilizations at a later date.

Historians have considered Alexander one of the greatest civilization builders for his role as an acculturating agent who brought the Greeks’ customs to other regions. Many cities existed with his name as he continued and crossed the east, where he founded Alexandria in Egypt or Bucephala in today’s Pakistan. These cities were transformed into the true centers of the Greece, in which Greek language, traditions, arts, and architecture dominated. In such diverse cities, everything that was Greek was mingled with the Persian, Egyptian, and Indian, leading to the formation of a spicy cultural mix called Hellenism. This cultural interaction was perceived and remained active throughout the Art, literature, philosophy, and science in the regions that he conquered and put a foundation to the Roman empires later on.

Alexander’s military campaigns were not mere materialistic gains that involved the acquisition of territories, but also to civilize and create an empire. Alexander notably united the city-states of Greece under Macedonian control and expanded his realm right across three continents, from Europe to Africa, moving across Asia. And even up to northwest India, this made Alexander one of the most successful rulers in his era. His concept of a world empire, in which the diverse and individual nations and cultures could be brought under the system of Hellenistic monarchies, inspired empires such as the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire later on.

In addition to his political and military achievements, Alexander contributes to the field of learning and scholarship, wherein he made comparably long-standing an impact on the flow of intellect and science. He founded learning centers, particularly the Great Library of Alexandria, which made known information centers known actually attracted the scholars from diverse areas. This exchange played a very important role in the progress of philosophy, science, medicine, mathematics and other fields across the cultures. This synthesis of Greek rationale with the Eastern erudition and science further enhanced the quality of the discourse along the line of future scientific and philosophical advancements.

Alexander left his imprint in art or as a symbol of glorious victory in world literature and mythology. He was a character in epic poems, histories, paintings, sculptures etc. immediately during his existence as well as for the next 1000 years and so on. In statues and paintings, artists depicted him in a way which made him the epitome of the perfect hero for leadership and conquest. There are many sources that tell about the life and victories of Alexander, including the works of Arrian, Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus. Which contributed to the formation of a specific image of the king as a gifted organizer, passionate for the idea of his life and calling – to achieve greatness.

Alexander’s legacy therefore goes beyond his military and his cultural achievements as the image or a benchmark for ambition, tenacity, and the drive to be great endures to date. He encouraged the loyalty and love from soldiers to him and the proof of his genius and predeterminations towards personal goals. Alexander unfortunately passed away at 32 in Babylon in 323 BC, however, he is a brilliant example of a historical figure who changed the course of history in numerous ways. This article affirms that he set the course of civilizations and a legacy of Alexander the Great is still studied, applauded, criticized, and analyzed to date.

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Milestone moments

Jul 2, 340

Regency and Early Leadership

Alexander was only 16 at the time, but that did not stop him from exercising his leadership skills when he was made regent of Macedonia while his dad, King Philip II, was busy in the battle against Byzantium. This position placed Alexander right in the middle of Macedonian political and military affairs, which probably served him well as he gained practical experience in government along with military responsibilities.

Jul 1, 336

Ascension to the Throne

Born in 356 BC, Alexander became the king of Macedon immediately after his father’s death, namely Philip II, in year 336 BC. The Thracian rose to power as the king, and he was faced with several crises early in his reign, such as the reactions from other Greek city-states and internal uprises. But Alexander was quick to act, and the lights went out on Parmenio’s rule, his influence diminished, and his fate sealed, soon after the new king consolidated his power.

Jun 7, 334

Conquest of Asia Minor

The first massive expedition undertaken by Alexander was in 334 BC, which culminated into invasion of the Persian Empire. The combined European and Asian forces of Alexander the Great, marching across the Hellespont to start the conquest of Asia Minor. In the first battle of Granicus Alexander won a major victory against the Persian army thus establishing his dominion over the vast region of north-western scientists, along with that Alexander’s warfare skills were also exposed.

Sep 5, 334

Success acquired in the Battle of Issus

There was the great victory of Alexander which was fought in 333 BC, that is the Battle of Issus against the Persian king Darius III. In a way, Alexander had a disadvantage because the Persians were larger; however, he was able to outwit them and gained a critical victory that allowed him to penetrate even deeper into the Persian Empire. The capture of Darius’ family implied the Alexander’s authority, thus enhancing the propaganda that he was the rightful king of the Persian territories.

Dec 31, 332

Exploration of Egypt and Establishment of Alexandria

In the year 332, Alexander invaded Egypt and the people received him with open arms as their savior from the southerners. He built the city of Alexandria at the Nile delta mouth that provided for convenient positioning for trade among the European continent and Asia. Alexandria would later develop into a city of massive importance to world culture of antiquity, with such iconic establishments as the Library of Alexandria and the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria, among others.

May 6, 331

Victory at Gaugamela

The final war of the Persian king Darius III and the mighty Alexander began at Gaugamela in 331 BC, which resulted in the victory of Alexander. On his scene, Alexander delivered such a masterful performance that caused a definite destruction of Persian power and put Alexander in complete mastery of the entire Persian home territory; together with the fortunate endowment by the rich cities of Babylon, Babylon, and Persepolis.

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