Among the greatest kings and conquerors throughout history, Alexander the Great accomplished a series of great accomplishments. Leading to conquers and stepping up as king of Macedon, while also being pharaoh of Egypt. Alexander conquered a series of lands and empires, including Persia, Egypt, and India, among others. Alexander’s legend begins even before his birth. The main purpose of this essay is to analyze the extraordinary life of the king of Macedon, Alexander. The essay will also talk about the accomplishments and conquered lands of the army of Alexander and his early life and late life.
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Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III of Macedon and Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon, was born in Pella, in those times the capital of Macedonia. Alexander was the son of the king Philip II of Macedon and Myrtali, the Princess of Epirus, who will be later known as Olympias. Oympias’ ancestor was the great hero of the Iliad, Achilles. As for Phillip it was said to be the descendant of the son of Zeus, Hercules. Phillip II and Olympias were warned about the birth of the boy in their dreams. Olympias had dreamt of a loud burst of thunder and a lightening that hit her womb. Phillip had also dreamt about himself sealing Olympias womb with the seal of the lion. They invited the best prophet at that time, Arixstandros Telmisy, who determined that Olympias was pregnant and that the child would have a character of a lion. Phillip and Olympias even went to the oracle of Delphi. The oracle advised Phillip to worship Zeus more than any other god. Even as a young boy, Alexander was strong and was a fearless boy, which later would be the inspiration of conquerors later on such as Hannibal, Pompey and Caesar, and Napoleon. When Alexander was 13 years old, Phillip hired Aristotle to be his son’s private tutor. (1) I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well. During the 3 years, Aristotle trained Alexander in rhetoric and literature, giving Alexander an interest in science, medicine, and philosophy. Aristotle, who had conquered the world with his philosophy and thought, was the teacher of the one who conquered the world with the sword. Alexander was inspired by 4 people, Dionysius, Achilles, Hercules, and Cyrus the Great.
Later on, Phillip marries with a woman named Cleopatra, a Macedonian. Leading to the divorce with Olympia. In the wedding, Cleopatra’s father said that Phillip should father a “legitimate” heir, some one who was pure Macedonian. As for Alexander, he threw his cup to Cleopatra’s father, enraged; Phillip stood up to charge at Alexander with his sword, but clumsily tripped on his face. (2) “Here is the man who was making ready to cross from Europe to Asia, and who cannot even cross from one table to another without losing his balance.” After Phillip’s death, Alexander quickly ascended to the throne, disposing all the conspirators and public enemies. Now he had to act outside the city. But Phillip’s death caused various rebellions from conquered nations, Illyrians, Thracians, and Greeks.
(3) Heaven cannot brook two suns, nor earth two masters. Alexander the Great’s conquers start in Persia, the spring of 334 BC, where he crossed Hellespont with 35,000 Macedonians and about 7,600 Greeks. Now as his boat approaches the Asia Minor’s coast, Alexander throws a spear from the ship to stick it in the coast ground. As he stepped on the coast and took the spear out, he declared that Asia would be conquered by the Macedonian spear. Soon after landing, Alexander’s army encountered King Darius III’s army. Alexander’s army defeated the 40,000 enemies and according to the legend, only lost 110 men in battle. Then they headed to Gordion, home of the famous Gordion Knot. According to the legend of the knot was that the man who could untie the knot had the destination to rule the entire world. Alexander only slashed the knot with his sword. Later on, Alexander meets with Darius again at a mountain pass in the northeaster Syria. Then he marched to the Phoenician coast where all the major cities surrendered to the Macedonians except for Tyre. Followed by a seven month siege of the city, until they surrendered.
Alexander went to Egypt in the beginning of 331 B.C. When he arrived to Egypt, he was welcomed with wide open arms, therefore Alexander ordered a city to be constructed in the mouth of the Nile river. The city named Alexandria would be one of the major cultural centers in the Mediterranean through the following centuries. Not only in the Macedonian rule over Egypt but centuries later too. In the spring of the same 331 BC, Alexander made a pilgrimage to the temple and the oracle of Amon-Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun. For the Greeks and the Macedonians, Amon-Ra was identified as Zeus Ammon. In those times, the Egyptian pharaohs were thought to be the sons of Amon-Ra, and as new ruler of Egypt, Alexander wanted the god to consider him as a son. Alexander decided to make the dangerous trip through the desert to see the oracle in the temple of Amon-Ra. (4) Sex and sleep alone make me conscious that I am mortal. According to the tradition or the legend, on the trip through the desert he was blessed with rain, and was guided across with ravens. When he got to the temple the priests welcomed him and talked to the oracle. The priests after talking to the oracle, told Alexander that he was son of Zeus Ammon and that he was destined to rule the world. This made him go further on to conquer.
After Egypt, in the spring of 327 BC, Alexander went to India and conquered Punjab. The greatest battle in India was at the river of Hydaspes against king Porus who was one of the most powerful kings in India. In this battle, Alexander’s horse Bucephalus was hurt and died in that battle. He later founded the city of Buckephalia in the name of his horse. Alexander’s army continued as far as the river, but the army refused to keep on going. There were reports of greater and more dangerous armies, larger armies, having elephants and chariots. So the army agreed to go south of the Hydaspes River and the Indus to find the ocean and from there travel to Persia. But along the way, they had to stop to fight off Indian villages. While the army passed through Malli, which was the tribe to be the most warlike in the villages, Alexander was severely damaged as an arrow pierced through his breastplate and his rib cage. The Macedonians barely escaped from the attack. But the return was a disaster. The army marched through the Gerdosian desert during the summer, left thousands of soldiers dead because of heat and exhaustion. Some got safely home.
Once in Susa, Alexander had a victory celebration where he and 80 of his associates married Iranian noble woman. Little later he discharged 10,000 veterans and sent them home. Alexander contracted a high fever when he attended in a party. The fever became higher and stronger; until he couldn’t move of speak. By this, the Macedonians were allowed to pass though their great leader for the last time. Alexander the Great and the great conqueror of the Persian Empire died at the age of 33 without designating the heir of the Macedonian Empire. (5) Is it not worthy of tears that, when the number of worlds is infinite, we have not yet become lords of a single one?
To conclude this topic about Alexander the Great, he has been one of the most inspiring conquerors of all times. He was the inspiring light for some of the conquerors of later times, as Hannibal, Pompey, Caesar, and Napoleon. Alexander was supposedly the legitimate ruler of the world, which was almost right because he conquered the entire Persian Empire as for Egypt and part of India. Alexander defeat armies much larger than his and with much better weapons with better techniques. Alexander conquered a twenty times larger land than Macedonia; this makes him the ruler of the “world”.
In my opinion, Alexander the Great was and still is the most respected and greatest conqueror of all times. I respect the way he conquered far lands from his home land, and defeating stronger armies than his. Alexander doesn’t only inspire me by his battles and conquered lands, but also the subjects he studied with the great philosopher, Aristotle. Alexander mastered those subjects and took interest on some while also being a fierce and strong kid. I think that’s the way I want my life to be, being a great student while being a fierce and strong kid in sports.
Alexander the Great, I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well. http://www.allgreatquotes.com/alexander_the_great_quotes.shtml
Alexander the Great, “Here is the man who was making ready to cross from Europe to Asia, and who cannot even cross from one table to another without losing his balance.” http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/AncientMacedonia/AlexandertheGreat.html
Alexander the Great, Heaven cannot brook two suns, nor earth two masters. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/alexander_the_great.html
Alexander the Great, Sex and sleep alone make me conscious that I am mortal. http://www.allgreatquotes.com/alexander_the_great_quotes.shtml
Alexander the Great, Is it not worthy of tears that, when the number of worlds is infinite, we have not yet become lords of a single one? http://www.allgreatquotes.com/alexander_the_great_quotes.shtml
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