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Alexander the Great Essay

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Published: Thu, 06 Jul 2017

With the courage of a tiger and the ferocity of a Lion, Alexander III swept through Eastern Europe and Asia. Alexander the Great as he would be called was believed to be a descendant of the God’s! He was a military genius because his battles throughout Asia Minor, against Darius, the King of the Empire of Persia, would bring him fame, fortune, and eternal glorification as the greatest king to have ruled in all of history. The Macedonian king’s level of intelligence, the amount of land that he acquired, and the fact that he was a military genius, is some of the most important aspects to the life of Alexander the Great.

The intelligence quota of Alexander the Great was incredible and was recognized at a very young age. By following the teachings of Aristotle, Alexander would expand his horizon of knowledge to an incredible extent. The reason for this great expansion of knowledge was because of the deep rooted respect that Alexander had for Aristotle. We can see this obvious respect because “He placed the copy of Homer into a casket, adorned with jewels, and it followed him wherever he went.” (Abbott)

Alexander loved books. He loved expanding knowledge, not only for himself, but for his people. His famed city of Alexandria was built after him. It housed the greatest library of the ancient world. It had thousands of books and scrolls and all kinds of literature.

By using his vast amount of literary resources surrounding him, he was able to sharpen the tip of his spear that was his knowledge of military tactics. By studying ancient generals and kings, whether they were great in what they accomplished or terrible for how they failed, he learned to use their feats in a way to better himself as a king and especially as general. He would go on to use his knowledge to command and conquer the once thought invincible Asiatic empires.

Alexander the Great was one of the most amazing leaders in the history of ancient Greece. The expansions of his boundaries of the kingdom were phenomenal. In five years, he expanded his empire east by 2500 miles (Leadership). “He was one of the most successful military commanders of all time and is presumed undefeated in battle. By the time of his death, he had conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks” (Snow). He controlled the vast majority of the eastern European continent and he also controlled much of the Asiatic continent as well. “Alexander the Great was one of the best-known rulers in ancient history. By the time of his death at thirty-two, he ruled the largest Western empire of the ancient world” (Alexander the Great Biography).

By controlling this vast empire, the economy of the Macedonian empire would have flourished dramatically. This would be because of trade. The trade routes that were mapped out by Alexander and his army were extremely important. They allowed trade caravans to be able to traverse through these, previously, unchartered areas. This would allow for the exotic merchandise from foreign lands to stream into the cultures of the Macedonian people, thus causing cultural diversity. He expanded Macedonia, thus, creating an empire that covered over two million square miles. He founded 70 cities and many were on trade routes thus increasing east-west trade. He also saw the need to create a new coinage system so that his whole empire would be connected during exchanges. (Leadership)

A major accomplishment of Alexander was that he saw that he needed to make his new subjects happy. To make them happy he granted them freedoms and in return he asked for loyalty. He also tried to integrate families into the Macedonian families and so he would have his soldiers marry some of the women and, thus, creating a more diverse and multi-cultural Macedonia.

“When Alexander ascended the throne of Macedon following the death of his father in 336, the city states of Greece and the huge empire of Persia had already been in conflict for hundreds of years” (Sheppard 9).

Alexander’s motivation for success was driven by glory. He wanted to be remembered and be seen as a God by all who knew of his name. Alexander’s favorite tutor was Lysimachus. This tutor devised a game in which Alexander impersonated the hero Achilles. Achilles was a heroic Greek warrior from a famous ancient poem called the Iliad. Achilles became the model of the noble warrior for Alexander, and he modeled himself after this hero. This game delighted Olympias because her family claimed the hero as an ancestor (Alexander the Great Biography). He also wanted to exact his revenge on the Persians who had invaded 150 years prior to his ruling.

He was a great military leader because he knew about strategy. “Alexander inherited a well-trained army from his father and trained them even further. Perhaps surprisingly, the size of his army never went over 40,000. What Alexander did value and perhaps what kept his army smaller, was the mobility and speed gave military advantage” (Military Commanders). He realized that through speed and mobility he would be able to quickly alter his positions and to out maneuver and eventually outflank his enemies, resulting in an almost immediate victory. He would never ask anyone to do something if he himself would not do. This means he would never have his soldiers do something dastardly during battle unless if he was there doing it with them. We can see the accuracy of this statement because he would always lead his men from the front. This made him an easy target, but also a huge motivation towards his troops. This may have been the reason that he wounded so many times. On an interesting note, he would never drink water until he knew that all of his soldiers had water to drink.

Alexander is given credit for creating the phalanx style of battle. This was a battle tactic that consisted of hoplites in columns. The columns would be ten men across and ten men deep. Men in the phalanx carried a round shield called a hoplon, from which the infantry took their name, hoplites. The hoplites wore metal armor on their chests, forearms, and shins at least, plus a metal helmet that covered the head down to the neck. The addition of armor classified the hoplites as heavy infantry, as opposed to light infantry that wore little or no armor. (The Great Phalanx) With the addition of more phalanx groups Alexander would have created an extremely large and mobile fighting force.

Being mobile meant that enemy cavalry could not easily strike a decisive blow against Alexander. The Grecians are known for their ability to organize and form gaps in their lines to prevent effective cavalry attacks.

When a man has the ability to have historians put a “Great” after their names then they have to do something simply remarkable. When they have a city named after them, Alexandria, then they have had to of done something remarkable. If they are in the Bible, a book that has not been edited for thousands of years, as one of the greatest kings in all of history then they had to of done something remarkable. Alexander of Macedon, or Alexander the Great, shaped the history of mankind. In Daniel 11:2-4, we see that he is mentioned as the he-goat that destroys the ram, which a reference to Darius. This is an incredible feat for anyone. A man of his stature, a man who was extremely intelligent, acquired huge amounts of land, and was simply the most inspirational and fearless military leader of his time, deserves to have the title of “Great.” Alexander the Great would go down in history as the most influential and important ruler of the Ancient Grecian world.


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