Alexander the Great (Week 21 History Essay)

Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C.

Alexander first showed his courage in public when he was 10 years old. His father, Phillip II, bought a strong, impressive horse for Alexander, but the horse seemed unmountable, kicking off anyone who would mount it. After several attempts at mounting the horse, Phillip gave up, but within those attempts, Alexander noticed that the horse saw his shadow, and that would have caused many kick-offs. So, Alexander turned the horse towards the sun and then mounted it. The horse didn’t kick off Alexander, and Phillip was overjoyed with Alexander’s courage, so he finally gave the horse to Alexander as a present. Alexander named the horse Bucephalas.

From age 13-16, Alexander studied under Aristotle. Many students were his friends, and eventually, they became Alexander’s future generals. Alexander was intelligent and quick to learn, showing a great desire for knowledge.

Alexander accompanied his father in many campaigns. However, when his father was assassinated in 336 B.C., Alexander became king at only 20 years old. Little is known about his personal life since then, other than he married twice and had two sons.

Alexander first decided to attempt to conquer Greece. Once Macedonia was under his control, he left Antipater as the regent of the land. Alexander crossed the Hellespont and headed towards Asia for the second part of his conquest. Alexander had his first successful siege in Halicarnassus. In many of the lands he conquered, he would loot the city and then return it back to a local citizen or a trusted general. This made Macedonia wealthy, but Alexander behaved more like a pirate on land.

Alexander also ‘solved’ the famous Gordian Knot, solved being in quotations because he didn’t actually untie the knot, he rather sliced it with his sword.

While on his conquests, Jerusalem was the only major city Alexander spared, since a certain prophecy mentioning a greek king conquering Persia. He thought this was about him, so he spared Jerusalem for it.

Alexander then conquered Egypt and was welcomed by the Egyptians as their liberator from the Persians. The next part of his conquest was destroying Persia and India. King Darius III of Persia was no match for Alexander and was constantly pushed around. Eventually, Darius was executed by his own men who rebelled against him, ending the Achaemenid empire.

Alexander continued his way on going to India, conquering all of the largest Empires the world had seen at the time. His empire was the largest in the world, but due to his practice of pulling all Greek soldiers from further east, this weakened his empire and eventually was conquered by Rome.

He had many great achievements, but he died of disease in 323 B.C. at 32 years old. His empire collapsed after he died and the nations within it battled for power.

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