There, his closest friend and possible lover, Hephaestion, died of illness or poisoning. Alexander the Great was an ancient Macedonian ruler and one of history’s greatest military minds who, as King of Macedonia and Persia, established the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen. He was undefeated in battle and became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves. But his army encountered resistance in the cities of Miletus, Mylasa and Halicarnassus. Supposedly, one of those on the rock was a girl named Roxane. [74] [238][239][240][241], Libanius wrote that Alexander founded the temple of Zeus Bottiaios (Ancient Greek: Βοττιαίου Δῖός), in the place where later the city of Antioch was built. Suspicion has fallen upon Alexander, Olympias and even the newly crowned Persian Emperor, Darius III. [202] He had great charisma and force of personality, characteristics which made him a great leader. And he did this without the benefit of modern technology and weaponry. Unsuccessful plan to cut a canal through the isthmus, Naming of the Icarus island in the Persian Gulf, Bloom, Jonathan M.; Blair, Sheila S. (2009), A History of Macedonia: Volume III: 336–167 B.C. He took with him an entourage of scientists to record and analyse this information, from botany, biology, zoology and meteorology, to topography. [11], Several legends surround Alexander's birth and childhood. [65][66], Taking over the invasion project of Philip II, Alexander's army crossed the Hellespont in 334 BC with approximately 48,100 soldiers, 6,100 cavalry and a fleet of 120 ships with crews numbering 38,000,[59] drawn from Macedon and various Greek city-states, mercenaries, and feudally raised soldiers from Thrace, Paionia, and Illyria. In May 1964, President Lyndon B. [242][243], Hellenization was coined by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen to denote the spread of Greek language, culture, and population into the former Persian empire after Alexander's conquest. From age 13 to 16 he was taught by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who inspired his interest in philosophy, medicine, and scientific investigation. [185], When faced with opponents who used unfamiliar fighting techniques, such as in Central Asia and India, Alexander adapted his forces to his opponents' style. [189] However, Ogden calculates that Alexander, who impregnated his partners thrice in eight years, had a higher matrimonial record than his father at the same age. He also took two more wives for himself. Pompey the Great adopted the epithet "Magnus" and even Alexander's anastole-type haircut, and searched the conquered lands of the east for Alexander's 260-year-old cloak, which he then wore as a sign of greatness. [238] The temple was designed by Pytheos, one of the architects of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. [260] Alexander was used by these writers as an example of ruler values such as amicita (friendship) and clementia (clemency), but also iracundia (anger) and cupiditas gloriae (over-desire for glory). At the Oracle of Siwa, he was proclaimed a son of the god Zeus-. Mark, J. J. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. After several weeks, he took the town and entered Egypt where he established the city that still bears his name: Alexandria. This belief in his divinity was instilled in him by Olympias who also told him that his was a virgin birth as she had been miraculously impregnated by Zeus himself. [157] Another recent analysis suggested pyogenic (infectious) spondylitis or meningitis. In 326 B.C., Alexander met King Porus of Paurava at the Hydaspes River. [258] Polybius began his Histories by reminding Romans of Alexander's achievements, and thereafter Roman leaders saw him as a role model. [40] He continued to Illyria,[40] where he sought refuge with one or more Illyrian kings, perhaps with Glaukias, and was treated as a guest, despite having defeated them in battle a few years before. [59] Alexander then set out on his Asian campaign, leaving Antipater as regent. [271], In pre-Islamic Middle Persian (Zoroastrian) literature, Alexander is referred to by the epithet gujastak, meaning "accursed", and is accused of destroying temples and burning the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism. [27], At age 16, Alexander's education under Aristotle ended. He died in Babylon at the age of 32 on 10 or 11 June 323 BCE after suffering ten days of high fever. In the process, he created a uniquely effective army, combining many different types of troops into one formidable, fast moving team. His beard was scanty, and he stood out against his hirsute Macedonian barons by going clean-shaven. At the age of 14, Alexander was introduced to the Greek philosopher Aristotle who Philip hired as a private tutor. Alexander personally defeated the Scythians at the Battle of Jaxartes and immediately launched a campaign against Spitamenes, defeating him in the Battle of Gabai. He possessed a ferocious temper and from time to time would arbitrarily murder close advisors and even friends. [156], Several natural causes (diseases) have been suggested, including malaria and typhoid fever. Darius' body was treated with the greatest respect, as were the surviving members of his family. "[238] This inscription is one of the few independent archaeological discoveries confirming an episode from Alexander's life. Well, much to Alexander’s surprise she claimed that the father of Alexander is not Philip II but Zeus. [192] Lysippos' sculpture, famous for its naturalism, as opposed to a stiffer, more static pose, is thought to be the most faithful depiction. Macedon, which existed roughly where the modern country of Macedonia lies today, was a kingdom located that lay geographically north of the Greek city-states. In popular culture, the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden included a song titled "Alexander the Great" on their 1986 album Somewhere in Time. Mark, Joshua J. Alexander wanted to press on and attempt to conquer all of India, but his war-weary soldiers refused, and his officers convinced him to return to Persia. Marching west into Illyria, Alexander defeated each in turn, forcing the two rulers to flee with their troops. [185], At Issus in 333 BC, his first confrontation with Darius, he used the same deployment, and again the central phalanx pushed through. [59], After an initial victory against Persian forces at the Battle of the Granicus, Alexander accepted the surrender of the Persian provincial capital and treasury of Sardis; he then proceeded along the Ionian coast, granting autonomy and democracy to the cities. Thus, in Bactria and Sogdiana, Alexander successfully used his javelin throwers and archers to prevent outflanking movements, while massing his cavalry at the center. With these victories, he secured his northern frontier. He is known as 'the great' both for his military genius and his diplomatic skills in handling the various populaces of the regions he conquered. Alexander the Great's legacy is both far reaching and profound. [230], According to Diodorus Siculus, Alexander accumulated a harem in the style of Persian kings, but he used it rather sparingly,[231] showing great self-control in "pleasures of the body". He then laid siege to the heavily fortified island of Tyre in January 332 B.C., after the Tyrians refused him entry. [40] Alexander reacted by sending an actor, Thessalus of Corinth, to tell Pixodarus that he should not offer his daughter's hand to an illegitimate son, but instead to Alexander. Subsequently, however, the two rivals were reconciled by the personal mediation of Alexander; and Taxiles, after having contributed zealously to the equipment of the fleet on the Hydaspes, was entrusted by the king with the government of the whole territory between that river and the Indus. In his day, troop movements were primarily on foot, and communications were face to face. Even by Macedonian standards he was very short, though stocky and tough. Around AD 200, Emperor Septimius Severus closed Alexander's tomb to the public. This was due to use of terrain, phalanx and cavalry tactics, bold strategy, and the fierce loyalty of his troops. [79], Alexander advanced on Egypt in later 332 BC, where he was regarded as a liberator. Alexander's will called for military expansion into the southern and western Mediterranean, monumental constructions, and the intermixing of Eastern and Western populations. [108] It remains unclear if Callisthenes was actually involved in the plot, for prior to his accusation he had fallen out of favour by leading the opposition to the attempt to introduce proskynesis. He has written numerous nonfiction histories and biographies, including Caesar. "[117] A similar slaughter followed at Ora. at age 32. He also mentions that this was the only unsuccessful project of Alexander. He more, Alexander Hamilton Stephens (1812-1883) served as vice president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War (1861-65). Aristotle’s influence directly bore upon Alexander’s later dealings with the people he conquered, in that Alexander never forced the culture of Greece upon the inhabitants of the various regions but merely introduced it in the same way Aristotle used to teach his students. 10 Amazing Facts About Philip II of Macedon, the Father of Alexander the Great. Macedon, which existed roughly where the modern country of Macedonia lies today, was a kingdom located that lay geographically north of the Greek city-states. [211] Thus, rather than megalomania, his behaviour may simply have been a practical attempt at strengthening his rule and keeping his empire together. Philip II was an impressive military man in his own right. [209] Alexander adopted elements of Persian dress and customs at court, notably proskynesis, a practice of which Macedonians disapproved, and were loath to perform. While there’s some controversy over whether Bell was the true more, The Kasta Hill archeological site at Amphipolis, located some 370 miles north of Athens and 65 miles east of the city of Thessaloniki, is believed to be the largest burial site ever discovered in Greece. The temple, he says, took fire and was burnt while its mistress was absent, assisting at the birth of Alexander. Philip deliberately commanded his troops to retreat, counting on the untested Athenian hoplites to follow, thus breaking their line. [63] Greeks used the word Margites to describe fool and useless people, on account of the Margites. The anguish that Alexander felt after Hephaestion's death may also have contributed to his declining health.

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