A Short Post About Alexander the Great

[NOTE: I do not pretend to be an expert in the life and times of Alexander the Great. Do not use this as a source!]

In the first half of the 4th-century BC hostilities between the Greek city-states were common. So much so that it had led to a decrease of their military power and political stability. This made them vulnerable to outsiders.

To the north of Greece, there was a kingdom where a strong leader took this golden opportunity. The country was Macedonia. And the strong leader was named Philip II. Striking while the iron was hot, he attacked. His final goal was to build an empire that had both the Macedonian military force and Greek culture as foundations. In 338 BC he had conquered Greece by a mixture of military power and bribery.

He now turned his attention to conquering the Persian Empire.

But before Philip succeeded, he was murdered by one of his bodyguards. Now It was up to the son of Philip, Alexander, to fulfill his father’s dream.

Alexander had, despite the fact that he was only 20 years old, gained ample experience from the battlefield. He also had good knowledge of Greek culture and philosophy. In fact, Aristotle had been his teacher. But it’s hard to determine the impact this relationship had on Alexander.

His army was the strongest fighting force on earth. This was because of the good synergy between the different sections of the army.

After Alexander had won at Issus in 333 BC and Gaugamela in 331, the Persian king, Darius III was murdered by one of his own people.

Alexander declared himself as Darius’s successor and the king of Asia.

His campaign went on. And Alexander subdued a massive area of land. His domain stretched from the Danube river to the Indus river. This included Libya and Egypt. He had as a goal to erase the difference between the various cultures in his vast kingdom. And build on the best parts of each culture and combine them into one. To expedite this process, he married a Persian princess and made his soldiers marry Persian women too.

Now, that idea might seem intelligent and forward-thinking to some. But seeing how Alexander’s kingdom soon fell apart after his death, it was probably faulty thinking.

Alexander died in 323 BC at 32 years of age. The cause of death is not entirely known. But the suspects are malaria, alcoholic liver disease, poisoning, and typhoid fever.

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