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Alexander III of Macedonia

Updated on September 11, 2016

Alexander III , born in July 356 BC, was from Macedonia in Ancient Greece. He was born in Agread dynasty in the city of Pella. At the age of 20, he ascended to the throne of his father, Phillip. After his accession to the throne Alexander led his army in a series of wars for years and carved out one of the largest empires of the ancient world spanning from Greece to northern India. Aristotle was the teacher of Alexander and he taught him in a lot of subjects.. After Alexander was crowned king, he invaded the Achaemeid Empire in 334 BC. In the years that followed, Alexander overthrew the Persian King Darius III and broke the power of the Persians, conquering the Achaemied empire entirely. He invaded India in 326 BC and won many states and territories. However at the demand of his troops, he eventually turned back home for Greece. Alexander never lost a single battle throughout his military campaign. Alexander found a lot of cities bearing his name. His conquests spread the Greek culture across continents.

Childhood and Rise to the throne

Alexander was the son of King Phillips II and of Olympias. At the age of six he was tutored by Leonidas and at the age of 13, Aristotle tutored Alexander in medicine, philosophy, morals, religion, and logic. Alexander suppressed Thracian Maedi revolts when he was 16. After that Alexander and his father suppressed and subdued many other other Greek revolts and states from 338/337 BC. In the summer of 336 BC, Phillip was assassinated and Alexander was made king by the nobles and the army. As soon as Alexander rose to the throne states of Thebes, Athens, Thessaly and Thrace revolted after Phillip's death. Alexander quickly mobilized his army and surrounded the Thessalian army who promptly surrendered. By 335 BC, he defeated Thracian forces. Alexander launched the Balkan Campaign and defeated the independent Thracian forces at Mount Haemus. Alexander also defeated the Kings of Illyria and Taulanti and other Greek states who sued for peace.

Conquests

Alexander led the Greek army in Asia Minor to conquer the powerful Persian empire which was under the command of King Darius III. Alexander defeated the Persian forces at the Battle of Granicus and let a lot of wars and sieges under which the Persian empire began to crumble. By 333 BC, Alexander defeated Darius at Issus and by 332 BC, he captured Syria and Levant and Egypt. In 331 BC, he defeated King Darius III decisively at the Battle of Gaugamela and captured Babylon. Eventually Alexander captured the entire Achaemeid Empire. By this time Alexander had adopted some elements of the Persian customs. This resulted in Alexander losing the sympathies of his countrymen and Alexander finally abandoned them. During this time Greece mostly enjoyed peace and prosperity. After this , Alexander turned his attention to capture the Indian subcontinent. Alexander called the chieftains of Ghandhara to concede to his authority. Omphis of Taxila followed suit and conceded to Alexander's demands. However few chieftains belonging to Apsoi and Assakenoi sections of Kambhoj regions did not submit. Alexander defeated the Apsoi and and Assakenoi. After that Alexander defeated Porus on the banks of Battle of Hydaspus river. After that Alexander advanced near the bank of Ganges where the powerful Nanada Empire lied. However Alexander's army refused to go any further. Alexander finally conceded to his army's demands and turned back home.

Legacy

Alexander's empire spread from Greece to Egypt in Africa to the edge of the Ganges in India. His conquests led to an increased trade relations between East and the West. The cities founded by Alexander during his conquest turned into major cultural hubs bringing different civilizations together which have survived to this day. His conquests gave rise to Greek influence on a lot of territories beyond Mediterranean. Chandragupta Maurya rose to power power in India. Roman generals, most famously Julius Caesar, found great inspiration and used to attach themselves to Alexander. Alexander was undefeated in battle. In certain cultures he was portrayed and worshipped as a god and son of deities.Several coins were issued, textbooks, paintings and folklore stories in Greece were written using him as a central or inspired figure. A lot of statutes across cultures were carved used a combination of Greek and local styles.

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    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      23 months ago from San Diego California

      Fascinating summary of a great warrior. Welcome aboard to Hub Pages.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      23 months ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Excellent biography of this great ancient Greek leader. He changed the world. Great job, Rohithorcrux.

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