The Story of Alexander the Great Is Best When You Know These 10 Incredible Facts.
I had just seen a National Geographic documentary that highlighted some of the famous people in the ancient world. One of those people was a man called Alexander the Great. I could not believe at first that such a man existed; I actually thought it was some fairy tale legend.
You could say that I was a doubting Thomas or non-believer in the existence of this man. So I did what any rational person with doubts would do (no I didn’t sell my TV set at a garage sell), I did my own research. At first I was kind of overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. I read every story and article I could find and they all made me to be a believer that there was actually a person called Alexander.
Maybe my doubts were all due to the fact that I couldn’t fathom that one man conquered Asia and Europe. He did the impossible be possible and by looking at his mindset with one of his most famous quotes, “I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion but not an army of lions led by a sheep” I see why he was quite the legend.
Alexander was king, ruler, conqueror, warrior, soldier and a military leader. My research and almost obsessive reading led me to realize some amazing facts about this conqueror. These are the ten things that I found out:
- 1. He was a prince
He was born in Pella, Macedonia on 356 B.C.E to King Philip II as his father and Queen Olympias as his mother. He was prince of Macedonia and from a young age he was a rebellious boy.
This is evident by his first teacher Leonidas who was a relative of Olympias had a hard time controlling this unruly boy. But Leonidas managed to teach him math, archery, and horsemanship.
- 2. He tamed a wild horse at a very young age.
A horse dealer offered to sell Alexander’s father (King Philip II) a wild horse.
But the problem was that nobody had managed to tame it so the king was not interested. A young Alexander wanted this horse but first he had to tame it.
Alexander at 13 years of age figured out that the horse was afraid of its own shadow and he turned the animal away from its own shadow. This simple action managed to calm the horse; he managed to do what everyone had failed to do.
He named his black horse Bucephalus and with it conquered many lands and kingdoms.
- 3. Also at a young age that’s when he ventured on his military career
When King Philip II invaded Thrace, he left Alexander in charge of Macedonia. At just the age of 16 at the time Alexander had just been given power over this land to rule.
But the Thracian tribe of Maedi saw an opportunity and begun to rebel. Alexander assembled an army, marched towards the Thracian tribe and defeated them therefore conquering their lands.
- 4. He was an alcoholic in today’s standard
Alexander loved the bottle or wine. He held parties and festivals where he and his men drunk so much wine. From a young age Alexander was an occasional drinker.
His alcoholic nature was so severe that he killed his general Cleitus who had actually saved his life once in battle. Cleitus had said something unfavorable and not to the liking of Alexander.
After he did this act he fell into a state of depression and regret for what he had just done for several days.
- 5. He was King of Macedonia at 20 years of age
When his father, King Philip II was assassinated in a wedding of his daughter (Alexander’s sister) there was a power vacuum.
Alexander acted quickly and took power with the army supporting him. They actually helped him in killing all rivals and princes to the throne and by the age of 20 he was King of Macedonia.
- 6. He was a great military strategist
Alexander was definitely a military genius; this man had an empire that stretched through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Egypt, India, Syria and Iraq.
Thanks to his military tactics and strategies he was able to defeat armies that outnumbered his army by the thousands. With a small army he was able to defeat King Darius III of Persia; also as his army marched into India they fought against an army that used elephants, Alexander won the battle. In the 15 years of conquest Alexander the Great never lost a battle.
- 7. He named a town after his dead horse
Alexander’s horse Bucephalus was much loved by him. They marched together in every battle until Bucephalus died in India.
It’s unclear whether Bucephalus died of old age or due to wounds inflicted in battle. Alexander was devastated and he founded a city which he named Bucephala, in honor of his horse.
- 8. He was a ladies man
Alexander had romances with several women in his time as king and conqueror. First there was Barsine, the eldest of Darius’ daughters. According to Plutarch, Alexander fell in love with Barsine for her beauty, and they had a son named Heracles.
In the siege of the Sogdian Rock Alexander met Roxane a beautiful young Bactria girl who was the daughter of a noble. He married her and she bore him a son, Alexander IV. But she and her son were later executed by Cassander, who later took the reign as King of Macedonia.
According to Ancient Origins, among Alexander’s other women was Callixena the first lover of the young Alexander. She was known for her beauty and the future king spent lots of time with this woman.
Another romance of Alexander was with the Queen of the Amazons, Thalestris. She traveled 200 or even 600 miles to meet the king, who was already the most famous warrior of the world. It was a short romance because they spent thirteen days together as a couple.
- 9. He was taught by the famous Aristotle
Probably the most famous Greek philosopher was Aristotle. As fate would have it Aristotle was hired to tutor young Alexander who was only 13 years of age at the time.
The teacher that had a great influence on Alexander was the famous Aristotle, the Greek philosopher. Aristotle taught him on a wide range of fields from philosophy, government, politics, poetry, drama, and the sciences.
Aristotle teachings on government, politics and philosophy are what Alexander used to unite his vast empire and eliminate any dissent.
- 10. He was king of several kingdoms or empires
At just the age of 20 years Alexander was already King of Macedonia. By the age of 22 years old he set out to conquer Persia. He did just that and had a firm hold on Persia and declared himself King of Persia.
By the age of 32 years old Alexander the Great had an empire that stretched from Europe to India. He conquered every city, town and tribe that offered any kind of resistance.
Alexander the Great was truly a man of many traits and he did what was considered impossible at the time. He is still studied today by the fact that his military tactics were pure genius. The fact that this man never lost a battle can make you actually believe that he descended from Zeus himself or that he is a god.
Do you believe or think he was Zeus himself? Do you have any other facts that I haven't mentioned or highlighted?
Please do share and inform me in the comments section below.