- NAME: Alexander the Great
- OCCUPATION: King
- BIRTH DATE: 356 BCE
- DEATH DATE: 323 BCE
- EDUCATION: Temple of the Nymphs at Meiza (where Aristotle tutored him)
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Pella, Macedonia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Babylon, Persia (now Iran), Iran
- AKA: Alexander III
- AKA: Alexander II of Macedon
- AKA: Alexander the Great
- AKA: Mégas Aléxandros
- AKA: Great Alexander
- Nickname: King of Babylon, King of Asia, King of the Four Quarters of the World
Best Known For
Alexander the Great served as king of Macedonia from 336 to 323 B.C. During his leadership, he united Greece, reestablished the Corinthian League and conquered the Persian Empire.
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The army proclaimed Alexander the feudal king and proceeded to help him murder other potential heirs to the throne. Ever a loyal mother, Olympia further ensured her son's claim to the throne by slaughtering the daughter of King Philip II and Cleopatra and driving Cleopatra herself to suicide.
Even though Alexander was the feudal king of Macedonia, he didn't obtain automatic control of the Corinthian League. In fact,
the southern states of Greece were celebrating Philip II's death and expressed divided interests. Athens had its own agenda: Under the leadership of democratic Demosthenes, the state hoped to take charge of the league. As they launched independence movements, Alexander sent his army south and coerced the region of Thessaly into acknowledging him as the leader of the Corinthian League. Then during a meeting of league members at Thermopylae, Alexander elicited their acceptance of his leadership. By the fall of 336, he reissued treaties with the Greek city-states that belonged to the Corinthian League—with Athens still refusing membership—and was granted full military power in the campaign against the Persian Empire. But, before preparing for war with Persia, Alexander first conquered the Thracian Triballians in 335, securing Macedonia's northern borders.
As Alexander was nearing the end of his northern campaign, he was delivered the news that Thebes, a Greek city-state, had forced out the Macedonian troops that were garrisoned there. Fearing a revolt among the other city-states, Alexander leapt into action, marching his massive army—consisting of 3,000 cavalry and 30,000 infantry—southward all the way to the tip of the Greek peninsula. Meanwhile, Alexander's general, Parmenion, had already made his way to Asia Minor.
Alexander and his forces arrived in Thebes so quickly that the city-state didn't have a chance to pull together allies for its defense. Three days after his arrival, Alexander led the massacre of Thebes. It was Alexander's hope that the destruction of Thebes would serve as a warning to city-states contemplating revolt. His intimidation tactic proved effective; the other Greek city-states, including Athens, chose to pledge their alliance to the Macedonian Empire or opted to remain neutral.
In 334, Alexander embarked on his Asiatic expedition, arriving in Troy that spring. Alexander then faced Persian King Darius III's army near the Grancius River; Darius' forces were swiftly defeated. By fall, Alexander and his army had made it across the southern coast of Asia Minor to Gordium, where they took the winter to rest. In the summer of 333, the troops of Alexander and Darius once again went head to head in battle at Issus. Although Alexander's army was outnumbered, he used his flair for military strategy to create formations that defeated the Persians again and caused Darius to flee. In November of 333, Alexander declared himself the king of Persia after capturing Darius and making him a fugitive.
Next up on Alexander's agenda was his campaign to conquer Egypt.
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