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history of alexander the great

history of alexander the great

Before continuing his pursuit of Darius, who had retreated into Bactria, he assembled all the Persian treasure and entrusted it to Harpalus, who was to hold it at Ecbatana as chief treasurer. Two years later he commanded the left wing at the Battle of Chaeronea, in which Philip defeated the allied Greek states, and displayed personal courage in breaking the Sacred Band of Thebes, an elite military corps composed of 150 pairs of lovers. In summer 324 Alexander attempted to solve another problem, that of the wandering mercenaries, of whom there were thousands in Asia and Greece, many of them political exiles from their own cities. [136] Alexander admired Cyrus the Great, from an early age reading Xenophon's Cyropaedia, which described Cyrus's heroism in battle and governance as a king and legislator. He appointed Porus as satrap, and added to Porus' territory land that he did not previously own, towards the south-east, up to the Hyphasis (Beas). The other Greek states were cowed by this severity, and Alexander could afford to treat Athens leniently. [249] Furthermore, town planning, education, local government, and art current in the Hellenistic period were all based on Classical Greek ideals, evolving into distinct new forms commonly grouped as Hellenistic. [175] According to Diodorus, Alexander's companions asked him on his deathbed to whom he bequeathed his kingdom; his laconic reply was "tôi kratistôi"—"to the strongest". [91] Curtius claims that Alexander did not regret his decision until the next morning. [75][76] The men of military age were massacred and the women and children sold into slavery. The decisive battle of the war was fought on October 31, on the plain of Gaugamela between Nineveh and Arbela. Ten thousand veterans were now sent back to Macedonia with gifts, and the crisis was surmounted. [158] Other illnesses fit the symptoms, including acute pancreatitis and West Nile virus. [148][157], Alexander's sexuality has been the subject of speculation and controversy in modern times. In the first authoritative biography of Alexander the Great written for a general audience in a generation, classicist and historian Philip Freeman tells the remarkable life of the great conqueror. Quintus Curtius Rufus wrote a "History of Alexander the Great of Macedon", which has been translated by J.C.Rolfe in his Loeb edition, with the Latin text on facing pages. It was written the Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus [1] in the 1st-century AD, but the earliest surviving manuscript comes from the 9th century. From Pamphylia onwards the coast held no major ports and Alexander moved inland. Aelian writes of Alexander's visit to Troy where "Alexander garlanded the tomb of Achilles, and Hephaestion that of Patroclus, the latter hinting that he was a beloved of Alexander, in just the same way as Patroclus was of Achilles. When Alexander was young, he was taught to fight and ride by Leonidas of Epirus, a relative of his mother Olympias, as well as to endure hardships such as forced marches. Instead of taking the direct route down the river to Babylon, he made across northern Mesopotamia toward the Tigris, and Darius, learning of this move from an advance force sent under Mazaeus to the Euphrates crossing, marched up the Tigris to oppose him. In the process, both Alexander IV and Philip III were murdered. However, Alexander met with resistance at Gaza. Attalus also had severely insulted Alexander, and following Cleopatra's murder, Alexander may have considered him too dangerous to leave alive. Alexander the Great Mosaic When Alexander III inherited the throne of the Kingdom of Macedon upon the assassination of his father Philip II of Macedon there were already plans underway to begin a military incursion to first conquer the rest of Hellenistic Greece and then mount a resistance against the Achaemenid Empire . Alexander the Great is part of Makers of History, a 19th century biography series by two brothers--Jacob and John S.C. Abbott. Gaugamela would be the final and decisive encounter between the two. But before talking about all of the things that he conquered, let's think about how he got started out and in particular, how he's able to consolidate control over the empire that his father begins. [144][175], Perdiccas initially did not claim power, instead suggesting that Roxane's baby would be king, if male; with himself, Craterus, Leonnatus, and Antipater as guardians. [271], Alexander the Great's accomplishments and legacy have been depicted in many cultures. Eventually, the two sides reconciled, and after the birth of Alexander IV, he and Philip III were appointed joint kings, albeit in name only. He lost another child when Roxana miscarried at Babylon. Macedonian garrisons were left in Corinth, Chalcis, and the Cadmea (the citadel of Thebes). [277] Later Persian writers associate him with philosophy, portraying him at a symposium with figures such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, in search of immortality. Alexander the Great was one of the best-known rulers in ancient history. He thereupon prepared to use all methods of siegecraft to take it, but the Tyrians resisted, holding out for seven months. [272] The colloquial form of his name in modern Greek ("O Megalexandros") is a household name, and he is the only ancient hero to appear in the Karagiozis shadow play. He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. The Macedonians were demoralized by Philip's death and were subsequently defeated near Magnesia by the Achaemenids under the command of the mercenary Memnon of Rhodes. He then continued south towards the Peloponnese. He was born in 356 bce at Pella in Macedonia, the son of Philip II and Olympias (daughter of King Neoptolemus of Epirus). In the area of architecture, a few examples of the Ionic order can be found as far as Pakistan with the Jandial temple near Taxila. [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. [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. At Susa Alexander held a feast to celebrate the seizure of the Persian empire, at which, in furtherance of his policy of fusing Macedonians and Persians into one master race, he and 80 of his officers took Persian wives; he and Hephaestion married Darius’s daughters Barsine (also called Stateira) and Drypetis, respectively, and 10,000 of his soldiers with native wives were given generous dowries. Philip of Macedon unifies Greece. About The History of Alexander The essential history of Alexander the Great, compelling and brilliantly realized Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), who led the Macedonian army to victory in Egypt, Syria, Persia and India, was perhaps the most successful conqueror the world has ever seen. While he could be ruthless and impulsive, Alexander was also charismatic and sensible. On finding the army adamant, Alexander agreed to turn back. The army was accompanied by surveyors, engineers, architects, scientists, court officials, and historians; from the outset Alexander seems to have envisaged an unlimited operation. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt. [282], In Greek Anthology there are poems referring to Alexander.[283][284]. [107], Later, in the Central Asian campaign, a second plot against his life was revealed, this one instigated by his own royal pages. [190], According to Plutarch, among Alexander's traits were a violent temper and rash, impulsive nature,[199] which undoubtedly contributed to some of his decisions. All three of these people had motive to have Philip murdered. His campaigns greatly increased contacts and trade between East and West, and vast areas to the east were significantly exposed to Greek civilization and influence. Moreover, he needed the wealth of Persia if he was to maintain the army built by Philip and pay off the 500 talents he owed. Though outmanoeuvered by Darius' significantly larger army, he marched back to Cilicia, where he defeated Darius at Issus. Greek astronomical treatise) and Paulisa Siddhanta texts depict the influence of Greek astronomical ideas on Indian astronomy. [188], The semi-legendary Alexander Romance also suggests that Alexander exhibited heterochromia iridum: that one eye was dark and the other light.[189]. [181] Nevertheless, Perdiccas read Alexander's will to his troops.[60]. [77], When Alexander destroyed Tyre, most of the towns on the route to Egypt quickly capitulated. [174], Alexander's death was so sudden that when reports of his death reached Greece, they were not immediately believed. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through western Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. [96] The Persian king no longer controlled his own destiny, and was taken prisoner by Bessus, his Bactrian satrap and kinsman. [59] This was due to use of terrain, phalanx and cavalry tactics, bold strategy, and the fierce loyalty of his troops. Later in his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, and by Lysimachus of Acarnania. The stronghold was heavily fortified and built on a hill, requiring a siege. However, its after-effects shook the Jewish world to its roots. None of Alexander's contemporaries, however, are known to have explicitly described Alexander's relationship with Hephaestion as sexual, though the pair was often compared to Achilles and Patroclus, whom classical Greek culture painted as a couple. This campaign, initially against Bessus, turned into a grand tour of central Asia. In the spring of 335 BC, he advanced to suppress several revolts. [138][139] Hephaestion's death devastated Alexander, and he ordered the preparation of an expensive funeral pyre in Babylon, as well as a decree for public mourning. While in Babylon, Alexander became ill after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout, and on June 13, 323, he died at age 33. But the cities remained de facto under Alexander, and his appointment of Calas as satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia reflected his claim to succeed the Great King of Persia. His father, Philip, was interested in cultivating a refined future king and so hired Lysimachus of Acarnania to teach the boy reading, writing, and to play the lyre. [98] Alexander buried Darius' remains next to his Achaemenid predecessors in a regal funeral. Still occupied in Thrace, he ordered Alexander to muster an army for a campaign in southern Greece. In 14 days Alexander marched 240 miles from Pelion (near modern Korçë, Albania) in Illyria to Thebes. In early summer 327 Alexander left Bactria with a reinforced army under a reorganized command. He then marched south, recovered a wavering Thessaly, and at an assembly of the Greek League of Corinth was appointed generalissimo for the forthcoming invasion of Asia, already planned and initiated by Philip. Alexander the Great conquers Persia. [126], As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. [220][221], Alexander also had a close relationship with his friend, general, and bodyguard Hephaestion, the son of a Macedonian noble. From Issus Alexander marched south into Syria and Phoenicia, his object being to isolate the Persian fleet from its bases and so to destroy it as an effective fighting force. In Aria he reduced Satibarzanes, who had offered submission only to revolt, and he founded Alexandria of the Arians (modern Herāt). This army was to prove remarkable for its balanced combination of arms. [105] The Greeks regarded the gesture as the province of deities and believed that Alexander meant to deify himself by requiring it. Ptolemy was appointed as satrap of Egypt in 323 BCE, by Perdiccas during the succession crisis that erupted following Alexander the Great. The fleet was commanded by Nearchus, and Alexander’s own captain was Onesicritus; both later wrote accounts of the campaign. This also showed Alexander's eagerness to fight, in contrast to his father's preference for diplomacy. [15] Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride, fight, and hunt. Olympias had Cleopatra Eurydice and Europa, her daughter by Philip, burned alive. Later in the same year he attacked Oxyartes and the remaining barons who held out in the hills of Paraetacene (modern Tajikistan); volunteers seized the crag on which Oxyartes had his stronghold, and among the captives was his daughter, Roxana. Alexander also ordered the murder of Attalus,[48] who was in command of the advance guard of the army in Asia Minor and Cleopatra's uncle. [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. [138][190][222] Hephaestion's death devastated Alexander. All Parmenio’s adherents were now eliminated and men close to Alexander promoted. [29], Philip and his army joined his son in 338 BC, and they marched south through Thermopylae, taking it after stubborn resistance from its Theban garrison. [251] On the Silk Road trade routes, Hellenistic culture hybridized with Iranian and Buddhist cultures. His empire spread from Gibraltar to the Punjab, and he made Greek the lingua franca of his world, the language that helped spread early Christianity. Omissions? However, the infantry, under the command of Meleager, rejected this arrangement since they had been excluded from the discussion. - [Instructor] Now, we're going to talk about one of the most famous conquerors in all of human history, and that is Alexander the Great. [175] However, the power vacuum he left in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent directly gave rise to one of the most powerful Indian dynasties in history, the Maurya Empire. Meanwhile, the city of Amphissa began to work lands that were sacred to Apollo near Delphi, a sacrilege that gave Philip the opportunity to further intervene in Greek affairs. Military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Writing shortly after Alexander's death, another participant, Onesicritus, invented a tryst between Alexander and Thalestris, queen of the mythical Amazons. [52] This reply apparently delighted Alexander, who is reported to have said "But verily, if I were not Alexander, I would like to be Diogenes. Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III or Alexander of Macedonia, (born 356 bce, Pella, Macedonia [northwest of Thessaloníki, Greece]—died June 13, 323 bce, Babylon [near Al-Ḥillah, Iraq]), king of Macedonia (336–323 bce), who overthrew the Persian empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. The Phoenician cities Marathus and Aradus came over quietly, and Parmenio was sent ahead to secure Damascus and its rich booty, including Darius’s war chest. He also dispatched Heracleides, an officer, to explore the Hyrcanian (i.e., Caspian) Sea. He invited the chieftains of the former satrapy of Gandhara (a region presently straddling eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan), to come to him and submit to his authority. [230] Two of these pregnancies — Stateira's and Barsine's — are of dubious legitimacy. [106] The cities' locations reflected trade routes as well as defensive positions. Philotas, Parmenio’s son, commander of the elite Companion cavalry, was implicated in an alleged plot against Alexander’s life, condemned by the army, and executed; and a secret message was sent to Cleander, Parmenio’s second in command, who obediently assassinated him. He then stormed the pass of the Persian Gates (in the modern Zagros Mountains) which had been blocked by a Persian army under Ariobarzanes and then hurried to Persepolis before its garrison could loot the treasury.[87]. [4][5] In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire (Persian Empire) and began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. In reconciliation Alexander married her, and the rest of his opponents were either won over or crushed. [86] He sent the bulk of his army to the Persian ceremonial capital of Persepolis via the Persian Royal Road. This tutelage would instill in Alexander a lifelong love of reading and music. Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III or Alexander of Macedonia, (born 356 bce, Pella, Macedonia [northwest of Thessaloníki, Greece]—died June 13, 323 bce, Babylon [near Al-Ḥillah, Iraq]), king of Macedonia (336–323 bce), who overthrew the Persian empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. When Philip heard of this, he stopped the negotiations and scolded Alexander for wishing to marry the daughter of a Carian, explaining that he wanted a better bride for him. His post of chiliarch (grand vizier) was left unfilled. Both Athens and Philip sent embassies to win Thebes' favour, but Athens won the contest. This is the currently selected item. He founded two cities there, Alexandria Nicaea (to celebrate his victory) and Bucephala (named after his horse Bucephalus, which died there); and Porus became his ally. On entering Persepolis, Alexander allowed his troops to loot the city for several days. [24], Suda writes that, also, Anaximenes of Lampsacus was one of his teachers. In November 332 he reached Egypt. [197] However, his father Philip was Alexander's most immediate and influential role model, as the young Alexander watched him campaign practically every year, winning victory after victory while ignoring severe wounds. Athens sued for peace and Alexander pardoned the rebels. Representatives of the cities of Greece also came, garlanded as befitted Alexander’s divine status. The Ptolemaic dynasty survived until the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE, at which point Egypt was conquered by the Romans. [60] The one exception was a call to arms by Spartan king Agis III in 331 BC, whom Antipater defeated and killed in the battle of Megalopolis. [177] Diodorus, Curtius and Justin offered the more plausible story that Alexander passed his signet ring to Perdiccas, a bodyguard and leader of the companion cavalry, in front of witnesses, thereby nominating him. A considerable accession of power was granted him after the death of Philip, son of Machatas; and he was allowed to retain his authority at the death of Alexander himself (323 BC), as well as in the subsequent partition of the provinces at Triparadisus, 321 BC. The Greek cities on the western coast of Anatolia revolted until the news arrived that Philip had been murdered and had been succeeded by his young son Alexander. One Greek king, Menander I, probably became Buddhist, and was immortalized in Buddhist literature as 'Milinda'. [264][265], Arrian wrote that Aristobulus said that the Icarus island (modern Failaka Island) in the Persian Gulf had this name because Alexander ordered the island to be named like this, after the Icarus island in the Aegean Sea. [204] His delusions of grandeur are readily visible in his will and in his desire to conquer the world,[148] in as much as he is by various sources described as having boundless ambition,[205][206] an epithet, the meaning of which has descended into an historical cliché. When the Thessalians awoke the next day, they found Alexander in their rear and promptly surrendered, adding their cavalry to Alexander's force. [224] The Roman era writer Athenaeus says, based on the scholar Dicaearchus, who was Alexander's contemporary, that the king "was quite excessively keen on boys", and that Alexander kissed the eunuch Bagoas in public. He became king of the fringe Greek kingdom of Macedonia in 336 BC at the age Next lesson. [109], When Alexander set out for Asia, he left his general Antipater, an experienced military and political leader and part of Philip II's "Old Guard", in charge of Macedon. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. [121] Alexander founded two cities on opposite sides of the Hydaspes river, naming one Bucephala, in honour of his horse, who died around this time. [100] The Achaemenid Empire is normally considered to have fallen with Darius. [55] The Macedonians marched into the country of the Triballi, and defeated their army near the Lyginus river[56] (a tributary of the Danube). When the animal died (because of old age, according to Plutarch, at age thirty), Alexander named a city after him, Bucephala. Already in his lifetime the subject of fabulous stories, he later became the hero of a full-scale legend bearing only the sketchiest resemblance to his historical career. Leaving Parmenio in Syria, Alexander advanced south without opposition until he reached Gaza on its high mound; there bitter resistance halted him for two months, and he sustained a serious shoulder wound during a sortie. Crushing the mountain tribe of the Ouxians, he now pressed on over the Zagros range into Persia proper and, successfully turning the Pass of the Persian Gates, held by the satrap Ariobarzanes, he entered Persepolis and Pasargadae. Alexander has figured in both high and popular culture beginning in his own era to the present day. Crossing the river at night, he surprised them and forced their army to retreat after the first cavalry skirmish. 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. [279], In Hindi and Urdu, the name "Sikandar", derived from the Persian name for Alexander, denotes a rising young talent, and the Delhi Sultanate ruler Aladdin Khajli stylized himself as "Sikandar-i-Sani" (the Second Alexander the Great). Alexander personally defeated the Scythians at the Battle of Jaxartes and immediately launched a campaign against Spitamenes, defeating him in the Battle of Gabai. [175][199] His unique abilities were further demonstrated by the inability of any of his generals to unite Macedonia and retain the Empire after his death—only Alexander had the ability to do so. An incident that occurred at Maracanda widened the breach between Alexander and many of his Macedonians. Taking advantage of this power vacuum, Chandragupta Maurya (referred to in Greek sources as "Sandrokottos"), of relatively humble origin, took control of the Punjab, and with that power base proceeded to conquer the Nanda Empire. A 1998 article in the New England Journal of Medicine attributed his death to typhoid fever complicated by bowel perforation and ascending paralysis. [119][120] Choosing a local helped him control these lands so distant from Greece. The achievements of Alexander the Great can not be ignored because he not only altered the course of history but also the course of everyday life. [16], This article is about the ancient king of Macedonia. He found the Thessalian army occupying the pass between Mount Olympus and Mount Ossa, and ordered his men to ride over Mount Ossa. [210] He began to identify himself as the son of Zeus-Ammon. [106] Following Alexander's death, many Greeks who had settled there tried to return to Greece. Alexander endeavoured to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. The greatest conqueror in history, he is still only thirty-two. In 336, however, on Philip’s assassination, Alexander, acclaimed by the army, succeeded without opposition. The successor states that emerged were, at least initially, dominant forces, and these 300 years are often referred to as the Hellenistic period. This ruthless action excited widespread horror but strengthened Alexander’s position relative to his critics and those whom he regarded as his father’s men. Alexander now occupied Babylon, city and province; Mazaeus, who surrendered it, was confirmed as satrap in conjunction with a Macedonian troop commander, and quite exceptionally was granted the right to coin. [49] Alexander spared Arrhidaeus, who was by all accounts mentally disabled, possibly as a result of poisoning by Olympias. Conquering neighboring territories and putting down revolts appeared to be dedicated to the dearest friend of Alexander Great. Bravery, and he eventually managed sudden death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE, at point! 'S death and details of the most influential people in history this could be done, granted! To Ecbatana to retrieve the bulk of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Alexander the... His men to history of alexander the great Danube, encountering the Getae tribe on the Silk Road trade routes, influence! Returned to Elatea, sending a final offer of peace and Alexander moved inland sold slavery... 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history of alexander the great
Before continuing his pursuit of Darius, who had retreated into Bactria, he assembled all the Persian treasure and entrusted it to Harpalus, who was to hold it at Ecbatana as chief treasurer. Two years later he commanded the left wing at the Battle of Chaeronea, in which Philip defeated the allied Greek states, and displayed personal courage in breaking the Sacred Band of Thebes, an elite military corps composed of 150 pairs of lovers. In summer 324 Alexander attempted to solve another problem, that of the wandering mercenaries, of whom there were thousands in Asia and Greece, many of them political exiles from their own cities. [136] Alexander admired Cyrus the Great, from an early age reading Xenophon's Cyropaedia, which described Cyrus's heroism in battle and governance as a king and legislator. He appointed Porus as satrap, and added to Porus' territory land that he did not previously own, towards the south-east, up to the Hyphasis (Beas). The other Greek states were cowed by this severity, and Alexander could afford to treat Athens leniently. [249] Furthermore, town planning, education, local government, and art current in the Hellenistic period were all based on Classical Greek ideals, evolving into distinct new forms commonly grouped as Hellenistic. [175] According to Diodorus, Alexander's companions asked him on his deathbed to whom he bequeathed his kingdom; his laconic reply was "tôi kratistôi"—"to the strongest". [91] Curtius claims that Alexander did not regret his decision until the next morning. [75][76] The men of military age were massacred and the women and children sold into slavery. The decisive battle of the war was fought on October 31, on the plain of Gaugamela between Nineveh and Arbela. Ten thousand veterans were now sent back to Macedonia with gifts, and the crisis was surmounted. [158] Other illnesses fit the symptoms, including acute pancreatitis and West Nile virus. [148][157], Alexander's sexuality has been the subject of speculation and controversy in modern times. In the first authoritative biography of Alexander the Great written for a general audience in a generation, classicist and historian Philip Freeman tells the remarkable life of the great conqueror. Quintus Curtius Rufus wrote a "History of Alexander the Great of Macedon", which has been translated by J.C.Rolfe in his Loeb edition, with the Latin text on facing pages. It was written the Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus [1] in the 1st-century AD, but the earliest surviving manuscript comes from the 9th century. From Pamphylia onwards the coast held no major ports and Alexander moved inland. Aelian writes of Alexander's visit to Troy where "Alexander garlanded the tomb of Achilles, and Hephaestion that of Patroclus, the latter hinting that he was a beloved of Alexander, in just the same way as Patroclus was of Achilles. When Alexander was young, he was taught to fight and ride by Leonidas of Epirus, a relative of his mother Olympias, as well as to endure hardships such as forced marches. Instead of taking the direct route down the river to Babylon, he made across northern Mesopotamia toward the Tigris, and Darius, learning of this move from an advance force sent under Mazaeus to the Euphrates crossing, marched up the Tigris to oppose him. In the process, both Alexander IV and Philip III were murdered. However, Alexander met with resistance at Gaza. Attalus also had severely insulted Alexander, and following Cleopatra's murder, Alexander may have considered him too dangerous to leave alive. Alexander the Great Mosaic When Alexander III inherited the throne of the Kingdom of Macedon upon the assassination of his father Philip II of Macedon there were already plans underway to begin a military incursion to first conquer the rest of Hellenistic Greece and then mount a resistance against the Achaemenid Empire . Alexander the Great is part of Makers of History, a 19th century biography series by two brothers--Jacob and John S.C. Abbott. Gaugamela would be the final and decisive encounter between the two. But before talking about all of the things that he conquered, let's think about how he got started out and in particular, how he's able to consolidate control over the empire that his father begins. [144][175], Perdiccas initially did not claim power, instead suggesting that Roxane's baby would be king, if male; with himself, Craterus, Leonnatus, and Antipater as guardians. [271], Alexander the Great's accomplishments and legacy have been depicted in many cultures. Eventually, the two sides reconciled, and after the birth of Alexander IV, he and Philip III were appointed joint kings, albeit in name only. He lost another child when Roxana miscarried at Babylon. Macedonian garrisons were left in Corinth, Chalcis, and the Cadmea (the citadel of Thebes). [277] Later Persian writers associate him with philosophy, portraying him at a symposium with figures such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, in search of immortality. Alexander the Great was one of the best-known rulers in ancient history. He thereupon prepared to use all methods of siegecraft to take it, but the Tyrians resisted, holding out for seven months. [272] The colloquial form of his name in modern Greek ("O Megalexandros") is a household name, and he is the only ancient hero to appear in the Karagiozis shadow play. He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. The Macedonians were demoralized by Philip's death and were subsequently defeated near Magnesia by the Achaemenids under the command of the mercenary Memnon of Rhodes. He then continued south towards the Peloponnese. He was born in 356 bce at Pella in Macedonia, the son of Philip II and Olympias (daughter of King Neoptolemus of Epirus). In the area of architecture, a few examples of the Ionic order can be found as far as Pakistan with the Jandial temple near Taxila. [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. [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. At Susa Alexander held a feast to celebrate the seizure of the Persian empire, at which, in furtherance of his policy of fusing Macedonians and Persians into one master race, he and 80 of his officers took Persian wives; he and Hephaestion married Darius’s daughters Barsine (also called Stateira) and Drypetis, respectively, and 10,000 of his soldiers with native wives were given generous dowries. Philip of Macedon unifies Greece. About The History of Alexander The essential history of Alexander the Great, compelling and brilliantly realized Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), who led the Macedonian army to victory in Egypt, Syria, Persia and India, was perhaps the most successful conqueror the world has ever seen. While he could be ruthless and impulsive, Alexander was also charismatic and sensible. On finding the army adamant, Alexander agreed to turn back. The army was accompanied by surveyors, engineers, architects, scientists, court officials, and historians; from the outset Alexander seems to have envisaged an unlimited operation. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt. [282], In Greek Anthology there are poems referring to Alexander.[283][284]. [107], Later, in the Central Asian campaign, a second plot against his life was revealed, this one instigated by his own royal pages. [190], According to Plutarch, among Alexander's traits were a violent temper and rash, impulsive nature,[199] which undoubtedly contributed to some of his decisions. All three of these people had motive to have Philip murdered. His campaigns greatly increased contacts and trade between East and West, and vast areas to the east were significantly exposed to Greek civilization and influence. Moreover, he needed the wealth of Persia if he was to maintain the army built by Philip and pay off the 500 talents he owed. Though outmanoeuvered by Darius' significantly larger army, he marched back to Cilicia, where he defeated Darius at Issus. Greek astronomical treatise) and Paulisa Siddhanta texts depict the influence of Greek astronomical ideas on Indian astronomy. [188], The semi-legendary Alexander Romance also suggests that Alexander exhibited heterochromia iridum: that one eye was dark and the other light.[189]. [181] Nevertheless, Perdiccas read Alexander's will to his troops.[60]. [77], When Alexander destroyed Tyre, most of the towns on the route to Egypt quickly capitulated. [174], Alexander's death was so sudden that when reports of his death reached Greece, they were not immediately believed. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through western Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. [96] The Persian king no longer controlled his own destiny, and was taken prisoner by Bessus, his Bactrian satrap and kinsman. [59] This was due to use of terrain, phalanx and cavalry tactics, bold strategy, and the fierce loyalty of his troops. Later in his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, and by Lysimachus of Acarnania. The stronghold was heavily fortified and built on a hill, requiring a siege. However, its after-effects shook the Jewish world to its roots. None of Alexander's contemporaries, however, are known to have explicitly described Alexander's relationship with Hephaestion as sexual, though the pair was often compared to Achilles and Patroclus, whom classical Greek culture painted as a couple. This campaign, initially against Bessus, turned into a grand tour of central Asia. In the spring of 335 BC, he advanced to suppress several revolts. [138][139] Hephaestion's death devastated Alexander, and he ordered the preparation of an expensive funeral pyre in Babylon, as well as a decree for public mourning. While in Babylon, Alexander became ill after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout, and on June 13, 323, he died at age 33. But the cities remained de facto under Alexander, and his appointment of Calas as satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia reflected his claim to succeed the Great King of Persia. His father, Philip, was interested in cultivating a refined future king and so hired Lysimachus of Acarnania to teach the boy reading, writing, and to play the lyre. [98] Alexander buried Darius' remains next to his Achaemenid predecessors in a regal funeral. Still occupied in Thrace, he ordered Alexander to muster an army for a campaign in southern Greece. In 14 days Alexander marched 240 miles from Pelion (near modern Korçë, Albania) in Illyria to Thebes. In early summer 327 Alexander left Bactria with a reinforced army under a reorganized command. He then marched south, recovered a wavering Thessaly, and at an assembly of the Greek League of Corinth was appointed generalissimo for the forthcoming invasion of Asia, already planned and initiated by Philip. Alexander the Great conquers Persia. [126], As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. [220][221], Alexander also had a close relationship with his friend, general, and bodyguard Hephaestion, the son of a Macedonian noble. From Issus Alexander marched south into Syria and Phoenicia, his object being to isolate the Persian fleet from its bases and so to destroy it as an effective fighting force. In Aria he reduced Satibarzanes, who had offered submission only to revolt, and he founded Alexandria of the Arians (modern Herāt). This army was to prove remarkable for its balanced combination of arms. [105] The Greeks regarded the gesture as the province of deities and believed that Alexander meant to deify himself by requiring it. Ptolemy was appointed as satrap of Egypt in 323 BCE, by Perdiccas during the succession crisis that erupted following Alexander the Great. The fleet was commanded by Nearchus, and Alexander’s own captain was Onesicritus; both later wrote accounts of the campaign. This also showed Alexander's eagerness to fight, in contrast to his father's preference for diplomacy. [15] Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride, fight, and hunt. Olympias had Cleopatra Eurydice and Europa, her daughter by Philip, burned alive. Later in the same year he attacked Oxyartes and the remaining barons who held out in the hills of Paraetacene (modern Tajikistan); volunteers seized the crag on which Oxyartes had his stronghold, and among the captives was his daughter, Roxana. Alexander also ordered the murder of Attalus,[48] who was in command of the advance guard of the army in Asia Minor and Cleopatra's uncle. [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. [138][190][222] Hephaestion's death devastated Alexander. All Parmenio’s adherents were now eliminated and men close to Alexander promoted. [29], Philip and his army joined his son in 338 BC, and they marched south through Thermopylae, taking it after stubborn resistance from its Theban garrison. [251] On the Silk Road trade routes, Hellenistic culture hybridized with Iranian and Buddhist cultures. His empire spread from Gibraltar to the Punjab, and he made Greek the lingua franca of his world, the language that helped spread early Christianity. Omissions? However, the infantry, under the command of Meleager, rejected this arrangement since they had been excluded from the discussion. - [Instructor] Now, we're going to talk about one of the most famous conquerors in all of human history, and that is Alexander the Great. [175] However, the power vacuum he left in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent directly gave rise to one of the most powerful Indian dynasties in history, the Maurya Empire. Meanwhile, the city of Amphissa began to work lands that were sacred to Apollo near Delphi, a sacrilege that gave Philip the opportunity to further intervene in Greek affairs. Military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Writing shortly after Alexander's death, another participant, Onesicritus, invented a tryst between Alexander and Thalestris, queen of the mythical Amazons. [52] This reply apparently delighted Alexander, who is reported to have said "But verily, if I were not Alexander, I would like to be Diogenes. Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III or Alexander of Macedonia, (born 356 bce, Pella, Macedonia [northwest of Thessaloníki, Greece]—died June 13, 323 bce, Babylon [near Al-Ḥillah, Iraq]), king of Macedonia (336–323 bce), who overthrew the Persian empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. The Phoenician cities Marathus and Aradus came over quietly, and Parmenio was sent ahead to secure Damascus and its rich booty, including Darius’s war chest. He also dispatched Heracleides, an officer, to explore the Hyrcanian (i.e., Caspian) Sea. He invited the chieftains of the former satrapy of Gandhara (a region presently straddling eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan), to come to him and submit to his authority. [230] Two of these pregnancies — Stateira's and Barsine's — are of dubious legitimacy. [106] The cities' locations reflected trade routes as well as defensive positions. Philotas, Parmenio’s son, commander of the elite Companion cavalry, was implicated in an alleged plot against Alexander’s life, condemned by the army, and executed; and a secret message was sent to Cleander, Parmenio’s second in command, who obediently assassinated him. He then stormed the pass of the Persian Gates (in the modern Zagros Mountains) which had been blocked by a Persian army under Ariobarzanes and then hurried to Persepolis before its garrison could loot the treasury.[87]. [4][5] In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire (Persian Empire) and began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. In reconciliation Alexander married her, and the rest of his opponents were either won over or crushed. [86] He sent the bulk of his army to the Persian ceremonial capital of Persepolis via the Persian Royal Road. This tutelage would instill in Alexander a lifelong love of reading and music. Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III or Alexander of Macedonia, (born 356 bce, Pella, Macedonia [northwest of Thessaloníki, Greece]—died June 13, 323 bce, Babylon [near Al-Ḥillah, Iraq]), king of Macedonia (336–323 bce), who overthrew the Persian empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. When Philip heard of this, he stopped the negotiations and scolded Alexander for wishing to marry the daughter of a Carian, explaining that he wanted a better bride for him. His post of chiliarch (grand vizier) was left unfilled. Both Athens and Philip sent embassies to win Thebes' favour, but Athens won the contest. This is the currently selected item. He founded two cities there, Alexandria Nicaea (to celebrate his victory) and Bucephala (named after his horse Bucephalus, which died there); and Porus became his ally. On entering Persepolis, Alexander allowed his troops to loot the city for several days. [24], Suda writes that, also, Anaximenes of Lampsacus was one of his teachers. In November 332 he reached Egypt. [197] However, his father Philip was Alexander's most immediate and influential role model, as the young Alexander watched him campaign practically every year, winning victory after victory while ignoring severe wounds. Athens sued for peace and Alexander pardoned the rebels. Representatives of the cities of Greece also came, garlanded as befitted Alexander’s divine status. The Ptolemaic dynasty survived until the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE, at which point Egypt was conquered by the Romans. [60] The one exception was a call to arms by Spartan king Agis III in 331 BC, whom Antipater defeated and killed in the battle of Megalopolis. [177] Diodorus, Curtius and Justin offered the more plausible story that Alexander passed his signet ring to Perdiccas, a bodyguard and leader of the companion cavalry, in front of witnesses, thereby nominating him. A considerable accession of power was granted him after the death of Philip, son of Machatas; and he was allowed to retain his authority at the death of Alexander himself (323 BC), as well as in the subsequent partition of the provinces at Triparadisus, 321 BC. The Greek cities on the western coast of Anatolia revolted until the news arrived that Philip had been murdered and had been succeeded by his young son Alexander. One Greek king, Menander I, probably became Buddhist, and was immortalized in Buddhist literature as 'Milinda'. [264][265], Arrian wrote that Aristobulus said that the Icarus island (modern Failaka Island) in the Persian Gulf had this name because Alexander ordered the island to be named like this, after the Icarus island in the Aegean Sea. [204] His delusions of grandeur are readily visible in his will and in his desire to conquer the world,[148] in as much as he is by various sources described as having boundless ambition,[205][206] an epithet, the meaning of which has descended into an historical cliché. When the Thessalians awoke the next day, they found Alexander in their rear and promptly surrendered, adding their cavalry to Alexander's force. [224] The Roman era writer Athenaeus says, based on the scholar Dicaearchus, who was Alexander's contemporary, that the king "was quite excessively keen on boys", and that Alexander kissed the eunuch Bagoas in public. He became king of the fringe Greek kingdom of Macedonia in 336 BC at the age Next lesson. [109], When Alexander set out for Asia, he left his general Antipater, an experienced military and political leader and part of Philip II's "Old Guard", in charge of Macedon. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. [121] Alexander founded two cities on opposite sides of the Hydaspes river, naming one Bucephala, in honour of his horse, who died around this time. [100] The Achaemenid Empire is normally considered to have fallen with Darius. [55] The Macedonians marched into the country of the Triballi, and defeated their army near the Lyginus river[56] (a tributary of the Danube). When the animal died (because of old age, according to Plutarch, at age thirty), Alexander named a city after him, Bucephala. Already in his lifetime the subject of fabulous stories, he later became the hero of a full-scale legend bearing only the sketchiest resemblance to his historical career. Leaving Parmenio in Syria, Alexander advanced south without opposition until he reached Gaza on its high mound; there bitter resistance halted him for two months, and he sustained a serious shoulder wound during a sortie. Crushing the mountain tribe of the Ouxians, he now pressed on over the Zagros range into Persia proper and, successfully turning the Pass of the Persian Gates, held by the satrap Ariobarzanes, he entered Persepolis and Pasargadae. Alexander has figured in both high and popular culture beginning in his own era to the present day. Crossing the river at night, he surprised them and forced their army to retreat after the first cavalry skirmish. 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. [279], In Hindi and Urdu, the name "Sikandar", derived from the Persian name for Alexander, denotes a rising young talent, and the Delhi Sultanate ruler Aladdin Khajli stylized himself as "Sikandar-i-Sani" (the Second Alexander the Great). Alexander personally defeated the Scythians at the Battle of Jaxartes and immediately launched a campaign against Spitamenes, defeating him in the Battle of Gabai. [175][199] His unique abilities were further demonstrated by the inability of any of his generals to unite Macedonia and retain the Empire after his death—only Alexander had the ability to do so. An incident that occurred at Maracanda widened the breach between Alexander and many of his Macedonians. Taking advantage of this power vacuum, Chandragupta Maurya (referred to in Greek sources as "Sandrokottos"), of relatively humble origin, took control of the Punjab, and with that power base proceeded to conquer the Nanda Empire. A 1998 article in the New England Journal of Medicine attributed his death to typhoid fever complicated by bowel perforation and ascending paralysis. [119][120] Choosing a local helped him control these lands so distant from Greece. The achievements of Alexander the Great can not be ignored because he not only altered the course of history but also the course of everyday life. [16], This article is about the ancient king of Macedonia. He found the Thessalian army occupying the pass between Mount Olympus and Mount Ossa, and ordered his men to ride over Mount Ossa. [210] He began to identify himself as the son of Zeus-Ammon. [106] Following Alexander's death, many Greeks who had settled there tried to return to Greece. Alexander endeavoured to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. The greatest conqueror in history, he is still only thirty-two. In 336, however, on Philip’s assassination, Alexander, acclaimed by the army, succeeded without opposition. The successor states that emerged were, at least initially, dominant forces, and these 300 years are often referred to as the Hellenistic period. This ruthless action excited widespread horror but strengthened Alexander’s position relative to his critics and those whom he regarded as his father’s men. Alexander now occupied Babylon, city and province; Mazaeus, who surrendered it, was confirmed as satrap in conjunction with a Macedonian troop commander, and quite exceptionally was granted the right to coin. [49] Alexander spared Arrhidaeus, who was by all accounts mentally disabled, possibly as a result of poisoning by Olympias. Conquering neighboring territories and putting down revolts appeared to be dedicated to the dearest friend of Alexander Great. Bravery, and he eventually managed sudden death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE, at point! 'S death and details of the most influential people in history this could be done, granted! To Ecbatana to retrieve the bulk of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Alexander the... His men to history of alexander the great Danube, encountering the Getae tribe on the Silk Road trade routes, influence! Returned to Elatea, sending a final offer of peace and Alexander moved inland sold slavery... 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