Alexander The Great

The king of Macedonia from the Argead dynasty, an outstanding commander, the creator of a world power. Having ascended the throne after the death of his father, he suppressed the uprising of the Thracians and re-subdued Greece.

statues of Alexander the Great. In the Antalya Regional Archaeological Museum.

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What is Alexander the Great famous for?

Alexander was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded to the throne at the age of 20. Alexander the Great was a prehistoric Macedonian ruler and one of history’s greatest military commanders who established the immerse empire the archaic world had ever seen.

Marble head of Alexander the Great (325-300 BC). Chance find from the area of Giannitsa, Archaeological Museum, Pella

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Alexander inspired loyalty in his men, thanks to his charismatic personality and ruthless, power-hungry, diplomatic, and bloodthirsty. His fighters follow him anywhere from Asia to Africa and also if necessary, die in the battles. The influence of Alexander on Greek and Asian culture was extremely profound that it inspired a new historical era – the Hellenistic Period. That period of history from his death to 31 B.C. means “to speak Greek or identify with the Greeks”. Nowadays Alexander is admired as one of the most powerful and influential leaders the ancient world ever produced, so that is why he was called the Great.

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Young age of Alexander

When he was 13, Philip II, his father, called the great philosopher Aristotle Greek to be Alexander’s personal tutor. Aristotle fostered and sparked Alexander’s interest in science, literature, philosophy, and medicine for the next three years.

The Meeting of Alexander the Great and Diogenes

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When Philip went to an important battle with the Byzantine Empire, he left his son at the age of 16 in charge of Macedonia. Later Alexander led his cavalry decimated the Sacred Band of Thebes, which was a great opportunity to prove his military skills. Alexander aspired to reach the “ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea” and decided to occupy India in 326 BC. Then he eventually turned back his troops, without executing a series of planned campaigns.

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‘Alexander the Great on horse’ – Bronze of the Roman period (1st century BC) from the original by Lysippus (4th century BC).

Image source: Author:by Carlo Raso

Legend tells that at age of 12 Alexander won the horse, Bucephalus. A horse dealer offered the horse to Alexander’s father Philip for a colossal sum, but the animal appeared to be unstable and could not be trained. Despite this Alexander showed impressive courage when he tamed that wild horse. Later he would ride Bucephalus in all of his important battles, it was an enormous stallion and great companion.

Statue of Alexander the Great riding Bucephalus and carrying a winged statue of Nike (square of Alexander the Great) in Pella city

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Some historians disagree on the cause of the horse’s death — some of them claim he died from battle wounds, others historians agree that he died of old age after the Battle of Hydaspes River. Plutarch spoke of both potentials causes of death, he cites Onesicritus, one historian who very often accompanied Alexander the Great on his conquests, as stating that Bucephalus died of old age. However, the horse died and Alexander founded a city and named it Bucephala in his beloved horse’s memory.

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How Alexander becomes king?

Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great

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This is a deluxe copy of the Quintet (Khamsah) of Amīr Khusraw Dihlavī (d.725 AH /1325 CE).
Although now incomplete, this manuscript was penned in nastaʿlīq script by the famous late 16th century Mughal calligrapher Muḥammad Ḥusayn Zarrīn Qalam al-Kashmīrī and decorated by a number of illuminators and painters.

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In 336 B.C., the father of Alexander Philip II was assassinated, and at the age of 20 youth, Alexander claimed the Macedonian throne. Alexander killed his rivals before they could destroy his sovereignty. Alexander appointed Antipater as regent and headed for Persia with his huge army. They crossed the Hellespont, a narrow strait between the Sea of Marmara and Aegean, and then faced Greek forces and Persian at the Granicus River. Great victory went to Alexander and to the brave Macedonians. Later he could very easily take the city of Sardes, but unfortunately, his army encountered resistance in the cities of Mylasa, Miletus, and Halicarnassus. After one of his surviving battle Alexander the Great died in June 323 B.C, he was at age 32. Some biographers say Alexander died of malaria, others think he was poisoned. In one way or another, he never named a future successor.

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