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Alexander The Great Essay

1027 words - 4 pages


Alexander the Great is, arguably, the most famous secular figure in history. His magnetism in life was rivaled only by his magnetism in death, and the story of his career has evoked vastly different interpretations in his age and ours. Young romantic hero or megalomaniac villain? Alexander III of Macedon conquered all who stood before him, but usually in order to free the lower class. He did more to spread the Hellenistic culture than anyone before or after him. My credibility comes from much studying of his lifestyle, and analysis of many contradicting biographies. With this speech, I hope to display to you most of his feats and battles, as well as the vast quantity of folklore that surrounds his life.

Alexander, was born on or around July 20, 356 BCE, in Pella. The exact date may have been created after the fact to match the date of the burning of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. His parents were Philip II of Macedon and Olympias, who descended from Gods according to myth.

At 13, Aristotle was hired to tutor Alexander. Under Aristotle, Alexander learned philosophy, ethics, politics, and healing. The two later became estranged, due to their difference of opinion on the status of foreginers; Aristotle saw them as barbarians, while Alexander sought to merge Macedonians and foreigners.

Tale of Bucephalus: At 14 Alexander surprised all including his father by mounting an untamable horse named Bucephalus. Alexander would later name a city after the site where his horse died in battle.

340 BC: Philip II traveled to Byzantium to battle rebels, leaving 16yr old Alexander in charge as Prince Regent. While away, the Maedi, a north Macedonia tribe, revolted. Alexander traveled there, put down the revolt, captured the city and renamed it Alexandropolis.

At the age of 19, Philip II was assassinated. Alexander was a boy king. Cities like Athens and Thebes had pledged allegiance to Philip II, but were not sure if they wanted to do the same for a 19 year old boy. On top of that, barbarians to the north threatened to invade.

Alexander drove the barbarians north of the Danube, then focused on Thebes. He marched to the city, and offered them one final chance to obey him. They refused, and he went on to march into the city and kill nearly everyone. Athens later decided to align with Alexander.

334 BC: Alexander travels to Asia Minor. He begins freeing Greek cities under Persian rule, which ignites his legend as the great liberator. He defeats King Darius’ army for the first time at the Battle of Granicus.

Alexander then traveled to Phrygia, where the Gordian Knot sat. According to legend, he who untied this great knot tied by a long dead king would go on to rule all of Asia Minor. Alexander simply slashed it in two with his sword.

November, 333 BC: Alexander met Darius in battle for the second time. Though greatly outnumbered, Alexander defeated the Persians, but not before Darius fled. Afterward, Alexander marched into Damascus and...

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