Alexander the Great is said to be one of the greatest conquerors of all time, and yet, his significance in battle showed up late in his life. His early years were spent in poverty, and as the years progressed, his dream of being a war hero grew dimmer and dimmer.Ironically, while he was later known as a war hero, he was still feared by all because of his reputation as a drinker and murderer. But first, his background. He was born in 356 BC. His parents were Philip, the brother of King Perdiccas III of Macedon, in Northern Greece. His mother was Olympias, daughter of King Neoptolemus I of Epirus, in modern Albania. He also had a younger sister, Cleopatra (not the famous Egyptian queen).However, this family was not as ordinary as one might think. In fact, his parents
absolutely hated each other. Philip had complied with Macedonian tradition and had a few wives. Soon, one of his wives had a baby which had mysteriously become disabled after birth. It was said that the disability was due to poisoning from Olympias. Olympias sometimes told Alexander that Philip wasn’t his real father, but this probably wasn’t true.After all, Philip certainly did seem to care for Alexander as if he was his real son. He even appointed Aristotle himself as Alexander’s first and only tutor. Yet, there were
some things about Alexander that made Philip angry. He hated the fact that his was very skinny and the fact that he had a high-pitched voice. Still, Alexander felt lucky to have this man as his father and mentor. In 359 BC, when Alexander was three, Philip’s Brother, King Peridcaas III, died. It was originally planned that his son, Amyntas, was tosucceed him with Philip as his regent, but Philip usurped his nephew’s throne and made himself King Philip II. In a few decades, he proved to be a stronger king and he eventually conquered most of Greece. When he was in his teens, Alexander’s father came to him one day and told him that he had to leave to fight in a war. Thus Alexander, being his regent, would have to serve for the time being. While his father was away, Alexander led an expedition to a wild region of modern day Bulgaria. Here, he found a race of wild barbarians, whom he later subdued. He, then, established his first city, Alexandropolis, at the site of this defeat. This made his strength apparent to everyone and consequently became general of his father’s army. However, things still weren’t amiable between father and son. On one occasion, Philip was attacked and hurt by rioters and he fell and played dead on the ground. Alexander shielded the attackers away and his father lived,
but he never acknowledged the fact that Alexander saved his life. Alexander deeply resented him for this. Alexander was known for his many temper tantrums. One memorable one was during a dinner party celebrating his final marriage. His uncle gave a toast saying that he hoped that they would have a child to...