History is rife with examples of a person who has left a deep impact on the world and earned a distinction. These great persons are known for their achievements and successes. One such great personality of history is Alexander the Great. He was the ruler of ancient Macedonia and was popular for his military shrewdness. Alexander was the King of Persia and Macedonia and established one of the largest empires of the world. The essay will chronologically portray the life of Alexander from his birth and up to his death.
He was born in the house of King Phillips and Queen Olympias in 356 B.C in Pella, Macedonia. His father was also a strong military man and during his reign, Macedonia became a stronger force. His father was shrewd in military perspectives and was envisioned to launch an assault on the Persian Empire.
Alexander the Great gained prominence and popularity at his early age when he managed to get control of the enormous horse known as Bucephalus. After this, this horse became a lifetime companion of his. After this, his father sends Alexander to one of the great philosophers of his time known as Alexander. From 13th up to 16th, he was a student of Alexander who taught him philosophy, medicine, and science and inspired his interest in these subjects.
In the early years of his life, his father, Phillip, was mostly away on expeditions, and her mother, Olympias, has played a major role in his evolving years. The family disruption and cold relations between her mother and father also influenced him in his early years. Her mother, in these early years, encouraged the beliefs of the greatness and sense of great destiny which would have inspired him to think big and to endeavor for this. Her mother also tried to turn him against her father by arguing for his father's moral bankruptcy and other faults. Consequently, the relations between Alexander and his father was not marked by closeness and affection. This gulf was further widened as his father spent most of the time outside the home in military expeditions. He held a deep respect for her mother. Yet, in the latter part of his death, he came to recognize the achievements of his father and reflected the many attributes of his fathers. This was a brief overview of the circumstances in which he was brought and raised. It shows that being brought into the royal house granted him the inherent urge to rule and carve his destiny and earn a distinction in this world. Besides this, he got the military deftness from his father and employed this in his life to achieve major victories.
It was at the age of sixteen when he got the opportunity to prove his worth in military terms and signaled the rise of one of the great commanders of the world. In 338 B.C, his father left the city of Macedonia and handed the charge to Alexander to look after the city. His military skills manifested in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 B.C. In this battle, his military skills were the single most factor in turning the battle in favor of the Macedonian army. This battle was enough to signal the capabilities and abilities of Alexander.
At the age of 20 and in 336 B.C, he assumed the throne when his father, Phillip died. He was the successor of Phillip and a new king. Soon after assuming the throne, his first major step was to take action against those who challenged his power. He successfully curbed their rise and established his supremacy.
After settling this internal discord, he went on to follow the footsteps of his father and expand the reach of his empire. To achieve this purpose, he led a campaign in 334 B.C against the Persian Empire. Here, the battle of Granicus happened in which he defeated the satraps of the Persian Empire. After this battle, the cities of Sardis and Ephesus were freed before he moved forward to conquer the other parts of Asia.
One of the important battles that were of high importance in bringing the Persian Empire under control was the Battle of Issus and Tyre. The first battle was fought in 333 B.C when the army of Alexander confronted the army of King Darius in the town of Issus located in the vicinity of southern Turkey. At this battle, the troops of Darius outnumbered the army of Alexander in great numbers but not in military skills and strategies. The sheer adroitness reflected by Alexander forced Darius and his army to flee from the battlefield. The latter battle was fought in 332 B.C when he lay siege to the city of Tyre. Due to the fierce resistance shown by the inhabitants of this city, in the end, they were slaughtered and brutally murdered. This reflected the savagery on part of Alexander to achieve his aim and expand his power.
After winning these two battles, he went on to conquer the city of Egypt in 331 B.C. after conquering this, he founded the city of Alexandria. One thing that should be noted is that he was not keen to impose his ideas on the native population. He was interested that his troops should be fed and any rebellion that challenged his rule was quelled and suppressed.
After bringing Egypt under his ambit, he set to conquer the Persian Empire. In 331 B.C he fought against Darius whose troops were far more than that of Alexander. He defeated Darius and then continued with his march to take the city of Babylon and Susa. After this, he declared himself as the King of Persia. Another man known as Bessus also claimed to assume the throne. This rival claim perturbed Alexander and he managed to somehow kill Bessus and became the King of Persia.
After laying claim to Persia and also laying the foundations of the many cities, he moved on to conquer India. At first, he conquered the Indian Punjab where after resistance, he managed to get his control. The ruler of the Taxila surrendered while he faced more fierce resistance from the tribes of northern regions. These tribes put up a fierce resistance and the battle was fought between the King of Porus and Alexander. No doubt that this battle was won by Alexander but it really exhausted Alexander's army. Due to the worn-out effects of the battle, his army refuses to go by the plan of Alexander to further march towards the Ganges river and change his fortunes. So, he shunned his plans and decided to move back towards Persia.
In early 323 B.C, he reached Persia. But this ended his insatiable demand to gain world supremacy or hegemony. so, he laid out the plans for conquering the remainder of Arabia. However, his plans could not materialize as he died in 323 B.C at the age of 32. He was suffering from a high fever. Yet, his death remains a mystery. Someone has argued that he died of malaria while others have argued that he was poisoned and thereby murdered. This was the life of Alexander.
After appraising the life of Alexander the Great, the question arises what makes Alexander an important part of history? There are many factors that account for the historical importance of Alexander. Firstly, he was known for his military prowess which was an integral factor in expanding his empire. This particular feature of Alexander has inspired the later historian who carried out research on his strategies. They praised Alexander that he managed to rule such a large empire in which his deft use of military skill was the most important factor.
Moreover, his importance in history is also recognized for spreading Greek culture, literature, and art around the world. As he led military campaigns around the world, it showed that he was also taking his Greek culture around the world and was making people aware of this new form of culture. His military expeditions were most important in fostering the Greek culture in Persian and Arabian land.
Besides this, another factor, though less recognized, is the attitude of Alexander towards the subjects over which he ruled. He does not impose his ideas related to truth and religion on the subject population and forces them to follow a particular course of ideas and beliefs. No doubt that he was concerned to suppress the rebellion but that has more to do with the power game rather than the private views and beliefs of a person. In the modern sense, this reflected the progressive and tolerant approach of Alexander towards the private belief of a population.
One of the great heroes of history is Alexander the Great. he was one of the most influential and powerful rulers of his era. His legacy is marked by the greatest expansion of his empire, expertise in military skills, and strategies. These factors combine to make him one of the greatest rulers of his time.References:
- Mark, J. J. (2013, November). Alexander the Great.
- Alexander the Great. (n.d.).
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