Alexander the Great

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Alexander the Great

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
This quote was once said by a historical figure in American society named John Quincy Adams. To be a leader, you need to prove you can be one and what better way than to have people back you up and follow you. Alexander the Great is a prime example of this leadership. He went to great lengths to change the Hellenistic world. From raising a country in to a dominant empire, Alexander ranks must supreme with his accomplishments. Although he has many accomplishments, some of his actions ended in failure and may cause his legacy to be debated. A good leader knows when to fight but also when to relinquish.

Alexander was born in 356 in the empire of Macedonia. He was born into royalty having his father being King Phillip and Queen Olympias. King Phillip was a man of war. He led conquests into Greece defeating Athens at the Battle of Chaeronea (Spielvogel 90). Alexander, as a young boy, was born into a war state of mind. At a young age, King Phillip influenced Alexander in the arts of martial arts, fencing, riding and athletics. When off from war, King Phillip would take time to teach Alexander how to fight and different techniques (Lendering 1). Although alexander was learning about war and combat, Phillip wanted more for his son. Alexander began reading works by a Philosopher named Homer. He would relate himself to some of Homers hero’s and soon developed a competition to one named Achilles (Lendering 1). Although Alexander was reading, Phillip knew that would not be enough. King Phillip sent out for a man named Aristotle. Aristotle is to be considered one of the most influential philosophers of his time. Aristotle, from 343 B.C. to 340 B.C, was to be a tutor for Alexander (Lendering 1). Alexander showed a fascination in science and healing arts. He learned theology, metrology, philosophy, and physics (Yenne 16). Some historians today believe that it was true that Alexander may have loved Aristotle more than his own father due to the fact that Phillip gave life to him, but Aristotle “taught him a noble life” (Yenne 17). Around this age, Alexander was given a horse that would become a friend for the rest of his life.

War was never to far from Macedonia. Although Alexander was a young boy he needed to know of strategy and be ready for any event. King Phillip was busy conquering Greece and retaining control. Alexander was first tested in this battle when he commanded the left flank against the Theban army at the age of eighteen (Yenne 19). He now had united the Greek city-states and made the Corinthian League. Next, King Phillip troops led a march into Asia while Phillip and Alexander stayed behind. Phillip, eager to join his troops, made an appearance at the theater of Aegae with Alexander (Lendering 1). When coming out onto the theater floor, King Phillip was betrayed by a guard and stabbed to death (Lendering 1). This now meant, that at the age of twenty, inherited the kingdom of Macedonia.

Alexander couldn’t have gained the throne at a better time. Macedonia had a strong army and a prosperous economy. Alexander was quickly tested though with the dispute regarding Thebes. As Thebes heard of the death of Phillip, rumors of the death of Alexander spread. As the talk spread, Theban government began to succeed which instantly gained the attention of Alexander. Alexander took his fully intact army to the city of Thebes and taught them a lesson that all of Greece learned from. Instead of engaging them politically, he attacked the city and burned it to the ground with the exceptions of temples and the former home of his favorite poet Pindar (Yenne 25). This left Athens and the rest of the Greek city states in shock and they quickly begged for mercy (Yenne 25).

Now that the conflict in Greece was fixed, it was time to march into Persia. Alexander’s army was magnificent. It was estimated that his...
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