Alexander the Great

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Griffin Michael
Mr. Evans
U.S. history to 1877
11/03/11

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great is widely known as one of the greatest military geniuses of all time. He is said to have been inspiration for later conquerors such as Hannibal, Napoleon, and Caesar to name a few. Alexander conquered numerous places while he was king including the entire Persian Empire. From the time he was born to the time he died people knew that this man would be a great leader and conqueror. I believe that Alexander the Great is one of the best military leaders of all time.

Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C.E. in Pella the ancient capital of Macedonia. Alexander’s father was Phillip II the king of Macedonia and his mother was named Olympias the princess of Epirus. Alexander was very fortunate as a child because he got to see his father turn Macedonia into a power by winning many battles. Later in Alexander’s young life his father hired Aristotle to be his son’s personal tutor. For three years Aristotle gave Alexander lessons in rhetoric and literature and sparked his interest in science, medicine, and philosophy, all of which became of importance later on in Alexander’s life. In later years Aristotle and Alexander’s relationship became uneasy because Aristotle viewed foreigners as barbarians while Alexander wanted to unite Macedonians and foreigners. (www.historyofMacedonia.org) In 340 Phillip II put together a huge army and invaded Thrace. While he was away he left his 16 year old son to run the country of Macedonia while he was gone, this showed that Alexander could handle huge responsibilities and be responsible for holding a country together. As the Macedonian army advanced further into Thrace, the Thracian tribe of Maedi rebelled and posed a major threat to the country of Macedonia. Alexander quickly put together an army and swiftly defeated the Maedi, capturing its stronghold and renaming it after himself, Alexandropolis. Later in 338 B.C.E. Phillip gave Alexander a commanding post among the senior generals as the Macedonian army invaded Greece. During the battle of Chaeronea Alexander defeated the Greeks and showed a lot of bravery because he was a fighting an elite Greek army. Many believe the only reason the Macedonians came out the victors is because of Alexander’s extreme bravery. (www.historyofmacedonia.org)

Unexpectedly after the defeat of the Greeks at Chaeronea, the royal family split up because of Phillip marrying Cleopatra, a Macedonian woman with high nobility. At the wedding banquet, Cleopatra's uncle, General Attalus, made a comment about Philip fathering a ‘legitimate’ heir, one that was of pure Macedonian blood. Alexander became enraged and threw a cup at the man and blasted him for calling him a bastard child. His father then got mad and drew his sword to charge his son, but as he charged he fell to the ground as he was really drunk. Alexander reportedly said "Here is the man who was making ready to cross from Europe to Asia, and who cannot even cross from one table to another without losing his balance." Alexander then fled to Epirus taking his mother with him. Although Alexander was able to return later, he remained isolated and insecure in the Macedonian court. In the spring of 336 BC, with Philip’s Persian invasion already set in motion, the king was assassinated by a young Macedonian noble Pausanias, during the wedding ceremony in Aegae, the old capital of Macedonia.  Why Pausanias killed the Macedonian king is a question that perplexed both ancient and modern historians. Pausanias had sought revenge from Philip because apparently he, the king, and another man named Pausanias were involved in a love triangle. The first Pausanias was a good-looking bodyguard of Philip's, whom Philip enjoyed very much. Soon the second Pausanias seemed to replace the first as a favorite of the king's. The first Pausanias called the second one a whore, and, with his pride wounded, the second...
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