Alexander the Great
Throughout history there have been many famous leaders. Many people are recognized such as Pompey, Julius Cesear, Peter the Great and many others. The one guy that sticks out in history to me is Alexander the Great. When you hear his name, you automatically know who he is. Alexander the Great was well known but most people don’t know all of the great things he actually did. Alexander was known as a great king, a phenomenal warrior, a conqueror, and very unpredictable. He was born on September 20, 356 B.C. in Pella, Macedonia. Alexander received his early childhood education under the tutelage of Leonidas. Leonidas, who had been hired by King Phillip to teach Alexander math, horsemanship, and archery, struggled to control his rebellious student. Alexander’s next mentor was Lysimachus, who used role-playing to capture the boy’s attention. Alexander was an exceptional warrior and always found it very interesting impersonating Achilles. It is said that he slept with a copy of Homer’s Iliad under his pillow. Some people say that Alexander’s desire to be a great warrior came from Achilles. Along with idolizing Achilles, he has many things from his childhood that are unknown to most people. There is a story that has been told that goes like this. A man brought Alexander’s father, Phillip, a stallion but no one was able to mount it because it was too wild. Alexander then bet his father that he could mount it and ride it right before his father’s eyes. Both Phillip and the man who were trying to sell the horse burst into laughter because neither one of them could do it, and Alexander was just a boy. For a while Alexander ran alongside the horse and stroked him. Then on seeing that he was full of zest and spirit, he quietly threw his cloak aside, made a flying jump and mounted him. For a while he held him back, using a touch of the reins to cheek the bit, but without pulling or tearing his mouth, and when he saw the horse had rid himself of the fear, he let him go and urged him on with the pressure of his legs. He then turned the horse and rode back proud while his father cheered him on. His father said to him, “My boy, seek a kingdom to match yourself. Macedonia is not large enough to hold you.” It is said that the horse was then bought and became Alexander’s warhorse, and would not accept any other rider. In 343 B.C., King Phillip II hired the philosopher Aristotle to tutor Alexander at the Temple of the Nymphs at Meiza. Over the course of three years, Aristotle taught Alexander and many of his other friend’s philosophy, poetry, drama, science and politics. Homer’s Illiad inspired Alexander to dream of becoming a successful and heroic warrior. Aristotle created an abridged version of the tome for Alexander to carry with him on his military campaigns. (Hammond) Alexander the Great is most known for his military adventures and his endeavors he endured along the way. In 338 B.C. he got his chance to make all of his dreams come true by leading his men into battle. The role assigned to Alexander at Chaeronea confirmed his status as crown prince and spoke of his father’s confidence in him to lead his men. The plan was for his father, Phillip, to lead men on right to the Macedonian line and pretend to retreat while Alexander took his men to the left and attack as soon as the Theban army was exposed to Phillip’s maneuver. Alexander became a hero after he destroyed the Theban army and was victorious at the young age of only eighteen years of age. This was very remarkable considering he was so young but able to lead his army to this kind of victory. He was quoted saying, “Winning for my own self, great glory, and for my father.” After the war, an alliance was formed between the Athenians and the Macedonians. Alexander and his father were both extremely happy about because they were only worried about establishing a general peace that would enable them to march on Asia without concern about the threat of...
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