September 8, 2008
Through the ages, many rulers have produced images withstanding images of themselves. Of course, this image is subjective to the relation to the ruler. If conquered, perhaps the ruler is a villain, but if bravely conquering for one’s own nation, then a hero they surely are. Surely one of, if not the most successful rulers in history is Alexander the Great of Macedonia. King Alexander’s military genius led to his conquering of most of the known world to ancient Greeks, as well as the production of a near universal Hellenistic Culture during his time.
Born 356 B.C.E. in Macedonia, Alexander was the son of King Philip II, a powerful military leader at the time. At a young age, Alexander was tutored by the philosopher, Aristotle. At age 16, as King Philip went to war with Thrace, the throne was left to Aristotle; a clear sign that Alexander was very able to lead, even at a young age.
Following the assassination of his father, he was assumed king in 336 B.C.E. Many of the Greeks cities controlled by Philip were now seeking their independence and tested Alexander’s power. Alexander was very quick to seize any uprisings with great force.
Spanning from Africa, to southern Europe, to the Middle East, to Western Asia, Alexander’s empire was enormous and certainly powerful. He spread Greek knowledge across the known world, creating a lasting Hellenistic impact on much of the world. Certainly at the time, this was a universal Hellenistic culture. “His expedition and his own personal interest in scientific investigation brought many advances in the knowledge of geography and natural history.”1
The Romans were strongly influenced by Alexander’s empire. For years in the Roman Empire, the one universal language was Alexander’s Greek.2 He left a lasting image of Greece as a powerhouse; the mightiest empire of its time and perhaps of any time.
Conclusively, Alexander the Great created an incredible empire that had a lasting...