Alexander the Great (his relationship with his father; how he came to power; his conquests)

Topics: Alexander the Great, Philip II of Macedon, Olympias Pages: 6 (1740 words) Published: December 7, 2003
Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia, accomplished much in his lifetime. He added many new lands to his vast empire including Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Sogdiana, and part of India. He became the conqueror of the world he knew.

Alexander the Great was the son of Princess Olympias of Epirus (Cinderella) and King Philip II of Macedonia (Popovic). His parents hated each other and had an unstable marriage (Cinderella). Philip's relationship with Alexander was also poor. He once told his son that he should be embarrassed by his high-pitched voice (Cinderella). After Alexander had become a general in his father's army, Philip was wounded in battle and played dead (Cinderella). Alexander protected him and saved his life, but Philip refused to even acknowledge this (Cinderella). During the wedding feast celebrating Philip's marriage to his final wife, the bride's uncle, Attalus, made a toast hoping that the couple will have a legitimate heir for Philip (Cinderella). Alexander became infuriated that he had been so easily dismissed as an heir, and throws his goblet at Attalus who in turn throws his goblet back, creating a brawl during which Philip and Alexander converse (Cinderella). It remains unknown what they said to each other, but it apparently angered Philip for he lunged at Alexander with his sword and, having been drunk, fell to the floor (Cinderella). To this Alexander commented, "Look, men, he's about to cross from Europe to Asia, and he falls crossing from couch to couch" (Cinderella). After this incident Alexander and Olympias left to go to Epirus, but they later returned (Popovic). On another occasion, Philip arranged a marriage between Alexander's retarded half brother, Arridaeus, and the daughter of a Persian satrap (Cinderella). Alexander, fearing that Philip was planning to make Arridaeus his successor instead of himself, secretly plotted to marry her first (Cinderella). Philip discovered his plans too soon, and put Alexander under house arrest (Cinderella). He went even further to banish all of his friends from the kingdom except for Hephaestion, and decided to divorce Olympias for her involvement (Cinderella).

To prevent Olympias' brother, king of Epirus, from becoming angered over the divorce, Philip gave him his and Olympias' daughter, Cleopatra, as a bride (Cinderella). Philip was stabbed by one of his bodyguards, Pausanias, while entering the theater that the opening marriage ceremony was held at (Cinderella). Pausanias tried to escape, but tripped on a vine in the vineyard behind the theater giving three of Philip's other bodyguards enough time to catch up with him and kill him (Cinderella). Olympias and Alexander were both suspected of being involved in the plot (Cinderella).

In response to Philip's assassination Alexander and Olympias took actions to rid themselves of enemies. Alexander executed rivals to the throne including his cousin, Amyntas (Cinderella). However, he spared the life of Arridaeus (Cinderella). Rather than straight out killing Attalus, Alexander sent soldiers after him under the accusation of treason (Popovic). He instructed the soldiers that they if they could not bring him back alive, they were to kill him (Popovic). It is said that Olympias had the newborn child of Philip killed in front of his last wife, before forcing her to hang herself (Cinderella).

Hephaestion and Alexander were best friends as children. Both were taught by Aristotle and shared the same favorite book, the Iliad (Spears). It is said that Alexander always slept with a copy under his pillow as a child (Popovic). He later fell in love with Hephaestion. Robin Lane Fox said that "Hephaestion was the man Alexander loved, and for the rest of their lives their relationship remained as intimate as it is now irrecoverable: Alexander was only defeated once, the Cynic Philosophers said long after his death, and that was by Hephaestion's thighs" (Spears).

After Philip's death, all of Greece...


Cited: Agrawal, Dinesh. "Alexander, The Ordinary." 10 pars. 30 Nov 2002. http://www.itihaas.com/ancient/1.html
Boardman, John, Jasper Griffin, and Oswyn Murray. The Oxford Illustrated History of Greece and the Hellenistic World. 1986. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Cinderella. "Alexander The Great." 1998. 21 pars. 30 Nov 2002. http://www.royalty.nu/Europe/Balkan/Alexander.html
Cook, John Manuel. The Greeks in Ionia and the East. New York, NY: Frederick A. Praeger Publishers, 1962.
Dersin, Denise. What Life Was Like at the Dawn of Democracy. Alexandria, VA: Time Life Inc., 1997.
Hackney, Adam. "Alexander the Great." 15 Mar 1997. 14 Dec 2002. http://www.hackneys.com/alex_web/alexfram.htm
Popovic, John J. "Alexander the Great." 1996. 41 pars. 30 Nov 2002. http://www.1stmuse.com/frames/index.html
Spears, Jay. "Alexander the Great." 18 Sep 2002. 7 pars. 30 Nov 2002. http://www.gayheroes.com/alex.htm
Welles, C. Bradford. Alexander and the Hellenistic World. Toronto: A.M. Hakkart Ltd., 1970.
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