Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
Freeman (2011) narrates that Alexander the Great was a Macedonian King who lived from 356 BC to 323 BC. His parents were Queen Olympia and King Philip. Aristotle, the philosopher, tutored the young Alexander until he attained the age of 16 years. After his father was assassinated, Alexander was elevated to the throne of kingship in 336 BC as his late father’s successor. He was lucky to inherit an experienced army and a strong kingdom. He then used his generalship to launch the Pan-Hellenic project which had been started by his father. The project was meant to lead the Greeks in conquering Persia. He conducted an invasion of Achaemenid Empire in 334 BC. He became the ruler of Asia Minor and set forth a campaigns-series that went on for a period of a decade. Through a series of battles that were decisive, Alexander was able to break the Persian power. The battles that were the most notable included the battles of Gaugamela and Issus. Subsequently, the youthful King succeeded in overthrowing King Darius III of Persia. As a result, the First Persian Empire became an area under his jurisdiction. This expanded his empire that now stretched from the Indus River to the Adriatic Sea.
As a result of being tutored by Aristotle, Alexander was able to lead the Companion Cavalry at only 18 years. In addition, he helped King Philip to defeat the Theban and Athenian armies at Chaeronea. Following the death of King Philip, the Macedonian Army fully threw their support behind Alexander and ensured that he eliminated his foes. Consequently, he became the leader and king of the Corinthian League. This is when he went ahead and conquered both Egypt and Persia thus enlarging his territory (Heckel & Tritle, 2011). Rufus (2009) explains that though he was young, Alexander is held in high regards in history as one of the military leaders that were brilliant. He is also among the rulers who were regarded as the most powerful. He became the commander of Cavalry at 18 years, a king at 20 years, a conqueror at 26 years and an explorer at the age of 30 years. He explored the Indian Frontier when he was thirty years old. His extreme youth is not adequately explored by either the modern literature or the ancient sources. After he had defeated the Persian Empire, Alexander opened the way for the spread of the settlements of Greeks far into the east. There may be no existent evidence to show that the policy of Hellenization was promoted by Alexander himself. However, it is doubtless that there was a penetration of the Greek culture into the western parts of Asia thanks to Alexander’s conquests. This saw western Asia become part of Greece for the first time in world history. Though it was unintended, this is Alexander’s achievement that is the most historical and certain (Budge, 2013). Budge (2013) continues to point out that the legacy of Alexander includes the diffusion of cultures that was engendered by his conquests. One of such diffusions includes Greco-Buddhism. In addition, the king founded some cities, twenty in number. These cities were named after him. An example is Egypt’s Alexandria. The spread of Greek culture due to the development of Greek colonists’ settlements in the east by Alexander gave rise to a Hellenistic civilization that was new. The Byzantine Empire’s traditions depicted the Hellenistic aspects even in the 15th Century. The aspects were also evident until the 1920s by the presence of people who spoke in Greek in the eastern and central parts of Anatolia. As a classical hero, Alexander became legendary in the Achilles’ mold. Notably, he prominently features in the myth and history of non-Greek and Greek cultures. In fact, he became the yardstick with which military leaders measured themselves. Nonetheless, his tactics are still taught by military academics the world over. He often features among the people considered to be the...
References: Budge, E. A. (2013). The History of Alexander the Great: Being the Syriac Version of the Pseudo-Callisthenes. Cambridge University Press.
Freeman, P. (2011). Alexander the Great. Simon and Schuster.
Hammond, N. G. L. (2007). Sources for Alexander the Great: An Analysis of Plutarch 's 'Life ' and Arrian 's 'Anabasis Alexandrou '. Cambridge University Press.
Heckle, W. & Tritle, L. (2011). Alexander the Great: A New History. John Wiley & Sons.
Rufus, Q. C. (2009). Selections from the History of Alexander the Great. BiblioBazaar.
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