Why was Alexander the Great Important?
Who was Alexander the Great?
Alexander the Great was born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia in 356 BC. His parents were Phillip II of Macedon and his wife Olympia’s. Phillip was assassinated in 336 BC and Alexander inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom. He came to the throne at just the young age of 20. On the day Alexander was born, his father Phillip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice. This implies that Alexanders father Phillip was the leader of a very powerful army. In his childhood and throughout his life he found inspiration in the Heroic Age, revering both Heracles and Achilles. He became absorbed in winning renown and glory for himself by performing noble deeds and surpassing the feats of the gods and the mythical heroes. Alexander was concerned when Phillip captured a city or won a great victory because he was afraid that there would be nothing great or spectacular for him to show the world and be known for. Macedonia has had an unstable history. It was invaded repeatedly in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, and in 399 BC collapsed into civil war after the murder of its king. Decades of turmoil ended in 359BC, when Phillip II became king and set about restoring order. Once he was firmly in control of his new kingdom, Phillip began expanding his frontiers, taking over the regions to the east and south. When Alexander was ten years old, a horse trader from Thessaly brought Phillip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents (a 10 drachma silver coin). The horse refused to be mounted and Phillip ordered to get it ordered away. Although Alexander asked to tame the horse which he eventually managed, Phillip then cried with joyful tears which implied that he was proud of his son and knew that Alexander was going to become a great conqueror. Phillip then bought the horse for Alexander and he named it Bucephalas (ox-head). The city Bucephala was named after...
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