The Life of Alexander III the Great

Topics: Alexander the Great, Achaemenid Empire, Philip II of Macedon Pages: 6 (2274 words) Published: February 19, 2014


The Life of Alexander III the Great

Alexander III the Great is believed to be the greatest military genius to have ever lived He rose to be the King of Macedonia, and managed to conquer the great Persian Empire; something his predecessor could not accomplish. The list of the tasks Alexander accomplished goes on and on, but they did not all happen at once. The question most ask is… why was Alexander always known to be so great? Based on detailed research, it seems in fact that since birth, Alexander was destined for greatness.

The year is 356 B.C. in the month of June. In the capital city of Macedonia, Pella, a baby boy was born to the royal family, King Phillips II, of Macedonia, and his wife Olympias. This baby boy was known to be Alexander III. As Alexander started to grow, he began mimicking his father. “Alexander spent his childhood watching his father transforming Macedonia into a great military power, winning victory after victory on the battlefields throughout the Balkans” 1(Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography). By doing so, he learned slowly how to become a great leader. At the young age of twelve Alexander showed just how great he was by taming a troubling stallion, called Bucephalus. “Bucephalus, an unruly stallion horse, unable to be ridden and devouring the flesh of all who had tried” (Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography).

As the years pass, Alexander grows older and becomes wiser. King Phillip II groups a large army and invades Thrace, leaving a sixteen year old Alexander in charge of Macedonia. “As the Macedonian army advanced deep into Thrace, the Thracian tribe of Maedi bordering north-eastern Macedonia rebelled and posed a danger to the country” (Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography). Acting quickly upon the enemy, young Alexander assembled his own army and quickly defeated the rebelling Maedi. In succeeding, he showed that even at a young age, he was more than capable.

“Two years later in 338 BC, Philip gave his son a commanding post among the senior generals as the Macedonian army invaded Greece” (Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography). Thanks to Alexander’s bravery, they were able to defeat the Greeks at the Battle of Chaeronea. He did what many thought to be impossible - defeated their elite army, the Theban Secret Force. Shortly after this battle though, to some dismay, the royal family split apart. King Phillip II married Cleopatra, and Alexander fled with his mother to Epirus. “In the spring of 336 BC, with Philip’s Persian invasion already set in motion, the king was assassinated” (Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography). There is no known reasoning as to why Pausanias killed Phillip II. Some stated that Alexander and his mother put him up to it, while others believe he did it purely on his own. Whatever the case may have been, the King was dead and the heir to the throne, and new King of Macedonia, was Alexander III.

Ascending to power did not go as easy as some may have hoped. Word of Phillip II death spread to areas outside of Macedonia. “Philip’s death caused series of rebellions among the conquered nations and the Illyrians, Thracians, and Greeks saw a chance for independence” (Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography). Alexander III had to act quickly to keep these nations under control. Acting quickly, he forced his way into Greece, conquered it, and put it back under Macedonia’s control. Alexander then pushed the Thracians and Tribalians across the river. Then, in a single week, he was able to erase the threat of the Illyrians. “Many more Greek states then turned to Alexander's control” 2(The Conquests of Alexander the Great).

After once again gaining control of the conquered nations, Alexander finished devising his plan for the invasion of Asia. While doing so, he also declared war on Persia. Alexander left Macedonia accompanied by countless soldiers, and upon arrival at...

Bibliography: Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/AncientMacedonia/AlexandertheGreat.html
Alexander the Great (356 - 323 BC). (2013, January 01). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alexander_the_great.shtml
Clode , G. (2010, October 10). Alexander the Great – the greatest leader of all time?. Retrieved from http://www.military-history.org/intel/alexander-the-great.htm
The Conquests of Alexander the Great. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://library.thinkquest.org/20176/alexander.htm
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