Facts about Alexander the Great

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Alexander the Great was the conqueror and King of Macedonia. Born in Pella, Greece in July 365 BC, he had overcome a great deal of obstacles to gain victory over the many nations that he had single-handedly conquered. He was the son of Philip II of Macedonia and Queen Olympias. Alexander inherited a vast and volatile kingdom at a very young age following the assassination of his father. Alexander dealt with his enemies powerfully and put to rest all political unrest within his kingdom after which he went on to conquer the massive Persian Empire.

Some of the lesser known facts about Alexander the Great are:

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle had been Alexander’s teacher and as a child, Alexander had been taught about Greek culture and mythology. He grew up loving the Greek language, theatre, Greek gods and history admiring and taking inspiration from these mythical and historical stories.

Another great teacher of Alexander was Leonidas, who taught him math and archery.

Every war that Alexander had fought throughout his lifetime was won by him. By 32 years of age, he had already conquered the whole of the Mediterranean and reached the borders of the Indus River. It is often said that had he not become ill, he would have probably conquered areas beyond them as well.

As a child Alexander saw little of his father Philip II. The King set a bad example for his son and was mostly out on military campaigns and had many extra-marital affairs. Therefore Alexander grew up resenting his father’s nature.

Alexander’s first military expedition was against the Thracian tribes followed by defeating of the Athenian and Thebean armies at Chaeronea. In the latter, he aided his father as general in charge of the Companion Cavalry.

Alexander created a city named after him, Alexandria in 331 BC. This city became his empire’s centre of trade and commerce, also reflecting his love for Greek culture.

When Alexander conquered Persia, he was proclaimed the ‘˜King of Babylon’ and also referred to as ‘˜King of the Four Quarters of the World’ and ‘˜King of Asia’.

Alexander slashed the ancient and legendary Gordian knot with his sword. According to the ancient myth, the knot was tied by King Midas and whoever would be able to untie the knot would rule the world.

In his conquest of Northern India, Alexander had defeated King Porus but decided to reinstate him as king and win back his loyalty having been impressed by him. Alexander suffered injuries by Malli warriors while on his way back from the east of the Ganges to Indus.

Alexander is said to have tamed a wild horse named Bucephalus, after whose death Alexander renamed a city in India after him.

He is said to have 3 wives during his lifetime, namely Roxane, Parysatis and Statiera. He had a son named Alexander IV by Roxane and Herakles by his mistress Barsine.

In 323 BC Alexander the Great died of malaria in the city of Babylon. Although Alexander himself had conquered a vast empire, after his death it quickly collapsed due to internal battles and various leaders’ hunger for power.

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