Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Alexander The Great

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Alexander the Great was one of the greatest conquers in all of the history of

Rome. His genius and ability to think in hard situations helped greatly to the country of

Macedonia, which he ruled. Most of his life he lived as a fighter and warrior. Alexander

was a smart, brilliant man who used his brains when it came down to fighting.

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Alexander was born in an age of violence, conquest, and civil war. Alexander

was born in 56 B.C. in Pella. His father was Phillip the second who ruled all of

Macedonia. He was a shrewd king and general who conquered Greece. He stole the

reign of Macedonia from his brother’s son. Alexander’s mother was Olympias. She was

brilliant yet hot-tempered. Her father was King Neoptoelemus the first of Epirus.

Alexander’s sister was Cleopatra (but not the Egyptian queen.) Alexander’s ancestor was a man known as the hero Achilles. Alexander through his life carried a copy of “Iliad.” Phillip taught Alexander that all the Macedonian kings were descendents from the hero Hercules, son of Zeus, and the high god.

Alexander’s parents hated each other. Philip had lesser wives and children. One

child was Philip Arridaeus who was retarded. The rumor was that Olympias had

poisoned the mother of Arridaeus. Olympias once told Alexander that Philip was not his

real father. Philip never admitted to it though. Yet he always had made fun of Alexander

because of his high voice.

There were many legends about Alexander. As a boy Alexander tamed a horse

named Bucephalus. Later on in life when he was conquering Asia a steed carried him as

far as India and then died. Alexander built a city and named in Bucephalas after the


Alexander was known for his quick thinking and his smarts. In 4 or 4 B.C.

Phillip hired Aristotle to tutor Alexander. Aristotle encouraged Alexander interest in

other countries and people. He noticed Alexander’s curiosity in plants and animals.

Later on he followed the Greek principle of “ a sound mind in a sound body.” He studied

literature, philosophy, and politics. He also trained in sports, physical fitness, and

warfare. School ended abruptly for him when he was sixteen years old because his father

called him away for duties in the government.

At sixteen his father left for war. Alexander was to serve as the regent of

Macedonia. He led an expedition through modern day Bulgaria and fought barbarians

and settled the city of Alexandropolis. After the expedition he became the general of

Philip’s army. There was a lot of tense between Alexander and his father. Alexander

though, did protect his father in war while he played dead because he was injured.

Alexander always had a bad temper. When his father was having the celebration

for his final marriage the bride’s uncle gave a toast. He had said he hoped his niece

would give birth to a ligament heir. Alexander had yelled at the uncle, ”What about me?

Am I a bastard?” He threw his goblet at the man. Philip was very angry with Alexander

for this, which made a huge fight between them. There is no record of what they said but

it is known that Philip pulled his sword out to strike Alexander with but he fell drunken

to the floor.

Alexander and Olympias moved left Macedonia because of what happened at the

celebration. Later they reunited but Alexander had no trust in his father. Philip had

arranged to have Arridaeus marry the daughter of Persia’s governor. Alexander thought

that this meant Arridaeus would become king. He planned to marry her himself. Philip

found out about this plan and placed Alexander under house arrests and banished all his

friends, except for Hephaestion, from the kingdom. He divorced Olympias thinking she

had encouraged Alexander to do so. While divorcing Olympias he gave their daughter,

Cleopatra, hand in marriage to Olympias brother, king of Epirus.

In 6 BC. King Philip was going into the theater where his daughter was having

her wedding. He was stabbed in the heart by the captain of his bodyguards, Pausanias.

Pausanias ran across the vineyard but got snagged by a vine and was caught by three of

the king’s bodyguards. People thought that Olympias and Alexander helped plot the

death of King Philip the second.

At twenty-three years old Alexander became King Alexander the third. He did

not just get to take the throne though. He had several rivals that thought they should get

the throne. One of them was his cousin, Amyntas who Philip also took the throne from.

Alexander was a handsome, clean-shaven, heavy drinking man. He was in good health

and was very athletic. He loved reading, music, and the theater. He was a loyal and

brilliant general. He proceeded with Philip’s plans to take Persia and most of Asia

Minor. He named himself “Lord of Asia.” He tried to treat Persians fair so that they

would accept him as their leader. Yet his impulsiveness, bad temper, and drinking got in

the way.

He antagonized the men around him so much that one of his favorite general’s son

plotted to kill him. Alexander found out about this and killed the son and the general.

Once a general successor mocked him and Alexander killed him that minute.

In 7, he captured some rebels and fell in love with the chief’s daughter Roxane.

He married her and was pregnant two times but the first one was stillborn. While he was

married he conquered India. His troops didn’t want to go on so they headed home and

fought and the way back. In one battle Alexander had an arrow taken into his chest and

almost died.

When he got home he found out that the governors he left in charge had abused

the authority. He executed them all. He wanted peace for his people and the Persians.

He ordered eighty of his men to marry highborn Persian women. Alexander married a

woman by either the name of Barsine or Stateira, King Darius daughter, while he was

still married to Roxane. He promoted many of the Persians to higher rankings. Yet his

efforts for unity fell short.

On June 1, 5BC. Alexander the Great died of an illness that involves a

very high fever. People now think it was either malaria or typhoid fever.

Roxane was pregnant at the time Alexander died with Alexander’s son.

Barsine could have also been pregnant too but there is no proof of this. Roxane sent a

letter to Barsine asking her to come to Babylon. Barsine did what she was asked.

Barsine and her sister came to Babylon and Roxane murdered both of them and threw

their bodies into a well. Roxane then gave birth to Alexander Aegus who became King

Alexander the fourth but he was co-king with Alexander’s brother Arridaeus until

Olympias had him killed. The empire Alexander had worked so hard for, fell apart.

Alexander was never a follower. He was always having some way to go

about something a different way then people would expect. He didn’t always make the

best choices but at least he was a leader and without him Asia would not be what it is


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