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


horse.


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


today.





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