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Alexander The Great
Alexander the Great and His Achievements
Alexander the Great was the king of Macedon. Alexander of Macedon, or ancient Mecadonia, deserves to be called the "Great". Alexander the Great was considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all times. He was an excellent king, general, and conqueror. During his thirteen-year rule he conquered almost all the then known world and gave a new direction to history. He had established an empire after he died. His new empire helped many people live their lives. He improved the way of life in his empire in many ways. Conquering other lands spread the Greek traditions and language.
Alexander the Great was born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedon (Martin 192). He was the son of Philip II and Olympias. Philip II was the king of Macedonia and Olympias was the princess of Epirus (Stewart 18).
Alexander had many interests in military strategies (Stewart 20). Once when Alexander was about seven years old, a group of Persian diplomats came to Macedon to see Philip. Philip was with his army fighting neighboring tribes so the diplomats stayed and talked with Alexander. They didn't except Alexander to ask questions about the size of the Persian army and the length of the journey to Susa (an important city in Persia). This shows one of Alexander's early interests (Stewart 21).
Philip decided to buy Alexander a racehorse when Alexander was ten or eleven years old. The horse was named Bucephalas. Bucephalas' behavior did not please Philip. Philip ordered the horse's owner to take the horse away but Alexander declared that he could tame the horse (Stewart 21). Everyone applauded when they saw Alexander ride the horse. "The rest of the company broke into applause," writes Plutarch, "while his father, we are told, wept for joy, and when Alexander had dismounted he kissed him and said, 'My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you' " (Stewart 22).
Alexander needed more than horsemanship and self-confidence to be a good king. He needed discipline. Philip worried that Olympias spoiled the boy too much. For Alexander to learn those things, Philip hires a stern and a tough tutor to teach Alexander. His name is Leonidas. He monitored Alexander's meals and exercises. Leonidas didn't trust Olympias. He suspected she tried to smuggle extra food in Alexander's marching gear. The man [Leonidas] himself used to come and look through my bedding boxes and clothes chests," Alexander wrote, "to see my mother did not hide any luxuries" (Stewart 22). Philip knew that Alexander needed more training. Philip sent for a teacher who was probably the wisest man in all of Greece. His name was Aristotle.
Aristotle was born in a small township of Stagira in northern Greece (Barnes 3). Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist. He is considered the most famous ancient thinkers (Barnes 3). When Aristotle was seventeen years old he moved to Athens, where he became a member of Plato's school. He stayed at Plato's academy for twenty years. Aristotle left the Academy when Plato died. Aristotle founded his own informal philosophical school in Athens. Aristotle lectured on nearly every branch of learning: biology, medicine, anatomy, psychology, meteorology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, music, metaphysics, rhetoric, political science, ethics, and literary criticism. Aristotle defined and classified various branches of knowledge. He sorted them into physics, psychology, rhetoric, poetry, and logic. He laid the foundation of the most of the sciences of today. He collected the first great library and established a museum (Martin 182).
In 342 B.C. Philip invited Aristotle to teach his thirteen-year-old son Alexander. Aristotle's main love was philosophy. Alexander and Aristotle's discussion about philosophy laid the foundation for Alexander's ideas of what it meant to be a soldier and a king. Alexander learned from Aristotle the principles of zoology and botany. Alexander enjoyed literature most out of all the lessons Aristotle taught. Aristotle introduced the boy to the best poets and writers (Stewart 22-23). Alexander loved the work of Homer. The Illiad was Alexander's favorite. The tales of adventure, love, bravery, and loyalty excited Alexander. Aristotle gave Alexander a copy of the poem. Alexander carried the book everywhere and put it under his pill
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