Paper on Alexander the Great1

This essay has a total of 1443 words and 13 pages.

Alexander the Great1

Alexander the Great or Alexandros III Philippou Makedonan

was born in July 356BC in Pella, Macedonia (Popovic intro). He conquered

what was in his time, most of the civilized world. “Alexander accomplished

greater deeds than any, not only of the kings before him but also of those

later to come later down to our time (popovic intro).” He was one of the

greatest military geniuses in the history of the world.

Both of Alexander’s parents always dreamed of him someday

being a great leader. Alexander’s mother was named Olympias, she was

princess of Epirus, a small provincial kingdom. She was the high priestess

of a religious cult. She believed that she was descended from Achilles

(Wepman 17). She was a jealous woman and very protective of her son

(Popovic intro).

Alexander’s father, Phillip II of Macedonia was also a great

leader and military strategist. When Alexander was young Greece looked

down on the Macedonians as barbarians. In twenty years Phillip made

Macedonia more powerful than any province in Greece. He bribed his

enemies so that he would only have to deal with them one at a time

(Townson 2). Alexander was very anxious to begin his career as ruler

the empire his father had created. Once he said,“My father will get to far

ahead and leave nothing for me to do.(Popovic origins).

“When Alexander was twelve he tamed a horse named

Bucephalus, that no one else was able to ride. Phillip was very proud of his

son for this accomplishment, he thought that this showed how strong and

brave he was. Once Phillip said to his son”seek out a kingdom worthy of

thyself, for the kingdom of Macedonia is to little for thee (Popovic parents)

prince).”Even at a young age he showed promise as a great ruler.

Growing up, Alexander was trained in the art of war. He

learned sword fighting, javelin throwing, horseback riding, and archery

(Townson 3). He was well known for his ablility to tame horses. Alexander

had the best education possible in his time. The great philosopher Aristotle

taught him. Aristotle taught him about literature, and introduced him to

science, philosophy, and medicine which he became interested in.

His favorite work of literature was The Iliad, by Homer. Every night he

slept with it and a dagger under his pillow (Townson 3).

Soon he would be able to put all of his drive, ambition, and

education to work. Phillip was assassinated in July 336BC on the way to the

theater with his brother-in-law, Alexander of Epirus, by a Macedonian

soldier, (Popovic death of Phillip). After this event , at the age of twenty

Alexander quickly and firmly took charge of his father’s army, faster than

anyone had ever thought possible (Popovic death of Phillip). Alexander

quickly executed all of his enemies and people that had any chance of

claiming the thrown; among these were Attulus, a general who claimed that

his nephew was the rightful heir and Phillip’s other wife and child. There are

stories that Olympia, Alexander’s mother tortured them to death (Wepman


After Phillip’s death Sparta and Thessaly claimed independence

from Greece. Alexander quickly marched 30,000 men into Thessaly and

caught them off guard. When Greece saw how strong Alexander’s army was

he gained their support.

With the support of Greece, Alexander didn’t waste any time to

finish what his father had begun. When Phliip died he left his land far in

debt. Alexander’s plan was to conquer more land to get the money to pay

off the debts his father had accumulated (Townson 4). He would begin by

marching to the Danube River. Along the way Alexander’s army

encountered Thracian tribes. Alexander knew that they would try to crush

the Macedonian phalanx by pushing their wagons down the slope at them.

Alexander told his men to quickly open up the phalanx so that the wagons

would roll harmlessly by. The Tracians only had weak weapons to defend

their selves with. After Alexander’s army got past the wagons they easily

conquered them and took the pass through the Balkans. (Wepman 44).

When the army got to the Danube river they tied their tents
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