Alexander

This essay has a total of 1886 words and 8 pages.

Alexander


Alexander the Great
Humanity has known a few distinguished consolidators of civilizations. Alexander the Great
is one of them, and the first to accumulate power in his hand beyond any conqueror's
dream. His feats served as guidelines for other rulers like Cesar Augustus and Napoleon,
who, by means of outstanding military prowess, conquered and ruled most of the civilized
world of their times. Alexander was a very unique and enigmatic figure, whose actions and
beliefs, would be a major part in the shaping of

Alexander was born in 356 B.C., as the son of King Philip II and Olympias. He was taught
by the great philosopher, Aristotle, inspiring him in the fields of, philosophy and
medicine. Although he had a broader view of humanity than that of Aristotle's perception,
that all non-Greeks, should be treated as slaves. Alexander, after the death of his
father, King Philip II in 336 BC, was to become the next king of Macedonia at the tender
age of 20. Although young, Alexander was determined and willing to become the next great
king of Macedonia. Because of his young age Greek cities, who had pledged loyalty to his
father, were not certain that they wanted to allow a twenty-year-old boy to lead a
kingdom. Also, barbarians from the north and west, whom Philip had repressed, were
becoming a threat to Macedonia.

Those close to Alexander had recommended that he let Athens and Thebes go and be careful
with the barbarians to prevent them from rebelling. Alexander however, had other plans.

So he proceeded north, and drove the barbarians past the Danube River. The rumor of
Alexander's supposed death, were being spread throughout Athens and Thebes, claiming that
it was the moment for them to disconnect from Macedonia. Infuriated by these rumors,
Alexander showed up at the gates of Thebes, in 335 B.C., only to find the refusal of
surrender by the Thebans. The Thebans sent a small body of soldiers, with whom Alexander
sent his own of archers and infantry. The following day, Alexander's general, Perdiccas,
attacked the gates. The Macedonians then rushed into the city, killing almost everyone in
sight, including women and children. They continued on and burned the entire city of
Thebes to the ground. This display proved as an example to the rest of Greece. Athens
quickly rethought their decision of before to not follow Alexander, and chose to come to
terms with their new leader.

Alexander was determined to achieve the dream of his father, the takeover of the Persian
Empire. The Persian's persistence in the control of Greece had put the Greeks in much fear
of the Persians. In the spring of 334 BC, Alexander was to lead an integrated army made up
of Macedonians, and Greeks. This grand army consisted of 32,000 foot soldiers, and 5,000
calvary. His first confrontation with the Persian army, was at the Granicus River. The
Persians were planning to lure Alexander across the river, but their line broke. The
victory at Granicus allowed Alexander to take on western Asia Minor, while most
civilizations waited for Alexander with open arms. Alexander went on to move south through
Ionia and liberate the Greek cities from Persian rule. He then confirmed his position as
the great liberator of civilized men.

Alexander had convinced himself of being divine and godlike, not to mention invincible.
Alexander often compared himself to his hero and idol, Achilles. Throughout his life, he
was faced events that proved to him that he was indeed favored by the gods. One example
was his

expedition to the city of Gordian. The city was named after a Macedonian named Gordius, whom
supposedly had arrived in a wooden cart. In the wooden cart, was a knot the was extremely
difficult to untie. The person who were to untie the knot was said to eventually become
the ruler of all Asia. Results of studies done by Michael Wood indicated that Alexander
drew his sword, and hacked the knot open to reveal the ends inside undone and the legend
fulfilled (Wood 49). A thunder storm at Alexander's encampment that night confirmed that
Zeus had approved.

In November of 333 B.C., Alexander met Darius in battle for the second time at a mountain
pass at Issus. Although the Persian army greatly outnumbered that of Macedonia‘s,
Alexander was able to use the confined battlefield to his advantage. Darius though,
managed to escape. In the next year, Alexander marched down the Phoenician coast and was
able have all the major cities surrender under his rule, except for Tyre. The Tryrians
held him out for seven months, though eventually they would surrender. Alexander the
followed on into Egypt, now that the Aegean coast was taken over.

In Egypt, he was welcomed, and crowned as a pharaoh. Alexander left Egypt in 331 B.C.., to
continue his chase of Darius. He conquered the lands between the rivers Tigris and
Euphrates and found the Persian army at the plains of Gaugamela. Darius and Alexander
would meet up at the Tigris. His forces swiftly eliminated the Persian army. Darius
though, managed to again escape from the grasps of Alexander. After the decisive victory,
Alexander was now the King of Asia.

Alexander's next feat was to take control of Babylon and Susa. There he acquired vast
riches. According to Mary Renault, in the treasury, Alexander found the enormous sum, not
counting jewels, of 40,000 talents in silver, and 9,000 darics in gold (Renault 142). He
then went

on to Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire. He and his army occupied the capital for a
couple months to rest. After four months, he then burned the royal palace to the ground.
In 330 B.C., many allegations of his murder were brought to the attention of Alexander. In
turn he killed his, Philotas, supposedly leader of this conspiracy. He also eliminated a
couple other ranking officials, in order to secure his safety and well-being. Many became
paranoid with these actions, frightened that any their actions could mean their lives.
Coincidently in the same year, in drunken rage he killed his long-time friend Cleitus, in
an argument the two had. Although distraught with what he had done, and displays of
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