Alexander the Great




Introduction
Alexander III, more commonly known as Alexander the Great, was one of the greatest military leaders in world history. He was born in Pella, Macedonia, then a Greek nation. The exact date of his birth is uncertain, but was probably either July 20 or 26, 356 B.C. Alexander was considered a child from his birth until 341 B.C. His princehood lasted from 340 to 336 B.C. In 336 B.C. Philip II, his father, was assassinated, thus making Alexander king.
Alexander became a military leader in 335, and remained one until his death in 323 B.C. He reigned from 336 B.C. until 323 B.C., when he died. His military campaign in Persia lasted from 334 to 329, and in 328 he began his campaign in India and Bactria, which lasted until 326. Alexander was only 20 years old when his father died in early 336 B.C. and he took over, ruling for 12 years and eight months.
Alexander was fair skinned and fair haired. He was not very tall, but had outstanding speed and stamina. He was a dedicated soldier, but didn’t care for sports. The only sport he really liked was hunting.
Alexander was the eldest son of Philip II and Olympias. Like Alexander, Philip II was a great general. Olympias and Philip, when Philip was not away on a campaign, constantly fought. His father was away often, and so much of his childhood influences came from his mother, although his father taught him many useful things about war. Because of his mother’s heritage, Alexander could truthfully claim relation to two Trojan War heroes, Achilles and, indirectly, Hector. Philip II taught him he was descended from Hercules, which was not true. The historian Callisthenes started an untrue rumor that Alexander was the son of Zeus.
Alexander had seven wives and a male lover. In 327 B.C. he married Roxanne, his main wife, so to speak. Roxanne was a Persian, and by the time he married her, Alexander had total control of Persia and was doing his campaigns in India and Bactria. Roxanne later became pregnant with a child, but when Alexander died it had not yet been born.

*center*Alexander’s Childhood
When Alexander was either 13 or 14(different sources gave different ages), Alexander became the pupil of the great philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle taught Alexander grammar, literature, especially Homer, politics, the natural sciences, and rhetoric(the art of using words well and effectively). Aristotle inspired Alexander with a love for literature. He came to know and like the Greek styles of living. Greece’s ideals of civilization impressed him, and took part in sports and daily exercises to develop a strong body.
Alexander had another teacher, Leonidas, whom was hired by Philip II to train and discipline Alexander’s body. Leonidas sent Alexander on frequent all night marches and rationed his food. Alexander’s schooling with his two teachers continued until he was 16 years old.
When Alexander was 16, his father went away to a military campaign. He left Alexander temporarily in charge of his kingdom. While Philip II was away, the people of Thrace started a rebellion. Alexander found out about this rebellion, and crushed it. This rather impressed Philip II, and he let Alexander settle his first town, Alexandropolis. This city, as is probably quite self-evident, was named for Alexander. In Greek, “polis” means city, so this means “Alexander city”. At this age, Alexander also had an interest in medicine. He even prescribed medicine to some of his friends.

The Story of Bucephales
When Alexander was either 11 or 12 or 14(there are differing accounts), he went with his father and his father’s company while they went to buy a horse. After a while, Philip saw a horse that he wanted. He soon saw that it was very mean and wild, so he decided against buying it.
When Alexander learned of this decision, he said to his father,"What a horse they are losing, and all because they do not know how to handle it, or dare not try."
To this Philip II responded,"Are you finding fault with your elders because you think you know more than they do, or can manage a horse better?"
"At least I can manage this one better,"Alexander replied.
Alexander then decided to show the company he could calm this