July 356 – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander from the Greek , was a king of the Greek kingdom of Macedon. Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander succeeded his
father, Philip II, to the throne at the age of twenty. He spent most of his
ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast
Africa, until by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into present-day Pakistan He was undefeated in battle
and is considered one of history's most successful commanders.
his youth, Alexander was tutored by the philosopher Aristotle until the age of 16. When he succeeded
his father to the throne in 336 BC, after Philip was assassinated,
Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He had been
awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his
father's military expansion plans. In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid empire,
ruled Asia Minor , and began a
series of campaigns that lasted
ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles,
most notably the battles of Issus and
Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of the
Persian Empire. At that point,
his empire stretched from the Adriatic sea to
the Indus River.
to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded
India in 326 BC, but was
eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. Alexander died in
Babylon in 323 BC, the city he
planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned
campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years
following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in
several states ruled by the Diadochi,
Alexander's surviving generals and heirs.
legacy includes the cultural diffusion his
conquests engendered. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name most
notably Alexandria in Egypt.
Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek
culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of
which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine in the mid-15th century. Alexander
became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features
prominently in the history and myth of Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became
the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and military
academies throughout the world
still teach his tactics.