Where was Alexander the Great from? [21][22][23] Among them were Artabazos II and his daughter Barsine, future mistress of Alexander, who resided at the Macedonian court from 352 to 342 BC, as well as Amminapes, future satrap of Alexander, or a Persian nobleman named Sisines. From age 13 to 16 he was taught by Aristotle, who inspired him with an interest in philosophy, medicine, and scientific investigation, but he was later to advance beyond his teacher’s narrow precept that non-Greeks should be treated as slaves. He appointed Porus as satrap, and added to Porus' territory land that he did not previously own, towards the south-east, up to the Hyphasis (Beas). [148][157], Alexander's sexuality has been the subject of speculation and controversy in modern times. When the Thebans refused to surrender, he made an entry and razed their city to the ground, sparing only temples and Pindar’s house; 6,000 were killed and all survivors sold into slavery. The army was accompanied by surveyors, engineers, architects, scientists, court officials, and historians; from the outset Alexander seems to have envisaged an unlimited operation. [40] Accordingly, Alexander returned to Macedon after six months due to the efforts of a family friend, Demaratus, who mediated between the two parties. Crushing the mountain tribe of the Ouxians, he now pressed on over the Zagros range into Persia proper and, successfully turning the Pass of the Persian Gates, held by the satrap Ariobarzanes, he entered Persepolis and Pasargadae. [86] He sent the bulk of his army to the Persian ceremonial capital of Persepolis via the Persian Royal Road. With a good cavalry force Alexander could expect to defeat any Persian army. [119][120] Choosing a local helped him control these lands so distant from Greece. [237], Over the course of his conquests, Alexander founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most of them east of the Tigris. The greatest conqueror in history, he is still only thirty-two. Was it Veratrum album? [261] Alexander was used by these writers as an example of ruler values such as amicita (friendship) and clementia (clemency), but also iracundia (anger) and cupiditas gloriae (over-desire for glory). His eyes (one blue, one brown) revealed a dewy, feminine quality. According to the ancient sources, the two sides fought bitterly for some time. How far the rigour that from now onward Alexander displayed against his governors represents exemplary punishment for gross maladministration during his absence and how far the elimination of men he had come to distrust (as in the case of Philotas and Parmenio) is debatable; but the ancient sources generally favourable to him comment adversely on his severity. [231], According to Diodorus Siculus, Alexander accumulated a harem in the style of Persian kings, but he used it rather sparingly, "not wishing to offend the Macedonians",[232] showing great self-control in "pleasures of the body". He is also said to have sent an expedition to discover the causes of the flooding of the Nile. [249] Furthermore, town planning, education, local government, and art current in the Hellenistic period were all based on Classical Greek ideals, evolving into distinct new forms commonly grouped as Hellenistic. [41] However, it appears Philip never intended to disown his politically and militarily trained son. [190] However, Ogden calculates that Alexander, who impregnated his partners thrice in eight years, had a higher matrimonial record than his father at the same age. Left in charge of Macedonia in 340 during Philip’s attack on Byzantium, Alexander defeated the Maedi, a Thracian people. A considerable accession of power was granted him after the death of Philip, son of Machatas; and he was allowed to retain his authority at the death of Alexander himself (323 BC), as well as in the subsequent partition of the provinces at Triparadisus, 321 BC. [40] He continued to Illyria,[40] where he sought refuge with one or more Illyrian kings, perhaps with Glaukias, and was treated as a guest, despite having defeated them in battle a few years before. But he was anxious to press on farther, and he had advanced to the Hyphasis when his army mutinied, refusing to go farther in the tropical rain; they were weary in body and spirit, and Coenus, one of Alexander’s four chief marshals, acted as their spokesman. Gaugamela would be the final and decisive encounter between the two. The fall in the level of the sea was interpreted as a mark of divine favour by Alexander’s flatterers, including the historian Callisthenes. His chroniclers recorded valuable information about the areas through which he marched, while the Greeks themselves got a sense of belonging to a world beyond the Mediterranean. Later in the same year he attacked Oxyartes and the remaining barons who held out in the hills of Paraetacene (modern Tajikistan); volunteers seized the crag on which Oxyartes had his stronghold, and among the captives was his daughter, Roxana. Macedonian garrisons were left in Corinth, Chalcis, and the Cadmea (the citadel of Thebes). On the subsequent advance of the Macedonian king, Taxiles accompanied him with a force of 5,000 men and took part in the battle of the Hydaspes River. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. [82] During his stay in Egypt, he founded Alexandria-by-Egypt, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic Kingdom after his death. [48] He also had two Macedonian princes from the region of Lyncestis killed, but spared a third, Alexander Lyncestes. As Mazaeus’s appointment indicated, Alexander’s views on the empire were changing. [199] He had great self-restraint in "pleasures of the body", in contrast with his lack of self-control with alcohol. [197][201] However, he had little interest in sports or the Olympic games (unlike his father), seeking only the Homeric ideals of honour (timê) and glory (kudos). One of the world’s greatest military generals, he created a vast empire that stretched from Macedonia to Egypt and from Greece to part of India. The empire could hardly survive Alexander’s death as a unit. It was also said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down. There he broke the opposition of the Scythian nomads by his use of catapults and, after defeating them in a battle on the north bank of the river, pursued them into the interior. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mould of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. On his reaching the oracle in its oasis, the priest gave him the traditional salutation of a pharaoh, as son of Amon; Alexander consulted the god on the success of his expedition but revealed the reply to no one. [239][240][241][242], Libanius wrote that Alexander founded the temple of Zeus Bottiaios (Ancient Greek: Βοττιαίου Δῖός), in the place where later the city of Antioch was built. The event marked a step in Alexander’s progress toward Eastern absolutism, and this growing attitude found its outward expression in his use of Persian royal dress. After conquering cities, Alexander the Great would name them after himself. [49], Attalus was at that time corresponding with Demosthenes, regarding the possibility of defecting to Athens. His advance eastward was now rapid. Along the way his army conquered the Malhi (in modern-day Multan) and other Indian tribes and Alexander sustained an injury during the siege. [274], According to Josephus, Alexander was shown the Book of Daniel when he entered Jerusalem, which described a mighty Greek king who would conquer the Persian Empire. Sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wife's womb with a seal engraved with a lion's image. attempt". In spring 324 he was back in Susa, capital of Elam and administrative centre of the Persian empire; the story of his journey through Carmania in a drunken revel, dressed as Dionysus, is embroidered, if not wholly apocryphal. During the ensuing Battle of Chaeronea, Philip commanded the right wing and Alexander the left, accompanied by a group of Philip's trusted generals. [272] The colloquial form of his name in modern Greek ("O Megalexandros") is a household name, and he is the only ancient hero to appear in the Karagiozis shadow play. The Theban resistance was ineffective, and Alexander razed the city and divided its territory between the other Boeotian cities. From Pamphylia onwards the coast held no major ports and Alexander moved inland. Alexander’s second in command was Parmenio, who had secured a foothold in Asia Minor during Philip’s lifetime; many of his family and supporters were entrenched in positions of responsibility. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until age 16. [140], On either 10 or 11 June 323 BC, Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon, at age 32. Alexander the Great conquers Persia. In the battle that followed, Alexander won a decisive victory. Alexander III of Macedon (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γʹ ὁ Μακεδών, Aléxandros III ho Makedȏn; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great (Greek: ὁ Μέγας, ho Mégas), was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. Alexander himself took selected troops on the direct route to the city. [89] During his stay a fire broke out in the eastern palace of Xerxes I and spread to the rest of the city. [60], According to ancient writers Demosthenes called Alexander "Margites" (Greek: Μαργίτης)[61][62][63] and a boy. Empire of Alexander the Great. [70] At the ancient Phrygian capital of Gordium, Alexander "undid" the hitherto unsolvable Gordian Knot, a feat said to await the future "king of Asia". It was originally thought to have been the sarcophagus of Abdalonymus (died 311 BC), the king of Sidon appointed by Alexander immediately following the battle of Issus in 331. In September Alexander too set out along the coast through Gedrosia (modern Baluchistan), but he was soon compelled by mountainous country to turn inland, thus failing in his project to establish food depots for the fleet. At the age of 14, … [275] In the Shahnameh, Alexander's first journey is to Mecca to pray at the Kaaba. One Greek king, Menander I, probably became Buddhist, and was immortalized in Buddhist literature as 'Milinda'. [144][175], Perdiccas initially did not claim power, instead suggesting that Roxane's baby would be king, if male; with himself, Craterus, Leonnatus, and Antipater as guardians. These Greco-Buddhist kingdoms sent some of the first Buddhist missionaries to China, Sri Lanka and Hellenistic Asia and Europe (Greco-Buddhist monasticism). Alexander the Great was the king of Macedonia or Ancient Greece. [190] Olympias' influence instilled a sense of destiny in him,[196] and Plutarch tells how his ambition "kept his spirit serious and lofty in advance of his years". The end of Thebes cowed Athens, leaving all of Greece temporarily at peace. [136] Alexander admired Cyrus the Great, from an early age reading Xenophon's Cyropaedia, which described Cyrus's heroism in battle and governance as a king and legislator. He found the Thessalian army occupying the pass between Mount Olympus and Mount Ossa, and ordered his men to ride over Mount Ossa. [37] The marriage made Alexander's position as heir less secure, since any son of Cleopatra Eurydice would be a fully Macedonian heir, while Alexander was only half-Macedonian. At Termessos, Alexander humbled but did not storm the Pisidian city. He then stormed the pass of the Persian Gates (in the modern Zagros Mountains) which had been blocked by a Persian army under Ariobarzanes and then hurried to Persepolis before its garrison could loot the treasury.[87]. As in Tyre, men of military age were put to the sword and the women and children were sold into slavery. ", In 337 BC, Alexander fled Macedon with his mother, dropping her off with her brother, King Alexander I of Epirus in Dodona, capital of the Molossians. Rise of Rome. Was Alexander The Great the most important man that ever lived in the history of mankind? [74] [16], This article is about the ancient king of Macedonia. This campaign, initially against Bessus, turned into a grand tour of central Asia. Diadochi and the Hellenistic Period. Two years later he commanded the left wing at the Battle of Chaeronea, in which Philip defeated the allied Greek states, and displayed personal courage in breaking the Sacred Band of Thebes, an elite military corps composed of 150 pairs of lovers. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, Conquest of the Mediterranean coast and Egypt, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-the-Great, History World - History of Alexander The Great, The Mariner's Museum and Park - Ages of Exploration - Biography of Alexander the Great, JewishEncyclopedia.com - Biography of Alexander The Great, Social Studies for Kids - Biography of Alexander the Great, Livius - Biography of Alexander the Great, PBS LearningMedia - The Rise of Alexander the Great, Ancient History Encyclopedia - Biography of Alexander the Great, Alexander the Great - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Alexander the Great - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). At Persepolis he ceremonially burned down the palace of Xerxes, as a symbol that the Panhellenic war of revenge was at an end; for such seems the probable significance of an act that tradition later explained as a drunken frolic inspired by Thaïs, an Athenian courtesan. In spring 326, crossing the Indus near Attock, Alexander entered Taxila, whose ruler, Taxiles, furnished elephants and troops in return for aid against his rival Porus, who ruled the lands between the Hydaspes (modern Jhelum) and the Acesines (modern Chenāb). Alexander responded quickly, driving them from their territory. Born in 356 BC, in Mesopotamia (modern day Greece), to king Phillip II, Alexander followed in his father’s footsteps and achieved success as a young warrior. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. All three of these people had motive to have Philip murdered. Meanwhile, the city of Amphissa began to work lands that were sacred to Apollo near Delphi, a sacrilege that gave Philip the opportunity to further intervene in Greek affairs. [48] Alexander's relationship with his father forged the competitive side of his personality; he had a need to outdo his father, illustrated by his reckless behaviour in battle. He was inspiration for later conquerors such as Hannibal the Carthaginian, the Romans Pompey and Caesar, and Napoleon. Craterus, a high-ranking officer, already had been sent off with the baggage and siege train, the elephants, and the sick and wounded, together with three battalions of the phalanx, by way of the Mulla Pass, Quetta, and Kandahar into the Helmand Valley; from there he was to march through Drangiana to rejoin the main army on the Amanis (modern Minab) River in Carmania. Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III or Alexander of Macedonia, (born 356 bce, Pella, Macedonia [northwest of Thessaloníki, Greece]—died June 13, 323 bce, Babylon [near Al-Ḥillah, Iraq]), king of Macedonia (336–323 bce), who overthrew the Persian empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. [178], Dissension and rivalry soon afflicted the Macedonians, however. [65][66], Taking over the invasion project of Philip II, Alexander's army crossed the Hellespont in 334 BC with approximately 48,100 soldiers, 6,100 cavalry and a fleet of 120 ships with crews numbering 38,000,[59] drawn from Macedon and various Greek city-states, mercenaries, and feudally raised soldiers from Thrace, Paionia, and Illyria. When news of the revolts reached Alexander, he responded quickly. [274] In this tradition, he was a heroic figure who built a wall to defend against the nations of Gog and Magog. Both kings were murdered, Arrhidaeus in 317 and Alexander in 310/309. Justin stated that Alexander was the victim of a poisoning conspiracy, Plutarch dismissed it as a fabrication,[146] while both Diodorus and Arrian noted that they mentioned it only for the sake of completeness. After the death of Spitamenes and his marriage to Roxana (Raoxshna in Old Iranian) to cement relations with his new satrapies, Alexander turned to the Indian subcontinent. Alexander now planned to recall Antipater and supersede him by Craterus, but he was to die before this could be done. Caligula was said to have taken Alexander's breastplate from the tomb for his own use. Darius fled the battle, causing his army to collapse, and left behind his wife, his two daughters, his mother Sisygambis, and a fabulous treasure. [186], At Issus in 333 BC, his first confrontation with Darius, he used the same deployment, and again the central phalanx pushed through. When Onesicritus read this passage to his patron, Alexander's general and later King Lysimachus reportedly quipped, "I wonder where I was at the time. In spring 334 he crossed the Dardanelles, leaving Antipater, who had already faithfully served his father, as his deputy in Europe with over 13,000 men; he himself commanded about 30,000 foot and over 5,000 cavalry, of whom nearly 14,000 were Macedonians and about 7,000 allies sent by the Greek League. His body, diverted to Egypt by Ptolemy, the later king, was eventually placed in a golden coffin in Alexandria. The Persian plan to tempt Alexander across the river and kill him in the melee almost succeeded; but the Persian line broke, and Alexander’s victory was complete. Between 326 and 324 over a third of his satraps were superseded and six were put to death, including the Persian satraps of Persis, Susiana, Carmania, and Paraetacene; three generals in Media, including Cleander, the brother of Coenus (who had died a little earlier), were accused of extortion and summoned to Carmania, where they were arrested, tried, and executed. [38] During the wedding banquet, a drunken Attalus publicly prayed to the gods that the union would produce a legitimate heir. Written by bass player Steve Harris, the song retells Alexander's life. [282], In Greek Anthology there are poems referring to Alexander.[283][284]. There is no basis for the tradition that he turned aside to visit Jerusalem. [144] Arrian also mentioned this as an alternative, but Plutarch specifically denied this claim. Local opposition led Nearchus to set sail in September (325), and he was held up for three weeks until he could pick up the northeast monsoon in late October. [156], Several natural causes (diseases) have been suggested, including malaria and typhoid fever. [137], Afterwards, Alexander travelled to Ecbatana to retrieve the bulk of the Persian treasure. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through western Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. [138][139] Hephaestion's death devastated Alexander, and he ordered the preparation of an expensive funeral pyre in Babylon, as well as a decree for public mourning. Omphis (Indian name Ambhi), the ruler of Taxila, whose kingdom extended from the Indus to the Hydaspes (Jhelum), complied, but the chieftains of some hill clans, including the Aspasioi and Assakenoi sections of the Kambojas (known in Indian texts also as Ashvayanas and Ashvakayanas), refused to submit. Nevertheless, Hellenization occurred throughout the region, accompanied by a distinct and opposite 'Orientalization' of the successor states. [229], Green argues that there is little evidence in ancient sources that Alexander had much carnal interest in women; he did not produce an heir until the very end of his life. Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, 5.31. [7], Alexander was born in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon,[8] on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion, which probably corresponds to 20 July 356 BC, although the exact date is uncertain. Philip deliberately commanded his troops to retreat, counting on the untested Athenian hoplites to follow, thus breaking their line. [190] Although Alexander was stubborn and did not respond well to orders from his father, he was open to reasoned debate. [243][244], Hellenization was coined by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen to denote the spread of Greek language, culture, and population into the former Persian empire after Alexander's conquest. For other uses, see. [129] Alexander reached Susa in 324 BC, but not before losing many men to the harsh desert. Pompey the Great adopted the epithet "Magnus" and even Alexander's anastole-type haircut, and searched the conquered lands of the east for Alexander's 260-year-old cloak, which he then wore as a sign of greatness. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. Macedonian losses were negligible compared to those of the Persians. He founded two cities there, Alexandria Nicaea (to celebrate his victory) and Bucephala (named after his horse Bucephalus, which died there); and Porus became his ally. He spent the winter organizing Egypt, where he employed Egyptian governors, keeping the army under a separate Macedonian command. Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, §7.20- Greek, Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, §7.20- English, "The Mughal Sikander: Influence of the Romance of Alexander on Mughal Manuscript Painting", "Quintus Curtius Rufus, History of Alexander the Great", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alexander_the_Great&oldid=999873762, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from April 2016, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2015, Articles containing Persian-language text, Pages using Sister project links with hidden wikidata, Pages using Sister project links with default search, Articles with Encyclopædia Britannica links, Wikipedia articles with BALaT identifiers, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with TePapa identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Construction of a monumental tomb for his father Philip, "to match the greatest of the, Conquest of Arabia and the entire Mediterranean basin, Development of cities and the "transplant of populations from Asia to Europe and in the opposite direction from Europe to Asia, in order to bring the largest continent to common unity and to friendship by means of intermarriage and family ties", "Empire" as a description of foreign policy, This page was last edited on 12 January 2021, at 11:09. 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