Alexander the Great Biography

An Alexander the Great biography is a tough assignment. It's hard fitting everything he accomplished into a short paper. It may even be hard to imagine one man achieving as much as Alexander did. 

There are countless books on Alexander the Great, as well as Alexander the Great videos, although these movies often drift away from historical accuracy. If you're writing a biography on Alexander the Great, knowing some facts about his life will help you narrow your research and separate legend from fact.

A Great Military Leader
Alexander the Great, or Alexander III, was a Macedonian king who came to conquer much of the ancient world. At the height of expansion, Alexander's empire included Greece, Turkey, parts of Africa, Persia and India. As a military leader he remains nearly unmatched throughout history.

Alexander was the son of Macedonian King Philip II and Olympia, also a noble woman. He was born in Pella, the then capital of Macedonia, in 356 BC. King Philip was an accomplished battlefield leader, and early in life Alexander observed his father's many conquests.

Olympia wanted her son to be more than a general in the army. She searched for an acceptable tutor for her son, and at the age of 13, Alexander began to study under the Greek philosopher Aristotle. At the age of 16, while his father was away battling the Greeks in Thrace, Alexander successfully put down an uprising at home in Macedonia. His military prowess became well known at a young age, and Alexander began setting his sights on global domination.

Building an Empire
At the age of 18 Alexander joined forces with his father in Chaeronea, where the two lead a successful military campaign. The Battle of Chaeronea proved to be of great importance, as Philip and Alexander pushed their way throughout the rest of Greece, conquering nearly all of its city-states. King Philip set his eyes further west to Asia; however, two years after the Battle of Chaeronea, Phillip II was assassinated by a Macedonian noble. Alexander ascending the throne and set out to finish what he and his father had begun.

At the age of 20 Alexander marched an army of 35,000 men into Turkey and defeated the Persians, despite being greatly outnumbered. From there he moved south and conquered Asia Minor and Egypt. The Egyptian city of Alexandria is named for Alexander the Great.

After conquering Egypt, Alexander began to push west, again encountering the Persians in what is now present-day Iraq and Iran. Once he had captured Babylon, Persia's ancient capital, he had established Macedonian rule over the entire Persian empire.

Alexander still was not content and pushed his army across the Indus River into India. He was met in a bloody conflict with King Porus, but was again victorious.

Years of travel and combat left the army weary and Alexander suspicious and worn. He murdered his best friend over fears of an assassination plot. At the age of 33, Alexander fell in battle, killed by a fever that he couldn't fight off. During his short life, he managed to establish one of the world's largest empires.

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