Alexander the Great

Essay by Nicolas L. WillHigh School, 11th gradeA-, March 1997

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Alexander the Great, was born in June, 356 BC, in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia. His

parents were Philip II and Olympia. Some say that Zeus was his father but it is probably just a

myth. Aristotle taught Alexander in his early teen years. He stimulated his interest in science,

medicine, and philosophy. In the summer of 336 BC, Alexander's father was assassinated, and

Alexander ascended to the Macedonian throne. He found himself surrounded by enemies at home

and threatened by civilizations all over. But Alexander disposed of quickly of all his enemies by

ordering their execution. Then he took off to Thessaly, where partisans of independence had

gained ascendancy, and restored Macedonian rule. Before the end of the summer of 336 BC as

general of the Greeks in a campaign against the Persians, originally planned by his father before he

croaked, he carried out a successful campaign against the defecting Thracians, penetrating to the

Danube River.

On his return he crushed in a single week the threatening Illyrians and then again

took of to Thebes, which had revolted. He took the city by storm and razed it, sparing only the

temples of the gods and the house of the Greed lyric poet Pindar, and selling the surviving inhabi¬

tants, about 8000 in number, into slavery. Alexander's promptness in crushing the revolt of The¬

bes brought the other Greek states into instant submission.

Alexander began his war against Persia in the spring of 334 BC by crossing the Hellespont

(now Dardanelles) with an army of 35,000 Macedonian and Greek troops: his chief officers, all

Macedonians, included Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus. At the river Granicus, near the ancient

city of Troy, he attacked an army of Persians and Greek soldiers which totaled 40,000 men. His

forces slatured the enemy...