The story

Alexander, the Great

Alexander, the Great

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Alexander III the Great or Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, son of Emperor Fellipe II of Macedonia and Olympia, princess of Epirus, was born between July 20 and 30, 356 BC, in the Pella region of Babylon.

Alexander, conqueror of the Persian Empire, was one of the most important military in the ancient world.

In his childhood he had as a tutor Aristotle, who taught him rhetoric and literature, and stimulated his interest in science, medicine and philosophy.

In the summer of 336 BC his father Philip II was assassinated and Alexander ascended the throne of Macedonia, beginning the trajectory of one of the greatest conquerors in history.

Ancient mosaic: Alexander the Great and his horse Bucephalus at the Battle of That (333 BC). Mosaic found in Pompeii, Italy, today at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

Alexander stood out for his tactical brilliance and the speed with which he crossed large territories. Though brave and generous, it was cruel when the political situation demanded it. He committed some acts of which he regretted, such as the murder of his friend Clito in a moment of drunkenness. As a politician and leader, he had grandiose plans. According to some historians, he has devised a project to unify East and West into one world empire.

About 30,000 young Persians are believed to have been educated in Greek culture and Macedonian military tactics and accepted into Alexander's army. He also adopted Persian customs and married Eastern women: Statira or Stateira, Dario's eldest daughter, and Roxana, daughter of the satrap Bactriana Oxiartes. In addition, he bribed his officers to accept Persian women as wives.

Alexander commanded that after his death the Greek cities worship him as a god. Although he probably gave the order for political reasons, according to his own opinion and that of some contemporaries, he considered himself of divine origin.

To unify his achievements, Alexander founded several cities throughout his territories, many of which were named Alexandria in his honor. These cities were well-situated, well-paved, and had a good water supply. They were autonomous, but subject to the king's edicts. The Greek veterans of his army, as well as the young soldiers, merchants, traders, and scholars, settled in, taking with them Greek culture and language. Thus Alexander broadly extended the influence of Greek civilization and paved the way for the kingdoms of the Hellenistic period and for the later expansion of Rome.


Because he died young and undefeated, much is speculated as to what would have happened if he had lived longer. If it had led its forces in an invasion of the lands to the west of the Mediterranean, it would probably have been successful, in which case the whole history of western Europe could have been completely different.


In 2004, film director Oliver Stone released the movie Alexander, telling the biography of this great emperor of antiquity.