Alexander-Empire Builder Alexander’s empire extended across three continents that today consist of many nations and diverse cultures
Why it Matters Now • Did Alexander the Great create history, or was he just carried on by the tide of events which were already occurring?
The rise to power • Assumed the throne at age twenty when his father was murdered • Marched for eleven years, over 22,000 miles and never lost a battle against the strongest foes of his time
Conquest of Greece and Persia • Alex identified himself with Achilles from the Illiad • Greece was exhausted after the Peloponnesian War – easy targets • Persia was almost destroyed after the Persian wars – even easier targets
Darius Wants Peace • Darius tried to negotiate a peace settlement. He offered Alexander his entire western empire. • Alexander rejected Darius’ offer and announced that he would not stop until he controlled the entire Persian empire.
Alexander Defeats Egypt • After his Persian campaigns, Alexander turned his attention to Egypt. • In 332 B.C., Alexander marched in to Egypt where he was welcomed by the Egyptian people. They crowned him pharaoh. • He founded the city of Alexandria at the mouth of the Nile.
Colonial Administration • Alexander allowed conquered territories to operate underself-rule in local affairs as long as the people recognized that they were now a subject people of Macedonia. • Saw no difference between Macedonians, Greeks, and others – all were brothers
A Scientific Conqueror? • Brought scientists on expeditions; gathered data about biology and geography • Made Greek the prevailing language of the Near East for government, learning, and commerce
Blending an Empire • He adopted the Persian style of dress, married a Persian princess who was the daughter of Darius III. • He presided over a mass marriage of thousands of his soldiers to Persian women. • Hellenism: A blending of Greek, Persian, Egyptian, and Indian cultures (Greece: HELLAS)
Alexander meets his match • Alexander moved his forces to the east where he faced the armies of India, which included over 200 elephants. Woot! • After the conquest of India, Alexander’s men were ready to return home to Macedonia.
Alexander Dies at age 32 • Alexander died at age 32 after a heavy drinking bout and swimming in a river from which he caught a fever • Little had been done to organize his empire • No permanent institutions were created to govern it; it would go to the strongest
Alexander’s Legacy • His generals were smarter than that; they would carve up the kingdom with relative peace • Antigonus became king of Macedonia and took control of the Greek city-states. • Ptolemy seized Egypt and took the title of pharaoh. Macedonia held power in Egypt until the death of Cleopatra in 26 B.C. • Seleucus took most of the old Persian empire which became known as the Seleucid Empire.