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Alexander the Great

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  1. Alexander the Great

  2. The Macedonian Empire • Macedonians were a people who lived in the mountains of northern Greece • Most Greeks considered Macedonians backward • Lived in villages, not cities • Spoke form of Greek unintelligible to other Greeks (like Pittsburghese) • War-like people, much like the people of Sparta

  3. Philip II • Philip admired Greek culture and set out to unify all of the (now) weak Greek city-states by force • Conquered all of the major city-states of Greece • Formed the Corinthian League and began organizing plans to invade the Persian Empire—largest in the world • His most brilliant accomplishment: reorganizing Macedonian Army • Just before Philip was ready to attack the Persians, murdered

  4. Phillip II’s Army • Adopted phalanx system and gave hoplites longer spears • Included larger bodies of cavalry and more archers

  5. Macedonian Phalanx, 256 Men

  6. Alexander… the (soon to be) Great • Alexander ascends the throne at only 20, but had been trained to rule almost from birth • Learned warfare and politics from father, mother, and Aristotle

  7. Alexander’s Conquests • Alexander faced almost immediately with revolts in Greece • Set out to reestablish control • Used harsh measures to show rebellion not tolerated • Crushed Theban army and sold people into slavery, burned city

  8. Building an Empire • With Greece under control, Alexander decided to build empire • 334 BC, led army into Asia to take on Persians • Army relatively small, but well trained, fiercely loyal • Persian army huge, but disorganized

  9. Campaigns • Within year Alexander’s army had won victory against Persians in Asia Minor • Moved south to Phoenicia, Egypt; welcomed as liberator, named new pharaoh • Next destroyed Persian army further west in what is now Iraq; caused Emperor Darius III to flee

  10. Darius III Dude…I’m outta here!

  11. Advance of Alexander’s Army

  12. Expanding the Empire • With defeat of Darius, Alexander the master of Persian world • Troops marched to Persepolis, Persian capital, burned it to ground as sign of victory • Alexander not satisfied with size of empire • Led army deeper into Asia, winning more victories • Led army to the Indus, perhaps to conquer India • Soldiers had had enough, refused to proceed farther from home • Alexander forced to turn back to west

  13. End of the Empire: Death • Alexander’s empire largest world had ever seen, but did not last very long • 323 BC, Alexander fell ill while in Babylon • Died a few days later at age 33 of malaria • Alexander died without naming heir

  14. Power Struggle • Generals fought each other for power • In the end, the empire was divided among three most powerful generals • Called themselves kings • Antigonus ruled Macedonia and Greece • Seleucus ruled Persian Empire • Ptolemy ruled Egypt

  15. The Three Kingdoms

  16. Legacy of Alexander the Great • Never lost a battle • Built over 70 cities…mostly named after him! • Introduced Greek literature, myth, dance, language, money, medicine, art, and theatre to the rest of the world • Allowed conquered people the opportunity to run their own country as long as they were loyal to Alexander