Sumeria had Sargon the Great. China had Yu the Great. Persia had Cyrius, Darius, and Xerxes…all “the Greats.” India had Ashoka and Kanishka…yep…they were both “the Great.” Even Korea had a “the Great” – the oh so well-known Gwanggaeto the Great
Napoleon Bonaparte looked to Alexander’s campaigns for guidance. Julius Caesar once wept upon seeing Alexander’s likeness in a statue. Even Hitler hoped his Nazis would one day rule the world like Alexander’s Macedonians.
King Philip II, the opportunistic Macedonian who swept in, brought the Greek city-states to their knees and established himself as King of all Greeks.
He gave bonuses and promotions for those that stood out in battle and he kept them paid handsomely so their families were all well cared for. He trained his armies constantly,
Greek phalanx by giving his men 15-foot spears, longer than any brandished in the ancient world. horsed warriors,
The Greeks were no challenge to Philip, many allied with him as his power grew and by 338 BC, he dispatched the Athenians and Thebians
Olympias was the fourth wife of Philip She dispatched with anyone who stood in her (and her son’s) way, even roasting alive King Philip’s seventh wife, a mere teenager, and this wife’s infant son.
He used his father’s death as the excuse, the catalyst to invade Persia.
He sent in his troops to quickly put down the uprising, and to help dissuade any future dissent, he rounded up 7,000 residents, had them murdered in public, and then condemned 30,000 Thebian women and children to slavery.
He had defeated Memnom and forced Darius to flee from the battlefield after the Persian leader had taken control of the eastern army.
For Tyre, the walled-city that held out for seven months, Alexander murdered all men once he had toppled the walls, and then sold the women and children into slavery.
Egypt knew better than to resist, instead choosing to “welcome” Alexander as a liberator, eventually ordaining him as pharaoh and son of the gods.
Darius made one last peace offering to the Macedonian warlord. He promised Alexander all the land west of the Euphrates, thousands of gold talents for the release of any Persian prisoners, and even the hands of his daughter in marriage for Alexander or any of his closest advisors.
He had dreamed of meeting Darius face to face and having the god-king surrender at his feet,
cousin Bessus, rebelled against their seemingly-cowardly leader, eventually tying him up, tossing him in a wagon and then skewering him time and again with their javelins. When Alexander eventually found the mortally wounded Darius, he flew into a rage,
His strategy of unification would actually go far in convincing his newly conquered peoples that he was a leader to be trusted, to be revered, to be followed, but unfortunately it also sealed his fate with his own men. For Alexander wanted these Persians to be respected as equals.
He dined on Persian cuisine, abandoned Greek tunics for Persian pants, and most repulsively, expected all to prostate themselves when in the presence of Alexander
In China this was called kowtowing, in Persia it was known as proskynesis
But with India, there was no one central ruler to be defeated, but a network of kingdoms that would need to be pacified and then independently convinced to remain under the domain of the foreign invader
Alexander ordered 300 of his best climbers to scale the cliff in the dead of night to attack the fortification from within.
When up against never before seen, trained war elephants, he encircled the enemy so that they were eventually trampled under their own weaponizedpacoderms.
respect by being the first to battle, the last to eat, the last to drink, the last to take medical aid. He took little of the bounty taken through his victories, instead showering his men with the spoils of war
up pension plans for when the soldiers retired and established an education fund
At the walled city of Multa, he was the first up the siege ladder, and when the ladder broke and he was momentarily alone to fight scores of attackers, he held his own, taking down several assailants before being dropped by a spear to the his lungs.
Hephaestion was not merely a friend, but also Alexander’s lifetime lover
First, he did unite the East and the West. Politically it might have fallen into chaos, but Alexander established trade networks that would transfer goods, knowledge and traditions
spawned the Hellenistic Era, a period where the ideas of Hellas (the Greek peninsula) spread across Northern Africa, the Middle East, and into India.
currency became the adopted norm tragedies to comedies to poetry to clothing
Museum of Alexandria. This library housed over 700,000 Greek manuscripts, and artists, scientists, poets, philosophers and historian