Alexander The Great Essay Research Paper One

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Alexander The Great Essay, Research Paper One of the greatest generals in all of history was Alexander The Great. Alexander was born in the capital of Macedonia where his father, Phillip II, was king. His mother, Olympias, was the princess of Epirus. Leonidas trained Alexander s body, Lysimachus taught him letters, and Aristotle formed his mind. Perhaps it was the philosopher who instilled into the mind of the youth that ardor for unity, which gave some grandeur to Alexander s victories (Wepman 24). He always admired Greek literature and envied Greek civilization. To two Greeks sitting with him at a banquet he said, Do you not feel like demigods among savages when you are sitting in company with these Macedonians? Physically, Alexander was an ideal child. He was good in every

sport. He was a swift runner, a dashing horseman, a brilliant fencer, a practiced Bowman, and a fearless hunter. When Alexander succeeded in taming a giant horse which nobody else could tame, Philip said to him My son, Macedonia is too small for you; seek out a larger empire, worthier of you. He hated rich foods and refused the famous chefs who were offered to him. He was handsome beyond all precedents for a king (Krensky 10). He had soft blue eyes, and luxuriant auburn hair. He introduced to Europe the custom of shaving a beard. Alexander was very superstitious. He put a lot of confidence in soothsayers and astrologers. He would sometimes change big plans because of them. He never learned to recognize his own faults or limitations, but allowed his judgement to be soaked and

drowned in praise (Wepman 64). When his father was assassinated, Alexander became King of Macedonia. The northern tribes in Thrace and Illyria revolted and there were revolts in Macedonia. Alexander quickly ended all opposition at home and marched south into Greece. All Greek states except for Sparta renewed their allegiance and they all apologized. This pleased Alexander so he abolished all dictatorships in Greece, and decreed that each city should live in freedom according to its own laws. He was proclaimed captain general of the Greeks and he was promised that they would contribute men and supplies for his Asiatic campaign. He suppressed all who went against him very swiftly. In the mean time a rumor arose in Athens that Alexander was killed in suppressing the Illyrians.

Thebes revolted and killed the Macedonian officials left there by Alexander. When Alexander heard about this he was furious. He quickly defeated the army sent against him. He decided to leave the fate of the city to her ancient enemies- Plataea, Orchomenos, Thespiae, and Phocis. They decided that Thebes should be burned to the ground, and her inhabitants sold as slaves. Hoping to give other rebels a lesson, Alexander signed the order, but said that the troops should spare the home of Pindar, the lives of priests and priestesses, and of all Theban who could prove that they had opposed the revolt. Later he looked back with shame at his violent revenge, and was sure to grant without the least difficulty whatsoever any Theban asked of him (Durant 116). Alexander returned to

Macedonia, and prepared for the invasion of Asia. When he returned he found that his state treasury was almost empty. He borrowed 800 talents and set out to conquer Persia. It was reported that the Persians could muster a million men; Alexander s expeditionary force did not exceed thirty thousand infantry and five thousand Calvary. Nevertheless Alexander, leaving twelve thousand soldiers under Antipater to guard Macedonia and watch Greece, set out in 334 upon the most daring and romantic enterprise in the history of Kings (Durant 125). He had his first battle in Asia at the river of Granicus. He attacked an army of forty thousand men. According to legend he lost only 110 men in the fight. During this battle Cleitus saved Alexander s life by severing the arm of the Persian who was