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Alexander, nicknamed the Great Greek, was not actually Greek. He was a Macedonian prince. Macedonia was an empire located to the north of Greece. Alexander thought the Greeks were clever, interesting, and talented.

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Alexander the Great

While growing up, Alexander had many teachers, one of whom was Aristotle. Aristotle was also born in Macedonia. However, Aristotle lived in Greece for a really long time. He loved the Greeks. He believed in the Greek gods. He knew Greek history and the Greek language and Greek theatre. Aristotle spoke of his admiration for the Greeks many times to his student, the young prince, Alexander.

Alexander grew up dreaming of the day he would be king. When he was king, he too would teach everyone about the Greek culture he had come to know and love so well. Obviously, Aristotle had a great effect on Alexander and what he believed.

Alexander had other teachers, teachers that taught him how to wage war and how to conquer other people. His teachers tried to teach him that a Macedonian king was not merciful. But Alexander disagreed. When his father died, and Alexander became king, he allowed every culture he conquered the opportunity to rule themselves. All he asked was that they be loyal to Alexander. He taught all the people he conquered about the ancient Greeks - he shared their stories, their myths, their gods, their language - just as he had been taught. It was Alexander who spread the Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean.

Alexander never lost a battle, never, not even one. Alexander and his army conquered the entire Mediterranean region, and even reached into the Indus River region. He probably would have kept going, perhaps all the way to China, but one day, he became ill and died. He was only 32 years old.

Alexander the Great (ppt)

Ancient Greece Q&A Interactive