Thousands of books have been written
about Alexander the Great. He is one of the most famous men in
Alexander was a prince, the son of the
king of Macedonia. He was born in Macedonia in July 356 BCE. Macedonia
was not a Greek city-state. It was a country in the north of Greece. (Macedonia
is pictured in gold in the map below.)
One of Alexander's teachers was Aristotle.
Aristotle was also born in Macedonia, but he lived for a very long
time in ancient Greece.
It was Aristotle, more than any
other teacher, who taught Alexander to greatly respect the Greek
way of life. Alexander spoke Greek. He knew Greek history. He
believed in the Greek gods. When he was a boy, Alexander dreamed
of teaching everyone, everywhere, about the wonderful Greek
culture he knew and loved so well.
But Alexander was also trained to
be a ruler - a ruler and a warrior and a leader of men. He was
taught that his job was to expand the Macedonian empire, and to
rule at all times with a firm hand.
Alexander's father had conquered
most of the Greek city-states before Alexander came to power,
including the city-state of Sparta. The Greeks were bitter about
the treatment they had received. They hated Alexander's father.
When Alexander became king, even though Alexander allowed the
Greeks to manage their own city-states, they hated him as well.
They fought him at every turn. They lost, but the outposts and
colonies especially put up quite a battle. The very people whose
culture he loved were Alexander's worst enemies.
Except for the Greek colonies,
Alexander conquered other cultures in the Mediterranean rather
easily, including Egypt. Everywhere he went, Alexander introduced
Greek literature, myth, dance, language, money, medicine, art, and
theatre. As he did with the Greeks, he allowed conquered people
the opportunity to run their own country as long as they were
loyal to Alexander. Those people who refused were killed.
Alexander never lost a
battle. Before his death, he had built over 70 cities, and had
conquered the ENTIRE known world in the Mediterranean region. His
empire stretched all the way to the Indus River.
He probably would have pushed on,
perhaps even to China, but Alexander died young. One day, he was
out boating. He became quite ill and died shortly after. He was
only 32 years old. Alexander died in June 323 BCE, about a month
before his 33rd birthday.
Although Alexander was not a Greek
by birth, scholars today sometimes refer to him as Alexander, the
Great Greek. Without Alexander, the Greek culture, which so
enriches our lives today, might not have survived or spread to
early Rome and beyond.
the Great (ppt)
The Spread of Hellenistic
of Alexander's Empire