Few historical figures stand out in the same degree as that of Alexander the Great. He was a warrior by 16, a commander at age 18, and was crowned King of Macedon by the time he was 20 years old. He did things in his lifetime that others could only dream about. Alexander single-handedly changed the nature of the ancient world in just over a decade. There were many attributes that made Alexander “Great.” He was a brilliant strategist and an inspired leader; he led by example and was a conqueror at heart. In looking at his early childhood, accession to the throne, conquests, marriage, and death one can see why Alexander the Great is revered in historical contexts as one of the greatest figures of all time.
Alexander was born in Pella, the capital of Macedon, on July 20, 356 B.C. He was the son of King Philip II and his fourth wife Olympias, an Epirote princess. Alexander was bred to be a warrior; his father was a great commander and king, and his mom’s second cousin, Pyrrhus of Epirus, was a celebrated general. So there were noteworthy examples of military genius on both sides of his family. As a child, Alexander’s mother would tell him stories of how he was a descendant to Achilles and Hercules. Achilles was his favorite hero growing up, as he read of his adventures in Homer’s Iliad. From an early age Alexander was practically raised by everyone but his parents. He was originally educated by a strict teacher named Leonidas. Alexander’s father wanted Alexander to become a great man, so he acquired the famous philosopher Aristotle to become his tutor. Aristotle trained him in rhetoric and literature, and stimulated his interest in medicine, science, and philosophy. Aristotle is credited for Alexander’s fasci...
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... to develop a system of administration for his vast realm of power.
Alexander the Great [database online], 22 October 2004. Accessed 21 May 2008. Available from http://www.hometheaterinfo.com/alexander_the_great.htm; Internet.
Burke, Edmund, M. “Philip II and Alexander the Great,” Journal of Military Affairs (April 1983): 67-69.
Heckel, Waldemar. The Wars of Alexander the Great. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2002.
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History of Western Civilization [database online], Edited by E.L. Skip Knox. Boise State University, 6 December 2002. Accessed 2 June 2008. Available from http://history.boisestate.edu/WESTCIV/alexander/15.html; Internet.
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