Essay on Alexander the Great: Was He Really That Great?

Essay on Alexander the Great: Was He Really That Great?

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Why was Alexander III of Macedon called 'Great'? The answer seems relatively straight forward. Alexander conquered territories, established empires and died young, at the height of his power. However, he was also over-ambitious and pushed his men to their limits in his quest for immortality, while murdering killing thousands along his way. Alexander is neither deserving nor unworthy of his title as the ‘Great’. Born in the year 356 BC to the king of Macedon, Philip II, and his wife Olympias, Alexander the Great spent much of his childhood learning to be a leader and claim the title of the greatest military leader the world has ever known. ‘My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambition. Macedon is too small for you.’ This quote said by King Philip, proves Alexanders parents were the encouragement that later influenced his behaviour (Clode, G 2010). As such, the hypothesis “Alexander is deserving of the title ‘great’, is only partially true and will be proven throughout the duration of this speech by critically evaluating his leadership and military status.
King Philip II of Macedonia built a powerful army and used it to bring all of Greece under his rule. After his assassination in 336 BC Philip’s 20-year-old son Alexander inherited the throne. Marching east from Greece, Alexander and his 47000 men encountered Persians for the first time along the banks of the Granicus River near the site of Troy in 334BC. The battle of Granicus was the first major victory over the Persians and the first meeting ground between Alexander the Great and the Persian King, Darius III. (Fritz, M, Unknown). Alexander the Great fought the battle of Issus soon after the battle at Granicus. Although Alexander was greatly outnumbered by Darius...


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...tes honour during this battle when he waited for daylight before beginning the attack. Alexander and his troops were outnumbered and disadvantaged, yet he was still victorious. If Alexander had not shown integrity, his army would not have respected and followed him as a military leader.
Alexander, king of Macedon died in 323BC after spending his last thirteen years conquering much of the well-known world. He was suspected to have been weak from past wounds when he acquired a fever and died during the night whilst in Babylon. From this speech it has been determined that Alexander is deserving of the title ‘Great’ in his military command, but in regard to his statesmanship he is not worthy of it. He was a proficient strategist but his poor leadership skills affected his whole empire. Overall Alexander III of Macedon is partially deserving of his title as the ‘Great.’

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