Alexander III Essay

Alexander III Essay

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Alexander III


     According to Plutarch, Alexander was born on the sixth of Hecatombaeon
(July) in the year 356 B.C. He was the son of Philip, king of Macedon,and
Olympias. Supposedly on the day he was born the temple of Artemis burnt down,
signifying his future glory. Not much is known of the youth of Alexander. It
is known that he was taught by Aristotle and had a love of the Greek epic poems.
One famous story from his youth is told in Plutarch's life of Alexander.
Philonius the Thessalian brought the horse Bucephalus to Philip offering to sell
him for thirteen talents. Philip and his attendants brought the horse to a
field to try him. When they got there none of Philip's attendants could even
mount him. They were leading the horse away when young Alexander asked for a
chance to ride him. A wager was made that if Alexander could not ride the horse
he would pay the price for the horse. After the wager was made Alexander took
the horse and pointed him in the direction of the sun. He had noticed that the
horse was afraid of his own shadow. He then mounted the horse and began to ride,
to the amazement of all who watched. When he got off the horse Philip kissed
his son.
     Plutarch also tells of Alexander entertaining Persian ambassadors while
his father was not present. When Alexander was 16 Philip left him in charge of
Macedon when Philip went to fight the Byzantines.
     When Alexander was 20 his father was murdered at the theatre. Some say
that Alexander had a part in the plot to assasinate his father but almost all
agree that his mother Olympias was a key figure in the death of Philip.
Whatever the case may be Alexander took the throne in 336 B.C.
     Alexander is known for his conquest into Persia. When there, he
performed hellenization. Hellenization is the attempt to become "Greek."
Alexander helped this process along in the lands that he conquered.
     Another of the things that Alexander did was he set up cities where ever
he went. Garrisons were left in these cities. These colonists would become the
ruling class. They would then impose laws or rules to promote hellenization.
Also in these cities gymnasiums were set up. Gymnasiums were the center of most
Greek cities. What better way to make Persian cities sim...


... middle of paper ...


...at the theatre, Hephaestion ate a fowl
for dinner, and drank a large draught of wine. He quickly fell ill and shortly
thereafter, died. Alexander was so completely upset that he ordered the tails
and manes of all the horses be cut to show respect. He then crucified the doctor,
Glaucus.
     Alexander III had another party in Susa. Susa was the adminsrative
capital of the Persian empire. Alexander first went to Susa shortly after the
Battle of Gaugamela. There he took control of the money, totalling 50,000
talents($60 million) as well as the rest of the royal property.
     Alexander was again in Susa in 324 B.C. There he performed a mass
marriage. Between eighty and a hundred Macedonian officials took one Persian
women each, including Hephaestion and Ptolemy. Alexander himself took two new
brides. The wedding was done in traditional Persian style. The bridegroom would
sit down in chairs, after a toss the brides came in, took them by the hand, and
kissed them. Every guest that sat down for the banquet(roughly 30,000) had a
gold cup before them. The celebration went on for no less than 5 days. There was
also a big parade in the park.

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