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Alexander the Great (20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC)

Alexander was born in the kingdom of Macedonia (or Macedon), which was part of the Ancient Greek civilization. His father was Philip II and his mother was called Olympius. With such a rich heritage, history and culture, Alexander was lucky indeed to have someone like Aristotle as his personal tutor. Things may have been very different for Alexander if his father has not been assassinated in 336 BC...

Dan the Info-man
Apparently, Alexander was quite short - but with a strong physique. It is possible he had heterochromia iridum - different-colored eyes (one blue, one brown)!

Alexander III of Macedon: king and conqueror

After consolidating power at home (through some rather brutal executions among other methods), Alexander decided his rule would be defined by conquest rather than diplomacy. With his friends and army, upon his famous horse Bucephalas, Alexander looked east to begin his military campaigns...

Pharaoh of Egypt - King of Persia - King of Asia

It seemed nothing could stop Alexander and his mighty forces. Out of 20 recorded battles, sieges and campaigns he was involved in (from age 18) he was victorious in every one, from the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC; commanded by his father, Philip II) until the Siege of Multan (326-325 BC). He moved through Asia Minor, The Levant and Syria on his way to Egypt, where he was regarded as a divine ruler (332 BC). He marched into Mesopotamia, to Assyria and on to Babylon, which he conquered in 331 BC. The mighty Persian Empire that had harangued the Greek states on so many occasions was starting to look incredibly vulnerable...

Darius III (c. 380 – July 330 BC)

Darius III (who the Greeks called Codomannus) had already suffered spectacular defeats to Alexander and his army, at the Battle of Issus (333 BC) and the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC). Persian forces had been greatly demoralized by the victories of Alexander and high-ranking conspirators murdered their king (330 BC) just before he could be captured by the Macedonians. Alexander claimed the Persian throne, buried Darius with full honors, and eventually married his daughter Stateira (324 BC). India was now prevalent in Alexander's thoughts...

Alexander's India Campaign: 327-325 BC

Alexander won battles and sieges in his India Campaign (through modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-west India). But it was a brutal campaign for the king and his men. His forces refused to advance any further than the Hyphasis River (also called the Beas). They were tired and had been away from their homes for years - and were justly concerned about the huge armies they might face in India. Alexander eventually agreed to turn around and head for home. On the way back, at the Siege of Multan (325 BC), Alexander nearly died after being hit in his lung by an arrow. The great king managed to return to Susa and then Babylon, but his days were numbered...

Death, family and legacy

Alexander the Great died in Babylon between 10 and 11 June 323 BC. He may have been poisoned, although one of the most popular beliefs is that he died from typhoid fever. The young ruler was only 32 years old. He had married three times: Roxana of Bactria, Stateira II of Persia and Parysatis II of Persia. He had a son by Roxana called Alexander IV. Stateira and Parysatis were murdered (probably on Roxana's orders), Alexander IV and Roxana were poisoned some years later. Alexander's empire was broken up among the Diadochi ("successors") who fought each other. Alexander had carried Hellenistic ("Hellas" is the Greek name for Greece) influence over a huge area of the known world. He founded 20 cities, encouraged integration with local populaces, and he was a tactical and strategic genius in regard to warfare. Over 2,000 years later his name and deeds live on!