“It is a lovely thing to live with great courage and die leaving an everlasting fame.”
Alexander the Great Essay
Long before the birth of Christ, the land directly above what we know as Greece today, was called Macedonia. Macedonia still exists, but it is now Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and modern Greece. Macedonia was considered to be part of ancient Greece, but the people of these two countries couldn’t be more different. No people in history ever gave so much to the human race as the ancient Greeks.
They produced architectural monuments, four of the greatest dramatic actors who ever lived, one of the most brilliant statesmen and two of the greatest historians. Scientists, philosophers and artists all thrived in this country. The political system we call democracy had its roots in this culture.Order now
The Macedonians in comparison with their Greek neighbors were crude and fierce in their outlook. They were a rough people. They never produced any artists, philosophers, or great actors.
But they produced Alexander The Great – a man with a legacy so remarkable that it has challenged the minds of men ever since.
Alexander was born to conquer the world. His life was bold and from beginning to end, it was etched with dramatic clarity. Every important event in his life brought him one step closer to fulfilling his ambition. He was the first leaders, like Caesar and Napoleon, who partly be accident and partly by design, set out to gather the whole world into their fists, unify it, rule it and enlighten it.
But unlike the other great giants of history, Alexander was a shooting star whose blaze of glory ended with his death, at not quite thirty-three years old.
Alexander was born in 356 BC to King Philip of Macedonia and his wife, Olympias. On the day of Alexander’s birth, Philip was away in battle. A courier brought Philip the message of his son’s birth, along with two other messages – Philip’s horse had won first prize in the Olympic Games and his army had just won a very important battle. With three pieces of good news at once, Philip always thought his son’s arrival into the world came with an omen of good luck.
As Crown Prince of Macedonia and at that time, his father’s only heir, Alexander was raised to inherit his father’s kingdom. Alexander was good at sports and even as a young child showed a very ambitious streak. One of his courtiers commented on how well he ran and suggested that he compete in the Olympic foot races. Alexander refused and replied that we would only run against kings, so that he could be sure that no one threw the race in his favor.
As a young boy, Alexander began to show many of the traits that made him famous – courage, cleverness and complete self-confidence. Once when Alexander’s father brought home several horses, one horse in particular caught Alexander’s eye.
It was an enormous black horse and one that none of King Philip’s men seemed to be able to mount and ride. Alexander approached his father and asked for the horse. On a dare and a bet from his father, Alexander did what no one else had been able to do, mount and ride the horse. The horse, Bucephalus, became one of the most famous horses in history and for most of the sixteen years of his life was the only horse that Alexander ever rode in battle. When Bucephalus died, Alexander gave him a funeral worthy of a king and named a city after him.
Alexander’s education is said to have been the most expensive in history.
Philip persuaded Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and scientist to be Alexander’s tutor. In addition to the large sum of money paid to Aristotle for his years of service as a teacher, Philip also agreed to rebuild the town where Aristotle had been born (which Philip had destroyed in a raid) and permit its exiled citizens to return.
Aristotle introduced Alexander to many things, but in particular he instilled in Alexander the love of books. Alexander’s favorite was Homer’s Iliad, which he learned by heart. Throughout his entire life, whereever he was, Alexander slept with two things under his pillow – a .