Word Count: 1418"It is a lovely thing to live with great courage and die leavingan everlasting fame. " Long before thebirth of Christ, the land directly above what we know asGreece today, was called Macedonia.
Macedonia stillexists, but it is now Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and modernGreece. Macedonia was considered to be part of ancientGreece, but the people of these two countries couldn’t bemore different. No people in history ever gave so much tothe human race as the ancient Greeks. They producedarchitectural monuments, four of the greatest dramaticactors who ever lived, one of the most brilliant statesmenand two of the greatest historians. Scientists, philosophersand artists all thrived in this country.Order now
The political systemwe call democracy had its roots in this culture. TheMacedonians in comparison with their Greek neighborswere crude and fierce in their outlook. They were a roughpeople. They never produced any artists, philosophers, orgreat actors.
But they produced Alexander the Great Essay – aman with a legacy so remarkable that it has challenged theminds of men ever since. Alexander was born to conquerthe world. His life was bold and from beginning to end, itwas etched with dramatic clarity. Every important event inhis life brought him one step closer to fulfilling his ambition. He was the first leaders, like Caesar and Napoleon, whopartly be accident and partly by design, set out to gatherthe whole world into their fists, unify it, rule it and enlightenit. But unlike the other great giants of history, Alexanderwas a shooting star whose blaze of glory ended with hisdeath, at not quite thirty-three years old Alexander wasborn in 356 BC to King Philip of Macedonia and his wife,Olympias.
On the day of Alexander’s birth, Philip wasaway in battle. A courier brought Philip the message of hisson’s birth, along with two other messages – Philip’s horsehad won first prize in the Olympic Games and his army hadjust won a very important battle. With three pieces of goodnews at once, Philip always thought his son’s arrival into theworld came with an omen of good luck. As Crown Princeof 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 childshowed a very ambitious streak.
One of his courtierscommented on how well he ran and suggested that hecompete in the Olympic foot races. Alexander refused andreplied that we would only run against kings, so that hecould be sure that no one threw the race in his favor. As ayoung boy, Alexander began to show many of the traitsthat made him famous – courage, cleverness and completeself-confidence. Once when Alexander’s father broughthome several horses, one horse in particular caughtAlexander’s eye. It was an enormous black horse and onethat none of King Philip’s men seemed to be able to mountand ride.
Alexander approached his father and asked forthe horse. On a dare and a bet from his father, Alexanderdid what no one else had been able to do, mount and ridethe horse. The horse, Bucephalus, became one of the mostfamous horses in history and for most of the sixteen yearsof his life was the only horse that Alexander ever rode inbattle. When Bucephalus died, Alexander gave him afuneral worthy of a king and named a city after him. Alexander’s education is said to have been the mostexpensive in history.
Philip persuaded Aristotle, the Greekphilosopher and scientist to be Alexander’s tutor. Inaddition to the large sum of money paid to Aristotle for hisyears of service as a teacher, Philip also agreed to rebuildthe town where Aristotle had been born (which Philip haddestroyed in a raid) and permit its exiled citizens to return. Aristotle introduced Alexander to many things, but inparticular he instilled in Alexander the love of books. Alexander’s favorite was Homer’s Iliad, which he learnedby heart. Throughout his entire life, whereever he was,Alexander slept with two things under his pillow – a daggerfor protection and a copy of the Iliad. When Alexanderwas seventeen, his father left him temporarily in charge ofMacedonia while he attended state matters in Greece.
While his father was away, a tribe in a northern province,apparently hoping to take advantage of Alexander’s youthand inexperience started a revolt. Alexander gathered hisarmy, marched against the rebels, beat them in battle andcaptured their chief .