IntroductionAlexander the great made an impact on world history that few individualscan profess to have done. He ruled all of the known world, and one of thelargest empires ever. His men were the first westerners to encounter tales ofthe Yeti. They even discovered and classified new types of flora and fauna,such as the red mold that grew on their bread while they were in Asia, and madeit appear as if it were bleeding. He expanded the Hellenist sphere of influenceto the farthest reaches of the globe.
When the king of Greece visited the British colony of India around theturn of the century, the colonial government had some native Indian dancesdisplayed for him. He was shocked when he immediately recognized the dances asthe same harvest dances that his fellow Greeks performed near Thessalonika. This was the breadth of Alexander’s influence on hundreds of different culturesaround the world. Throughout the whole of Europe, Asia, and North Africa,stories of this great man have been handed down from generation to generationthroughout the centuries. In many cases Alexander has even taken on asuperhuman aura, and many unbelievable legends have been based on his life.
When Julius Caesar visited Alexandria, he asked to see the body of thegreatest warrior of all time-Alexander the Great. Such was Alexander’sreputation, able to impress even the powerful Caesar. He was, without a doubt,one of the most remarkable men that ever walked the face of this Earth. Andthis is the story of his life. The Life and Times of Alexander the Great EssayThe story of Alexander the Great is one of courage, genius, and greataccomplishment; but it is also somewhat of a bittersweet one, ending with histragic death during the prime of his life, at thirty-two.
Alexander was born to Philip II of Macedon and Olympias, his principalwife, in 356 BCE, mpic Games. Just three years earlier, Philip had ascended tothe throne after the death of his older brother, Perdikkas1, and named the cityof Philipi after himself. Shortly thereafter, at the age of twenty, he metOlympias at a religious ceremony on the island of Samothrace. Olympias was of the Mystery Religions, and was initiated at an early age.
She spent her time at wild orgies during which snakes were wrapped around theworshippers limbs. She kept this custom of sleeping with snakes throughout hermarriage to Philip. In addition, she sacrificed thousand of animals to herparticular god or goddess each year. Interestingly enough, she had a cruelstreak normally common only to the Greek men of her time. Throughout her careershe was no slower than her male rivals to kill off enemies who seemed tothreaten her. Olympias, believing that she was descended from Achilles, and being ofroyal Epeirosian blood herself, thought that she was rightly entitled to respectfrom Philip as his queen.
For this reason Olympias was constantly upset atPhilip’s long stays away from home. This anger was especially directed towardshis torrid affairs with the nearest nubile waif. At the time of Alexander’s birth, Philip was involved in a campaign todefeat the Illyrian provinces in battle and incorporate them into the Greekempire that he was building for himself. In that month, Philip received threemessages bearing good in quick succession: his victory over the Illyrians,Alexander’s birth, and Macedonian victory in the Olympic races.
Alexander resembled his mother more than his father. It was in memoryof Macedonia’s greatest king, Alexander I, that Alexander was named. Philip,currently engaged in a plan for the conquest of Greece and eventually parts ofAsia, had high hopes for his firstborn son to eventually continue in hisfootsteps. In the following year Alexander’s only sibling, a sister namedCleopatra, was born. Alexander probably had no recollection of his father having both of hiseyes, because Philip lost his eye storming an Athenian fortress. DuringAlexander’s early years, he was watched over by a man named Leonidas2.
Leonidassaw to all of Alexander’s education and tutelage in many varied subjectsincluding: writing, geometry, reading, arithmetic, music, archery, horsebackriding, javelin, and other types of athletics.Alexander’s nursemaid was an endearing gentleman whose name wasLysimachos, who won Alexander’s heart at an early age by playing imaginationgames with Alexander and his playmates: Ptolemy, Harpalos, Nearchos, Hephaistion,and Erigyios.When Alexander reached the ripe old age of thirteen, Philip decided itwas time for Alexander to receive a higher education better .