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Alexander the Great, 356-323 B.C.

alexander.jpg (5319 bytes)If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes.

The son of Philip of Macedon and Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemus of Epiras, Alexander the Great was born at Pella, and was tutored by Aristotle. He was only sixteen when his father marched against Byzantium and left him regent in his absence. Philip was preparing to attack the Persian Empire when he was assassinated by Pausanias in 336. The twenty year old Alexander assumed the throne. Having crushed the Illyrians and destroyed Thebes, Alexander crossed the Hellespont in 334 and obtained victory over the Persians at the Granicus -- most of the cities in Asia Minor welcomed Alexander as their liberator. At a pass near Issus, in Cilicia, he met Darius (d. 330 B.C.) and destroyed him. Alexander occupied Damascus and then took Tyre (332). He then marched victoriously through Palestine. Egypt, weary of their subservience to the Persians, welcomed Alexander and there he founded Alexandria in 331. Alexander then set out to meet Darius again and near Arbela in 331, won another decisive victory, although Darius escaped. Babylon and Susa opened their gates to Alexander, as did Persepolis, the capital of Persia. In 329 he overthrew the Scythians and the following year he subdued the whole of Sogdiana, and married Roxane, whom he had taken prisoner. His foster brother, Clitus, was murdered in a drunken brawl. In 326, Alexander crossed the Indus River into India and at the Hydaspes overthrew Porus. It was during this bloody contest that Alexander lost his charger, Bucephalas. He then marched through the Punjab establishing Greek colonies. Having fought his way to the ocean, he ordered Nearchus to sail back to the Persian Gulf while he himself marched back through Gedrosia. Of all the troops which had set out with Alexander, little more than a quarter arrived with him in Persia in 325. At Susa he married Stateira, the daughter of Darius. At Babylon he was busy with grandiose plans of conquest and civilization, when he was taken ill after a banquet, and died eleven days later. His body was placed in a golden coffin at Ptolemaeus.

More Information
Alexander (from Plutarch's Lives)
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great and His Successors: A Bibliography (Calgary)
Alexander the Great on the Web
(Tim Spaulding)
The Great Home Page of Alexander

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