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Alexander the great made an impact on world history that few individuals can profess to
have done. He
ruled all of the known world, and one of the largest empires ever. His men were the first
encounter tales of the 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 made it appear as if it were bleeding.
the Hellenist sphere of influence to the farthest reaches of the globe.
When the king of Greece visited the British colony of India around the turn of the
century, the colonial
government had some native Indian dances displayed for him. He was shocked when he
recognized the dances as the same harvest dances that his fellow Greeks performed near
was the breadth of Alexander's influence on hundreds of different cultures around the world.
whole of Europe, Asia, and North Africa, stories of this great man have been handed down from
generation throughout the centuries. In many cases Alexander has even taken on a superhuman
aura, and many
unbelievable legends have been based on his life.
When Julius Caesar visited Alexandria, he asked to see the body of the greatest warrior
of all time-
Alexander the Great. Such was Alexander's reputation, able to impress even the powerful Caesar.
without a doubt, one of the most remarkable men that ever walked the face of this Earth. And this
is the story
of his life.
The Life and Times of Alexander the Great
The story of Alexander the Great is one of courage, genius, and great accomplishment;
but it is also somewhat of a
bittersweet one, ending with his tragic death during the prime of his life, at thirty-two.
Alexander was born to Philip II of Macedon and Olympias, his principal wife, in 356 BCE,
mpic Games. Just three years earlier, Philip had ascended to the
throne after the death of his older
brother, Perdikkas1, and named the city of Philipi after himself. Shortly thereafter, at the age of
twenty, he met Olympias 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 the worshippers limbs. She kept this custom of sleeping with
snakes throughout her
marriage to Philip. In addition, she sacrificed thousand of animals to her particular god or
goddess each year. Interestingly
enough, she had a cruel streak normally common only to the Greek men of her time. Throughout
her career she was no
slower than her male rivals to kill off enemies who seemed to threaten her.
Olympias, believing that she was descended from Achilles, and being of royal Epeirosian
blood herself, thought that
she was rightly entitled to respect from Philip as his queen. For this reason Olympias was
constantly upset at Philip's long
stays away from
home. This anger was especially directed towards his torrid affairs with the nearest nubile
At the time of Alexander's birth, Philip was involved in a campaign to defeat the Illyrian
provinces in battle and
incorporate them into the Greek empire that he was building for himself. In that month, Philip
received three messages
bearing good in quick succession: his victory over the Illyrians, Alexander's birth, and
Macedonian victory in the Olympic
Alexander resembled his mother more than his father. It was in memory of Macedonia's
greatest king, Alexander I,
that Alexander was named. Philip, currently engaged in a plan for the conquest of Greece and
eventually parts of Asia, had
high hopes for his firstborn son to eventually continue in his footsteps. In the following year
Alexander's only sibling, a sister
named Cleopatra, was born.
Alexander probably had no recollection of his father having both of his eyes, because
Philip lost his eye storming an
Athenian fortress. During Alexander's early years, he was watched over by a man named
Leonidas2. Leonidas saw to all of
Alexander's education and tutelage in many varied subjects including: writing, geometry, reading,
arithmetic, music, archery,
horseback riding, javelin, and other types of athletics.
Alexander's nursemaid was an endearing gentleman whose name was Lysimachos, who
won Alexander's heart at an
early age by playing imagination games with Alexander and his playmates: Ptolemy, Harpalos,
Nearchos, Hephaistion, and
When Alexander reached the ripe old age of thirteen, Philip decided it was time for
Alexander to receive a higher
education better befitting his young heir. Searching throughout his empire, Philip was lucky
enough to find a student of Plato
who was at the time unemployed, a young genius named Aristoteles (commonly known as
Aristotle's father, Nakimachos, had
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Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great, Alexander the Great, English-language films, Historical novels, Ancient Greece, Olympias, Reign: The Conqueror, Perdiccas, Alexander, Hephaestion, Philip II of Macedon, Fire from Heaven
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