Alexander The Great (356 Bc – 323 Bc)


Alexander the Great is perhaps the most eminent Macedonian king. The reason for that is that he conquered the whole of Persia, acting as an inspiration for later military subjugators who included Napoleon, Caesar, Pompey, and Hannibal. Though his empire did not survive intact after his death, it was the largest empire at the time. In this respect, Alexander the Great is the most influential Macedonian ruler.


Born into a military aristocracy – his father was Philip, Macedonia’s king while his mother was Olympias, a princess from the neighboring kingdom of Epirus – Alexander learned early on that he had to develop military skills to succeed his father. At 12 years of age, he astounded his father when he tamed the wild Bucephalus, a stallion that had resisted all attempts at domestication. His father noted his potential and engaged Aristotle to instruct him in other subjects such as philosophy, medicine, and science. Alexander’s military skills were put to the test when he had to put down a rebellion at 16 years of age. He was rewarded with a command position in the army. He was again tested at 18 year of age when, as an army general, his forces turned an ill-advised invasion of Greece into the Macedonian army’s advantage. Thus, Alexander exhibited a devotion to military activities that received support from his father.


Though Alexander received support from his father, theirs was not the most cordial of relationships. The situation came to a head when Philip tripped and fell while charging Alexander for insulting General Attalus. Attalus had insinuated that Alexander was illegitimate and unworthy of being Philip’s successor to which Alexander took offense. All this occurred at Philip’s wedding reception to Attalus’ niece, Cleopatra. Alexander fled Macedonia and only returned after assurances that his life was not in danger. He was later to succeed his father after Philip’s assassination in 336 BC His first act after ascension was to order the disposition of all the nobles who had antagonized him while his father lived. It was left to Alexander to complete his father’s dream of conquering the whole of Persia, one that he achieved before his death in 323 BC from high fever.

One must accept that despite the fact that his childhood or upbringing was full of domestic strife, Alexander had a very active life that saw him acquire military knowledge. In addition, one has no option but to acknowledge that his father was his greatest influence. In fact, his father’s support saw him get an all rounded education. Though he died 33 years into his life, he managed to conquer the whole of Persia, a feat that eluded his father. Therefore, Alexander is the most influential Macedonian king.
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