Alexander the Great was one of the best generals the world has ever seen. His determination helped him spread the Greek culture (also called Hellenism) throughout his empire. In a short thirteen years, Alexander conquered the Persians and controlled one of the biggest empires in history. Lead by his fathers prejudice against the Persians and notorious temperament has lead many historians to wonder, was Alexander really great? Alexander's first battle was with the Persians at Granicus River in 334 B. C. E.
By the following spring, Alexander controlled the entire western half of Asia minor. The Persian king, Darius the third, tried to stop Alexander but failed at Issus in 333 B. C. E. After his victory Alexander then turned south and by the winter of 332 B. C. E, Alexander controlled Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. In 331 B. C. E Alexander once again fought the Persians at Gaugamella in the Northwest of Babylon. After his victory Alexander entered the Persian capitols of Susa and Persepolis and plundered all of the gold and treasures of the city.
Not satisfied with his victory over Persia, Alexander continued to pursue the Persian king Darius the third only to find that he had been killed by one of his own men. This lead Alexander to turn east to India. Exhausted and weary of yet another battle, Alexanders men mutinied against him and forced him to retreat from India. Alexander had created one the biggest empires the world has seen, but unable to leave an heir, it fell just as quickly as it rose after his death at the age of 32. Some speculated that fever or excessive alcohol consumption lead to his death, others believe that he was poisoned.
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Weather he had plans for a world empire are unknown, but in his fathers final wishes he reported to tell Alexander to " expand your empire for the one I left you is not enough. " Was Alexander really great? Alexander was a self proclaimed decedent of the Gods, claiming that he was related to Hercules. He was known to murder close Friends and advisers if they opposed his wishes and had a ferocious temper. By the end of his reign, Alexander has slaughtered thousand whose only crime was being in his way.
His temperament leads one to believe that his armies succeeded for fear of Alexander rather than his leadership. However, Alexander's legacy was profound. He destroyed the Persian empire and and spread Hellenism throughout the lands. Without Alexander, the Greek culture would have fell and died alongside the empire. References: 1. "Alexander the Great". Joseph Cortelli. Historyofmacedonia. org Web. 13 July, 2013 2. William J. Duiker, Jackson J. Spielvogel. Cengage Learning: World Civilizations 1. 2009 Manson, Ohio.
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