Alexander the Great - Summary

Alexander the Great was born at the right time, with the right genes, and the right personality. By the time he died, he had conquered over 2 million square miles. Few men have changed the world as much as he.

Taught by Aristotle, the young prince had other advantages. After his father's death, he inherited a great army. Propelled by ambition, and aided by brilliant strategy, he became a military genius. Thousands of years after his death, he was still a role model for people like Napoleon Bonaparte.

Who was Alexander? What did he look like? Do any of his writings survive? Why did he died at the young age of thirty-three? Does history possess facts, or merely legends, about him?

Alexander was born in Pella, recently the scene of exciting archeological excavations. Son of king Philip II and his wife Olympias, the young man spoke fast, walked fast, and was so short that his feet couldn’t reach the floor as he sat on the Persian throne. But when it came to conquering other lands, and effectively integrating those new “subjects” into his kingdom, no ruler was his equal. Even today, cities bear his name.

Before the battle of Gaugamela, in which Alexander defeated Darius III, he and his men had never seen elephants. The Persian leader used about fifteen of them (some scholars think the number was closer to fifty), supported by Indian chariots.

Although the gigantic animals frightened Alexander’s men, elephants weren’t a key factor until the battle of Hydaspes. Horses, not accustomed to the sight of elephants and unfamiliar with their scent, can panic when they see such huge creatures - and so it was of the Macedonian cavalry and their mounts.

After years of being away, Alexander’s men wanted to return home. He finally relented, leading half his forces through the inhospitable Gedrosian Desert. (Nature proved to be their worst enemy.) Arriving in Babylon (where he’d been warned not to go), Alexander became extremely ill. He died ten days later.

In this story behind the movie, take a virtual field trip to many places where Alexander lived (or which he conquered). Study excavations of the royal tombs and their many treasures. See videos of Asian Elephants - like those which frightened the Macedonians - in their natural habitats. And ... learn what happened to Alexander’s empire - and his body - after his death.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 04, 2016

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"Alexander the Great" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jul 19, 2018.
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