Alexander the Great - GOING HOME

GOING HOME (Illustration) Legends and Legendary People Archeological Wonders Biographies Famous People Film Geography Philosophy Social Studies World History Ancient Places and/or Civilizations

His fame spreading throughout the “known world,” Alexander the Great (who had built a city named after him in Egypt) gave-in to the pressure of his troops and turned his eyes toward home (Macedonia) in the summer of 325 BC. This is how his name appears when written in Egyptian hieroglyphs (from right to left). Scholars believe the object is dated, circa 330 BC; it is currently maintained at the Louvre (in Paris).  Photo (and identifying letters added) by PHGCOM; online via Wikimedia Commons.  License: CC BY-SA 3.0


Alexander had to make a difficult choice for the first leg of the army's homeward trek:

  • He could keep all of his men together and march through the Gedrosian Desert; or
  • He could split his forces in two with some of the men, commanded by Nearchus, traveling part of the distance by sea.

He chose to split-up his men.

Personally following the land route, Alexander lost an astonishing number of his army to starvation and horrific desert conditions. Scholars believe those losses may have been as high as seventy-five percent of the men who were alive when the desert crossing began.

Reaching Carmania, Alexander and the other Gedrosian survivors recovered their strength and caught up with Nearchus and the fleet in Harmezia. Reunited, the army marched to Persis where the men rested.

Retracing their prior route, Alexander and his men once again reached Susa. There, in 324 B.C., he took a second Persian wife - Stateira - a daughter of the slain Persian Emperor, Darius III.

That same year, while Alexander and his army were in Ecbatana, Alexander lost his closest male friend and companion. Hephaistion, who very capably commanded the cavalry and with whom Alexander likely had an intimate relationship for many years, contracted a fever and died.

Overwhelmed with grief, Alexander dealt with his loss by fighting another battle, this time against the Cossaens.

Throughout his years of conquest, Alexander founded many towns named after him. Those places would help to memorialize his extraordinary career. Personally, however, he was nearing the end of his own life.

Unlike that of his ancestors, Alexander's death would not be violent.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Apr 23, 2019

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