A decree brought by Nicanor to Europe and proclaimed at Olympia (September 324) required the Greek cities of the Greek League to receive back all exiles and their families (except the Thebans), a measure that implied some modification of the oligarchic regimes maintained in the Greek cities by Alexander’s governor Antipater. In addition, Persian nobles had been accepted into the royal cavalry bodyguard. [165] The recent discovery of an enormous tomb in northern Greece, at Amphipolis, dating from the time of Alexander the Great[166] has given rise to speculation that its original intent was to be the burial place of Alexander. [144][175], Perdiccas initially did not claim power, instead suggesting that Roxane's baby would be king, if male; with himself, Craterus, Leonnatus, and Antipater as guardians. This victory exposed western Asia Minor to the Macedonians, and most cities hastened to open their gates. [12] According to the ancient Greek biographer Plutarch, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunderbolt that caused a flame to spread "far and wide" before dying away. [183], In his first battle in Asia, at Granicus, Alexander used only a small part of his forces, perhaps 13,000 infantry with 5,000 cavalry, against a much larger Persian force of 40,000. [273] In Sunni Islamic Persia, under the influence of the Alexander Romance (in Persian: اسکندرنامه‎ Iskandarnamah), a more positive portrayal of Alexander emerges. The elephant had gold rings around its tusks and an inscription was on them written in Greek: "Alexander the son of Zeus dedicates Ajax to the Helios" (ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ Ο ΔΙΟΣ ΤΟΝ ΑΙΑΝΤΑ ΤΩΙ ΗΛΙΩΙ). The Macedonians were demoralized by Philip's death and were subsequently defeated near Magnesia by the Achaemenids under the command of the mercenary Memnon of Rhodes. [84] Darius once more fled the field, and Alexander chased him as far as Arbela. [106] The cities' locations reflected trade routes as well as defensive positions. Then Philip, taking Attalus's part, rose up and would have run his son through; but by good fortune for them both, either his over-hasty rage, or the wine he had drunk, made his foot slip, so that he fell down on the floor. Alexander has figured in both high and popular culture beginning in his own era to the present day. How much Alexander knew of India beyond the Hyphasis (probably the modern Beas) is uncertain; there is no conclusive proof that he had heard of the Ganges. Leaving Parmenio in Syria, Alexander advanced south without opposition until he reached Gaza on its high mound; there bitter resistance halted him for two months, and he sustained a serious shoulder wound during a sortie. [207][208], He appears to have believed himself a deity, or at least sought to deify himself. [212] Thus, rather than megalomania, his behaviour may simply have been a practical attempt at strengthening his rule and keeping his empire together. In 336, however, on Philip’s assassination, Alexander, acclaimed by the army, succeeded without opposition. [278], The Syriac version of the Alexander Romance portrays him as an ideal Christian world conqueror who prayed to "the one true God". “I would accept,” Parmenio is reported to have said, “were I Alexander”; “I too,” was the famous retort, “were I Parmenio.” The storming of Tyre in July 332 was Alexander’s greatest military achievement; it was attended with great carnage and the sale of the women and children into slavery. In the meantime (winter 333–332) the Persians had counterattacked by land in Asia Minor—where they were defeated by Antigonus, the satrap of Greater Phrygia—and by sea, recapturing a number of cities and islands. [136] Alexander admired Cyrus the Great, from an early age reading Xenophon's Cyropaedia, which described Cyrus's heroism in battle and governance as a king and legislator. [203] He had great charisma and force of personality, characteristics which made him a great leader. On the subsequent advance of the Macedonian king, Taxiles accompanied him with a force of 5,000 men and took part in the battle of the Hydaspes River. Alexander was born around July 20, 356 B.C., in Pella, which was the administrative capital of Macedonia. [15] Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride, fight, and hunt. [190], Historian and Egyptologist Joann Fletcher has said that the Alexander had blond hair. [91][92][93] Plutarch claims that he ordered his men to put out the fires,[91] but that the flames had already spread to most of the city. [124], East of Porus' kingdom, near the Ganges River, was the Nanda Empire of Magadha, and further east, the Gangaridai Empire of Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent. This culminated in his aspiration to homogenize the populations of Asia and Europe. The campaign took Alexander through Media, Parthia, Aria (West Afghanistan), Drangiana, Arachosia (South and Central Afghanistan), Bactria (North and Central Afghanistan), and Scythia. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. [245] Aspects of Hellenistic culture were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century.[250]. "[117] A similar slaughter followed at Ora. He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. As in Egypt, the local priesthood was encouraged. [140], On either 10 or 11 June 323 BC, Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon, at age 32. [266][267], Legendary accounts surround the life of Alexander the Great, many deriving from his own lifetime, probably encouraged by Alexander himself. If Plutarch’s figure of 120,000 men has any reality, however, it must include all kinds of auxiliary services, together with muleteers, camel drivers, medical corps, peddlers, entertainers, women, and children; the fighting strength perhaps stood at about 35,000. [271], Alexander features prominently in modern Greek folklore, more so than any other ancient figure. He planned to lead part of his forces back by land, while the rest in perhaps 100 to 150 ships under the command of Nearchus, a Cretan with naval experience, made a voyage of exploration along the Persian Gulf. As in Tyre, men of military age were put to the sword and the women and children were sold into slavery. [154][155] Another poisoning explanation put forward in 2010 proposed that the circumstances of his death were compatible with poisoning by water of the river Styx (modern-day Mavroneri in Arcadia, Greece) that contained calicheamicin, a dangerous compound produced by bacteria. His father, Philip, was interested in cultivating a refined future king and so hired Lysimachus of Acarnania to teach the boy reading, writing, and to play the lyre. [169][170] However, more recently, it has been suggested that it may date from earlier than Abdalonymus' death. [27], At the age of 16, Alexander's education under Aristotle ended. From age 13 to 16 he was taught by Aristotle, who inspired him with an interest in philosophy, medicine, and scientific investigation, but he was later to advance beyond his teacher’s narrow precept that non-Greeks should be treated as slaves. However, its after-effects shook the Jewish world to its roots. Alexander was the son of a Greek king called Philip II. His advance through Swāt and Gandhāra was marked by the storming of the almost impregnable pinnacle of Aornos, the modern Pir-Sar, a few miles west of the Indus and north of the Buner River, an impressive feat of siegecraft. Later the incident was to contribute to the story that he was the son of Zeus and, thus, to his “deification.” In spring 331 he returned to Tyre, appointed a Macedonian satrap for Syria, and prepared to advance into Mesopotamia. Philotas, Parmenio’s son, commander of the elite Companion cavalry, was implicated in an alleged plot against Alexander’s life, condemned by the army, and executed; and a secret message was sent to Cleander, Parmenio’s second in command, who obediently assassinated him. However, the memorial was found to be dedicated to the dearest friend of Alexander the Great, Hephaestion. [230] Two of these pregnancies — Stateira's and Barsine's — are of dubious legitimacy. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Meanwhile, a rumour of his death had precipitated a revolt of Theban democrats; other Greek states favoured Thebes, and the Athenians, urged on by Demosthenes, voted help. In the winter of 324 Alexander carried out a savage punitive expedition against the Cossaeans in the hills of Luristan. [197][201] However, he had little interest in sports or the Olympic games (unlike his father), seeking only the Homeric ideals of honour (timê) and glory (kudos). [147][149] There was even a suggestion that Aristotle may have participated. [218][219] He apparently had two sons, Alexander IV of Macedon by Roxana and, possibly, Heracles of Macedon from his mistress Barsine. Following up Nearchus’s voyage, he now founded an Alexandria at the mouth of the Tigris and made plans to develop sea communications with India, for which an expedition along the Arabian coast was to be a preliminary. Turning, Alexander found Darius drawn up along the Pinarus River. Already in his lifetime the subject of fabulous stories, he later became the hero of a full-scale legend bearing only the sketchiest resemblance to his historical career. [236], The eastern borders of Alexander's empire began to collapse even during his lifetime. [264][265], Arrian wrote that Aristobulus said that the Icarus island (modern Failaka Island) in the Persian Gulf had this name because Alexander ordered the island to be named like this, after the Icarus island in the Aegean Sea. Alexander eventually agreed and turned south, marching along the Indus. At first, the cities must have been inhospitable, little more than defensive garrisons. Both kings were murdered, Arrhidaeus in 317 and Alexander in 310/309. The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom based in Egypt, and ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty, starting with Ptolemy I Soter’s accession to the throne following the death of Alexander the Great. While in Babylon, Alexander became ill after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout, and on June 13, 323, he died at age 33. Alexander arranged a double phalanx, with the center advancing at an angle, parting when the chariots bore down and then reforming. Philip waged war against Byzantion, leaving Alexander in charge as regent and heir apparent. [137] During his visit to Pasargadae Alexander ordered his architect Aristobulus to decorate the interior of the sepulchral chamber of Cyrus' tomb. Instead of taking the direct route down the river to Babylon, he made across northern Mesopotamia toward the Tigris, and Darius, learning of this move from an advance force sent under Mazaeus to the Euphrates crossing, marched up the Tigris to oppose him. His son and successor, Caracalla, a great admirer, visited the tomb during his own reign. He also displayed a deep interest in learning and encouraged the spread of Hellenistic culture. [79], Alexander advanced on Egypt in later 332 BC, where he was regarded as a liberator. Beyond the most famous Alexander the Great historical places, there’s many similar places to visit, including Luxor Temple, Thebes and Tomb of Cyrus the Great to name but a few. [1][2] He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.[3]. During the ensuing Battle of Chaeronea, Philip commanded the right wing and Alexander the left, accompanied by a group of Philip's trusted generals. At the time of his death, Alexander's empire covered some 5,200,000 km2 (2,000,000 sq mi),[235] and was the largest state of its time. Alexander III of Macedon (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γʹ ὁ Μακεδών, Aléxandros III ho Makedȏn; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great (Greek: ὁ Μέγας, ho Mégas), was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon[a] and a member of the Argead dynasty. [236] That this export took place is undoubted, and can be seen in the great Hellenistic cities of, for instance, Alexandria, Antioch[245] and Seleucia (south of modern Baghdad). Alexander the Great takes power. His post of chiliarch (grand vizier) was left unfilled. [158] Other illnesses fit the symptoms, including acute pancreatitis and West Nile virus. [6][c] He is often ranked among the most influential people in history. [274], According to Josephus, Alexander was shown the Book of Daniel when he entered Jerusalem, which described a mighty Greek king who would conquer the Persian Empire. [69] In the following year, 332 BC, he was forced to attack Tyre, which he captured after a long and difficult siege. Peucestas, the new governor of Persis, gave this policy full support to flatter Alexander; but most Macedonians saw it as a threat to their own privileged position. The successor states that emerged were, at least initially, dominant forces, and these 300 years are often referred to as the Hellenistic period. Alexander the Great. In the area of architecture, a few examples of the Ionic order can be found as far as Pakistan with the Jandial temple near Taxila. [213], Alexander married three times: Roxana, daughter of the Sogdian nobleman Oxyartes of Bactria,[214][215][216] out of love;[217] and the Persian princesses Stateira II and Parysatis II, the former a daughter of Darius III and latter a daughter of Artaxerxes III, for political reasons. Perhaps taking his summons to Babylon as a death sentence,[148] and having seen the fate of Parmenion and Philotas,[149] Antipater purportedly arranged for Alexander to be poisoned by his son Iollas, who was Alexander's wine-pourer. At Susa Alexander held a feast to celebrate the seizure of the Persian empire, at which, in furtherance of his policy of fusing Macedonians and Persians into one master race, he and 80 of his officers took Persian wives; he and Hephaestion married Darius’s daughters Barsine (also called Stateira) and Drypetis, respectively, and 10,000 of his soldiers with native wives were given generous dowries. After conquering cities, Alexander the Great would name them after himself. [278] His defeat of Darius was depicted as Egypt's salvation, "proving" Egypt was still ruled by an Egyptian. The correct answer is "He is alive and well and rules the world!" [65][66] At first, all went well. [91] Curtius claims that Alexander did not regret his decision until the next morning. While he could be ruthless and impulsive, Alexander was also charismatic and sensible. [17] Alexander named it Bucephalas, meaning "ox-head". [174], Alexander's death was so sudden that when reports of his death reached Greece, they were not immediately believed. This empire was called Macedonia, and when Alexander grew up, he inherited control of it. Attalus also had severely insulted Alexander, and following Cleopatra's murder, Alexander may have considered him too dangerous to leave alive. [89] During his stay a fire broke out in the eastern palace of Xerxes I and spread to the rest of the city. On reaching Patala, located at the head of the Indus delta, he built a harbour and docks and explored both arms of the Indus, which probably then ran into the Rann of Kachchh. He founded the city of Alexandria near the western arm of the Nile on a fine site between the sea and Lake Mareotis, protected by the island of Pharos, and had it laid out by the Rhodian architect Deinocrates. He is also said to have sent an expedition to discover the causes of the flooding of the Nile. Much work fell on the lightarmed Cretan and Macedonian archers, Thracians, and the Agrianian javelin men. Alexander the Great was one of the most influential people in history. Darius fled the battle, causing his army to collapse, and left behind his wife, his two daughters, his mother Sisygambis, and a fabulous treasure. [210] Alexander adopted elements of Persian dress and customs at court, notably proskynesis, a practice of which Macedonians disapproved, and were loath to perform. 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