A Brief Biography of Alexander the Great

Quck answer

Alexander the Great was a famous ancient Greek ruler who lived in the 4th century BC. He was born in Macedonia and became the king at the age of 20 after his father’s death. Alexander is known for his military conquests, as he successfully expanded his empire from Greece to Egypt, Persia, and India. He is considered one of the greatest military strategists in history. Alexander was also a patron of the arts and sciences, and he promoted the spread of Greek culture throughout his empire. Despite his early death at the age of 32, Alexander’s legacy continues to influence politics and culture today.

Are you excited for the future when you’ll reach adulthood? At 16, you can obtain your driver’s license. At 18, you’ll graduate from high school and participate in your first election. By the age of 20, you’ll most likely be attending college or starting your first job.

These milestones may seem significant to you, but compared to the accomplishments of Alexander the Great, they may appear less impressive. Unlike most people, at the age of 18, Alexander took command of a military unit and became the king of a vast empire by the time he turned 20. This is why he is known as “the Great”!

Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C. in the Pella region of Macedonia (which is now modern-day Greece). He was the son of King Philip II of Macedon and Queen Olympia. As a child, he enjoyed the privileges of royalty, including receiving education from the renowned philosopher Aristotle.

When he was 17, Alexander joined the military and embarked on his first expedition. He quickly rose to prominence and, at the young age of 18, assumed command of the Companion Cavalry.

As a young cavalry commander, he played a vital role in defeating the armies of Athens and Thebes, which led to the unification of the Greek city-states (excluding Sparta) and the formation of the Corinthian League. However, his relationship with his father deteriorated when King Philip ousted Alexander’s mother, Olympia, and married Cleopatra.

As a result, Alexander fled with his mother and sought refuge with her family. In 336 B.C., Alexander’s father was assassinated. With the support of the military and his mother, Alexander returned and ascended to the throne of Macedonia at the age of 20. He ruled as the king of Macedonia from 336 to 323 B.C.

Under Alexander’s leadership, Macedonia thrived. He utilized his military expertise and political astuteness to further unite the Greek city-states and convinced them to accept his leadership in the Corinthian League.

When necessary, he employed military force to quash any adversaries who threatened to leave the alliance he had established. In this manner, he consolidated his power and control over Macedonia and the other Greek city-states.

Eventually, Alexander set his sights on the eastern regions, particularly Asia. Despite being outnumbered, he employed brilliant military strategies to conquer King Darius III and declared himself the king of Persia in 333 B.C.

Next, he turned his attention to Egypt, which surrendered easily to Alexander. He founded the city of Alexandria in 331 B.C., which quickly became a bustling hub of trade and Greek culture. Later that year, he triumphed over the remaining Persian army and proclaimed himself the “King of Babylon, King of Asia, King of the Four Quarters of the World.”

Alexander and his army continued their conquests, venturing into Iran and India. The numerous Macedonian colonies he established played a crucial role in spreading Greek culture far beyond its borders and into Asia.

If Alexander had lived longer, it is difficult to say how extensive his empire would have become. Historians speculate that he was considering campaigns against Carthage and Rome when he succumbed to malaria in Babylon (present-day Iraq) in 323 B.C., at the young age of 32.

Give It a Try

Are you prepared to tackle the following activities? Enlist the help of a friend or family member!

  • Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a title like Alexander the Great? Actually, if you could transform any adjective into a title to add to your first name, what would you choose? Would you be Kaitlyn the Magnificent? How about Trevon the Talented? Think of at least five adjectives you could append to your name. Share your ideas with a friend or family member. What do they think your name should be?
  • The ancient world can be a bit challenging to understand, as it doesn’t always align with the way our modern world map looks. To gain a better understanding and appreciation of Alexander the Great’s military power, go online and explore the Map of Alexander the Great’s Conquests. Does the map help you comprehend the extent of his influence?
  • By the time Alexander the Great died at the young age of 32, he had achieved many remarkable things. What do you think you will have accomplished by the time you reach 32? Create a list of things you hope to achieve by that age. While your list may not include conquering large parts of the world, it’s always nice to think ahead and dream about your future. One aspect of achieving a dream is having the vision to dream big in the first place. Where will your aspirations take you by the time you’re 32?

Sources of Wonder

  • http://www.biography.com/people/alexander-the-great-9180468
  • http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/alexander-the-great


1. Who was Alexander the Great?

Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III of Macedon, was a king of Macedonia who lived from 356 BC to 323 BC. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest military leaders and conquerors in history. Alexander inherited the throne at the age of 20 after the assassination of his father, King Philip II. He went on to create one of the largest empires the world had ever seen, stretching from Greece to Egypt and as far east as India.

2. What were Alexander the Great’s achievements?

Alexander the Great achieved many remarkable feats during his reign. He successfully led his armies in numerous battles, defeating the Persian Empire and conquering Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. He established many cities and named them after himself, including Alexandria in Egypt. Alexander also promoted the spread of Greek culture, known as Hellenism, throughout his empire. His conquests greatly influenced the development of the Western world and left a lasting legacy.

3. How did Alexander the Great die?

Alexander the Great died at the age of 32 under mysterious circumstances. After returning from his campaign in India, he fell ill with a high fever. His condition quickly deteriorated, and he eventually became paralyzed. There are several theories about his cause of death, including malaria, typhoid fever, or even poisoning. However, no definitive answer has been found, and his death remains a subject of debate among historians.

4. What was Alexander the Great’s impact on history?

Alexander the Great’s impact on history cannot be overstated. His military tactics and strategies revolutionized warfare and influenced future conquerors and generals. His empire brought together different cultures and fostered the exchange of ideas and knowledge. The spread of Greek culture during his reign laid the foundation for the Hellenistic period, which greatly influenced art, literature, and philosophy. Alexander’s legacy continues to be studied and admired to this day.

5. How did Alexander the Great’s empire fall apart?

After Alexander’s death, his empire was divided among his generals, leading to a period of constant power struggles and conflicts. This era, known as the Wars of the Diadochi, lasted for several decades and eventually resulted in the fragmentation of Alexander’s empire into several smaller kingdoms. These kingdoms, such as the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt and the Seleucid Empire in Persia, continued to exist for many years before succumbing to various external pressures and internal disputes.

6. What was Alexander the Great’s personality like?

Alexander the Great was known for his ambition, determination, and charisma. He possessed great leadership skills and inspired unwavering loyalty from his soldiers. He was highly educated and had a strong interest in philosophy and literature, having been tutored by the famous philosopher Aristotle. However, he could also be ruthless and impulsive, especially in battle. Despite his flaws, Alexander’s personality and military prowess played a significant role in his success as a conqueror.

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