Alexander the Great occupies a special niche in history as “Ruler of the World” who conquered much of ancient civilization through his military genius and political savvy, traits he inherited from his father and honed to perfection by experience. He lived one of the most…
In the middle of the fighting, he was not above abandoning a carefully laid-out battle plan to change tactics when the enemy seemed to be gaining the upper hand. This change of maneouvers was often carried out in a split second as to catch the enemy flatfooted, thus changing the tide of the battle in his favor. 2
Before Alexander died at age 33 of possible malaria, typhoid or viral encephalis, his 12 years of military campaign built a vast empire that consisted of Persia, Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, Gaza, Egypt, Bactria and Mesopotamia with boundaries reaching as far as Punjab in India. He also consolidated his rule over Macedonia and Greece, the original dominion of his king-father whose crown he inherited.3 Had he lived a few years more he would have conquered other unknown territories west and east of the ancient world. In fact, the plan just before his death was to direct his army to the west of Europe and then march farther eastwards where, according to his boyhood tutor Aristotle, “the land ends and the Great Outer Sea begins.”
A life as warrior and conqueror had been laid out for Alexander the Great since birth. There was the nurturing influence of his father King Philip II of Macedonia, a brilliant military commander and politician who had conquered and annexed almost all Greek cities to his empire except for Sparta. Philip wanted to establish a larger Federal League of Corinth to include the warlike Persia in faraway mid-east, which had signified the same intention towards the Macedonia-Greece league. When Alexander was a young boy, the reign of his father was already under constant threat by the Persians with conquest in mind. In fact, the Persians had already attempted several invasions on the Macedonia-Greek hegemony and had wrought severe damage on the Greek cities under Philip’s control. Other Greek cities near and ...
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