As a young boy, Alexander of Macedonia was tutored by the famous philosopher Aristotle, who spurred his interest in a range of subjects, including philosophy, politics, and science. Alexander showed great intelligence and a thirst for knowledge, serving him well in his later conquests.
When his father was assassinated in 336 BC, Alexander became king at just 20. He immediately set about consolidating his power and expanding his kingdom. He defeated several rebellious city-states and then turned his attention to the Persian Empire. In 334 BC, Alexander crossed the Hellespont (a narrow strait separating Europe and Asia Minor) with an army of around 35,000 soldiers, beginning his conquest of Persia. He won every battle against the Persian forces, the most famous being the Battle of Issus in 333 BC, where he defeated the Persian king Darius III and captured his entire family.
Alexander continued his conquest of Persia, taking cities and provinces one by one. He famously marched his army through the desert of modern-day Iran to reach the wealthy city of Persepolis, which he captured and looted in 330 BC.
Alexander the Great traveled approximately 22,000 miles during his conquest of the Persian Empire. For twelve years, Alexander and his troops fought battles and conquered territories in modern-day Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. However, his campaign was not without setbacks. His army faced a difficult battle against the Indian king Porus in 326 BC, and after years of non-stop campaigning, Alexander’s soldiers began to tire.
In 323 BC, Alexander fell ill in Babylon and died at 32. His death is thought to have been caused by a fever or poison, although the exact cause remains a mystery.
Alexander’s legacy was significant. He is remembered as one of the greatest military commanders in history, and his conquests helped to spread Greek culture and ideas throughout the world. Despite his relatively short life, his achievements had a profound impact on the course of history, and he is still widely studied and admired today.
The History of Alexander by Quintus Curtius Rufus (Author), John Yardley (Translator)
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