Alexander the Great

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Alexander the Great was the greatest and most successful leader in his time. He was a dazzling, patient, and conniving general who always struck his enemies after careful planning. He made decisions with calculated speeds and took unexpected risks. His success was often attributed to his expression of sheer strength and spirit to conquer. During his era, he overpowered the Persians, the Greeks, conquered Asia Minor and Egypt, and went on to secure the Mediterranean Sea. His era of leadership and military command was characterized by several triumphs. His well-though out strategies were responsible for his quick success. He did not, however, live that long to conquer more of the world or witness his failure. This paper summarizes his legendary story by covering the most relevant and unique impacts of his time.

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Alexander the great was born on July 20, 356 BC in Pella, Macedonia. In 343 BC, at the age of thirteen, Alexander came under the tutorage of Aristotle. In 338, he commanded his first Calvary in battle. In 336 BC, Alexander ascended the throne of Macedonia after his father King Philip II was assassinated. Between then and 323 BC he built his empire by conquering kingdom after kingdom. It was during this period that he was known as Alexander the Great to his people. To this day, we still look at Alexander the Great as one of the greatest rulers of the world even though he ruled only for a short period. Nevertheless, he gained his title as Alexander the Great because of his intelligent military skills, his popularity with his people and his leadership skills.

Having a name like the great during early times was somewhat godly. Alexander was not the first of his time to be called the great. There were two other Kings before him who bared the title of the great namely, King Cyrus the Great of Persia and Pharaoh Ramses the Great of Egypt. The reason as to why his leadership and military skills are still considered as being the most outstanding by modern military experts is because he was able to convince his troops that they could win despite their insignificance regarding numbers to armies such as those of King Cyrus and Pharaoh Ramses. Alexander was able to accomplish this by motivating and inspiring his troops to fight battles for him by leading them to battle, talking to his troops individually, and suffering in the same way as them. However, his most marvelous trait was his charisma. At the time, no King had been able to build such an empire. His ability to hold together such a huge empire made him stand out from all other Kings before and during his time. After his death, however, the empire fell apart into hostile kingdoms.

Alexander the Great is recognized worldwide for his role in shaping the world the way we understand it today. For instance, before Alexander came into power, the Persians, Babylonians, and Egyptians were the eastern cultures that ruled the world. Once he conquered each of their Kingdoms, he shifted the attention on civilization from the eastern cultures to the Western societies, dominated by Greece and Rome. Alexander confiscated the gold reserves of the Persian Kings and coined them into currency while exploiting his newfound resources to build new cities and proceeding with his conquest of other kingdoms. This would enable the Greek civilization to spread throughout the world and expand trade relations and activities. Alexander then established a new economic system that endured until the industrial revolution emerged in the 18th century. There existed limits for the inhabited world at the time established by him, which also remained intact until the 15th century, before the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese.

Darius III, the King of Persia during Alexanders rule of Macedonia was one of his opponents. Then, Persia was a vast empire that covered all of the Egypt, the Mediterranean Sea, Central Asia and India. Darius was Alexanders greatest enemy and in 331 BC, he had to face his incredibly large army, which comprised of over one million Persians. The war between the two Kingdoms began In 334 BC when Alexanders armies wiped out a Persian shield force at river Granicus. In 333, Darius was almost defeated by Alexander in the town of Issus, but he fled to replenish his army. In 334 BC, another battle took place when Alexander crossed over Hellespont with an army of thirty-five thousand Macedonians. On reaching the Granicus River, they ran into forty thousand Persians and Greek legionnaires. According to historical findings, Alexanders army defeated an army of forty thousand men while his army only suffered a loss of one hundred and ten men. Seeing this, all the minor states of Asia surrendered to him.

Alexander proceeded with his army south of Persia and ran into King Darius IIIs main territorial army. The Battle of Issus took place in 333 BC. Darius army is said to have comprised of at least half a million men, a number that is believed to have been exaggerated. In the course of the battle, Darius was detached from his base. Hence, he fled north leaving his mother, wife and children. Despite capturing them, Alexander treated them as royalty even better than Darius treated them. This victory was great for him. He was convinced there was more for his empire hence he continued to Tyre, a guarded seaport that rested in barricades for seven months until he stormed it and conquered it in 332 BC. As Alexander moved on to Egypt, his first victory was in Gaza. Once in Egypt, he was met by the people as a liberator. After capturing the entire Kingdom, he founded the city of Alexandria at the mouth of the River Nile. This city went on to become the legendary, scientific and commercial epicenter of the Greek realm. To complete his conquest of Egypt, Alexander secured the entire eastern Mediterranean coast.

After reaching Egypt, 331 BC turned out to be a busy time for Alexander. He went on a journey to the great sanctuary and oracle of the Egyptian god of the sun. Since he had become the new ruler of Egypt, he needed the God to recognize him as his son. After this, he journeyed north, organized his army at Tyre, and headed for Babylon. He cut across the Euphrates and Tigris with approximately fifty thousand men in infantry and cavalry. It was here that he ran into King Darius III with his million-man army, based on the exaggerated accounts of ancient times. With only an army of 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalries, Alexander took on King Darius one million army at the Battle of Gaugamela. King Darius very large army could not, however, guarantee his victory because it was here that he faced his final defeat. Darius fled yet again but for the last time. He ran into his satraps, whom according to history, killed him. After King Darius III had lost at Gaugamela the city of Babylon submitted, and the city of Susa was captured and all its riches seized. Alexander surged on to the city of Persoplis seizing all the imperial treasures and other rich fortunes.

With such great victory and an empire to command, Alexander finalized the destruction of the Persian Kingdom by burning the city of Persoplis. Within a short time, Alexander had stretched his dominion from the shores of the Caspian Sea to the northern states of Sogdiana and Bactria. Alexander annexed the Punjab in 326 BC. He then traversed the Indus River and moved further towards Hyphasis River before Macedonians started rebelling. On reaching the Hyphasis, he decided to build a fleet to enable him to sail down the Indus and into the Persian Gulf. Alexander then led his army across the desert, in an attempt to reach Media. This, he later realized was his greatest mistake since there were significant food and water shortages. He suffered heavy losses in his army, and the soon, the morale of the men was fading. It took him nearly a year for him to bring together his dominions and survey the Persian Gulf in preparation for more conquest. His relentlessness, was, however, not meant to last that long because in the year 323 BC Alexander the Great contracted a fever. Historical accounts state that he had too many wounds, which he could not recover from. In June of that year, he died.

Though several accounts depict Alexander the Great as one of the greatest generals because of his gift as a technician and troop leader, he also had his flaws especially as regards to politics. In addition to this one downside to Alexander, he was also an alcoholic. A part of him which is said to have overwhelmed him on several accounts. For example, in one instant, in a drunken fury, he killed his best friend, Clitus. Alexander had a unique idea; a plan that would transform the future. He wished to bring together the East and the West and create a world empire. He was not scared of trying to bring together people from different cultures. Therefore, he trained young Persians the fighting tactics of the Greek as well as their warfare strategies and signed them up for his army. He even wed Persian wives such as Barsine, Darius eldest daughter and Roxana, the daughter of Oxyartes. Alexander was ever so assured that he could be a divine being such that he commanded everyone to worship him as a god after his death. This wish was shortly annulled after his death. These are many military accomplishments that qualified him to granted such great status, but there was more.

Apart from his heroics in battle, Alexander was known for his intelligence. He was at no time content with his environs; he always desired more. He had a craving for knowledge, and he was eager to explore and find it. Alexander did not believe in settling for enough. With such passion and energy, his desire was to conquer and expand his horizons to the fullest. Of all the kings, rulers, and emperors, Alexander III of Macedonia earned the title The Great because he was the only one close enough to conquering the world, as we know it. He gave history a new course. His conquest of Asia and the middle east greatly contributed towards the spread of Hellenism instantly through these regions. Greek civilization remained influential through the Mediterranean region and West Asia even after Alexanders death. It was only until the war of Diadochi that his empire started to break up. The only Macedonian dynasties established by Alexander III that did not falter are Egypt, Syria, and Persia. These dynasties shaped the world at that time into a bigger and cohesive universe of trade and intellectual development. This fact is evident in that after Alexanders death; the Empire did not fall apart completely. The only factor that propelled the Empires falling apart was the fact that Alexander did not leave an heir to the throne. His only son was born after the generals who were in command of Alexanders army divided the Empires rule.

His son was named Alexander IV Aegus, but he did not live long enough to see himself even as a leader. To date, it is difficult to establish what Alexanders real intention was apart from creating a world empire. His conquests were undoubtedly greater than those of any ruler before him were. He, unfortunately, did not have time to organize a government to govern the lands that he had taken over. Nonetheless, Cities and States were established with Greek foundations that endured long after his death. Alexanders takeovers fashioned a legend that offered standards by which consequent leaders measured their career achievements. The consequent Kings and emperors discovered that they could not compete with the legend and therefore turned to emulation of the legends tactics. Alexanders career and unmatchable achievements have even reached modern times where it is greatly used metaphorically.

However, the Macedonian ruler, who is perhaps the most celebrated secular figure in history, was little esteemed in his own time. Although there lacks sufficient specifics about his personality, t...

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