Alexander the Great

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 13, 2022, 12:55

Alexander the Great was an ancient Macedonian monarch and general who conquered enormous swaths of the known globe, stretching his kingdom from Greece to the eastern outskirts of ancient India.

Alexander the Great is renowned for his military prowess and is recognised as the initiator of cultural relations between the Western and Eastern worlds that would have long-term consequences for world history.

The Magnificent Life of Alexander the Great

  • Alexander III was born in Phela, Macedonia, to King Philip II and Queen Olympias in 356 BC.
  • When Alexander was 13 years old, Philip sought the help of Aristotle, the great philosopher. Alexander's passion for literature, sciences, medicine, and philosophy was inspired and nurtured by Aristotle.
  • Philip's army defeated a joint Greek force at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, capturing the kingdom. Alexander's military prowess was demonstrated when he led a cavalry unit against the Sacred Band of Thebes, a purportedly unbeatable infantry detachment. They were decimated by his cavalry.
  • In 336 BC, King Philip II got assassinated, and the crown was handed to Alexander.
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Alexander the Great - War Against Persia

  • Alexander the Great led his troops against the Persians in 334 BC to capture their territory and restock his treasuries with their vast wealth. At the battle of Issus in 333 BC, he defeated Persian King Darius III.
  • The Phoenician cities of Marathus and Aradus were next conquered by Alexander. He turned down Darius's peace offer and captured Byblos and Sidon.
  • He later marched into Egypt, where he was regarded as a living deity by the people.
  • After conquering Egypt, Alexander battled Darius and his huge army at Gaugamela in October 331 B.C. Darius escaped and got assassinated by his own warriors following the violent battle and high losses on both sides.

Alexander the Great's Invasion of India

  • In 327 BC, Alexander the Great proceeded into modern-day Punjab, where he confronted different Indian tribes.
  • He came across several provinces that surrendered to his army. But he later encountered King Porus, also known as King Paurava, on the banks of the Hydaspes (Jhelum) River.
  • King Porus was overpowered in the ensuing battle, but he fought so valiantly that Alexander became inspired enough to return his entire empire to him unscathed.
  • Alexander wanted to march forward, but his troops were tired of fighting. His men eventually persuaded him to return to Persia. As a result, Alexander led his forces down the River Indus, where he was gravely wounded during combat with the Malli tribe.

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Alexander the Great's Later Life

  • In 324 BC, Alexander the Great returned to Persia to commemorate his conquests in India. In 323 BC, he became ill with a fever and died consequently in the same year.
  • Since he had not named an heir to his dominion, his generals began fighting among themselves for their stake.
  • Seleucus Nicator in Persia emerged as the most formidable among them. Seleucus would later relinquish his eastern territories in India in the battle to Chandragupta Maurya of the Mauryan Empire.

Alexander the Great Tomb gained the appellation 'Great' for his military conquest and tactical prowess, as his dominion eclipsed that of his father. It was one of the ancient world's largest empires, stretching from Greece in the west to Punjab in India.

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FAQs on Alexander the Great

Q.1. Who is Alexander the Great? Why is he called 'Great'?

Alexander the Great, the monarch of ancient Macedonia, altered the course of history. He was one of the world's greatest military commanders, establishing a massive empire that spanned from Macedonia to Egypt and from Greece to India.

Q.2. When did Alexander the Great ascend to the throne?

Alexander the Great was crowned the king in 336 BC when King Philip II was assassinated.

Q.3. When did Alexander the Great invade India?

Alexander the Great marched to modern-day Punjab in 327 BC, where he encountered many Indian tribes.

Q.4. What is the location of Alexander the Great?

The location of Alexander the Great has long been an enigma. Following Alexander's death in Babylon, Ptolemy I Soter buried his body at Memphis before transferring it to Alexandria, where it was reburied.