Alexander the Great: Overview, Empire, Death

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Dec 23, 2022, 20:23

Alexander the Great was an ancient Macedonian monarch and general whose kingdom stretched from Greece to the eastern outskirts of ancient India. He is among the few monarchs who remained undefeated in battle and is known for his military prowess. Alexander the Great is also recognised as the initiator of cultural relations between the Western and Eastern worlds.

Becoming King at the age of 21 years old, Alexander reigned a significant part of the world until his death at 33 years old. We have shared further information about this great king and his vast empire here.

Who is Alexander?

Alexander the Great was a powerful ancient ruler of Macedonia, Greece. He is known for his conquer of major parts of the world, spanning from Egypt to Greece, to India. Alexander was tutored by none other than Aristotle till the age of 16. When he was 20 years old, he succeeded the throne of Macedonia from his father, Philip II.

The military achievements of Alexander the Great remain a field of study for people around the world. Despite being such a young ruler, Alexander made a history-altering impact on the world as a monarch.


Alexander the Great


356 BC


323 BC

Known For

His vast Empire

About Alexander

Alexander the Great was born in Phela, Macedonia, to King Philip II and Queen Olympias in 356 BC. Here are some facts about Alexander -

  • 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 till the age of 16.
  • 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.
  • Alexander the Great ruled for a period of 13 years, after which he passed away.

Alexander the Great Empire

The empire of Alexander spanned all the way from Persia to India. Ever since he became king at the age of 21, Alexander the Great had his mind on conquering Persia. A significant part of his Persian expedition comes from the fact that he needed wealth to pay remuneration to the army his father, Philip had raised.

In 334 BC, Alexander the Great, along with his army, crossed the Dardanelles to begin his expedition. He raised a strong army consisting of the following -

  • 13,000 men from Europe
  • 30,000 foot soldiers
  • Cavalry of 5,000
  • 14,000 of the mentioned army were Macedonians and about 7,000 allies sent by the Greek League.

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 - Indian Invasion

  • 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.

Alexander the Great - Later Life

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.

  • 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.

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FAQs on Alexander the Great

Q.1. Who is Alexander the 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. He is known for his military prowess and his vast empire.

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. He was only 21 years old when he ascended the throne. He was able to conquer great lands at a very young age. The kingdom of Alexander the Great spanned from Egypt to India.

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. Coming across King Porus in India, Alexander the Great was turned back, and he retreated with his men to Persia. Alexander ruled a significant part of the world until his death at 33 years old.

Q.4. Where did Alexander the Great die?

Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, at the age of 33 years old. 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.