Alexander the Great’s Time as Ruler of Macedonia
Alexander the Great was born heir to the throne of Macedonia. He was the son of King Philip II. Philip was considered a great ruler among the Greeks, and he wanted to continue this legacy. Alexander grew to become one a very powerful ruler. In his life, Alexander would prove himself as the great ruler his father longed for.
King Philip II amassed an army to invade Thrace, a rich, neighboring land of Macedonia. He left Alexander, only sixteen years old, to rule while he was at war. As the massive army of Macedonia plunged deep into Thrace, Thracian tribes northeast of Macedonia rebelled. Alexander assembled a small, untrained army to counter the rebels. Alexander completely wiped out the rebels and gained the favor of the Macedonians.
Alexander’s father was assassinated in 336 B.C. The death of the Macedonian king threw Greece into revolt. Macedonia now had enemies to the north and south. At this time, Alexander assumed power and became King of Macedonia. He managed to quiet down his fellow Greeks, and he began expanding his lands.
Alexander demonstrated great capability and power. He proved this during The Battle of the Granicus River. Alexander had the idea to cease coastal cities, and cut navy resupply routes for the enemy. The enemy lost terribly and Alexander captured a stronghold and renamed it “Alexandropolis”.
In 334 B.C. Alexander set out for his largest military conquest he would ever make. He made for Asia Minor. He build up a massive army with more than thirty-thousand men, and five-thousand horses. On his way, he fought two Persian armies that had a distinct advantage. The Persians had chariots on flat land and two armies – not one. Alexander managed to defeat the armies with a light loss on his side.
Greece had defeated King Darius one time, and this time, Alexander aimed to humiliate the Persians. When their armies met, the Greek and Persian armies, Macedonia was greatly outnumbered. During the battle, a gap formed in the enemy lines, and Alexander charged through. The Macedonians destroyed the Persians, and sent Darius and the remaining enemies into retreat. Alexander followed the King and what was left of the Persian Army. Along the way, he burned Persian cities, and the Palace of Xerxes the final resting place of a long-hated enemy of the Greeks.
The Persian Army grew weary of running and grew tired of the failures of their king. They betrayed Darius and held him captive. The captors, fearing Alexander’s army, fled into the deserts. The captors plunged daggers into Darius and left him to die in the harsh lands. Upon discovery, Alexander laid a clean, purple cloak over the body. Alexander ordered Darius to be taken to Persepolis, the final resting place of all the Persian Kings. Alexander had immense respect for the dead. Alexander had conquered Persia.
After all of the fighting Alexander had done, he hoped to settle down. He married a Persian woman whom he loved. With this marriage, Alexander hoped to strengthen the bond and appease the hatred between the Persians and the Greeks. Alexander’s army reflected on all that they had achieved. They were very proud to serve under such tremendous king.
With all of Alexander’s military achievements put together, he was known for much more. He founded the city in Egypt named Alexandria in 331 B.C. In this city lies the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexander died in 323 B.C., at the age of thirty-two. He died of a fever, but there was no clear illness. Alexander the Great had conquered the largest empire in the world.
- Nardo, Don. Alexander the Great: Conqueror of the Known World. Greensboro: Morgan Reynolds Publishing, 2010.
- Stonemen, Richard. Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend. Filey: Library of Congress Catalog-in-Publication Data, 2008.
- Green, Robert. Alexander the Great. Danbury: Library of Congress Catalog-in-Publication Data, 1996.