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Alexander the Great

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Alexander the Great was the king of Macedonia or Ancient Greece. He is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history.

When did Alexander the Great live?

Alexander the Great was born on July 20, 356 BC. He died at the young age of 32 in 323 BC having accomplished much in his short life. He reigned as king from 336-323 BC.


Alexander the Great
by Gunnar Bach Pedersen

Childhood of Alexander the Great

Alexander's father was King Philip the II. Philip II had built up a strong and united empire in Ancient Greece, which Alexander inherited.

Like most children in Athens, Alexander was tutored as a child and learned mathematics, reading, writing, and how to play the lyre. He also would have been instructed on how to fight, ride a horse, and hunt. When Alexander turned thirteen, his father Philip II wanted the best teacher possible for him. He hired the great philosopher Aristotle. In return for tutoring his son, Philip agreed to restore Aristotle's home town of Stageira, including setting many of its citizens free from slavery.

At school Alexander met many of his future generals and friends such as Ptolemy and Cassander. He also enjoyed reading the works of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Alexander's Conquests

After securing the throne and getting all of Greece under his control, Alexander turned east to conquer more of the civilized world. He moved swiftly using his military genius to win battle after battle conquering many peoples and rapidly expanding the Greek empire.

Here is the order of his conquests: At this point Alexander had accumulated one of the largest empires in history. However, his soldiers were ready to revolt. They wanted to return home to see their wives and children. Alexander agreed and his army turned back.


Map of Alexander's Empire by George Willis Botsford Ph.D.
click for larger view

Death of Alexander

Alexander only made it back to Babylon where he became suddenly sick and died. No one is sure what he died from, but many suspect poison. Upon his death the great empire he had built was divided up amongst his generals, called the Diadochi. The Diadochi ended up fighting each other for many years as the empire fell apart.

Fun Facts about Alexander the Great

Take a ten question quiz at the Alexander the Great questions page.

For more about Ancient Greece:

Overview
Timeline of Ancient Greece
Geography
The City of Athens
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Minoans and Mycenaeans
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Legacy of Ancient Greece
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Government of Ancient Greece
Greek Alphabet

Daily Life
Daily Lives of the Ancient Greeks
Typical Greek Town
Food
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Women in Greece
Science and Technology
Soldiers and War
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People
Alexander the Great
Archimedes
Aristotle
Pericles
Plato
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25 Famous Greek People
Greek Philosophers

Greek Mythology
Greek Gods and Mythology
Hercules
Achilles
Monsters of Greek Mythology
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The Iliad
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The Olympian Gods
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Hermes
Athena
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Aphrodite
Hephaestus
Demeter
Hestia
Dionysus
Hades

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