Son of Phillip II, the Macedonian king Alexander III rose from a king to an emperor in a short span of 12 years. He is famous for being the youngest, greatest military genius who conquered entire Greece, Mediterranean, Persian and middle eastern regions in a single conquest ever recorded in history of mankind. Born in Pella in 356 BC Alexander was tutored by Greek philosopher Aristotle in science, medicine, literature and philosophy (History of Macedonia, 2001-13). His father Phillip II dreamt of conquering the Persian Empire and reaching Asia but was assassinated suddenly in 336 BC. Alexander ascended the throne on his death and foremost invasions were towards northern and southern Greece. City states of Greece and Thessaly were defeated quickly. On return he went to conquer Thracians and Tribalians in a swift action and quelled Illyrians in one week. Following this he marched his army south for 240 miles to control a rebellion by Thebes. For resisting his authority the whole city of Thebes was plundered, ransacked and burnt, killing 6000 citizens including women and children. These quick conquests and ruining of Thebes strengthened his position as Macedonian ruler of Greece, Thrace, Illyria and set path to next set of conquests.
In 334 BC Alexander set out towards Asia with an army of 25,000 Macedonians, 7,600 Greeks, and 7,000 Thracians and Illyrians. He has seven generals leading the army, Parmenio was second in command. He landed at Hellespont and fought with Persian King Darius III near the banks of river Granicus and won. He conquered the coastal cities of Halicarnassus, Miletus, and Mylasa and proceeded towards central Asia Minor. Battle of Issus was a second battle with King Darius, against whom Alexander won at great odds. Island city of Tyre and Gaza posed resistance and so he laid siege over them and plundered on conquest. In 331 BC, he entered Egypt and declared himself the Pharaoh. He ordered building of Alexandria which later on became major cultural and economic center (John J. Popovic, . Returning back to Tyre he reassembled forces and marched towards Babylon. The third and final victorious battle with King Darius (Battle of Gaugamela) made him the emperor of Persia. He occupied Persepolis and destroyed the palace of Persepolis declaring the Macedonian rule over Persia.
The following years Alexander stayed in Persia ordering his army to embrace Persian culture. He exchanged soldiers within his army replacing old, non-Macedonians with young Persians. Suspecting conspiracy to assassinate him, he tortured and killed his second in command general Parmenio, his son Philota, general Cleitus and his tutor’s nephew Greek historian Callisthenes. After winning the hard, guerilla war with Bactrians he marched forward towards river Hydaspes to wage war against India in 327 BC. He defeated King Porus and but faced several difficulties moving south of the river. While returning back to Persia the army crossed Gerdosian desert and Alexander suffered major losses of men dying due to heat and exhaustion. He too succumbed to war injuries and fever in Babylon at the age of 32 in 323 BC. “There is nothing impossible to him who will try” (Brainy Quote, 2013).
The legacy that Alexander left behind is his master strategies for moving armies across nations swiftly and conquering every battle, against every opponent, on every foreign land (David J. Lonsdale, 2007). For not giving up when faced with stronger adversaries and for being ruthless in his conquests Alexander set an example in war tactics. His journey suffered because his European soldiers detested his wishes to create and propagate Hellenistic reign. But conquering several nations, city states, unifying European and Asian countries under one rule, and expanse of his reign are his legacies foretold for centuries to come.
History of Macedonia, 2001-13. Alexander the Great. Project of historyofmacedonia.org. Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography. Web. 2001-2013. Date accessed Nov 5th, 2013. Available at: http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/AncientMacedonia/AlexandertheGreat.html
Brainy Quote, 2013. Alexander the Great quotes. Web. Date accessed Nov 5, 2013. Available at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/alexander_the_great.html
David J. Lonsdale, 2007. Alexander the Great. Lessons in Strategy. Web. Published by Routledge. Pp 2-3. Date accessed Nov 5th, 2013. Available at: trainings.altpere.com/downloads//Alexander%20Great%20Strategy.pdf