Was Alexander the Great Really “Great”?
How it works
Alexander the great once said, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” This quote from Alexander shows his leadership knowledge. He knew what it took to be a great leader who lead his army on the front line afraid of nothing. Although Alexander the great caused over 100,000 people to die and was very greedy but, he is still one of the greatest war leaders of all time. Alexander conquered many lands and defeated many armies. He was able to beat the unbeatable Band of Thebes and only 18 years old. Alexander conquered all of Persian empire including Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, Gaza, Egypt, Bactria, Mesopotamia, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan, part of India, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan and extended the boundaries of his own empire. He may have have some flaws but in the end Alexander was a great leader.
Alexander was born in 356 B.C. in Macedonia. King Philip II was his father and Queen olympias. Alexander was tutored at age thirteen by the world renowned philosopher Aristotle. This gave Alexander his very powerful mind that was able to come up with great war strategies. King Philip was killed and Alexander took the throne at just twenty years old. There are a few legends about young Alexander, when he was twelve he was able to tame a wild horse called Bucephalus which is said to have been his companion for the rest of his life. He faced untied a group of tightly-entwined knots tied to an ancient wagon. Legend had it whoever unwound the knot would conquer all of Asia. Alexander took on the Gordian knot but he could no untangle it by hand so he sliced through with his sword. Alexander was a fearless leader. He led his troops into battle on the front lines, he was a very tough and brave king. “Through every generation of the human race there has been a constant war, a war with fear. Those who have the courage to conquer it are . made free and those who are conquered by it are made to suffer until they have the courage to defeat it, or death takes them.” -Alexander the great. One of the reasons why Alexander was so great is because he lived by this quote. He conquered all his fears and he destroyed all the empires that couldn’t. He lead his army with command and bravery which made the army great and unbeatable.
How it works
Alexander had one of the greatest military minds of all time. He had some of the best battle strategies. He always led the army in front of his troops. He positioned his army in a wedge position which made it very hard for the other army to crack. He would have part of his army strike the center of the opposite army and then some of his troops attacked from the flanks. Alexander had great control of his army had was able to move it around very quickly. He gave his troops light armour so they could move quicker than their opponents. He also put his army on terrain that would best benefit them. Alexander never lost a battle and it’s because he inherited and good army and made it great. He lead them fearlessly with great strategy. Other countries feared him and his army because of his power. Alexander accomplished so much in a little amount of time he was able to do this because of his great battle strategies and leadership skills.
Alexander a great leader but he did have some flaws. Alexander and his army were estimated to have killed far over a 100,000 people. Alexander’s armies destroyed their opponents not just causing lots of death. He destroyed many cities and kingdom and even though he did not slaughter the civilians he left them in terrible living conditions leaving them to die. He wa also a heavy drinker. One time he was very drunk and stabbed and killed his own friend Cleitus. He would drink and party a lot after battle and this eventually led to his death 323 B.C. at age 32 because someone poisoned his drink. Alexander was also a very greedy person. He wanted to conquer more and more. He had already conquered the greeks egypt and asia but he wanted to rule the world. Alexander may have killed all these people and been greedy but he was an amazing leader.
The battle of Issus and the battle of Tyre were great wins for Alexander. In In 333 B.C., Alexander and his men had to fight a huge Persian army led by King Darius III near the town of Issus located in Turkey. Alexander’s forces were outnumbered by a lot in men but not in experience or determination. Alexander found Darius up along the Pinarus River. He started to destroy Darius and his army. As it became that Alexander was going to come out on top Darius fled with the surviving troops and left his family.
He then had his eyes on the well fortified island of Tyre in January 332 B.C. After the Tyrians refused him to enter, but Alexander had no navy in sight and Tyre was surrounded by water. Tyrian forces stopped Alexander’s clever attempts to enter many times. Until he realized he needed a navy to breach their defenses. He eventually broke through the city’s walls in July 332 B.C. and killed thousands of Tyrians for attempting to defy him and the rest were sold into slavery. These battles show Alexander’s determination to be great and how he never gave up. Alexander expands his empire by venturing into Egypt and becoming the king of Persia.
He set out for egypt in 332 B.C. to gain land. When he reached Egypt they welcomed he because they hated the persians. Alexander ruled over them and founded his own country Alexandria. After conquering Egypt, Alexander took on Darius and his troops at Gaugamela during 331 B.C. After the tough battle and lots of casualties from both sides. Eventually Darius retreated and was killed by his own men. Alexander wanted to become king of persia, but so did Bessus another Persian leader. Alexander would not let Bessus become king, he attacked him. Eventually Bessus’s troops could not take it anymore and hande Bessus over. With Bessus gone he had complete control of persia. Now Alexander had a great empire and controlled lots of land. Alexander was such a strong force he could not be stopped. Other cities feared Alexander because he was so great, some were to scared so they just surrendered. His military skills were far above everyone else. He definitely would have conquered much more if he did not die at a young age.
- Editors, History .com. “Alexander the Great.” History, A&E Television Networks, 9 Nov. 2009, www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/alexander-the-great. Accessed 15 Nov. 2018.
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- “Alexander the Great.” Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 1998. Biography In Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/K1631000131/BIC?u=mlin_n_ipswhsl&sid=BIC&xid=3f61833a. Accessed 18 Nov. 2018.
- Staff, Livius. “Alexander the Great.” Pliny the Younger – Livius, 2000, www.livius.org/articles/person/alexander-the-great/.
- MISHKOV, ALEKSANDAR. “Alexander the Great Military Strategy – How Alexander Never Lost a Battle in 15 Years.” DocumentaryTube, 11 June 2015, www.documentarytube.com/articles/alexander-the-great-military-strategy–how-alexander-never-lost-a-battle-in-15-years.
- Curtius, Quintus. “The Macedonian Army Before the Battle of Gaugamela.” Alexander the Great.
- Gunther, John. Alexander the Great. Sterling Publishing Company, 2007.
- Cawthorne, Nigel. Alexander the Great. Haus Publishing, 2004.
- Plutarch. Alexander. Plutarch, 75 A.C.E. I used this for a primary source I thought it was good because it was very old.
- Unknown. Alexander Mosaic. First century AD, Naples National Archaeological Museum.
- Portrait of Alexander the Great. 320 BC, Getty Villa, Gallery 111, The Hellenistic World.