Biography of Alexander the Great | who is it.

In less than ten years, he forged an empire stretching from Greece and Egypt to the India. It was the beginning of the Hellenistic world.
For the history of the ancient civilization the exploits of Alexander the great were a whirlwind of such proportions that even today one can speak outright from a before and an after its passage through the world. And although his providential legacy (extension of Hellenic culture to the most remote confines) was favored by a wide range of favorable circumstances which historians review promptly, his biography is indeed a true epic, the manifestation at the time of the great Homeric visions and the living example of how some men stand out on his contemporaries to incessantly feed the imagination of generations to come.

Towards the second half of the 4th century BC, a small territory in the North of Greece, despised by the boastful Athenians and strikethrough of barbaro, began his dazzling expansion under the aegis of a military genius: Filipo II, King of Macedonia. The key to their military successes was the development of the "order of battle oblique", experienced previously by Epaminondas. It consisted of have the cavalry wing attacker, but above all to provide mobility, reducing the number of rows, the phalanxes of infantry, which until then could only maneuver in one direction. The famous Macedonian phalanx consisted of rows of sixteen men in background with helmet and shield of iron, and one throws called sarissa.

Alexander the great
Alejandro was born in Peel, capital of the ancient Macedonian Pelagonia, in October of the 356 B.c. That year provided many congratulations to the ambitious Macedonian community: one of his most trusted generals, Parmenion, defeated the Illyrians; one of its riders was winner in the Games held in Olympia; and Philip had to his son Alexander, who in his impressive career Warrior never know defeat.
You want to the legend, the same day he was born Alejandro, extravagant arsonist Burns one of the seven wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, taking advantage of the absence of the goddess, who had come to protect the birth of the Prince. When he was arrested, he confessed that he had done so its name passed to the history. Authorities executed it, ordered it disappearance until the innermost testimony of their passage through the world and forbade that nobody ever decide its name. But more than two thousand years later he still remembers the infamous outrage of the disturbed Herostratus, and the priests at Ephesus, according to legend, they saw in the catastrophe the unmistakable symbol that someone, somewhere in the world, had just been born to rule over the entire East. According to another description of Plutarch, his birth occurred during a night of gale-force winds, which the auguries interpreted as the announcement of Jupiter that its existence would be glorious.

Born to conquer

Predestined by gods and oracles to govern at the same time two Empires, the confirmation of this exceptional destination today seems more attributable to their own peculiar reality. Grandson and son of Kings in a time when the aristocracy was composed of warriors and conquerors, was prepared for this since I saw the light.
At the time of birth, his father, Filipo II, general of the army and new King of Macedonia, whose throne had agreed months earlier, he was far from Pela, on the Halkidiki peninsula, celebrating with his soldiers of the Greek colony of Potidea accountability. Upon receiving the news, full of joy, he sent immediately to Athens a letter to Aristotle, in which participated it the fact and thanked the gods that his son had been born at the time (of the philosopher), and transmitting the hope that one day becomes his disciple. The Olimpias Queen of Macedonia, his mother, was the daughter of Neoptolomeo, King of the Molossians, and, like his father, determined and violent. He closely monitored their children's education (soon to be born Cleopatra, sister of Alexander) and imbued in them his own ambition.
The Prince had first Lysimachus and then Leonidas two severe pedagogues who underwent a rigorous discipline their children. Nothing superfluous. Nothing frivolous. Nothing to indujese to sensuality. Natural irritable and emotional, that austerity agreed, apparently, their nature, and acquired a perfect domain of himself and his actions.
When, at the age of twelve, King, away until then on their side because of its constant military campaigns, decided to dedicate himself personally to his education, he marveled find against a child smart and courageous, full of criterion, extraordinarily gifted and interested as it was happening to her around. It was time to just ask Aristotle the education of your child. From the age of thirteen, and until after the age of seventeen, Prince virtually lived with the philosopher. He studied grammar, geometry, philosophy and, in particular, ethics and politics, but in this sense the future King would not follow conceptions of his tutor. Over the years, confessed that Aristotle taught her to "live in dignity"; always a sincere gratitude felt by the Athenian thinker.

Aristotle and Alexander
Aristotle taught him to also love the Homeric poems, in particular the Iliad, which, over time, become a real obsession of the adult Alejandro. The new Achilles was once questioned by his teacher about their plans for him when it had achieved power. The cautious Alexander replied that the time it would give response, because man can never be sure of the future. Aristotle, far from feeding suspicions about this reluctant replica, was extremely pleased and prophesied that he would be a great King.
Alejandro grew while the Macedonians were increasing their domains and Philip his glory. From an early age, its appearance and its value were parangonados with a lion, and when he was only fifteen years, according to Plutarch recounts, an anecdote that anticipates its dazzling future took place. Philip wanted to buy a beautiful print wild horse, but none of their battle-hardened riders was able to tame him, so he had decided to resign to this. Alejandro, infatuated with the animal, wanted to have his opportunity to ride it, although her father did not believe that a boy triumphed where the most senior had failed. To the astonishment of everyone, the future conqueror of Persia went up on the back of what would be his inseparable friend for many years, Bucephalus, and galopó upon him with unexpected ease.

The Taming of Bucephalus
Healthy, strong and beautiful (according to Plutarch), Alejandro incarnates, sixteen and seventeen years old, the prototype of the ideal lad. In full force of dorio love, already enriched by Plato with his philosophy, and descendant himself dorians with a teacher that, in turn, had been for twenty years the favourite disciple of Plato, it is not difficult to imagine her sexual awakening. Already through the mutual admiration with the own Aristotle, already providing this other guys as formative method of your spirit, there would be no but characterized, at the time and in the warrior society in which they lived, the role corresponding to their age and condition.
If, as Plato argued, this kind of love was promoting the heroic, in Alexander, during those years, the awakening of the hero was imminent. Sixteen-year-old felt qualified to run a war, and with domain and criteria sufficient to reign. It could soon prove both things. Wounded his father in Perinto, he was called to replace it. It was the first time that he took part in a fight, and his conduct was so bright that was sent to Macedonia as a Regent. In 338, he moved with his father to the South to subdue the tribes of Anfisa, North of Delphi.
From 380 B.c., a visionary Greek, Isocrates, had preached the need that it abandon infighting on the peninsula and that a League was formed Pan-Hellenic. But decades later, the Athenian Demosthenes showed his concern by the conquests of Philip, who had taken over the North coast of the Aegean. Demosthenes, Philip declared enemy, took the remoteness to induce the Athenians that they Pope against the Macedonians. Upon hearing the King, he left with his son to Chaeronea and broke with the Athenians. Glorious phalanges Theban, unbeaten since its formation by the genius Epaminondas, were completely devastated. Up to the last Theban soldier died in the battle of Chaeronea, where the young Alexander led the Macedonian cavalry.
Alexander managed to gain the admiration of his soldiers in this war and gained such popularity that subjects commented Philip remained its general, but that their King was Alejandro. Quinto Curcio account who after triumph in Chaeronea, where the Prince had given samples, despite his youth, being not only a heroic fighter but also a skillful strategist, his father hugged him with tears in her eyes told him: "my son, get another realm that is worthy of you. Macedonia is too small!".
Completed campaigns against the THRACIANS, Illyrians and Athenians, Alejandro, Antipater and Alcimaco were appointed delegates from Athens to manage the peace treaty. It was then when he saw for the first time Greece in all its glory. The Greece who had learned to love through Homer. The land of which Aristotle had transmitted their pride and passion. In his brief tenure, great honors were tribute him. There he attended gymnasia and lectures and is exercised in the sport of the Pentathlon, under the watchful and admiring gaze of adults, which transformed these centers in real "courts of love". There he was in direct contact with the art in full swing of Praxiteles and preliminary moments of the Attica school.

The murder of Philip

Philip, meanwhile, had met under its authority to all Greece, except for Sparta. In 337, at the age of forty-five, he dragged a passion since its passage by the mountains of the Adriatic, and did not hesitate to return to Illyria in search of Atala, the Princess from whom they had fallen in love. After twenty years of marriage (although very few of them was near his wife and disputes were increasingly growing), nor hesitate to repudiate Olimpias and a new wedding with Atala.
Alejandro, who loved his mother, did not withstand the offense that the King beyond his legitimate wife. Despite this, he was forced to attend the wedding banquet. During the ceremony, he criticized the actions of his father, and this drunk came to threaten him with his sword. Indignant, wounded in his own love, the Prince ran beside her mother and begged you to flee with him. With some faithful few, mother and son left Pela to take refuge in the Palace of his uncle Alexander, King of the Molossians in succession of his maternal grandfather.
There they lived until Philippi, showing signs of repentance, promised to pay tribute to the Queen honors that. However, although Olimpias agreed, it is likely that it already colluding with Pausanias to the perpetration of his revenge against Philip and the crystallization of its ambitions of Regency. Few weeks later (it was already the spring of the year 336) returned to Epirus, including Philip. They celebrated the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra with Alejandro Molosia, uncle of the bride. During the bridal procession, Filipo II assassinated by Pausanias.

The murder of Philip
It seems clear that Olimpias participated (it was the mentor) in the murder of the King. But Alejandro, was oblivious? In his twenties was the Kingdom of Macedonia: almost a divine plan to finally start the life of glory that was intended. And then put hands to work. First (here fifth Curcio Rufo says that "it gave punishment, by himself, the murderers of his father", but it doesn't seem reliable), made to eliminate all those who might oppose him. He had not finished the year 336 when in the popular Assembly of Corinth was appointed "Generalissimo of the Greek armies".

King of Macedonia

At the beginning of the year 335, the lifting of Thrace and Illyria demanded a brief campaign during which got the conquest and submission of both regions. I had not just returned to his Kingdom when the revolt of the Thebans, coupled with the Athenians, after spreading the rumor of his death in Icaria, demanded a new and urgent battle to prevent the total coalition.
But the site of Thebes was not easy; In comparison, Thrace and Illyria had been child's play. In the resistance of the city, Alejandro decided to take it by storm. He became a knife, one at a time, more than six thousand citizens, reduced to slavery to a garrison consisting of thirty thousand soldiers and ordered the total demolition of the city, though, in an act more than eloquent of his respect for art and culture, ordered to save from demolition the House in which Pindar, Greek poet Cinocefalos lived that he sang with great lyrical beauty to athletes in their Epinicios (or "songs of the sports arena") and that it was counted among her favorite poets. Athens was submitted without resistance.

Alejandro in Thebes
Upon his return to Macedonia, he worked in the preparation of the war against the Persian Empire, war begun by his father (to whom had been the dream of his life), and that was interrupted after his death. It is possible that during the final months of 335 until the spring of 334 had made several trips to Athens and Epiro. In Epirus reigned his sister Cleopatra, the Queen of Molossians, who was with his advice. In Athens Lysippos, the sculptor of Sicione and friend of Alexander, made several busts, some of which may date from that time.

The conquest of the Persian Empire

While preparing his departure towards Persia they told that the statue of Orpheus, the player of the lyre, sweated, and Alejandro consulted a fortune teller to find out the meaning of this premonition. The augur predicted a great success in your business, because the divinity demonstrated with this sign that, for poets of the future, it would be hard to sing his exploits. After entrusting his general Antípatro who kept Greece in peace, in the spring of 334 BC, he crossed the Hellespont with thirty-seven thousand men ready to avenge offences inflicted by the Persians to their homeland in the past. He would not return ever. Alejandro occupied Thessaly and told local authorities that the tesalo people would be forever tax-free. He swore that, like Achilles, he would accompany his soldiers to many battles as necessary to magnify and glorify the nation.
When they came to Corinth, Alejandro felt desire to see Diogenes, the great philosopher, famous for his proverbial contempt for wealth and conventions, who, although he was around eighty, retained their intellectual faculties. Sitting under a shed, warming up in the Sun, Diogenes looked at the King with total indifference. According to Plutarch, when the monarch told him: «I am Alejandro, the King», Diogenes replied: "And I am Diogenes, the cynic". "What I can do something for you?", asked Alejandro, and the philosopher replied: «Yes, you can make me the mercy of leave, because with your shadow I are removing the Sun». Later the King would say to his friends: 'If I were not Alexander, would be Diogenes'.

Alexander and Diogenes
Some time later, another singular anecdote offers a new legendary dialogue, but this time with Dionides, famous pirate among the carians, the tirrenos and the Greeks, who captured and led to their presence, not intimidated with the admonition of the King when told: «with what right to pillage the seas?» Dionides replied: «with the same that you pillage the land»; "But I am a King and you're only a pirate." "The two have the same trade - Dionides - answered. "If the gods had made me a King and you a pirate, I would be perhaps better sovereign than you, while you do not you'd be ever a pirate business and without prejudice as I am." They say that Alejandro, for any answer, forgave him.
In June of 334 managed the victory of the Granicus, on the Persian satraps. In the explosive and bloody battle Alejandro was on the verge of perishing, and only the timely help at the last moment of its general Clito saved his life. Also conquered Halicarnassus, went to Phrygia, but before, passing through Ephesus, he could meet the famous Apelles, who became his particular and exclusive painter. You Apelles lived in the Court until the death of Alexander.
At the beginning of 333, Alejandro arrived with his army at Gordion, city that was cut from the legendary King Midas and important trading post between Ionia and Persia. There the Gordian raised the invader a seemingly insoluble dilemma. An intricate knot tied the yoke to truck destroyer, King of Phrygia, and since ancient times, it was stated that who would be capable of undoing it would dominate the world. All had failed until then, but the intrepid Alexander could not escape the temptation to unravel the riddle. An accurate and violent coup executed with the blade of his sword, cut the rope, and then commented sarcastically: "Was so simple." Alejandro said so its pretensions of universal domain.

Alexander cutting the Gordian knot
Jean-Simon Berthélemy (oil)
He crossed the Taurus, passed Cilicia and in the autumn of the year 333 B.c., took place on the plain of Issus the great battle against Darius, King of Persia. Before the confrontation, he rallied his troops, frightened by the bulky numerical superiority of the enemy. Alejandro hoped the victory because he was convinced that nothing could the crowds against the intelligence, and that a daring coup would come to decant the scale on the side of the Greeks. When the result of the race was still uncertain, the cowardly Darius fled, abandoning his men to the catastrophe. The cities were looted and women and daughters of the King were imprisoned as hostages, so that Dario was forced to submit to Alejandro for the victorious Macedonian extremely advantageous conditions of peace. It granted the western part of his empire and the most beautiful of his daughters as a wife. Noble Parmenion seemed a satisfactory offer, and advised his boss: "If I were Alejandro, accept." To which it replied: 'And I also if Parmenion.'
Alejandro aspired to dominate throughout Persia and could not settle for this Honourable Treaty. To do this it should be control of the Eastern Mediterranean. It destroyed the city of tyre after seven months of siege, took Jerusalem and entered Egypt without finding any resistance: preceded by his fame as winner of the Persians, was welcomed as a liberator. Alexander presented himself as a protector of the ancient religion of Amon and, after visiting the Temple of the Oracle of Zeus Ammon at the oasis of Siwa, located in the Libyan desert, proclaimed his divine sonship to pharaonic style.
That visit to a shrine, whose titular God was not purely Egyptian, had a clear political purpose. Alexander the great, as a good politician, could not pass the opportunity to increase his prestige and popularity among Greeks, many of whom were reluctant to his person. It is said that after having requested the Oracle Consulting, the priest answered him with the reserved greeting to the Pharaohs treating him as a "son of Amun". Then (still the legend), it only penetrated the Interior of the building and he listened attentively to the answer "according to your desire", as Alejandro would declare. Rivers of ink have been poured on this visit and on the scope of the prophecy. Most historians agree that there the Oracle would have informed its divine origin Macedonian, and predicted the creation of his Universal Empire. The fact is that any text that provides information about the words of the Oracle is not known.
Upon returning from the western end of the delta, founded, in a wonderful natural setting, the city of Alexandria, which became the most prestigious in Hellenistic times. To determine its location had the inspiration for Homer. Used to say that the poet she had appeared in dreams to remind you a few verses of the Iliad: "in undoso and resonant Pontus / there is an island to Egypt opposed / Faro with the distinguished name." Lighthouse island and the next coast planned city which would become the capital of Hellenism and the meeting point between East and West. As they could not delimit the urban perimeter with lime, Alejandro decided to use flour, but the birds came to eat it destroying the established limits. This event was interpreted as an omen that the influence of Alexandria would spread throughout the land.

Alejandro draws the limits of the future Alexandria
In the spring of 331 already for three years that he had left Macedonia, with Antipater as Regent; but neither then nor later it seems to have thought of return. He continued his exploration across the Euphrates and Tigris, and in the plain of Gaugamela faced the last of the armies of Darius, bringing to an end, in the battle of Arbelas, the Achaemenid dynasty. Stunning Persian troops had on this occasion with a terrifying shock force: elephants.
Parmenion was fond of attack covered by darkness, but Alexander did not want to hide from the Sun its victories. That night he slept quiet and confident while their men admired her strange serenity. He had matured a great plan to prevent the maneuvers of the enemy. His best weapon was the speed of the Cavalry, but also had little wholeness of his opponent and planned to decapitate the army at the earliest opportunity. Indeed, Dario returned to show weak and fled before the proximity of Alejandro, suffering a new and infamous defeat. All the capitals opened before the Greeks. While he entered Persepolis, Alexander sent to occupy almost at the same time, Susa, Babylon and Ecbatana. In July of 330, Dario died murdered. Kiss, the satrap of Bactria, had ordered his execution after overthrowing him.

Alexander the great and Roxana (1756), of Pietro Rotari
Alejandro then submitted the eastern provinces and continued their March towards the East. Many were the stories and legends that were accumulating around this demigod who seemed invincible since then. The story realizes that dressed the Persian stole, apparel foreign to Greek customs, to symbolize that he was King of ones and others. We know that, driven by revenge, he sent to burn the city of Persepolis; that, wrathful, gave death with a lance to Clito, that that had saved his life at Granicus; He ordered to execute Callisthenes, the philosopher nephew of Aristotle, by having composed verses alluding to his cruelty, and that he married a Persian Princess, Roxana, contrary to the expectations of the Greeks. Alexander was even interned in India, where there was fighting against the noble hindu King pores. As a result of the tragic battle, died his faithful horse Bucephalus, in whose honour he founded a city named soldier.

The return

But his army to new Alejandrias were found in its path, was losing men. These were depleted, weakened, until in 326, arriving at Hifasis (the eastern-most point that would reach), it had to resume the way back after the mutiny of his troops. During the return, the army was divided: while general Nearco sought the route by sea, Alejandro was driving the bulk of the troops by the infernal desert of Gedrosia. Thousands of men were killed in the effort. The thirst was more devastating Spears enemy. Although decimated, the army managed to reach their destination, and with the celebration of the marriage of eighty General and ten thousand soldiers was completed the conquest of the East.
Already in Babylon, it did not hesitate to send run the Macedonians who opposed him. It had as a project the creation of a new army formed by Hellenes and barbarians to abort the Macedonian freedom traditions as well. I wanted to build a mixed nation, and took the ritual Achaemenid while it sought and obtained the support of Eastern families. I thought this way the success of their plan of universal domination. While he continued his campaigns and continued projecting new ones until, on his deathbed, and he was unable to speak, there was a fact, however, that crumble all his certainties: the death of Hephaestion.
Alexander had married Roxana during a campaign in Bactra, from whose union would be posthumously born Alejandro IV, his only son. Also married Estatira, in Susa, when carried by its eagerness to racial integration, made several marriages between his Macedonian soldiers and Oriental women. Estatira was the eldest daughter of Darío III; Drypetis, also then married to Hephaestion, the youngest. He hoped Tolomeo, relative (perhaps his half-brother) and official of its high command. He also had in Nearco, one of his officers, a comrade and friend since childhood. But Hephaestion had been more than all of them: his friend, perhaps his lover, but on all an intelligent man who shared their ideas of statesman; both were undergoing a mutual admiration.

The wedding at Susa: Alejandro got married
with Estatira; Hephaestion, Drypetis
The death of Hephaestion in October 324, while they were in Ecbatana, caused a pain so deep that he was declining until his own death a few months later. In 325, when returning from the India, during their March along the Indus he had received a dangerous wound in the chest; his return through the Gedrosia desert in extreme conditions returned to break your health. Near the end of the summer of 324, decided to rest a while and settled in the summer palace of Ecbatana, accompanied by Roxana and his friend Hephaestion. His wife became pregnant. His friend fell ill suddenly and died. Alejandro took the body to Babylon and organized the funeral of Hephaestion.
He immediately started a new campaign exploring the coasts of Arabia. While sailing by the lower Euphrates, he contracted a malarial fever which would be fatal. Before his death in June 323, in a now ruined but still impressive Ziggurat of Bel-Marduk, Alejandro, already less imposing, gave his real ring to Perdiccas, his Lieutenant since the death of Hephaestion. Alejandro was thirty-three years old. At his side was Roxana. Estatira remained in Susa, in the harem of the Palace of his grandmother Sisigambis. Behind the walls that kept the inner city, was still flowing Euphrates. That same day, free fabulous hopes, with nothing to bequeath to men except their miserable Coop, with nearly ninety years, died also at Corinth its harder counterpart, the glowering Diógenes the cynic philosopher.
The strange phenomenon of non-corruption of the body of Alexander, the most notable even with the prevailing heat in Babylon, would have given standing in Christian times, believing that it was a miracle, to keep Holy it. In the 4th century BC there is a similar tradition that attracted the attention of the hagiographers. Perhaps the most successful explanation is that their clinical death occurred much after what was believed then.
Alexander IV, his son, and Roxana, his wife, were killed by Casandro when the boy was thirteen years old, in 310 BC Casandro was the eldest son of Antipater, Regent from Alexander the great to Asia, and after that murder was King of Macedonia. Cleopatra, her sister, continued to govern Molossians for many years since the King Alexander died. Olimpias, his mother, disputed the Regency of Macedonia with Antipater and in 319 BC allied with Polyperchon, the new Regent; When he had achieved the goal pursued throughout his life, was executed in 316 BC at Pidnia. Tolomeo, official of its high command, would later be King of Egypt, founder of the dynasty of the Ptolemies and author of a History of Alexander.

The conquests of Alexander

The conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander was much more than a mere war episode between Greeks and Persians. Already outside by the magnitude of the company, already by its success, the ancient world did not return to be equal after ten years of uninterrupted campaigns of the Macedonians and their allies by East. The reasons of Alexander to carry out a campaign of such magnitude and difficulty are unknown to us. He argued his desire for revenge more than one century earlier, Persian invasions although there is no doubt that, in part, the will of joining heterogeneous Greek city-States, formerly faced with Macedonia and then under his domain, in a joint undertaking which joined efforts and prevent disagreements existed. It would seek an outside enemy to avoid that stop thinking that the real enemy was the Macedonian monarchy.

Alexander the great
With an army composed of about forty thousand men and the firm intention to liberate the Greek cities under by the Persians, Alexander crossed the Hellespont in the spring of 334 BC, starting their March against the Persian Empire, and leaving his Kingdom in the hands of Antipater. Precisely the composition of his army, along with his undeniable talent as a strategist and the skillful choice of men trained and trusted as generals, was the key to their victories.
Already in his first army setting a balanced set of troops met with different weapons. This set were the infantry heavy, comprising Greek contingents sent by the League of Corinth and mercenaries; the Macedonian phalanx of heavy weaponry, with the characteristic sarissa (Spear of five meters of length); the light infantry, composed of Macedonians, THRACIANS and paionians equipped with Javelin; the body of Cretan archers; and, occupying an important position, the Macedonian heavy cavalry, main body of the shock of his army, supported by the light of THRACIANS and Thessalian cavalry.

Macedonian phalanx
When he arrived in Asian lands, Alejandro inaugurated a series of overflowing actions of symbolic and ideological, load his visit to the tomb of the legendary Achilles in Troy. Almost immediately faced the Persian troops, who were superior in number, next to the river Granicus, getting a resounding victory and sending to Athens 300 armor of the vanquished as an offering to the goddess Athena.
This first victory not only faltering a hard blow to the Persian Empire, but validated the power and the forces of Alexander and consolidated its position against the Greeks. Nothing could stop their progress towards the Greek cities on the coast of Asia minor, which resulted in the taking of Sardis and Ephesus, and in an easy neutralization of resistance offered by Miletus and Halicarnassus, animated by Memnon, the Persians ally rhodium already. Before these cities arose as a liberator, establishing supposedly democratic systems, albeit under their control.
In their March inland, Lycia and Pamphylia, it arrived at Gordion in Phrygia, where was the famous knot which, according to legend, would be granted the Asia domain to the one who would be able to undo it. Alejandro solved it by cutting a sword blow, incorporating another ceremony packed with symbolism to his actions of confirmation and flaunt their power and legitimation of its ambitions. Through Cappadocia directed his army towards Syria, reaching the city of Tarsus, where was being held in the region of Cilicia by a serious illness. But just there was restored he continued with the conquest of the cities, including Solos and wicked.

Syria, Palestine and Egypt

Heading towards the North of Syria, in the autumn of the year 333 B.c. became faced with the own Achaemenid King, Darío III at Issus. In this battle inflicted another defeat on the Persian troops, forcing the King to withdraw beyond the Euphrates and leaving the camp in which the Royal family was at their mercy: the wife, the children and the mother of Dario.

The conquests of Alexander the great
Thus began a new stage in which consolidated their control in Asia minor (in whose shores succumbed last foci of Persian resistance), while the Aegean Islands were liberated by the Macedonian fleet, and opened new possibilities for conquest in the siriopalestina region, closing the exits to the sea of the Persian Empire. At the same time I was able to silence the voices of certain Greek sectors that still hoisting against her.
The Phoenician cities of the coast, from plows to Sidon, surrendered without any opposition filed the unstoppable advance of the Macedonian. At the same time, Alejandro refused the advantageous proposals of Darío III, who offered him the Asian territories to the other side of the Euphrates, as well as one of his daughters in marriage, and ten thousand talents, in Exchange for peace and the release of his family (whose members it restored to the Persian King). Committed to his campaign of conquest, arrived at the gates of the city of tyre, whose long resistance revealed waste, its population being punished in an exemplary manner, as well as the Gaza. In the winter of the year 332 BC had already completed the conquest of Palestine and was headed for Egypt.

The siege of tyre
Before the Egyptian population, Alexander became the real architect of his liberation from the yoke of Achaemenid; Therefore, upon reaching the delta of the Nile, didn't find too many difficulties to overcome to the Persian satrap, isolated and without the support of the Egyptian people. Upon his arrival in Memphis, it was hailed as liberator and vested with the power and the Crown of the Pharaoh. Precisely, one of his first actions was the Foundation of a city in the Nile delta, which gave its name, Alexandria. It then headed across the desert to the santuario oracular of Ammon at the oasis of Siwa, where was proclaimed by the priests as "son of Amon", God already identified with Zeus by the Greeks. Thus he consolidated his own divine descent, as a descendant of the argead dynasty, which dated back to Heracles and, hence, to the own Zeus.

Mesopotamia, Persia and Media

Alejandro was not delayed too long in Egypt, but that fell on her steps to get to the Phoenician coast, from where left for Mesopotamia in the summer of 331 BC having moved from the Euphrates River and after crossing the Tigris, was found at Gaugamela with the army of Darius, who had renewed his peace proposal without success. The victory in this battle proved decisive, as the disorderly retreat of the Persians and the flight of the King left defenseless many of the vital centers of the Persian Empire. Babylon was easily subdued and Alejandro took over the magnificent Royal treasure; in Persia succumbed one after another the cities of Susa, Persepolis (where set fire to the Royal Palace) and Pasargada.

The battle of Gaugamela
(oil on canvas of Jan Brueghel the elder)
Continuous successes of Alexander was temporarily overshadowed by the revolt of Sparta, seconded by other antimacedonias cities, which was finally suppressed by Antipater. In the spring of the year 330 BC, Alexander resumed the March in pursuit of Darius to Media. Arriving at Ecbatana, the Persian had slipped again, taking refuge in Bactria. Before resuming the Chase, Alejandro decided to reorganize his troops, relieving the Greek troops (rewarded with magnanimity) and entrusting to the Macedonian Harpalus custody of enormous riches in booties.
In his acrimonious harassment to the Persian King ventured in the region of the Northeast, passing through the Caspias doors. In the meantime, Dario had been overthrown by Kiss, the satrap of Bactria, who, faced with the advance of Alexander, ordered to kill Darius, proclaimed sovereign itself with the name of Artaxerxes. In view of the unexpected way it had precipitated the events and the situation had been transformed in this summer of the year 330 BC, is not surprising that Alejandro takeover are the remains of deceased enemy, ordering his burial in the Royal Tomb of Persepolis. With this apparent gesture of benevolence you actually underlined their status as legitimate successor of Darío III. As such, it should put an end to the usurper of the throne and conquer the eastern territories of the Persian Empire.

Of Parthia to the India

In the South-East of the Caspian Sea region and on the Iranian area were subjected to several towns, as well as the territories of Parthia. Then marched Alejandro to the East, conquering on Aria and Drangiana, Arachosia, where it stopped in the spring of the year 329 BC before crossing the Paropamiso and the mountains of the Hindu Kush. While imposing heights posed an obstacle, Bactria, the shelter of the usurper, who, however, the leak had been reached. Following him with tenacious effort by the territory of Sogdiana, Kiss was eventually caught and executed.
Tireless in his desire for conquest, Alejandro continued his army in Sogdiana, taking the capital, Maracanda (Samarkand). A revolt in this city, led by Spitamenes, was stifled quickly, with the consequent death of the insurgent. Thus reached the limit of the Persian Empire in the Yaxartes River. However, the search for a natural boundary explains his subsequent campaign in India, in the region of the Indus River, specifically in the known as the "five rivers" (Punjab).

Relief of the sarcophagus of Alexander the great
In the spring of the year 326 B.c., came to the banks of the Indus, winning soon support Taxiles King and other princes of the region of the river Hydaspes, even in their confrontation with the King pores, which dominated the region which was comprised between the Hydaspes and the Acesines River. It finally reached the river Hifasis, the most Eastern of all, thus obtaining the submission of the region. Deterred, the refusal of the army, to move forward towards the East, and after converting this river course on the eastern edge of the Empire, it undertook the return.
In the region of the Hydaspes, where the Army stopped in 325 BC winter to build a fleet, there was confrontation with the malios, in which Alexander was seriously injured by an arrow. In the summer of the same year began the return, by dividing the army in order to follow one dual route, one by land, along the coast and under the command of Alexander, and the other by sea, with the fleet built for the expedition through the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, directed by Nearco.
The route followed by Alejandro, emphasizes acrimonious efforts to cross the desert of Gedrosia (Baluchistan), emulating the own Ciro, but with a high cost in lives among the ranks of his army. In the spring of 324 BC came to Susa, addressing during the summer to the city of Opis and reaching in the winter of the same year, finally, Babylon, converted into capital of the short-lived empire. From there he toiled in their plans to prepare a broad conquest expedition to Arabia, which was truncated by his premature death on 13 June of 323 BC, caused by fever, perhaps caused by previous and chronic conditions never cured.

The Empire of Alejandro

The Organization of the Empire

Uninterrupted conquests of Alexander assumed the annexation of a vast and immense territory that formed a universal empire. The administrative organization of the new territories was taken by Alexander from his first victories, with a diverse, divergent and complex policy thanks to the own heterogeneity of conditions and circumstances in which were towns and areas within their domains.
Thus, the civilian and military command of different regions of Anatolia and Syria gave Macedonian military leaders, with the exception of Caria, whose civilian Government entrusted to Ada, sister of Mausolus. On the other hand, in the heart of the Persian Empire, in the Iranian and Mesopotamian area, it acted deliberately as a successor of the great Achaemenid King, keeping the administrative constituency of the satrapies and trusting satraps charges both Macedonians as loyal subjects Persians.

Alexander the great
At the same time, in the territories of the India organized the small existing kingdoms as vassal kingdoms, retaining the local Princes who complied with the submission to the Supreme authority of the Macedonian King on the throne. In any case, the safeguarding of these territories was guaranteed by fittings, always under the command of Macedonians, located at strategic points and scattered throughout the Empire.
This business policy allowed the administration of the Empire with relative ease, as a more homogeneous structure would have encountered huge difficulties, insoluble in these circumstances and in such a short period of time. However, it introduced novelties in its economic policy, setting the satrapies beyond financial and tax administration, which included broad regions under the control of men. Largely, he managed to articulate the territorial administration without match the Government political and economic power, thus preventing the excessive accumulation of powers in the same hands.
Regarding the Greek cities, as in its first initiatives, he adopted a criterion of continuity of policy inaugurated by his father. Imbued by the Greek culture of the city, it respected the autonomy of the polis, while limiting their Dominion with its own hegemony. Certainly, Alejandro was able to exploit the idea Pan-Hellenic and common interest in ending the Persian threat, but when other means of persuasion were necessary to silence and placate the antimacedonios movements against her, did not hesitate, as at Thebes, to employ force and exemplary repression either in changing systems and political factions who showed resistance.
It sought to spread the model of Greek city in the eastern area, to apply to the itinerary of his conquests with the founding of cities, which used to designate under its own name, proliferating all over the "Alejandrias". In addition to the city of the Nile delta, he founded, among others, the Aria Alexandria, the Arachosia, the of Bactra, the Alexandria Eschata ("extreme"), the Alexandria Nikaia ("de la Victoria") and Alexandria Bucephalous or soldier (in memory of his horse), Bucephalus. This policy of establishment of cities and greco-macedonios settlers, in addition to serving as defense and control of trade routes, strategy was the outpost of the hellenization of the Empire project, being imitated in Hellenistic, but with a limited impact.

Internal politics

However, emerged some problems that threatened to break the unity and stability. To uprisings in the newly conquered territories of some Persian satraps of Media, Persia and Carmania joined a more serious problem: the opposition arose in the bosom of the own Macedonians, motivated in part, apparently, by the adoption of Alexander of the Persian ceremony with which the subjects agasajaban to his sovereign, which included the prostration (the proskynesis).
The first problems that took place in the surroundings of Alejandro seemed confirmed in the year 330 BC, when Filotas, his friend of childhood, the cavalry Commander and son of Parmenion, was accused of treason and executed, apparently to silence a conspiracy against Alejandro. Conviction overtook the own Parmenion, that had remained with part of the army at Ecbatana, to suspicion of Macedonian. Somewhat later, in the year 328 BC, born of an ira attack, he himself murdered his friend Cleitus, who had openly expressed his dissatisfaction with some aspects of the behavior of Alejandro. Other conspiracies and opposition movements were muted with identical violence and determination.

Death of Cleitus
Back of his campaigns of conquest, this climate of latent problems explains perhaps its so-called policy of fusion. Thus, multiple marriage celebrated at Susa in 324 BC seemed to promote a policy of integration based on mixed marriages: himself and about eighty generals and officers of his army got married with Princesses and noble Iran. Alejandro (cultivating polygamy, customary in the Macedonian dynasty), after you take as a wife to bactriana Princess Roxana, now joined with Estatira, daughter of Darío III. However, the intended desire of merger between Greeks and Orientals and universal harmony was no more than a symbolic act, that it served the interests of Alexander, in an effort to consolidate its status as legitimate successor of Darius and take on emblematic traits, to marrying the Achaemenid family. He also served in his late political in another dimension, as a symbolic gesture of friendship with the Iranian aristocracies.
The same line explains his decision to include thirty thousand Persian noble young men in his army. This measure achieved several aims: on the one hand, strengthened the soldiers of his army; on the other hand, his relationship with the Persian elite it hold to dispense this honor. And, above all, could undermine the power of coercion by the Macedonians, no longer essential to the support of his army. Soon failed to check its effectiveness in Opis, when rejection provoked by his decision between the Macedonians took the army to the mutiny. The presence of Persian troops and, according to the sources, the eloquence of his speech, ended with the revolt, settled with the execution of the leaders of the rebellion and the licensing of ten thousand veterans, tired of a decade of continuous campaigns. His journey back to Macedonia, under the command of Craterus, coincided with the death of Alexander, serving to reduce the new pockets of rebellion between the Greeks.
In practice, fusion and fusion never occurred on a large scale, as usual was the parallel coexistence of greco-macedonicas and indigenous communities. Alejandro policy, in this sense, although it caused some unhappy and hostilities between Macedonians, allowed him to gain the friendship and support of eastern populations, especially their elites, and reinforced his power to neutralize existing dissensions among his people.

The universal King

Much of their efforts seemed to move in the same direction: modelling the idea and the image of the "universal King" extending its dominion over the ecumene. It thus aspired to a new form of power, with a distinctly autocratic, abandoning even the title of "King of the Macedonians", which was replaced by the "the King Alexander", with new ideological connotations in the imprecision of the title. For the same purpose it took elements of oriental despotism under its succession to the Achaemenid throne, exhibiting a strong not without divine connections personalism. By incorporating features of East royalty, became keeper of the divine right of sovereignty Egyptian or Persian which, coupled with the elaborations of his divine ancestry, attributed you a deifica aura; all of this aside from speculation about the requirement of Alejandro received divine honours of the Greek cities, which in some cases were not denied you.

The legacy of Alexander

The death of Alexander the great truncated great expectations displayed by his conquests and its power. Alexander held a universal empire, but the absence of a clear leader created a vacuum in which immediately opened fissures; soon manifested discord and contrasting between co-workers and General ambitions.
Succession seemed assured by the birth of his son, Alejandro IV, fruit of their union with Roxana, remembering then Regency Arrideo, the half-brother of the own Alexander (according to the sources, with obvious signs of mental deficiency). However, the rivalry between the so-called diadochi (General of Alexander) deepened, to divide between them the powers and areas of control, emerging armed clashes spurred on by personal ambitions and giving to the fret with the idea of the union of the Empire. The legitimate heir, Alejandro IV, was murdered in 310 BC with her mother, by order of the Regent Casandro.

Alejandro in the Temple of Jerusalem, Santiago Conca
Nevertheless, and despite the divisive trend, the vast territories conquered by Alexander were retained, converted in Hellenistic States. This was one of the legacies of the Macedonian: the institution of the monarchy, which would end up assuming the diadochi, which implied the establishment of dynasties of Macedonian origin within the Hellenistic kingdoms.
On the other hand, the uniqueness of the achievements of Alexander, his charismatic personality and his untimely death gave wings to the myth of one who in life had become a hero. Deified upon his death, he received cult in his Alexandria Tomb, paying his superhuman image to all kinds of legends that were passed from generation to generation.
Become archetype, his myth was developed in multiple stories that, from his exploits, were littered with anecdotes and adventures fanciful, taking the form of epics and Fables who came to enjoy extraordinary popularity. His idealized image acquired new nuances, sometimes contradictory, enriching and feeding the myth, which came to be projected with an extraordinary success not only during antiquity, but also in the middle ages and the posterity. Not in vain some inhabitants of the Afghan mountains still back their ancestry to Alejandro.
Published for educational purposes
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

Recommended Contents