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Alexander (356-323 B.C.), was king of Macedonia known primarily for his conquest over many kingdoms of the world.
Alexander son of Philip of Macedon and Olympias, princess of Epirus. Alexander's mother inculcated in him the ambition for great military achievements. Alexander, who was an eager learner became pupil of Aristotle when he was 13 years old. Aristotle inspired him with a love for literature. He learnt about Greek ways of living, and was impressed by the ideals of Greek civilization. Aristotle also inspired in Alexander a keen interest in other countries and races of people, and in animals and plants.
From a young age Alexander talked with ambassadors from many foreign countries, and with other noted people at his father's court. At the age of 18, he commanded part of Philip's cavalry at the battle of Chaeronea. He also acted as his father's ambassador to Athens.
Alexander became king of Macedonia when he was 20. A rebellion against Alexanders rule arose with the rumor of Alexander's death while he was away making war on some barbarian tribes in the north However Alexander soon appeared before with his army and crushed the revolt mercilessly. This action broke the spirit of rebellion in the Greek states.
Alexander then turned his attention toward conquering Persia. In 334 B.C. won a decisive victory over Persia in a battle on the banks of the Granicus River. opening a way for all Asia Minor to him.
In 333 B.C., Alexander marched along the coast into Syria and defeated the king of Persia, Darius III. He then marched south into Phoenicia and captured Tyre after a seven-month siege. Alexander's victory over Tyre is considered one of his greatest military achievement. Subsequently Gaza suffered the same fate as Tyre.
Alexander next went to Egypt. where he was welcomed by the Egyptians as a deliverer, because they hated their Persian rulers. Alexander founded there the city of Alexandria on a strip of land between Lake Mareotis and the Mediterranean Sea.
Alexander turned again to the Persian front in 331 B.C. when Darius was making preparations to fight Alexander again. The Persian cavalry captured Alexander's camp. But, subsequently Alexander routed Darius, in a battle near the village of Gaugamela. The city of Babylon surrendered, and Alexander easily captured the Persian cities of Susa and Persepolis. He looted vast treasures of gold and silver from these cities and either killed or sold into slavery all the inhabitants of Persepolis. He burned Persepolis in revenge for the Persian burning of Athens in 480 B.C.
Alexander crossed the Zagros Mountains into Media in 330 B.C. and marched on, encountering only local opposition from tribes people. Alexander occupied the southern shore of the Caspian Sea, continuing to the east. He set up Iranian nobles as new local governors, but they revolted after he left.
Over the next two years Alexander ran over southeast Persia, north Afghanistan, Bactria and Sogdiana behind the Hindu Kush mountain range, going as far as the Jaxartes River. Alexander married Roxane, the daughter of a Sogdian baron.
Alexander reached the rich plains of India in 326 B.C. and defeated an Indian prince, Porus, in this region. He planned to march to the Ganges River. But his army mutinied forcing Alexander turn back. Alexander was taken seriously ill with malaria at Babylon. He died on June 13, 323 B.C.
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