Alexander the Great – History of Macedonia

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Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon, Alexander of Macedon, Александар Македонски) (Pella, 356 BC. – Babylon, 13 VI 323 BC.) was Macedonian emperor (336-323 BC) from the Argead dynasty, son of Philip II the Macedon and  Olympias of Epirus.

Romans gave him the nickname of “Magnus” – “The great conquer of the world.”

He was educated  in the spirit of Macedonian aristocratic tradition, at 13-years he is tutored by the philosopher Aristotle.
His education encompassed poetry, astronomy, geometry, rhetoric, gymnastic exercises, horse riding and hunting.
At 16-years, his father Philip entrusts him the management of Macedonia (340) while he is on campaign against Byzantion. His first military expedition was against Thracian Maedi (tribe from the upper course of the river Strymon), where he won his first victory and here he founded the city of Alexandropolis.
18 years old, he participates in the famous “Battle of Chaeronea” (338) and, together with his father, Philip they outperformed the Allied Hellenes.
After the murder of Philip (336) Macedonian Assembly proclaimed him ruler of Macedonia. First military action was aimed at Hellenic policies that were trying to overthrow the Macedonian government and force them to comply with Corinthian agreement, under which he inherited the title of “Hegemon of Helens”.
In the campaign in 335 BC, he defeats the Triballians and their allies Getae tribe, then the Illyrian tribes, and from Illyrian territory goes down to Hellada where again erupts anti Macedonian uprising (inspired by Demosthenes) with hotspot in Thebes. He defeats the Thebans, and Athens accepts the offered peace agreement.

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In 334 BC Alexander the Great starts a campaign against Persia with 40,000 troops and 1,600 ships. In Asia Minor he enters through Hellespont and first military clash with the Persian army occurs on river Granicus “Battle of Granicus” (334). Victory paves the way for further breakthrough, he accepts the surrender of Persian provincial capital Sardis and proceeds along the Ionian coast. In the city of Ephesus, he was greeted as a liberator from Persian oppression, and only the cities single Millet and Halicarnassus have resisted (334).

Alexander III of Macedon in battle with the Persians (relief)

After these conquests he divides the army in two parts: one part, headed by Parmenion goes to winter at Sardis, and the other goes on an expedition through Curry, Lycia and Pamphylia winning all cities and fortresses.
In 333 BC the whole army gathers in Gordium, capital of the Phrygian kings (Gordius and Midas), where, according to the legend, Alexander cuts with sword the unsolvable Gordian Knot, thus fulfilling the prophecy that he will enslave Asia.
In the conquered territories he usually retains the existing administrative system: the satrapies  as basic administrative units with the satraps, mostly Persians, which have the civilian and military government, while financial authorities were Macedonians and Macedonian army controls the captured territory.
The first battle with the Great Emperor Darius III occurs in Issus (333), where Alexander’s army won, and Darius escapes from the battlefield. In Phoenicia he conquers the fortified cities of Tyre and Gaza. In Egypt he was greeted as a liberator and proclaimed pharaoh; In Memphis Egyptian priests gave him the double crown of the Egyptian pharaohs; On the River Neil on (331 BC) he forms the city Alexandria (he draws the city territory with barley flour (according to ancient Macedonian custom).
Through Syria he enters in Northern Mesopotamia; where at Gaugamela (331) he won a victory over the great Persian army and proclaims himself king of Asia and as emperor enters the ancient city of Babylon, a major center of the Persian Empire. He captures the second Persian capital Susa, and then the city of Ecbatana.
The hunt after the Persian emperor ends at Hekantopil, where he finds the dead body of Darius III Kodoman killed by the Persian satrap Bes.
Darius III is buried with imperial honor, and Alexander the new Persian king, continues north toward Hirkanija and Party, areas south of the Caspian Sea.
From 330 to 327  BC he resides in Bactria and Sogdiana. In Bactria (327) he maries with one of the most beautiful women, the Iranian Roxana, which, after his death, gave birth to his son Alexander IV.
At the Campaign in India on Hydaspes River he commands the last great battle against the King of Punjab – Por (326). After the victory, to his kingdom he acquires and the countries beyond the Indus. On the place of victory he forms the town of Nike (Victory), and nearby he builds the town Bucephalus (in memory of his famous horse Bucephalus).
On the banks of the river Hifast, he raises twelve altars of the gods and pillar that read:
“Here stood Alexander”


Map of the conquests of Alexander III of Macedon

On return on the bank of Indus, he forms New Alexandria (one of the 17 Alexandria). On the coast of the Indian Ocean Alexander’s army is divided into two parts, one part, under the leadership of Alexander is moving by land, while the other, led by Nearchos sails 80 days.
In 324 g. the Macedonian army gathers in Susa, where Alexander organizes a celebration in honor of the “Great holy wedding”: marrying 10,000 Macedonians with Persian women. Alexander also married the daughters of Darius, Brasida and Parisatida and youngest daughter Artarkserks Ohos.
He plans for further expeditions, much more research than conquest: sea journey around the Arabian Peninsula to Carthage and to the islands of Heracles (or Melkart), the oldest strait between Europe and Africa ( Gibraltar) but the plans collapse with his death.
He remains remembered as the world’s Biggest general and invincible warrior, creator of the new world, new age, the new order.

prilep alexander the great

Monument of Alexander III The Macedon in Prilep


Monument of Alexander III The Great of Macedon in Stip



Monument of Philip II the Macedon (Father of Alexander the Great) in Bitola city center


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