I) Alex: HERO - born in 356 B.C.E. in Macedonia (N of mainland Greece) A) Background info. - only lived to be 32, ruled for just 13 years, however, many historians consider him the greatest military leader of all time.
- during his reign, Alexander conquered Greece, the Near East, Persia, and India. - in total, he ruled an empire that stretched from 3,000 miles from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indus River. - His empire was the largest empire the world had ever seen!
C) Alex spread Greek culture t/o the ancient world and showed an interest in the people he defeated. 1) Thebes-Alex unified all of Greece by putting down the rebellion in the polis of Thebes. - he showed compassion toward some of the rebels, citizens, priests and the family of a poet.
2) Egypt- Alex was welcomed more as a savior than an invader-enthroned as king - founded the Egyptian city of Alexandria and named 19 other cities after himself. - Alexandria, Egypt- became a great center for learning about Greek and the Near Eastern cultures.
3) Persian Army- Alexander defeated the mighty Persian army at the Battle of Issus.
as their new ruler, he showed respect to the Persians by appointing Persian governors in conquered territories and allowing the people to continue to practice their own religious traditions.
4) India- Alexander brilliantly defeated the army of the Indian king Porus. - overcame heavy rains and the Indian army’s use of elephants - became greatly interested in Indian culture/religion and learned more about Hinduism by questioning Indian holy men.
II. Alex: VILLAIN A) Background info: - Alex’s military accomplishments were due to the powerful military force his father, King Philip II, had left to him after he died.
- Alex was known to be ruthless and cruel. - He had a fierce temper and mistreated his own loyal advisors and soldiers.
1) Thebes- Alexander brutally put down the attempt of freedom and the attempt to declare their independence. - his forces killed 6,000 Thebans, sold more than 20,000 citizens into slavery and virtually destroyed the entire city.
2) Alexandria, Egypt- Alex only founded the site for this city. He played no role in the city’s growth. - They did not allow any Egyptians to learn or become part of the Greek culture. The Egyptians were excluded from helping the city develop and grow.
3) Persia – Alexander’s military campaign against Persia was brutal and relentless. - He did not care how many casualties(deaths) occurred including his own troops.
- he plundered the riches of Persepolis (Persia’s great capital) and burnt it to the ground- this was a magnificent center of Persian culture.
4) India- Alexander’s forces spent 3 years ruthlessly putting down any Indian resistance. - slaughtered males and sold females and children into slavery.
- His campaigns went into the deepest parts of India, regardless of how difficult it was for his own troops. - Due to the horrific weather conditions and poor living, his troops demanded that he turn around and go home.
III. Conclusion: - On the way home from India, Alexander became ill and died while his forces were in Babylon (present day Iraq) in 323 B.C. E. – he was just 33 years old.
- due to the fact that Alexander did not designate a legitimate heir to the throne, his own relatives and generals fought for control over the land he had conquered.
What happened to Alexander’s empire? 1) India returned to it’s original owners 2) Antigonus- became king of Macedonia 3) Ptolemy-established his own dynasty (the Ptolomies) in Egypt. 4) Seleucus- formed his own empire (the Seleucid Empire) in Persia. 5) Greece- Athens and Sparta became independent and the other polises joined either the Delian or the Peloponnesian Leagues
Alexander the Great’s last words: “ To whom do you leave your kingdom?” “ To the best and the strongest.”