- Published: August 2, 2022
- Updated: August 2, 2022
- University / College: California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
- Level: Master's
- Language: English
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Alexander the Great Alexander the Great was one of the most successful conquerors of the ancient history; he was the king of one of the largest empires of history and remained invincible during his lifetime. Born in Macedonia, Alexander inherited strong traits of leadership, intellect and valor from his father Philip II who was the strong leader of Macedon. Alexander was very fortunate to have Aristotle as his teacher and the time he spent with Aristotle at the Academy had remarkable influences on the various decisions made by Alexander during his conquest (Stoneman).
Alexander developed the traits of a true leader because Phillip had given a great attention to the education and military training of his son. Alexander was not only brave at heart but also possessed tremendous mental strength. He always believed himself to be the true leader of Macedon and considered himself destined to defeat the Persian army and conquer Persia. Alexander always remained in search of events to prove his valor and strength as a warrior in the battlefield and lead a number of successful expeditions during the rule of his father; at times he went as far as to disregard his father’s achievements in his claim of strength and intellect (Wood). Alexander’s accession to the throne of Macedon did not took place smoothly, he has to prove himself to be the most lawful heir of the throne amid opposition from some of the most notable companions of his father, this is the reason he had to curb revolts in various regions of his father’s empire immediately after his accession, which he successfully did.
During his time at the Academy, Alexander made friends who served him during his lifetime as his generals in the battlefield and his advisors while he made important decisions; this quality of making lifelong friends contributed a lot to his success.
Alexander was always encouraged by her mother Olympia about his ambition to conquer Persia. According to some of the historians, in her letters to Alexander during his conquest of Egypt and then Persia, she told him that he was the son of Zeus and not Phillip (Shone and Ganeri). His mother had huge ambitions for him which gave him confidence in his expeditions throughout the world whereas his father served as his role model during his childhood as he saw his father going in battlefield and returning victorious every time ignoring all the wartime injuries he had to suffer. Alexander developed a violent temper and impulsive nature while in battlefields but he is also known for his remarkable self control for the pleasure of the body and depiction of incredible intellect while taking decisions most noteworthy of which is the solving of the Gordian Knot.
It was the impact of Alexander’s charismatic personality which kept his empire united because he was successful in maintaining a balance between the Macedonians and the foreigner soldiers who joined him during his campaigns. Some of the steps which he took to please the Persians and the newly incorporated states aggrieved the Macedonians but he handled the situation very intelligently. Alexander was passionate to bring the known world under his rule and for retaining the conquered parts of the world in his empire he encouraged cultural exchange between various regions of his empire. He wanted cross-marriages between Asian and European people for creating one united nation under his rule. The outstanding success Alexander achieved in the battlefield portrays him to be a harsh person but in contrast to this image, he was a patron of arts and sciences (Lewis).
To sum up, the great successes Alexander achieved could only be achieved by him because he was trained to be a conqueror and a great leader. Alexander made best use of his experiences throughout his life and had vigor for intellectual knowledge and generalship. Because of his exemplary leadership he is still considered as one of the greatest conquerors of the world; the influences of his conquest can be observed today as well in the form of Hellenization. Alexander’s life teaches us continued struggle and learning is the key to achieve glory.
Cummings, Lewis. Alexander the Great. N. p.: Grove Press, 2004. Print.
Shone, Rob, and Anita Ganeri. Alexander the Great: the life of a king and conqueror. N. p.: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2005. Print.
Stoneman, Richard. Alexander the Great. N. p.: Routledge, 2004. Print.
Wood, Michael. Alexander the Great: selected texts from Arrian, Curtius and Plutarch. N. p.: Penguin, 2004. Print.
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