Alexander The Great: A Hero Essay

1295 words - 6 pages

Was Alexander the great a hero or a villain? In my eyes I believe he was a hero. I feel that his amazing battle skills make up for all the horrible acts of cruelty. Alexander brought a fresh approach after the intrigues of his father Philip II. Alexander was not quite twenty when he succeeded to the throne in 336 BCE. His tutor had been Aristotle, a man to whom is credited great knowledge and wisdom. So it could be said that Alexander was well grounded educationally. This thirst for knowledge continued, as his campaigns were sometimes more like expeditions as individuals made notes as they moved east.

Alexander was born in Pella, Macedonia, the son of Philip of Macedon, who was an ...view middle of the document...

Aristotle inspired the talented youth with a great love for literature. He took part in sports and daily exercise to develop a strong body. Aristotle also inspired in Alexander a keen interest in other countries and races of people, and in animals and plants. Alexanders education was not all from books. He talked with ambassadors from many foreign countries, and with other noted persons at his fathers court. When he was only 18, he commanded part of Philips cavalry at the battle of Chaeronea. Alexander also acted as his fathers ambassador to Athens.

Alexander was 20 when he became king of Macedonia. The Greek other states had grown restless under Macedonian rule. While Alexander was away making war on some barbarian tribes in the north, someone spread a story that he was dead. The people in the city of Thebes revolted and called upon the people of Athens to join them. Alexander soon appeared before Thebes with his army. His soldiers stormed the city. Every building in Thebes was destroyed, except the temples and the house of the poet Pindar. About 30,000 inhabitants were sold into slavery. Alexanders action broke the spirit of rebellion in the other Greek states.

The ambitious young king then turned his thoughts to conquering Persia. This had been part of his fathers plan before him. He crossed the Hellespont with an army of 35,000 soldiers in the spring of 334 B.C.E He had very little money, and gambled on a quick victory. The Persians met him on the banks of the Granicus River.
Alexander stormed across the river with his cavalry. This victory opened all Asia Minor to him. Only Halicarnassus withstood a long siege.
In 333 B.C.E Alexander became seriously ill. But he recovered and marched along the coast into Syria. The king of Persia, Darius III, raised a large army. He fortified a riverbank near Issus behind Alexander. Alexander turned north and routed the Greek and Persian heavy infantry with his phalanx. He captured the kings camp, including Dairus wife and mother. His gallantry toward them was his finest act. Alexander then marched south into Phoenicia and captured Tyre after a seven-month siege. The city was on an island, but Alexander built a causeway out to it, so that it is now a peninsula. About 8,000 Tyrians were slain and 30,000 sold into slavery. Alexanders victory over Tyre is sometimes considered his greatest military achievement. The whole region then submitted to him except Gaza, where a brave Persian governor resisted for three months. Gaza eventually suffered the same fate as Tyre.

Alexander next went to Egypt. The Egyptians welcomed him as a deliverer, because they...

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