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FASCINATING FACTS: 31 Unknown Facts About Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great facts: Interesting facts about Alexander. Alexander the Great can be considered as a brilliant military genius and at the peak of his reign had a kingdom stretching from Greece to modern day Pakistan through Egypt, Turkey and Iran. He tried to amalgamate the East and West during his 13 years rule which was marked with adventurism and expansion desires which led to long military campaigns to the furthest corners of the globe. During his short reign he built upon a god like aura around himself.

Alexander the Great Facts

He began his reign by brutally eliminating every visage of opposition, anyone who could be a potential spoiler later. His purge included his cousin, the former Amyntas IV, who was executed.

His last wish which was outlined in his last will and testament was the desire to amalgamate the population of Asia and the Europe by intermarriage and transplanting population so that there is a homogenous mix. This will bring the largest continent closer to Europe.

He was also known as Alexander III of Macedon and was the king of ancient empire of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty, an ancient Greek royal house from Peloponnese.

The genesis of the word Alexander comes from the greek word ‘Alexo’ which means ‘to defend’, and ‘andr’ which means ‘man’ hence Alexander ‘the protector of man.’

Alexander was taught by Aristotle but often was at loggerheads with other teachers and philosophers.

Aristotle was one of the greatest philosophers of the time and he was tasked by Alexander‘s father Philip II of Macedon, to educate the 13 year old prince. Aristotle kept Alexander for three years under his tutelage and made Alexander well verse in politics and world affairs.

Alexander was born to Philip II of Macedon and Olympias who was the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of the Molossians, an ancient Greek tribe in Epirus.

He was technically at the same time, the King of Macedonia, Pharaoh of Egypt, King of Persia, and King of Asia.

Alexander took the throne of Macedonia when he was 16 years old.

Alexander the Great had heterochromia and one of his eyes was blue and the other was brown.

The only other teacher who impressed the young prince was Diogenes the Cynic, who had a reputation of rejecting niceties and even slept in a huge jar.

This trait of indulging with great philosophers did not end and during his conquest of the Hindukush and Western India he held lengthy discourses with Hindu thinkers and Jain philosophers who had eschewed all worldly possessions including their clothes.

In his long and tedious 15 years military campaign, he never lost any battle.

He is considered one of the best military tactician and his strategies are studied even today on military academies. His tactic of sending smaller well trained forces to break enemy lines before their enemies were ready has been tried by many military strategists of modern times.

He was held in high esteem by many future rulers and the likes of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Octavian; all made pilgrimages to Alexander the Great’s tomb in Alexandria.

He had a crack team of 15,000-strong Macedonian phalanx, whose units kept at bay the sword-wielding Persians equipped with 20-foot-long pikes called sarissa.

To make his conquests permanent and achieve control over his vast empire he constructed cities around forts and named the cities after himself, the most striking is Alexandria, which continues to this day.

Kandahar is a place in Afghanistan which when loosely translated means Alexander and it was one of the 70 cities which he helped to establish during his brief but momentous reigns.

He encountered the costliest victory in India and the battle was fought near the river Hydaspes and he founded a city named Bucephala, for his favorite horse, which was mortally wounded in the battle.

He met his future wife Roxanne, the teenage daughter of a Bactrian nobleman, when he was surveying the impregnable mountain fortress Sogdian Rock which he won in 327 B.C.

He was a great believer in personal hygiene and wore spotless clothes and shaved regularly to look tidier and avoid dangerous beard grabbing during combat.

He never attacked the city and the state of Sparta while he subdued all great kingdoms of the world in existence at that time.

Phillip II of Macedon sent an envoy to Sparta with an intimidating message: “If I win this war, you will be slaves forever.”

The Spartan’s replied: “If.” Both Phillip and his son Alexander the Great avoided Sparta entirely.

He was never averse to change and after his victory in Persia he started dressing like them and even had two Persian wives.

In his Indian campaign he came across war elephants for the first time and his army had to suffer great reverses against them in the battle with King Porus. Alexander did not dare to venture deeper into India against the kings of the Nanda Empire and Gangaridai could deploy between 3,000 and 6,000 war elephants if need be.

His decedents in both Afghanistan and Pakistan laid the foundation of the Greek speaking Buddhists from the 4th Century BC onwards. The amalgamation of Greek culture and Budhist art was very striking including the stylization of the curly hair known as the “Toga”

Alexander was an epileptic but his seizures and convulsions were considered a sacred disease as if god or spirits came into his body.

He came face to face with a 14 year old Chandragupta Maurya who by the age of 20 was able to forge his empire across Northern India and unify the entire continent. He also later defeated Selecues who was appointed administrator by Alexander of the Conquered territories in the east. He later married his daughter Helena.

 

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