Here, one step away from the famous Gates, where the Mediterranean flows into the ocean, the Roman wanders around the temple dedicated to Hercules, the mythical Greek hero that had advanced far and beyond. Suddenly, Caesar stops in front of the statue of another half-god, Alexander the Great, who died at the age of not yet thirty-three, in June BC. To those who asked for the reason for his subdued weeping before the effigy of Macedonus, Caesar replied that he could not suffocate his pain. On the one hand, he saw how at 32, the same age as himself, Alexander had left, dying, a boundless empire that he had created.
Nearly all of the city-states except for those in the Peloponnesian peninsula, following the lead of Sparta, were under the control of Athens. This led to tensions and eventually war between Athens and Sparta.
The Peloponnesian Wars broke out across Greece. In Macedon, a city-state north of Greece which most Greeks consider far inferior, King Philip II had been strengthening his own economic and military position. He eventually took advantage of the years of fighting between Athens and Sparta to lead a campaign against his Greek neighbors to the south.
He left his then sixteen-year-old son, Alexander, home in Macedon to maintain the affairs of state. At eighteen, Alexander took his place in battle beside his father and led his fellow Macedonians to victory.
At twenty, Alexander became king of Macedonia, which now included most of Greece. He would go on to conquer the entire Persian Empire and become ruler of most of the known world. A telling of the life of Alexander, however, cannot start with the beginning of his brilliant military career or his assent to the throne for the greatness that Alexander was to become, started well before he was even conceived.
Most of these marriages were political, as it was customary for a king to marry a daughter, sister, or niece of a neighboring king to form an alliance through marriage.
Olympias of Epirus was no different. She was the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of Epirus. It should be noted that Neoptolemus considered himself a descendent of the Greek, Trojan War hero Neoptolemus, son of Achilles and grandson of King Lycomedes of Scyros.
This, of course, made his own children descendents of the Achilles and his goddess mother, Thetis, and by every account, Olympia was fiercely religious and loyal to the gods of Olympus.
Greek historian, Plutarch, the only known source of Alexander's childhood, tells that the night before Philip and Olympias were to be married, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunderbolt, which started a great fire burning.
Just after the wedding, Philip dreamed that he sealed his wife's womb with the symbol of a lion. Philip is also said to have witnessed his wife lying in bed with a huge snake that he assumed was Zeus, king of the gods, in disguise.
According to Plutarch, Olympias was a member of the cult of Dionysus, god of wine, which included snake handling.
Although Olympias remained Philip's principle wife and later bore him a daughter, Cleopatra, the two were never as close as they were before Philip came to believe that Zeus had seduced his wife. Legend says this only occurred because Artemis, daughter of Zeus and a known goddess of childbirth, was away in Pella, Macedon, assisting in the birth of her half-brother, Alexander.
Many believe that Olympias or Alexander himself may have started these rumors to build on his growing desire to be considered a god. Philip was off preparing for an invasion in Greece when he received a message from his wife that one of his generals had defeated two of his enemies in battle, his horses had won the Olympic Games, and she had given birth to his first son, Alexander.
Philip was delighted with his good fortune.
As a young boy, he was taught by Leonidas of Epirus, a relative of his mother, Olympias. It is said that Leonidas was hard on the boy even going so far as to check his bed at night to make sure his mother had not left any treats for her son.
Another account tells of a time when Leonidas scolded Alexander for throwing too much incents on a sacrificial fire telling him not to use so much until he, Alexander, had himself defeated the people from where the incents were obtained. The story goes on to say that years later, after his conquest of Asia, Alexander sent his former teacher a great supply of incents and told him not to be so stingy in his offerings to the gods.
At ten, Alexander accomplished something that stunned even his own father. The king was looking to purchase a horse but upon watching the trainers try to control the animal, decided this particular horse was too wild to be tamed. Alexander requested a try, as he had noticed the horse seemed to be afraid of its own shadow.
He turned the horse toward the sun and quickly mounted it. He proceeded to ride the horse with ease. Once he dismounted the horse, he returned to his father where, according to Plutarch, Philip wept and told his son that he must find a kingdom big enough for his ambitions as Macedon was far too small for Alexander.
The hose in question, Bucephalus, was purchased by Philip and become the horse Alexander would always ride into battle. Despite his fierce pride, Philip was not convinced that he was, in fact, Alexander's father. He sent a messenger to the Oracle at Delphi with one question.
Was Alexander, his son? The answer was not a direct confirmation.The reason is that Alexander the Great was—and still is—a powerful symbol of power, military genius, and conquest, whether or not this description of him is historically accurate.
His image, name, and legendary power remained resonant—and politically visible—long after his death. Mar 21, · No complete telling of the story of Alexander the Great can ignore Hephaestion, the son of Macedonian nobility and Alexander's lifelong best friend.
The two boys attended Aristotle's school and were the closest of ashio-midori.coms: Apr 22, · “Alexander was one of histories great commanders; he was absolutely brilliant on the battlefield.” –Barry Strauss.
Using brilliant tactics and extraordinary engineering feats he created an empire that spanned five time zones and three continents, conquered lands from Ionia to India and single handedly crushed the greatest empire the world had ever seen, ashio-midori.coms: The Life of Alexander the Great is one of the ﬁ rst surviving attempts to memorialize the achievements of this legendary king, remembered today as the greatest military genius of all time.
This exclusive Modern Library edition, excerpted from Plutarch's Lives, is a riveting tale of honor, power, scandal, and bravery written by the most eminent biographer of the ancient ashio-midori.coms: 8. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Generalship of Alexander the Great at ashio-midori.com Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.
which helps to demonstrate Alexander's military genius. His capabilities as military leader are brought to life through the explanation of his wins and setbacks, and how he and. On the other hand his argument that Thutmose was a greater general than Alexander the Great does not persuade - simply because of the logistical brilliance of Alexander - far further from his home bas than the Pharaoh ever was and confronted with armies/enemies in .