Alexander the Great

Greece is rightly proud of the King of Macedonia, Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), as the Greek Empire was at its mightiest during his reign. By the time of his death his armies had conquered lands throughout the Middle and Near East, as far as the Punjab, and down into Egypt, where he founded the city of Alexandria and where he is somewhere thought to be buried – although he actually died in Babylon.

The story of Alexander the Great: https://www.greece-travel-secrets.com/Alexander-the-Great.htmlAlexander the Great Statue in Thessaloniki

Philip of Macedonia

Alexander’s father, Philip II of Macedonia, was already extending his Empire and gave his son, who was born in Alexander the Great, the very best start in life. He had the finest teachers, including Aristotle, and he was commanding part of the Macedonian Army by the age of eighteen. Two years later his father Philip was assassinated as he prepared to invade Persia, and it cannot be certain that Alexander did not actually have a hand in this. 

Alexander immediately took command of the Macedonian troops, and in 334 BC took an army of some 35,000 of them across the Hellespont (now the Dardanelles) and although outnumbered they defeated the Persian Army allegedly with the loss of only 110 of their own men. He had already swiftly put down rebellions in some of the Greek city-states, notably Thebes, which he burned to the ground.

From Persia he turned his attention to the Middle East, conquering Damascus, then Palestine, and finally marching into Egypt. Here he was welcomed for liberating the country from the Persians, and in 331 BC he founded Alexandria, having by this time complete control of the Eastern Mediterranean. Not satisfied with his, he headed for India, where he won more victories but at the cost of great numbers of men. 

The story of Alexander the Great: https://www.greece-travel-secrets.com/Alexander-the-Great.html

Alexander the Great, as depicted in the Alexander Mosaic

The Death of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was back in Babylon in 323 BC, turning his attentions to conquering more of Arabia and further west into North Africa, when he was taken ill with a fever after a banquet and died eleven days later. His body was taken in a gold casket to Alexandria, but his burial place has never been firmly established. Some recent archaeological digs claim to have found his tomb in the Egyptian desert, but without convincing proof.

Alexander the Great's Legacy

There is no doubt that Alexander was indeed one of the greatest leaders in history, noted for his tactical ability, his charisma in leading his men and inspiring bravery in his troops, and for his own bravery too. Like all such leaders, though, he had his ruthless side and didn’t hesitate to eliminate potential rivals just as swiftly and as brutally as he wiped out his enemies.

It is also said that he had a vision not merely to conquer the world but to unite both East and West in one large harmonious Empire. Certainly the cities he founded were all civilised and cultured places, and he fervently spread Greek culture and language while taking an interest in the cultures of the lands he conquered. He might well even be regarded as the most important Greek who ever lived.

Other Greek history pages

  • Homer and the Odyssey

    Did Homer write The Odyssey and The Iliad, and what is known about the life of this famous Greek writer, when did he live, where was he born, and was he blind?

  • A History of Athens

    A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

  • Heinrich Schliemann

    Heinrich Schliemann was a German archaeologist who explored sites connected with Homer, including Troy, Mycenae, and Ithaca, and made some extraordinary finds

  • Greek Architecture

    This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

  • Battle of Crete

    The Battle of Crete during World War 2 inspired several books and took place with an airborne invasion over Maleme on the north coast of the island.

  • The Royal Tombs and Archaeological Site of Vergina in Macedonia

    The archaeological site of Vergina in Macedonia is famous for the royal tombs which were the burial place of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.

  • The Greek Gods

    The home of the Greek Gods was the top of Mount Olympus, and among the better-known Gods and Goddesses in the Greek pantheon were Zeus, Poseidon and Aphrodite.

  • Sir Arthur Evans, archaeologist at Knossos on Crete

    Sir Arthur Evans is the archaeologist famous for the excavations he made at the royal palace of Knossos on Crete.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Traditional Pies from the Windy Aegean Isles

    Islanders make a huge variety of pies. They roll out sheets of pastry like silk or make fluffy pockets of dough, and fill them with wild greens and delicious cheeses.

    Read More

  2. Discovering “Handcrafted Crete,” a New Coffee Table Book

    A new coffee table book by travel writer Isabella Zambetaki presents the enormous variety and wealth of Crete's handicrafts, past and present.

    Read More

  3. Mini Guide: Essential Tinos

    Read on for the best summer hangouts on charming Tinos, from village cafes and tavernas to spectacular beaches and cultural tours, in one mini guide.

    Read More

  4. Multifaceted Greek Experiences From Delphi to Nafpaktos

    From lush and historical natural sites with jaw-dropping views to shopping, dining and fun activities, this route offers a cornucopia of things to discover.

    Read More

  5. Kythnos: The Outsider of the Cyclades

    Even though close to Attica, Kythnos knows how to stay under the radar. This carefree island is the ideal destination for our first summer excursions.

    Read More

  6. 5 Amazing Spots To Enjoy Sunset In Athens

    When thinking about summer in Greece, one of the first things that pop into your mind, except for the sandy beaches and turquoise waters, is the unsurpassed sunsets of the Greek islands. Indeed, sunse…

    Read More

  7. Rivers In Greece That Offer An Incredible Swimming Experience

    Sun-drenched beaches with crystal-clear waters and fine sand are what Greece is mostly known for all around the world. And, justifiably so, since Greece has a coastline of a whopping 13,676 kilometers…

    Read More

  8. 15 Fun Holiday Activities To Enjoy With Your Kids

    Summer is already here, and the summer holidays are fast approaching. So, if you plan to enjoy them with your family, it would be great to have some activities planned. As you know, children (and adul…

    Read More

  9. 11 Shipwrecks Now Accessible to Divers

    Greece’s Ministry of Culture announces its decision to make 11 wrecks accessible to divers, under the supervision of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities.

    Read More

  10. Monemvasia: Europe’s Oldest Continuously Inhabited Castle Town is in Greece

    Monemvasia, on the southeastern shores of the Peloponnese, Greece is Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited castle town. Founded in 583 by inhabitants of the mainland seeking refuge from the Slavic an…

    Read More