History is all about the study of great men. Now how do you define great? Some were called the great because of their accomplishments, others for their reputes or legacy, and many for their legends of courage and bravery. This essay is about a man-Alexander the Great- who was called great because he gained all the above three.
Alexander III of Macedonia got famous with the tag ‘The great’ instead of his real full name. He was born in 365 BCE to a king known as Philip the Second. Alexander was tutored by one of the best philosophers of the ancient world- Aristotle. In 343 BCE, the king of Macedon send for the great master Aristotle and asked him to teach his son which Aristotle did for almost seven years. Aristotle taught him medicine, philosophy, morals, religion, and art. Aristotle noticed brilliance and artistry in his student and encouraged him to become a leader. Aristotle also guided him towards the path of virtue and enlightened him on the importance of a balanced life. While Alexander was receiving education from the best tutor in the world, his father was marching towards victory one after the other and conquering the world. In the period of seven years, Aristotle did the art of refining a genius who habilitated as a king at the age of 20.
His father always knew that Alexander is already a skilled leader. While Philip was preparing to capture Persia, he got assassinated at a procession by one of his bodyguards. After him, Alexander carried on his father’s legacy of dominating the world. Before Alexander boarded on his campaigns, after becoming the ruler, Aristotle wrote Alexander a blessing called ‘Secrets of Secrets’ to guide him on his journey. The secret of Secret is known as the exchange of letters between the brilliant student and his great mentor. Aristotle’s advice to Alexander in the letter covers everything from diet to hygiene to conducting a war. Few of the copies of the letters have been founded by historians. Some of the dialogues that appear in the manuscript are as below,
Alexander: O my excellent preceptor and just minister, I inform you that I have found in the land of Persia men possessing sound judgment and powerful understanding, which are ambitious of bearing rule. Hence I have decided to put them all to death. What is your opinion on this matter?
` Aristotle: It is no use putting to death the men you have conquered; for their land will, by the laws of nature, breed another generation which will be similar. The character of these men is determined by the nature of the air of their country and the waters they habitually drink. The best course for you is to accept them as they are and to seek to accommodate them to your concepts by winning them over through kindness.
Records show that Alexander acted as his mentor said. By following Aristotle’s advice, Alexander achieved his famous conquests of a lot of territories and ruled a great number of areas on Earth. Alexander conquered the place that his father could not destroy in his life: Persia. The young fighter conquered all the places that the Persians hold including the land of Egypt. At the same time, Alexander along with Regent General Antipater faced Greek forces too and defeated them. He then went on to conquer Sardes- a city in the South of Persia. Then he headed Northside to Gordian- a place currently in Turkey. It was said that in the city, there stood an ancient wagon with several knots in its yoke which seemed impossible to disentangle. Epics had it that whoever would be successful in unraveling it would conquer Asia. A desire of solving this puzzle took place in Alexander all of a sudden and he started using various methods to untie it. At first, he failed but he did not give up and surprisingly came out a champion at the end. Furthermore, at a very young age, Alexander the Great marched towards Egypt and India. He conquered Egypt and larger areas of Asia before his 30th Birthday.
Alexander the great was a name destined to live forever in history. He was one of the greatest military minds the world has ever seen. He was fearless and confident. As he used to uplift his army by saying, ‘, ‘Conquer your fear, and I promise you, you’ll conquer death’
Summing up the essay with few fun facts from Alexander’s life,
- Alexander the Great was fond of putting his names on the cities. In 326, it is said that Alexander named a city after his horse- Bucephalus. The city now is famous as Jhelum in Pakistan. He named a lot of cities that he conquered after his name.
- Once a Greek historian wrote about Alexander, ’He had one eye dark as the night and one eye blue as the sky’.
- In fifteen years of his reign, Alexander never lost a battle.
- Legends have it that after conquering Persia, Alexander started dressing like them as he thought that the best way to control Persians was to act like them
- Alexander the Great died at a very young age and too many, his death still remains a mystery. Many speculate whether the cause of his death malaria, fever, lung infection, the downing of wine, or he was killed by one of his own like his father.
- At the age of just thirteen, Alexander mastered a horse named Bucephalus that no one else could ride or handle. Later, the horse came to be known as his magic horse that accompanied him in all the battles.