Details for World of Wonder 5/13

By Laurie Triefeldt

SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2019

Exploring the realms of history, science, nature and technology

ALEXANDER
THE GREAT
Coin depicting
Alexander
c. 330 B.C.

Alexander the Great is considered
one of the best generals of all time.
As king of Macedonia, he conquered and created an empire that
extended from Greece to India.

Major events and battles of the Macedonian Empire

Mosaic detail,
Alexander at the Battle of Issus
c. 200 B.C.

MACEDONIA
Black Sea

Pella

A prince is born

2

Alexander has inspired many
stories, and it can be difficult to
separate truth from fiction.

GREECE
1

Alexander III was born in 356 B.C.
in Pella, the capital of ancient
Macedonia, to King Philip II and
Olympias, princess of Epirus.

CRETE

ARMENIA

Miletus

Caspian
Sea

3

MEDIA

Babylon

5

Persian
Gulf

300 km
1

Chaeronea: Leading his father’s army,
Alexander gains control of Greece in
338 B.C.

2

Granicus: Alexander’s first key battle in
his plan to conquer Persia takes place in
334 B.C., at the Granicus River, where his
cavalry defeats a Persian army.

3

Issus: In 333 B.C., Alexander defeats his
Persian enemy Darius III, but he does not
capture the king.

4

Tyre: Alexander’s army capture key port
cities. He builds a 1/2-mile (800 m) causeway to the island of Tyre and uses giant
siege machines to terrorize the inhabitants.
After seven months of fighting, the Tyrians
surrender in 332 B.C.

5

Alexander was only halfMacedonian, which made his claim
to the throne
difficult and
bloody.

PARTHIA

Susa
Persepolis
PERSIA

300 miles

The ancient Greeks believed that
a good education included developing the skills of both the body
and the mind. Alexander had the
great advantage of being tutored
by the famous philosopher and
scholar Aristotle. Alexander was
also trained in sports and warfare.
At the age of 16, Alexander was
thought to be mature enough to
be regent of Macedonia while his
father was attacking Byzantium.

BACTRIA

6

EGYPT

Alexander’s mother said that the
Greek hero Achilles was her son’s
ancestor, and his father, King Philip
II, claimed to be a descendant of
Hercules, son of the god Zeus.
Apparently, being related to such
legendary figures had a strong
influence on Alexander because he
became a hero and legend in his
own right.

This sword
is from a
tomb at
Vergina,
Greece. It is
thought to
be the tomb
of Alexander’s halfbrother.

ASIA MINOR

Halicarnassos
4
Mediterranean
Tyre
Sea
Alexandria Gaza

Early days

Forward march
Marching west

CAUCASUS

Macedonian
helmet
c. 330 B.C.

6

Egypt: When Alexander arrives in Egypt,
he is greeted as a hero and crowned
Pharaoh because he freed Egypt from
the Persians. Alexander founds the city
of Alexandria in 331 B.C.

Bucephalus

7

8

8

7
ARACHOSIA
GEDROSIA

INDIA

Arabian Sea

Gaugamela: Alexander battles his old
enemy King Darius III at Gaugamela and
Arbela. The Persian’s larger army is forced
to retreat into Media. This battle marks the
end of more than 200 years of Persian rule
in Asia. In 330 B.C., Alexander captures
Babylon and the city of Susa. When he
reaches Persepolis, he sacks the city, setting the palaces on fire and taking loads of
gold and silver.
Central Asia and the Indus: King Darius
III dies (killed by his own nobles) in 330
B.C., and Alexander becomes King of
Persia. On reaching the Indus Valley, Alexander’s men refuse to go any farther. In 325
B.C., Alexander divides his troops; some
sail west, and others make the long trek to
Babylon on foot.
Hydaspes: In 326 B.C., Alexander reaches
the Indus Valley (now Pakistan). He fights
King Porus (also called Puru) at the Hydaspes (Jhelum) River. Alexander triumphs,
but his army is tired and near mutiny.

According to legend, as a young boy, Alexander tamed a wild horse and
named it Bucephalus. Alexander is said to have ridden him in many battles
and across his empire into India. Some stories say that Bucephalus was
killed in Alexander’s last battle; others claim the horse died of old age.

Artifacts at Vergina
Discovered at modern-day Vergina
in 1976, the ancient city of Aegae
was the first capital of Macedonia. It was here that Alexander's
father Phillip II was assassinated
and where
Alexander was
crowned king.
Excavation of
the site has revealed a large
royal palace
and the burial
sites of many
kings, including the tomb of
King Philip II
Philip II, which
was undisturbed.

Did you know?
Alexander became king of
Macedonia at age 20.
Alexander was never defeated
in battle.
Alexander set the stage for the
Hellenistic Age, a time of trade and
great interaction among Greek,
Middle Eastern and Indian
cultures.
Alexander had a reputation
as a big drinker, and some
theorize that alcoholism
contributed to his death.

In the end
In the spring of 323 B.C., Alexander became ill with
a fever, the cause of which is debated. Weakened by
fever, exhaustion and earlier wounds, Alexander died
on June 11, 323 B.C., at the age of 32.
Bronze statue of
Alexander
on Bucephalus

Alexander the Great’s
military tactics and
strategies are still
studied in military
academies today.

Alexander’s wife Roxanne was pregnant when he died.
She gave birth to Alexander IV, who jointly ruled Macedonia with Alexander’s half-brother Philip III Arrhidaeus.
Philip III was murdered in 317 B.C., and the young Alexander was killed a few years later.
The empire fell apart and separated into various states
ruled by several of Alexander’s generals.

SOURCES: World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Inc.; https://www.history.com; https://www.ancient.eu; https://www.historyhit.com; http://www.historyofmacedonia.org; https://www.biography.com

Alexander named more
than 70 cities after
himself—and one after
his horse.
Persian
nobleman

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© 2019 Triefeldt Studios, Inc.
Distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication

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