BABYLON – Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C. in Pella, Macedonia. The son of Philip of Macedon, who
was an excellent Army General and organizer. His mother was Olympias, princess of Epirus.
In 336 BC at the age of 20, Alexander succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong
kingdom and an experienced army. He had been awarded the generalship of Greece and used this
authority to launch his father’s Panhellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In
334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire, ruled Asia Minor, and began a series of campaigns that
lasted ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably
the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and
conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the
Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.

Seeking to reach the “ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea,” he invaded India in 326 BC, but
was eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323
BC, the city he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns
that would have begun with the invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil
wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander’s surviving
generals and heirs.

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