ALEXANDER III, the GREAT
- Alexander was born in Pella, the capital of Macedonia, in 356 BC, the son of Philip II, king of Macedonia, and of Olympias, a princess of Epirus.One of his tutors was Aristotle.
- Alexander became king of Macedonia in 336 BC, on the assassination of his father, Philip.
- He put down rebellions in Macedonia and Greece, which had been conquered by his father, and in 336 BC was elected commander of the Greek forces for a war against Persia by a congress of states at Corinth.
- Alexander began the war against Persia in 334 BC by crossing the Hellespont (modern Dardanelles) with an army of 35,000 Macedonian and Greek troops.
- At the river Granicus, near the ancient city of Troy (in modern Turkey), he attacked and defeated an army of 40,000 Persians and Greek hoplites (mercenaries).
- He then defeated the main Persian army under King Darius III, at Issus, in northeastern Syria.
- In 332 BC, he took the seaport of Tyre, after a seige of seven months.
- He then set out to capture Egypt, founding the city of Alexandria at the mouth of the Nile.
- Turning northwards, he set out for Babylon with an army of 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry meeting Darius and the Persian army, which he defeated at the Battle of Gaugamela, on 1st October, 331 BC.
- Babylon was captured, and Susa and Persepolis, capital of the Persian Empire. By 327 BC, his rule extended to Central Asia, the Caspian Sea and modern Afghanistan.
- Alexander crossed the Indus River in 326 BC, and advanced into the Punjab as far as the river Hyphasis (modern Beas), wher the Macedonians refused to go farther.
- He then constructed a fleet of boats and sailed down the Hydaspes, defeating the Indian ruler Porus (326 BC), reaching the Indus delta in September 325 BC.
- Sending the fleet up the Persian Gulf, he marched his army back to Susa, reaching it by 324 BC.
- In June of 323 BC, Alexander contracted a fever and died.
- He left his empire, in his own words, "to the strongest". These were to be Antigonus (later Antigonus I of Macedonia), Ptolemy (later Ptolemy I of Egypt), and Seleucus (later Seleucus I founder of the Seleucid empire).