Alexander the Great

Greece

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  • After his father's assasination in 336 B.C.E., Alexander became commander-in-chief
  • The Greek city-state, Thebes, caused a rebellion against the Macedonian army
  • He marched his army to the gates of thebes to crush the rebellion
  • Alexander offered peace, but was answered with rebellious attitude and was determined to defeat them
  • It was a battle that was fought long and hard
  • Alexander treated some of the rebels with compassion, sparing the lives of women, priests, the family of a famous poet (Pindar), and some citizens that were friendly to Macedonia.

Egypt

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  • Alexander and his forces arrived in 332 B.C.E.
  • Egyptians welcomed him as a pharaoh, or king.
  • They believed that he would show more respect to their religious practices and cultural traditions than the Persians.
  • In early 331 B.C.E., he left his forces behind and went on a journey to visit a prophet at the oasis of Siwah.
  • He met Oracle of Amon, the Egyptian King of the Gods
  • He was the first pharaoh to visit the oasis and according to the legend, the oldest of the priests greeted him as Son of Ammon, and King.
  • Alexander laid the foundation for an important new city, Alexandria.

Persia

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  • The battle of Issus in 333 B.C.E., was one of the most famous battles
  • There was economic competition between Greece and Persia for the control of the trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
  • Alexander wanted to conquer Persia and he did so with several strategies
  • One chief strategy was a phalanx, a line of troops armed with javelins and spears charged directly at the enemy
  • The persian leader, King Darius III had left his troops on the battlefield which caused Alexander to win
  • He showed respect for the conquered Persians, but disrespect to others
  • He captured the Persian capital of Persepolis and was the ruler of Persia.

India

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  • In 362 B.C., Alexander's troops faced soldiers on elephants in India.
  • Alexander expanded his empire to the Indus River in India.
  • Alexander adopted many Persian and Egyptian customs along the way.
  • He was forced to head back because his troops refused to advance further
  • The Indus River became the eastern border
  • Shortly after he arrived back from India, he died from Malaria.

Hellenistic Age

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  • Alexander founded many cities in which Greek soldiers, traders, and artisans settled.
  • Temples were built from Egypt to the borders of India and were filled with Greek statues
  • After his death, a new culture emerged that blended Greek, Persian, Egyptian, and Indian influence (Hellenistic Age)
  • A wide variety of goods were made from Greek marble to Arabian spices to East African Ivory
  • Rulers built the great museum- contained a library with information about the ancient world
  • Women were no longer restricted to homes and learned to read and write