On June 13, 323 B.C, Alexander the Great died and with him one of the greatest military minds in history. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about Alexander the Great...
The Great Philosopher Aristotle Was His Teacher
Philip II of Macedon was Alexander’s father. He hired one of the world’s greatest philosophers, Aristotle, to teach his young son Alexander, which will be later Alexander the Great. Aristotle taught Alexander about medicine, philosophy, morals, religion, logic, and art. It was Aristotle who inspired Alexander’s great love for literature. It is said that Aristotle gave Alexander his annotated copy of Homer’s “The Illiad”, a book that Alexander considered a handbook on the art of war. He had this book by his side during his legendary conquests.
Alexander Never Lost A Battle Alexander the Great’s military tactics and strategies are still studied in military academies today. From his first victory at age 18, Alexander gained a reputation of leading his men to battle with impressive speed, allowing smaller forces to reach and break the enemy lines before his foes were ready. After securing his kingdom in Greece, in 334 B.C. Alexander crossed into Asia (present-day Turkey) where he won a series of battles with the Persians under Darius III. The centerpiece of Alexander’s fighting force was the 15,000-strong Macedonian phalanx, whose units held off the sword-wielding Persians with 20-foot-long pikes called sarissa.
He Named Over 70 Cities After Himself - And One After His Horse Alexander commemorated his conquests by founding dozens of cities which he named Alexandria, after himself. The most famous of these, founded at the mouth of the Nile in 331 B.C., is today Egypt’s second-largest city. Near the site of the battle of the river Hydaspes—the costliest victory of his Indian campaign—Alexander founded the city of Bucephala, named for his favorite horse, which was mortally wounded in the battle.
The Cause Of His Death Remains A Mystery Alexander the Great fell ill after downing a bowl of wine at a party. Two weeks later, the 32-year-old ruler was dead. Since his father, Philip II of Macedon, had been murdered, suspicion arose about whether he had been poisoned, most notably by his general Antipater and Antipater’s son Cassander. In modern times, medical experts have speculated that malaria, lung infection, liver failure or typhoid fever may have done Alexander in.
The Great Conqueror’s Body Was Stolen
Alexander’s body was treated by Egyptian embalmers in Babylon and on its way to Macedonia was stolen by Ptolomy I and kept in Egypt to heighten his claim to the throne. Another rumor was that his body had been stolen by Venetian merchants, who thought it was the remains of Saint Mark, and took it to Venice to St. Mark’s Basilica. Although extensive archaeological searches have been made to discover the tomb and body of Alexander, it still remains a mystery what really happened.