Sunday, November 13, 2011

Alexander the Great

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Alexander the Great

Who was Alexander the Great?

Alexander the Great became the Macedonian king in 336 BC when he was just 20 years old. When Alexander the Great died 13 years later his empire stretched from Greece to India. Alexander was the first person to link the western and eastern civilizations.

How Alexander the Great built his empire?

Alexander the Great knew that his father had planned to attack the Persian Empire. He crossed into Asia Minor and defeated the Persian army in 333 BC. Egypt was also part of the Persian Empire. Soon Alexander conquered Egypt. He built an important city in Egypt and called it Alexandria. While he was in Egypt a priest told him that he was a god. Alexander believed him and felt he could do anything. In 331 BC Alexander the Great beat the Persian army again and captured the capital city, Babylon. Alexander was now master of the whole Persian Empire. But he knew that he must rule wisely and well. If he did not the would soon rebel against him. The Greeks were a long way from home and he could not rule without help.

Alexander married the daughter of a Persian king. He ordered 10,000 of his men to marry Persian girls too. He let every part of his empire keep its own religion and ideas. He took many foreigners into his army. The Greeks did not like that. But they still loved Alexander and obeyed him.

Map of Alexander Empire

Reign of Alexander the Great

In 330 BC Alexander the Great crossed into India. There he met a great Indian army. The Indians were using war elephants. The Greeks had not seen elephants before and were afraid. But still Alexander managed to beat the Indians. He now wanted to go further east. Alexander believed that beyond India was the edge of the world, and he wanted to see it. But his soldiers were frightened and would not go. Alexander the Great added north-west India (modern Pakistan) to his empire and then went slowly back to Persia.
In 323 BC Alexander died at Babylon, aged 33. In only 13 years he had built an empire larger than modern china. After Alexander’s death his great empire began to break up. It was divided among his generals. One took Egypt, another became king of Macedonia, and another ruled the east. Alexander is called ‘the great’ because he won many battles. He was a great soldier and Leader. He was also a good ruler. He helped to spread Greek civilization.

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