He was one of the greatest military leaders in all of history. Alexander the Great was a master of war strategies and he believed in skill more than he believed in sheer numbers. He proved that an army that is outnumbered can be victorious with proper leadership.
Even though Alexander the Great was a military leader long before rifles and hand grenades, we can still learn a lot from this great military genius.
In today’s post, I am going to share 17 cool facts about Alexander the Great. At the end of this post will be a reference section so you can learn even more.
Alexander the Great Facts
Alexander was born in July, 356 B.C. He was born in Pella, Macedonia. Pella is still a large city in Greece.
Alexander’s parents were King Philip II of Macedon and Queen Olympia who was the daughter of King Neoptolemus of Epirus. King Philip II was often gone on government affairs, but Queen Olympia was a strong role model for him.
To attain the best education for his son, King Philip II hired one of the world’s greatest philosophers to educate 13 year old Alexander. Aristotle taught the young prince for approximately 3 years.
4: Taking The Throne
When King Philip II was assassinated, Alexander worked quickly to guarantee his rights to the throne. He even had his cousin killed. At 20 years old, Alexander became King of Macedon.
Alexander the Great regularly washed his hair in saffron to keep it a bright orange and smelling nice.
6: No Losses
In 15 years of battles and wars, Alexander the Great never lost a battle.
7: The Battles
Let’s look at the battles that Alexander the Great was the master of:
Battle of Chaeronea: This was Alexander’s first battle when he was still a prince. It was fought between the Macedonians led by King Philip II against Greek states of Athens, Thebes, Corinth and more. Alexander was only 18 years old and controlled the left flank of the Macedonian army.
Battle of the Granicus River: Following the death of his Father and his taking of the throne, Alexander set out to win Asia. This battle was against Darius III of Persia. It was not an easy victory, but Alexander used the cover of night to slip in to the Persian stronghold by crossing the river and sweeping the enemy.
Battle of Issus: This battle showed Darius and his Persian army that numbers really do not mean much when you are against a master war strategist. Alexander the Great had approximately 30,000 troops against 100,000 Persian troops. The Persians attempted to cut off supply lines, but Alexander countered cutting the Persians into pieces.
Siege of Tyre: It took him nearly 7 months to gain access to this heavily fortified city. Since Alexander did not use ships, he had a causeway built that allowed his cavalry access to Tyre. Alexander was so angry with the amount of men he lost that he murdered many or those who stood in defiance against the Macedonians. He also had the city nearly destroyed completely.
Battle of Gaugamela: This is the battle that did Darius in. Alexander was outnumbered terribly, but using the phalanx formation he had learned from his Father, Alexander attacked the center, and led a revolt to one flank drawing a large part of the Persian army away. The center cut through and the Macedonians secured a huge victory. Darius was murdered and out of respect for his enemy, Alexander performed full burial ceremony for Darius.
Battle of the Hydaspes: This was a battle of great loss to Macedonian warriors. It was fought between Alexander and the forces of King Porus in the region of Punjab in India. After defeating the King’s army, Alexander was so impressed that he allowed the King to keep his ruling authority and Alexander halted this movement and changed direction.
There were other smaller battles and skirmishes. Alexander the Great prevailed in all.
8: The Name Given To Cities
In his conquering, Alexander named around 70 cities after himself. We know of a major one in Egypt even today.
9: His Horse
During the battle against King Porus, Alexander’s horse was killed. The horse’s name was Bucephalus and because of this, the city of Bucaphela was named after his horse. It is in modern day Pakistan.
10: 4 Titles At One Time
Alexander held 4 titles at one time. They were:
King of Macedonia
King of Persia
King of Asia
Pharaoh of Egypt
11: 3 Wives
In his lifetime, Alexander had 3 wives. They were:
12: 2 Children
It is believed that Alexander had 2 children, but both were killed before they were adults. They were:
Herakles who was from a mistress of Alexander named Barsine.
Alexander IV whose Mother was Roxane.
13: Gordian Knot
There was a knot tied to a wheeled cart in Gordium which is in what we know as Turkey today. The knot was tied by the Father of King Midas. It was believed that anyone who could loose the knot would rule Asia. After fiddling with it for a bit, Alexander unsheathed his sword and cut the knot. And he did rule Asia.
14: Dress As The Natives
While it was controversial with the Macedonians, when Alexander defeated the Persians, he began to dress as they dressed. This gained him respect from the locals.
15: Where He Died
Alexander died while in his early 30’s. He passed away in Babylon, Persia which is modern day Iraq.
To preserve Alexander the Great’s body, he was put in a casket and a vat of honey was poured all around his body.
17: Cause of Death
Nobody really knows for sure how Alexander died. Some believe he may have been poisoned, while others think it was malaria. Will we ever know?
Some have claimed he had god-like attributes. He was probably the greatest military leader of all time. Even today, military leaders study the tactics Alexander the Great used.
What are your thoughts about Alexander the Great? Do you have any added facts you would like to give us?
Just post all comments and questions below. Thank you.
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