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Alexander III the Great, also the King of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire, is heralded as one of the greatest military figures in the world's history. He was born in Pella, once the capital of Macedonia in 356 B.C. He grew up watching his father, King Philip II slowly mould Macedonia into a formidable military force while the scholar Aristotle tutored Alexander in science, medicine, and philosophy. Such was Alexander's prowess as a capable and reliable individual, his father actually let him to rule Macedonia while he and his army invaded Thrace...and Alexander was only 16 at the time.
When a Thracian tribe rebelled against the invasion and threatened the country, young Alexander organized an army, led it against the rebels, and defeated them. Two years later, King Philip II gave Alexander a commanding post as one of the senior generals in the Macedonian army, where Alexander's strength and bravery assured them another victory against the Greeks.
In 336 B.C. King Philip II was assassinated en route to his invasion of Persia, and his son Alexander III, now King, was left to wipe the table clean of all their enemies, which he did with such speed and skill by ordering the executions of all domestic enemies while forcing his way into Greece to reestablish Macedonian rule that the Greeks were stunned into deferring to his authority.
Alexander's method for dealing with most rebellions was speed and execution, which had a lot of nations trembling in their sandals. They simply had no time to react. From Thrace, Thebes, Illyria, Persia, and Granicus to Issus and beyond, Alexander pushed for Macedonian rule wherever he tread, which by 324 B.C. covered territory in Egypt, Asia, Arabia, and India, just to name a few. He would have continued if he had not developed a strange and virulent fever after attending a private party, which escalated to such a point that he was rendered unable to move or speak as the illness moved in to claim him, which it finally did on June 7, 323 B.C. At the age of 33, King Alexander the Great died before he could name a successor to his Macedonian empire.
Alexander's death set in motion a bloodthirsty fight for power for the Macedonians, but without the military genius of their former king, Macedonia fell to the Roman empire by 30 B.C., after Cleopatra VII, the last of the Macedonian powers, committed suicide.
*Alexander's appearance has been most thought to be accurately depicted by the sculptor Lysippos, and in fact Alexander himself preferred Lysippos's likenesses of him over that of any other artist. This bust is one of those works.
*Alexander's physical description is variously reported as of him having curly, dark blonde hair, a prominent forehead, a short, jutting chin, fair to reddish skin, an intense gaze, and a short, stocky, tough figure. It has been commented upon more than once that Alexander had one dark brown eye and one blue eye! Such a phenomenon does exist, so it is not too much to suppose that Alexander could also have exhibited this trait.
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