Alexander the Great was one of the most influential figures in the history of Ancient Greece. The famous Macedonian was unbeaten in battle and his military tactics would go on to influence battles for centuries to come. Let’s take a look at 10 interesting facts about Alexander the Great.
10 Interesting Facts about Alexander the Great
1: Alexander the Great was born in 354 BC
Alexander the Great was born in 354 BC in Pella, the capital city of Ancient Macedon. His birthday was on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion. In modern terms, this would be July 20th.
There are several myths surrounding the birth of Alexander the Great. One of them is that his mother, Olympia had a dream that her stomach was struck by a bolt of lightning on the day that she conceived Alexander. Many have interpreted this as Olympia seeing Alexander as being the son of Zeus.
2: He was tutored by Aristotle
Alexander the Great’s royal upbringing ensured that he got the best education possible for the time period, and one of the young prince’s teachers just so happened to be the famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle, a well-known fact about Alexander the Great.
Aristotle had agreed to teach Alexander in exchange for King Phillip rebuilding his home in Stagira. These lessons at a young age are said to have inspired Alexander and they helped him develop a life-long love of philosophy. It is also said that his intelligence was a key factor in many of his key victories throughout his life.
3: He was unbeaten in battle
Of all of his exploits, the thing that Alexander the Great is perhaps the most famous for is being undefeated on the battlefield. Alexander’s time in battle stemmed for 15 years and saw him fight in many major battles. He was a renowned tactician and he managed to build on the impressive work done by his father.
Alexander’s entire Empire stretched an incredible 20 million square miles from Greece all the way to India, making it one of the biggest Empires in the history of the world.
4: Alexander the Great was the son of King Phillip II
Alexander was born the son of King Phillip II of Macedon. King Phillip II was one of the greatest kings in the history of the nation who had defeated both Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea before his son’s birth. King Phillip II had several wives, but Olympia was his most important. Many believe that to be because she gave birth to Alexander, the heir to his throne. Olympia was the daughter of the king of the Molossians, which meant that Alexander was born of royal blood on both sides of his family.
5: Alexander the Great’s first major battle was in May 343 BC
Alexander the Great had been involved in several battles before this date but his first major battle took place with the Persians at the Granicus River in May 334 BC. After crossing the Asian Minor, Alexander was attacked by a waiting Persian Army.
The battle was tough and Alexander nearly lost his own life but his forces eventually overcome and won the battle. Alexander also had the Greek mercenaries who had worked with the Persian army executed as a show of power.
6: His father made his military success possible
History will always remember Alexander the Great as one of the greatest military leaders of all time but it was actually reform brought about by his father, King Phillip II, that laid the blueprint for his many victories, an interesting fact about Alexander the Great.
While his father’s legacy may not be as well known, he still helped establish Macedon as a key powerhouse who would dominate enemies for the best part of half a century. He developed the Macedonian phalanx tactic, which saw soldiers march very tightly together with pikes, which would then allow the calvary to attack as well.
Alexander took these tactics developed by his fathers and made them into his own, ultimately using them to establish himself as one of the greatest military leaders in world history.
7: His ascension to the throne was difficult
When King Phillip II was assassinated, Alexander the Great was automatically instilled as the King of Macedon. The problem for Alexander, though, was that many questioned his legitimacy due to the fact that his mother, Olympus, was Greek.
This led to Alexander having to eliminate all of his potential rivals to the throne and those who were going to question his rise to ascend. Alexander had his own cousin killed, as well as two lesser-known Macedonian princes who could have potentially laid claim to his throne.
8: He was married once and had only one child
Alexander the Great married only once in his life. When he was 28, he married the daughter of a Bactrian nobleman called Roxanne. It said that he claimed to have fallen in love with her the moment that he first saw her and the couple were married not long after their first meeting.
The couple had only one child together before Alexander’s untimely death – a son known as Alexander IV.
9: Alexander the Great was a well-known big drinker
Alexander the Great was known for a great many things during his lifetime and one of them, surprisingly, was that he had a penchant for alcohol, especially wine, and would regularly get into drunken disputes, an interesting fact about Alexander the Great.
In one famous incident, he threw a spear through his friend Brutus’ chest after a drunken argument, killing him. There are many historians who believe that his alcohol heavy lifestyle could have been one of the factors that contributed significantly to his early death.
10: Alexander the Great Died in 323BC
Though it was fairly common for the aristocracy and those in positions of power to live comparatively longer lives than their subjects, Alexander the Great died at just 32 years of age in the city of Babylon.
The death of Alexander the Great is one of history’s most intriguing mysteries. While the ‘official’ cause of his death was a fever that he developed over the course of a few weeks, there has been a lot of speculation from historians about this, with many suggesting that he could have, in fact, been assassinated.
Alexander the Great is one of the most iconic military leaders and fighters in history. His battles and tactics helped shape the world as we know it today and his influence is still felt centuries after his death.
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