Born in 356 BC to a Macedonian king and his headstrong queen, Alexander the Great becomes king at age twenty. Many Middle Eastern cities fell under Macedonian rulebefore Alexander reached present-day India before turning back. His final journey sees tens of thousands of people perish in the Gedrosian Desert before arriving in Persia once again. It is during thispeaceful time that Alexander takes ill and dies at age thirty-two.
Chapter 1: Alexander’s defeat of the Persians in 366 BC ends a period during which the enemies of Persia were the Greek city-states,and Macedonia was not an important part of the Greek world. This Greek world left an important legacy for the western world: democracy, a style for building religious temples that has been copied formore than two millennia, a love of theatre and literature, philosophy, early contributions to medicine, mathematics and science, the valuing of physical beauty and well-being and the Olympic games.Chapter 2: It is probably his strong parents and outstanding teachers that made Alexander a great leader. His mother, Olympias, was his father’s first wife. Strong in character, she returned to hercountry when Philip – Alexander’s father – married Eurydice. Philip, in turn, was a great commander and a strong leader. Busy with governing, he hires Aristotle to educate Alexander. Alexander iscurious and intelligent. He likes music and literature, animals and hunting. At age thirteen he surprises the court by riding a wild horse, Bucephalas, who will accompany him in all his campaigns. At agesixteen, he is left in charge of the government for a time and at eighteen he has won his first battle. When Philip is murdered, Alexander is only twenty.
Chapters 3–4: Alexander ensures his positionin Macedonia by killing all other candidates to the crown and sets off towards Greece and Asia. Along his campaign, he makes use not only of his strength but also of his intelligence, creativity and...