Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας, Aléxandros o Mégas, from the Greek word Άλεξ - Alex meaning "protector" and Άνδρας - Andras meaning "man"), was a king of Macedon, a state in northern ancient Greece. By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancientworld, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. He was undefeated in battle, and is considered one of history's most successful commanders. Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16.
Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II of Macedon, to the throne in 336 BC after Philip was assassinated. Upon Philip's death, Alexander inherited a strong kingdomand an experienced army. He was awarded the generalship of Greece, and used this authority to launch his father's military expansion plans. In 334 BC he invaded Persian-ruled Asia Minor and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew the Persianking Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire.i[›] At that point his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.
Seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, without executing a series of planned campaigns that wouldhave begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi – Alexander's surviving generals and heirs.
Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria, Egypt. Alexander's settlement ofGreek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold ofAchilles, and features prominently in the history and myth of Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure againstwhich military leaders compared themselves, and military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics.
The Maurya Empire
The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power in ancient India, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BC. Originating from the kingdom of Magadha in the Indo-Gangetic plains (modern Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bengal) in theeastern side of theIndian subcontinent, the empire had its capital city at Pataliputra (modern Patna). The Empire was founded in 322 BC by Chandragupta Maurya, who had overthrown the Nanda Dynasty and rapidly expanded his power westwards across central and western India taking advantage of the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great's Greek andPersian armies. By 320 BC the empire had fully occupied Northwestern India, defeating and conquering the satraps left by Alexander.
With an area of 5,000,000 sq km, it was one of the world's largest empires in its time, and the largest ever in the Indian subcontinent. At its greatest extent, the empire stretched to the north along the natural boundaries of the Himalayas, and to the eaststretching into what is now Assam. To the west, it conquered beyond modern Pakistan, annexing Balochistan, south eastern parts of Iran and much of what is now Afghanistan, including the modern Herat and Kandahar provinces. The Empire was expanded into India's central and southern regions by the emperors Chandragupta andBindusara, but it excluded a small portion of unexplored tribal and forested...