Alexander the Great, the King of Macedonia, conquered a vast empire that crumbled after his death. Despite being short-lived, his conquests shaped culture, trade, and politics across Asia and the Mediterranean for centuries. Such was his prowess that he never lost a battle.
Alexander is one of the most fascinating figures in ancient history. This paper provides a comprehensive commentary on his life, including the highs, lows, and everything in between. To start, here is a quick overview:
- Early Life: Alexander the Great was born in 356 BC in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia. He was the son of King Philip II of Macedon and his fourth wife, Olympias. Alexander was educated by Aristotle, one of the most famous philosophers of his time, and was trained in warfare and politics from a young age.
- The Rise to Power: After his father’s assassination in 336 BC, Alexander became king at the age of 20. He immediately set out to conquer the Persian Empire, which was the greatest power in the world at the time. In 334 BC, he led an army of 35,000 soldiers across the Hellespont (now known as the Dardanelles) and began his campaign in Asia.
- Military Conquests: Alexander’s military campaigns were incredibly successful. He defeated the Persians in several major battles, including the Battles of Issus in 333 BC and Gaugamela in 331 BC. He also conquered Egypt and founded the city of Alexandria, which became one of the most important centres of learning and culture in the ancient world.
- Personal Life: Alexander was known for his close relationship with his friend and companion, Hephaestion. Some historians have speculated that they were lovers, although this is debated (see comments later). Alexander also married several women, including Roxana, who he married shortly before his death.
- Death: Alexander’s conquests came to an abrupt end when he died in Babylon in 323 BC at the age of 32. The cause of his death is not entirely clear. After his death, his empire was divided among his generals, and his legacy continued to shape the world for centuries afterwards.
Alexander the Great’s legacy is complex and controversial. On the one hand, he is celebrated as a military genius and a cultural icon. He is also credited with spreading Greek culture and ideas throughout the world. On the other hand, his conquests were brutal and caused immense suffering for the people who were conquered. Some historians also criticise his leadership style, which was often autocratic and ruthless.
Alexander portrayal by Lysippos
Attribution: Alexander the Great by Lysippos, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alexander-lysippus1-1.jpg
Overall, Alexander the Great is a complex figure who has left a lasting impact on the world.
Life and Legacy
Born in 356 BC in Pella, Macedonia, an ancient city located in present-day Greece, Alexander was famously taught by Aristotle throughout his childhood. According to a 2021 paper published in Advances in Social Science, his father, Phillip II, hired the famous tutor when Alexander was 13 to teach ethics, politics and debate. “It was during such period that Alexander obtained significant theoretical foundation of his later conquest of the world,” writes the study’s author.
Here are additional facts about his life and legacy:
- Alexander the Great’s empire stretched from Greece to India, making it one of the largest empires in history.
- He is known for founding several cities, including Alexandria in Egypt, which became an important centre of learning and culture.
- Alexander is also famous for his use of the phalanx formation, which was a military tactic that allowed for greater coordination and control over infantry soldiers.
- Some historians believe that Alexander suffered from alcoholism and other health problems, which may have contributed to his early death at the age of 32.
- After Alexander’s death, his empire was divided among his generals, who fought among themselves for control of different territories.
- Alexander’s legacy continued to shape the world for centuries after his death, particularly in the areas of culture, art, and philosophy.
- Many famous historical figures, including Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte, admired Alexander the Great and saw him as a model for their own leadership and military conquests.
- Alexander was a masterful strategist and tactician who often surprised his enemies with unconventional and bold tactics. For example, he famously used a feint at the Battle of Issus to outmanoeuvre a much larger Persian army.
- In addition to his military conquests, Alexander was also interested in science and philosophy. He is said to have carried a copy of Homer’s Iliad with him on his campaigns, and he founded a library in Alexandria that became one of the largest and most important repositories of knowledge in the ancient world.
- Alexander was known for his personal courage and physical prowess. He was wounded several times in battle, including at the Battles of the Granicus in 334 BC and Hydaspes in 326 BC. He also tamed the famously wild horse Bucephalus as a teenager.
- Alexander’s reign marked a turning point in the history of the ancient world, as it brought together the Greek and Persian civilisations and helped to spread Greek culture and ideas throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East.
- Despite his many military successes, Alexander’s reign was not without its challenges and setbacks. He faced several rebellions from his own soldiers, and his attempts to integrate his Greek and Persian subjects led to tensions and conflicts within his empire.
- Alexander’s legacy continues to inspire and intrigue people to this day. His life has been the subject of countless books, films, and works of art, and his conquests and achievements continue to be studied by historians and military strategists around the world.
According to ancient sources, Alexander’s mother, Olympias, named him after the ancient Greek hero Achilles. Olympias was said to be a devout follower of the mystery cult of Dionysus, and she may have chosen the name Alexander (which means “defender of men” in Greek) to reflect her religious beliefs.
Another theory is that Alexander’s father, King Philip II of Macedon, named him after his own father, Amyntas III, who had a brother named Alexander. In Macedonian tradition, it was common to call sons after the names of grandfathers or uncles.
Regardless of the origins of his name, The legacy of Alexander the Great is not tied solely to the city of Alexandria but to his many achievements and conquests throughout his life.
Alexander the Great Visits Diogenes at Corinth by W. Matthews (1914)
Attribution: W. Matthews, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alexander_visits_Diogenes_at_Corinth_by_W._Matthews_(1914).jpg
Upon Meeting Diogenes
Alexander the Great is said to have met Diogenes the Cynic (aka Diogenes of Sinope or Diogenes the Cynic), a famous philosopher, during his campaign in Corinth. According to the story, Alexander approached Diogenes, who was known for living a simple and ascetic lifestyle, and asked if there was anything he could do for him. Diogenes famously replied, “Yes, stand out of my sunlight.” Alexander was reportedly impressed by Diogenes’ response, and remarked that if he were not Alexander, he would like to be Diogenes. This encounter has become a famous example of the clash between the ideals of power and fame represented by Alexander, and the simple, independent life advocated by Diogenes.
The meeting of Diogenes and Alexander the Great is one of the most discussed anecdotes from philosophical history. Many versions of it exist. The most popular relate it as evidence of Diogenes’ disregard for authority, wealth, and decorum.
Plutarch and Diogenes Laërtius report that Alexander and Diogenes died on the same day, in 323 BC. Although this coincidence is suspect (since neither man’s date of death can be conclusively verified), the anecdote, and the relationship between the two people, has been the subject of many literary and artistic works over the centuries, from the writings of Diogenes Laërtius to David Pinski‘s 1930 dramatic reconstruction of the encounter.
The Opis Mutiny
The Opis Mutiny (also known as the Opis Revolt) was a rebellion in the summer of 324 BC, led by soldiers of Alexander the Great’s army. The mutiny occurred near Opis, a city on the east bank of the Tigris River in modern-day Iraq. The mutiny was triggered by Alexander’s decision to dismiss several senior officers and promote Persians to key positions in his army. Many of the Macedonian soldiers felt that this was a betrayal of their loyalty to Alexander, and they began to agitate for better treatment and greater rewards for their service.
The mutiny peaked when Alexander called a meeting of his troops to address their concerns. During the meeting, the soldiers began to chant for the dismissal of Alexander’s Persian officers and demanded that he return to the Macedonian way of life. Alexander responded by hurling his spear at the feet of the mutinous soldiers and threatening to disband the entire army and send the men home without any rewards.
The threat was enough to quell the rebellion, and Alexander was able to reassert his control over the army. He ordered the execution of the ringleaders of the mutiny and had the rest of the soldiers swear an oath of loyalty to him. The Opis Mutiny was a turning point in Alexander’s career, as it marked the first time that his soldiers had openly challenged his authority. It also highlighted the growing tension between Alexander and his Macedonian soldiers, who were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the king’s adoption of Persian customs and practices.
Despite this setback, Alexander was able to maintain the loyalty of his troops and continue his conquests. He went on to defeat the Indian king Porus in the Battle of the Hydaspes and to conquer large parts of the Persian Empire before his death in 323 BC. According to ‘The Anabasis’ by Roman historian Arrian, Alexander made a powerful speech, berating his troops for their disloyalty.
To provide additional context to the Opis Mutiny, it is important to note that Alexander’s decision to promote Persians to key positions in his army was part of his larger policy of incorporating Persian culture and customs into his empire. This was a controversial move among his Macedonian soldiers, who saw it as a betrayal of their loyalty to Alexander and their Greek identity. The mutiny at Opis was not the first time Alexander had faced resistance from his soldiers over this issue, but it was perhaps the most serious and widespread. It is also worth noting that the execution of the mutiny ringleaders was not an uncommon practice in the ancient world, where military discipline was often maintained through harsh measures. However, Alexander’s decision to have his soldiers swear an oath of loyalty to him was a more unusual move, and it may have been an attempt to rebuild trust and unity within his army after the rebellion.
Alexander’s Speech 
“The speech which I am about to deliver will not be for the purpose of checking your start homeward, for, so far as I am concerned, you may depart wherever you wish; but because I wish you to know what kind of men you were originally and how you have been transformed since you came into our service.
“In the first place, as is reasonable, I shall begin my speech from my father Philip. For he found you vagabonds and destitute of means, most of you clad in hides, feeding a few sheep up the mountain sides, for the protection of which you had to fight with small success against Illyrians, Triballians, and the border Thracians.
“Instead of the hides, he gave you cloaks to wear, and from the mountains he led you down into the plains, and made you capable of fighting the neighbouring barbarians, so that you were no longer compelled to preserve yourselves by trusting rather to the inaccessible strongholds than to your own valour. He made you colonists of cities, which he adorned with useful laws and customs; and from being slaves and subjects, he made you rulers over those very barbarians by whom you yourselves, as well as your property, were previously liable to be plundered and ravaged.
“He also added the greater part of Thrace to Macedonia, and by seizing the most conveniently situated places on the sea-coast, he spread abundance over the land from commerce, and made the working of the mines a secure employment. He made you rulers over the Thessalians, of whom you had formerly been in mortal fear; and by humbling the nation of the Phocians, he rendered the avenue into Greece broad and easy for you, instead of being narrow and difficult.
“The Athenians and Thebans, who were always lying in wait to attack Macedonia, he humbled to such a degree – I also then rendering him my personal aid in the campaign – that instead of paying tribute to the former and being vassals to the latter, those States in their turn procure security to themselves by our assistance.
“He penetrated into the Peloponnese, and after regulating its affairs, was publicly declared commander-in-chief of all the rest of Greece in the expedition against the Persians, adding this glory not more to himself than to the commonwealth of the Macedonians. These were the advantages which accrued to you from my father Philip; great indeed if looked at by themselves, but small if compared with those you have obtained from me.
“For though I inherited from my father only a few gold and silver goblets, and there were not even sixty talents in the treasury, and though I found myself charged with a debt of 5OO talents owing by Philip, and I was obliged myself to borrow 800 talents in addition to these, I started from the country which could not decently support you, and forthwith laid open to you the passage of the Hellespont, though at that time the Persians held the sovereignty of the sea.
“Having overpowered the viceroys of Darius with my cavalry, I added to your empire the whole of Ionia, the whole of Aeolis, both Phrygias and Lydia, and I took Miletus by siege. All the other places I gained by voluntary surrender, and I granted you the privilege of appropriating the wealth found in them.
“The riches of Egypt and Cyrene, which I acquired without fighting a battle, have come to you. Coele-Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia are your property. Babylon, Bactra, and Susa are yours. The wealth of the Lydians, the treasures of the Persians, and the riches of the Indians are yours; and so is the External Sea.
“You are viceroys, you are generals, you are captains. What then have I reserved to myself after all these labours, except this purple robe and this diadem?
“I have appropriated nothing myself, nor can anyone point out my treasures, except these possessions of yours or the things which I am guarding on your behalf.
“Individually, however, I have no motive to guard them, since I feed on the same fare as you do, and I take only the same amount of sleep. Nay, I do not think that my fare is as good as that of those among you who live luxuriously; and I know that I often sit up at night to watch for you, that you may be able to sleep.”
In September 331 BC, Alexander’s army defeated Darius III of Persia (336–330 BC) at the Battle of Gaugamela and probably took possession of Opis at about the same time as Babylon. A few years later, Alexander was forced by another mutiny at the Hyphasis (now Beas) River to return from the long campaign in India, and his European troops revolted again at Opis. To craft a lasting harmony between his Macedonian and Persian subjects, he took an oath of unity before 9,000 Persian and Greek soldiers at Opis. Similarly, he had married Stateira (the daughter of Darius) and celebrated a mass marriage of his senior officers to Persian and other Eastern noblewomen at Susa just before coming to Opis. See below for information about the Hyphasis mutiny.
Where was Opis?
Opis was an ancient Babylonian city near the Tigris, not far from modern Baghdad. Akkadian and Greek texts indicate it was located on the east side of the Tigris, near the Diyala River. The precise site of the city has been uncertain for a long time, though at one point thought to be near or under the city of Seleucia. Recent geographical surveys of ancient Mesopotamia tentatively identify Opis with the mound called Tall al-Mujailāt (or Tulūl al-Mujaili`), 20 miles (32 km) southeast in a straight line from central Baghdad and 47 miles (76 km) northeast in a straight line from ancient Babylon.
Significance of the Mutiny at Opis
The Opis Mutiny was a turning point in Alexander’s career, as it marked the first time that his soldiers had openly challenged his authority. It also highlighted the growing tension between Alexander and his Macedonian soldiers, who were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the king’s adoption of Persian customs and practices.
The Hyphasis Mutiny
Hyphasis and Hydaspes are both rivers located in the Indian subcontinent. Hyphasis is now known as the Beas River, while Hydaspes is now known as the Jhelum River. The main difference between the two rivers is their location and the historical significance they hold:
- The Hyphasis/Beas River is located in northern India and was a site of a battle between Alexander the Great and Indian king Porus in 326 BCE. This battle was one of the toughest that Alexander fought during his conquest of India, resulting in a victory for Alexander’s army.
- On the other hand, the Hydaspes/Jhelum River is located further east and was also a site of a battle between Alexander and King Porus. This battle occurred in 326 BCE, shortly after the Battle of Hyphasis/Beas. Alexander’s army was again victorious, but the battle was significant because it marked the easternmost extent of Alexander’s conquests.
Although both rivers played a role in Alexander’s campaigns in India and are often mentioned in historical accounts, the Hyphasis/Beas River is associated with the earlier battle and the Hydaspes/Jhelum River with the later battle marking the limit of Alexander’s conquests in the east.
The Hydaspes is well-known for the Battle of the Hydaspes, where Alexander the Great defeated King Porus of the Paurava kingdom in 326 BC. In contrast, the Hyphasis is less well-known in history and did not play a significant role in any major battles or events, except for the mutiny (see below).
The Hyphasis Mutiny
The Hyphasis Mutiny was a conflict between Alexander the Great and his army following their victory at the river Hydaspes in 326 BCE. Alexander voiced plans for further conquests in the Indian subcontinent, but when his men reached the river Hyphasis, there was an open revolt. The mutiny ended with Alexander giving in to his men’s wishes and turning back; he did not venture further into the Indian subcontinent as he intended. Over the years, historians have examined the importance of this moment of tension between a king and his army.
Map of the ancient Near East in 540 BC
Attribution: ChrisO, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ancient_near_east_540_bc.svg
Hephaestion (son of Amyntor) was an ancient Macedonian nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander the Great. He was considered “by far the dearest of all the king’s friends; he had been brought up with Alexander and shared all his secrets.” This relationship lasted throughout their lives and was compared, by others and themselves, to that of Achilles and Patroclus.
Hephaestion’s military career was distinguished. A member of Alexander the Great’s personal bodyguard, he went on to command the Companion cavalry and was entrusted with many other tasks throughout Alexander’s ten-year campaign in Asia, including diplomatic missions, the bridging of major rivers, sieges and the foundation of new settlements. Besides being a soldier, engineer and diplomat, he corresponded with the philosophers Aristotle and Xenocrates and actively supported Alexander in his attempts to integrate the Greeks and Persians. Alexander formally made him his second-in-command when he appointed him Chiliarch of the empire. Alexander also made him part of the royal family when he gave him as his bride Drypetis, sister to his own second wife Stateira, both daughters of Darius III of Persia.
The close relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion gave rise to the idea that it had romantic or sexual undertones. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Alexander the Great was exclusively or primarily attracted to people of the same sex, but some historical accounts indicate he may have had romantic or sexual relationships with men, as well as women. It is important to note that in ancient Greek culture, attitudes toward same-sex relationships were quite different than today, and many prominent figures, including philosophers and military leaders, were known to have had same-sex relationships or experiences. These relationships were often viewed as a normal and accepted aspect of life. Ultimately, the question of Alexander’s sexual orientation may never be definitively answered, and it is important to approach the topic with an understanding of the historical context in which he lived.
Battles, Adversaries, Outcomes and Dates
A painting by Charles Le Brun depicting Alexander and Porus (Puru) during the Battle of the Hydaspes.
Attribution: Charles Le Brun, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Le_Brun,_Alexander_and_Porus.jpg
The major battles fought by Alexander the Great, along with their adversaries, outcomes and dates, were:
- Battle of the Granicus (334 BC) – fought against the Persian Empire: Alexander’s victory.
- Siege of Miletus (334 BC) – fought against the Persian Empire: Alexander’s victory.
- Siege of Halicarnassus (334-333 BC) – fought against the Persian Empire: Alexander’s victory.
- Battle of Issus (333 BC) – fought against the Persian Empire: Alexander’s victory.
- Siege of Tyre (332 BC) – fought against the city-state of Tyre: Alexander’s victory.
- Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC) – fought against the Persian Empire: Alexander’s victory.
- Battle of the Persian Gates (330 BC) – fought against the Persian Empire: Alexander’s victory.
- Battle of the Hydaspes (326 BC) – fought against the Indian king Porus: Alexander’s victory.
- Battle of the Acesines (326 BC) – fought against the Indian king Porus: Alexander’s victory.
- Battle of Gabiene (325 BC) – fought against the Persian Empire: Alexander’s victory.
- Battle of the Gedrosian Desert (325 BC) – fought against harsh conditions and terrain: inconclusive.
- Battle of the Hellespont (324 BC) – fought against rebellious Greek city-states: Alexander’s victory.
There were also numerous smaller battles, skirmishes, and sieges that occurred throughout Alexander’s campaigns, but these are the major battles that are most often discussed in historical accounts. It’s worth noting that while Alexander was victorious in many of these battles, he also suffered losses and setbacks along the way, particularly in the later stages of his campaigns.
Before his death, Alexander made plans for a Hellenic military and mercantile expansion into the Arabian Peninsula, after which he planned to turn his armies to Carthage, Rome, and the Iberian Peninsula in the west. However, the Diadochi (his political rivals) abandoned these plans after he died; instead, within a few years of Alexander’s death, the Diadochi began a series of military campaigns against each other and divided the territories of the Macedonian Empire among themselves, triggering up to 50 years of warfare during the Hellenistic period.
The Gordian Knot
The Cutting of the Gordian Knot is an Ancient Greek legend associated with Alexander the Great in Gordium in Phrygia, who, in 333 BC when challenged to unloose the complex Knot of great local fame, instead of exercising genius in untangling it laboriously as expected, dramatically cut through it with his sword, thus exercising another form of mental genius, of a highly practical and determined nature.
Alexander Cuts the Gordian Knot (1767) by Jean-Simon Berthélemy
Attribution: Jean-Simon Berthélemy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alexander_cuts_the_Gordian_Knot.jpg
It is thus used as a metaphor for a seemingly intractable problem solved by exercising an unexpectedly direct, novel, rule-bending, decisive and simple approach to the problem that removes the perceived constraints.
The symbolic use of the expression did not escape the great English Bard’s attention, who wrote:
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter
Alexander the Great had a son named Alexander IV, who was born after his death. There were also several other children who are said to have been fathered by Alexander, but their identities and fates are barely documented.
Alexander IV was born to Alexander’s wife, Roxana, several months after his death. Alexander IV became the nominal king of Macedon and co-ruler of Alexander’s empire along with several of Alexander’s generals, but he did not achieve anything notable himself due to his young age and the constant power struggles and conflicts that surrounded him.
Eventually, Cassander, one of Alexander’s former generals, took control of Macedon and had Alexander IV and Roxana killed to consolidate his power. So, unfortunately, none of Alexander the Great’s children achieved anything notable themselves, and their fates were largely determined by the political and military turmoil that followed their father’s death.
Surprising and not well-known Facts
Here are several surprising and not well-known facts about Alexander the Great:
- Alexander the Great had heterochromia, meaning his two eyes were different colours. One was blue, and the other was brown.
- Alexander was tutored by Aristotle when he was a teenager, and he had a great interest in philosophy and intellectual pursuits throughout his life.
- Alexander was only 16 years old when he became the king of Macedon after his father, King Philip II, was assassinated.
- Despite his reputation as a great conqueror, Alexander was a skilled diplomat and often used peaceful means to secure alliances with other nations.
- Alexander the Great was known for his love of wine and often drank excessively. He once drank a cup of unmixed wine that was so strong it caused him to collapse and become ill for several days.
- Alexander was known for his love of animals and often took his favourite horse, Bucephalus, on his military campaigns.
- Alexander was very superstitious and consulted oracles and diviners before making important decisions.
- Alexander was often depicted in art wearing a lion-skin headdress, which was a symbol of his claim to be descended from the Greek hero Heracles.
- Alexander the Great is said to have founded more than 70 cities during his conquests, many of which were named after him. One of the most famous is Alexandria in Egypt, founded in 331 BC, which became a major centre of learning and culture in the ancient world. Other cities he founded include Kandahar in Afghanistan and Bucephala in modern-day Pakistan.
At the End
At age 32, Alexander fell ill and died after 12 days of excruciating suffering from agonising fever and abdominal pain. Alexander the Great died on 10th June 323 BC in Babylon. Since then, historians have debated the cause of his untimely death, proposing everything from typhoid or malaria and alcohol poisoning to assassination by one of his rivals. Another theory suggests that Alexander may have suffered from the neurological disorder Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).
On his deathbed, Alexander gathered his generals and told them, “I will depart from this world soon; I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail”. The ailing king implored his generals to abide by them, saying:
- “My physicians alone must carry my coffin.”
- “I desire that when my coffin is transported to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard shall display the wealth I collected,” the king said.
- “My third and last wish is that both my hands hang out of my coffin.”
His generals alleged that his last words were “to the strongest,” meaning that his empire would go to the general who could defeat the others in battle. His potential successors, known as the Diadochi, split up the military and waged a war that lasted 50 years.
Alexander Mosaic (detail), House of the Faun, Pompeii
Attribution: Berthold Werner, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alexander_and_Bucephalus_-_Battle_of_Issus_mosaic_-_Museo_Archeologico_Nazionale_-_Naples_BW.jpg
Sources and Further Reading
- Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman, published by Simon & Schuster in 2011, available from:
- Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography by Peter Green, published by the University of California Press in 2013, available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexander-Macedon-356-323-B-C-Historical/dp/0520275861
- The Wars of Alexander the Great by Waldemar Heckel, published by Routledge in 2003, available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wars-Alexander-Great-Essential-Histories/dp/0415968550/
- Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army by Donald W. Engels, published by the University of California Press in 1980, available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexander-Great-Logistics-Macedonian-Army/dp/0520042727
- Alexander the Great: The Anabasis and the Indica by Arrian, Illustrated, published by OUP Oxford in 2013, available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexander-Anabasis-Indica-Oxford-Classics/dp/0199587248
- The Generalship of Alexander the Great by J.F.C. Fuller, published by SPA Books in 1991, available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Generalship-Alexander-Great-J-Fuller/dp/0907590381/
- Alexander the Great: A Very Short Introduction by Hugh Bowden, Illustrated, published by Oxford University Press in 2014, available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexander-Great-Short-Introduction-Introductions/dp/0198706154/
- In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great: A Journey from Greece to Asia by Michael Wood, published by the University of California Press in 1997, available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Footsteps-Alexander-Great-Journey-Greece/dp/0520213076
- Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past by Paul Cartledge, published by Vintage in 2005: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexander-Great-Hunt-Past-Cartledge/dp/B00C6P4ZOE/
- Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend by Richard Stoneman, published by Yale University Press in 2022, available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexander-Great-Life-Legend-Stoneman/dp/0300270062/
- The Landmark Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian, translated by Pamela Mensch, published by Presidio Press; Annotated edition (2012), available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Landmark-Arrian-Campaigns-Alexander-Classics/dp/1400042014
- Alexander the Great – The Rise of a Legend – Ancient History, at: https://youtu.be/hlcTmltIoHg
- The Life of Alexander the Great | Full Historical Documentary, at: https://youtu.be/sp0YO9mAa6c
- Alexander the Great (all parts) at: https://youtu.be/K7lb6KWBanI
- Why Alexander The Great Is The Single Most Important Man In History, at: https://youtu.be/a2a4oR0ZUYE
- Who Was? Alexander the Great | Encyclopaedia Britannica, at: https://youtu.be/OMqStY2h5kc
- The Greatest Speech in History – Alexander the Great and the Opis Mutiny, at: https://youtu.be/RlKJDwViNKs
- What is the best Alexander the Great, at: https://youtu.be/0LsrkWDCvxg
- Life and Reign of the King of the Macedonian Empire, at: https://youtu.be/_E7JX-rVdFk
- Alexander the Great, at: https://youtu.be/3vH_VszU1d8
- Alexander the Great, Part 1, at: https://youtu.be/aMyxwFib0_M
- Alexander the Great (1956) starring Richard Burton, Frederic March and Clair Bloom, details at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048937/
- Alexander (2004), starring Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Jared Leto, Rosario Dawson and Anthony Hopkins, details at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0346491/
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End Notes and Explanations
- Source: Compiled from research using information at the sources stated throughout the text, together with information provided by machine-generated artificial intelligence at: bing.com [chat] and https://chat.openai.com ↑
- Source: https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/what-to-know-about-alexander-the-great-and-his-mysterious-death ↑
- Source: Liang Shiqiu (2007). “On Time”. In Joseph S. M. Lau; Howard Goldblatt (eds.). The Columbia anthology of modern Chinese literature. Modern Asian literature. translated by King-fai Tam (2nd ed.). Columbia University Press. pp. 665 et seq. ISBN 978-0-231-13841-3. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_and_Alexander ↑
- Source: Plutarch, Moralia, 717c; Diogenes Laërtius vi. 79, citing Demetrius of Magnesia as his source. It is also reported by the Suda, Diogenes δ1143. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_and_Alexander ↑
- Source: https://greekcitytimes.com/2022/05/03/alexander-the-great-opis-mutiny/ ↑
- The speech at Opi (called Depart!), has been translated by the Greek historian Arrian. Source and acknowledgement: https://greekcitytimes.com/2022/05/03/alexander-the-great-opis-mutiny/ See also: https://www.livius.org/sources/content/arrian/anabasis/mutiny-at-opis/ ↑
- Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opis ↑
- Sources: (1) Clark Hopkins, A Bird’s-eye View of Opis and Seleucia, Antiquity, vol. 13, iss. 52, pp. 440 – 448, December 1939, and (2) William Horsburgh Lane, Babylonian Problems, J. Murray, 1923. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opis ↑
- Source: R.H. Excavations in Iraq, The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, vol. 17, no. 7, pp. 133-135, Jul 1930. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opis ↑
- Source: P. Högelmann and K. Buschmann, “Östlicher Mittelmeerraum. Das achämenidische Westreich von Kyros bis Xerxes (547–479/8 v. Chr.),” in Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients, B IV 23, 1986. Parpola and Porter (2001) map 32, glossary p. 18; Talbert (2000) map 91 F4. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opis ↑
- Source: Quintus Curtius Rufus, 3. 12. 16. The History of Alexander. Explanation: Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian, probably of the 1st century, author of his only known and only surviving work, Historiae Alexandri Magni, “Histories of Alexander the Great“, or more fully Historiarum Alexandri Magni Macedonis Libri Qui Supersunt, “All the Books That Survive of the Histories of Alexander the Great of Macedon.” Much of it is missing. Apart from his name on the manuscripts, nothing else certain is known of him. This fact alone has led philologists to believe that he had another historical identity, to which, due to the accidents of time, the link has been broken. A few theories exist. They are treated with varying degrees of credibility by various authors. Meanwhile, the identity of Quintus Curtius Rufus, historian, is maintained separately. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintus_Curtius_Rufus ↑
- Source: Strudwick, Helen (2013), p.97, The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-4351-4654-9. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wars_of_Alexander_the_Great ↑
- Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15081504/ ↑
- Source: https://www.history.com/news/alexander-the-great-death-cause-discovery ↑
- Explanation: Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) happens when a person’s immune system harms their body’s nerves. This harm causes muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. It mainly affects the feet, hands and limbs, causing problems such as numbness, weakness and pain. Today, it can be treated and most people will eventually make a full recovery, although it can occasionally be life-threatening and some people are left with long-term problems. Guillain-Barré syndrome affects people of all ages but it is more common in adults and males. Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/guillain-barre-syndrome/ ↑
- Explanation: The Diadochi were the rival generals, families, and friends of Alexander the Great, who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BC. The Diadochi Wars mark the Hellenistic period’s beginning from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indus River Valley. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diadochi ↑
- Source: http://boyumlaw.com/2017/09/27/alexander-great-last-will ↑