Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great Alexander the Great, Philip's son, took over at the age of 20 after Philip's assassination in 336 BC. Alexander's father told him that he needed a big empire - that Macedonia was too small. His father had Aristotle teach him. Killing ran in Alexander's family. His mother, Olympius, (who worshipped snakes) had the young children of one of her husbands roasted live over an open fire. His mother didn't really like Alexander, and he spent a lot of time trying to please her. He thought Achilles was his mother's ancestor.
Alexander wanted to be like Achilles. When Thebes revolted, he ordered the city burned and all the people killed. Soldiers were to spare the house where Pindar had lived, and the temples were to be spared.
Gordion Knot. Gordius, in Greek mythology, the King of Phrygia. The pole of his wagon was fastened to the yoke with a knot that defied efforts to untie it. An oracle stated that who untied the Gordion knot would rule Asia. Alexander cut the knot with his sword.
Alexander was smart and tough and he wanted Persia. In 334-326 BC he freed the Greeks in Asia Minor, took Phoenicia, Egypt (where he set up Alexandria), Mesopotamia and Persia. Persia, under Darius III, had 200,000 to Alexander's 35,000. At one point, Darius III came across wounded Macedonian soldiers and cut their hands off so they couldn't fight.
The Persian army was coming. Alexander turned his army around to meet them. The accepted battle formation of the times was to put your best soldiers on the left and your weakest on the right. Alexander changed this so his best would fight their best. (If you want to win it all, you have to risk it all.)
Also, the Macedonians would get together, swords underhand, and run at the enemy like a tank. Alexander had his men shave their faces and heads so the enemy would have nothing to grab. India is where Alexander the Great faced soldiers on horseback for the first time. He never lost a battle. Alexander the Great died of fever at age 33. The empire broke into three kingdoms: Egypt, where he put a Ptolomy in charge, Asia, and Macedonia. Alexander spread the Greek culture everywhere he went.
Historical Periods of
| Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000
Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
| Home | Back to top of page | Site Contents |