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ALEXANDER-THE GREAT biography

ALEXANDER

ALEXANDER-THE GREAT biography

To conquer the world was not only his dream but a reality which this wizards general called Alexander had almost achieved, when, at the age of 32 he suddenly died. Dynamic, enterprising ALEXANDER BIOGRAPHYthis young hero was spurred on by an insatiable appetite to have the world at his feet. Standing little over five feet he possessed that unique blend of youth and wisdom that today puts him in an unchallenged position amongst the world's greatest generals.

As the son of king Philip of Macedonia, Alexander was the beneficiary of his father’s military and political genius. This together with the unsurpassed tutoring of none other than Aristotle himself, Alexander's years inculcated in him a love for knowledge and life. Be it botany, science, anatomy. History, literature morals or political science Alexander found answers to all possible questions under the able tutelage of his teacher. This has made Alexander the most well read conqueror of all times. Due to his sagacious insight into military strategy great and much envied generals like Hannibal, Ceaser, and Napoleon studied him.
It was in 336 BC. on losing his father that Alexander donned the mantle of responsibility of the new King. At first itwas thought that his father’s military might be able to outshineany of Alexander’s military exploits. But the Macedonians never could have been more far from wrong. Alexander struck north, east, west and then south into Greek proper. Once having all of Greece under his command the young general started looking outwards.
Leading his army Alexander marched towards Asia. Alexander thought that it was time to punish the Persians for invading Greece 150 years ago. King Darius III the Persian King laughed when he heard about the Alexander who, lead an army of a mere 30000 i and 5000 lead an army of a mere 30,000 infantry’ and 5000 cavalryofficers against his vast army of a million soldiers! But it was Alexander who was to have the last laugh. Using a planned intelligent maneuver Alexander let his center draw the main enemy attack upon itself. This led the enemy to concentrate fully on the center. Alexander taking advantage of this carried out a wild but disciplined cavalry charge on to the unsuspecting right wing of the enemy. He caught the enemy unawares and this lead unprecedented victory over Darius’s army. Darius fled the battlefield. Darius was killed by Persians conspirators.He was found lying dead by the Macedonian soldiers. The dying king muttered some words of gratitude to Alexander for treating the royal captives with Alexander in his characteristic manner covered the body of the dead king with his own royal mantle as a mark of respect.
Alexander's bravery did not least dampen his humane approach to things. His annexation  of the other Greek city states was done with tolerance and the least loss of life. It was only the plunder of Thebes that saw the ruthless exploitation by the alexandrine army., but here too the characteristic Alexanarian  touch spared the house of Pindar, the great thebian poet. He venerated all knowledge. In another instance, after winning over Darius’s army, Alexander in a drunken state is said to have gone along with the demand of the greek soldiers to burn the palace of their enemy down. Alexander himself lead the parade throwing blazing torches at the building, only to retrace his steps once the spectacle of that magnificent fire had a sobering effect on him. He then tried to save all that he could. Today because of this spontaneous act of saving the monument the archeologists have found wonderful stone carvings nearly intact.

Alexander had started his journey for Asia with the sole aim of making slaves of the Persians. He had been taught to think that the Persians were second rate citizens and were fit to be subservient always. But on experiencing the might of the  Persian army and on close contact With the Persian soldiers Alexander found the soldiers to be noble, cultured and with great dignity. He was impressed. As a goodwill gesture he chose 30,000 of the best Persian soldiers to train in the Macedonian art of military leadership. These troops were also trained in the Greek language. Alexander was not a slave to prejudice. He acknowledged rare qualities of bravery and camaraderie even in soldiers of the enemy camp and he did not forget to respect them. On capturing a state in India Alexander defeated the king of Indus called Porus. He took the defeated king captive and then asked him as to how he would like to be treated. To this Porus replied, "Like a king". Much impressed with Porus's sense of honour and self respect Alexander restored his territory to him as a protected state under Macedonian regime.
Even today Alexander's tales of valour can be an inspiration to any aspiring commander of troops. He always fought right beside his men and never deterred to face fierce attack. When still a boy, Alexander was the only one to master the famous horse Bucephalus when it was brought before his father King Philip. Where stalwart riders had failed Alexander simply turned the horse towards the sun so that he could no longer see the sun and be frightened by its shadow. Alexander coaxed and tamed the untamable brute. Bucephalus from then on was Alexander’s personal companion. When Bucephalus died in India, Alexander mourned his death as one would a true friend. He founded the city of Bucephalia in memory of his beloved charger.
ln another instance while facing the high fortified walls of an Indian city it was this son of Macedonia who unhesitatingly climbed the walls and jumped right into the enemy camp. He was at once accosted by the enemy who lost no time in attacking him from all sides. Alexander fought courageously but soon collapsed when a meter long arrow pierced his chest. Seeing their general set a bold example the other Macedonian troops swarmed in. On finding their general badly wounded they took to the streets with vengeance, slaying all who came in their way. Though Alexander was badly wounded he refused to be carried back. It is recorded that, at this time he asked for a horse and mounted it. He rode a few paces saluting his army and dismounting he walked to the cheers of his men. Such was his strength and such was his commitment to his soldiers that they followed him wherever he went.
This leader of men was driven by a git of adventure that never could be easily satisfied. An ancient biographer wrote:"He would always have searched beyond for something unknown. "At the age of 22 he was the master of Asia Minor and at the age of 30 he had mighty Persia under his thumb. Alexander had been taught that the world did not stretch beyond the Hindu Kush Mountains. But, to his delight and on reaching the land of the five rivers, today's Punjab state in India, he found his spirits soaring as unexplored virgin territory spread before him for miles and miles. At this point it Alexander’s surveyors had recorded that they had marched 18,100 kilometers in eight years. Alexander valiantly fought across the four rivers but on reaching the fifth river his army generals refused to follow him. The harsh unrelenting monsoons of the Indian soil broke their spirits. so their King had to give up hopes of further conquests.
By the time that Alexander died he had conquered an empire that would be every general's envy. His empire stretched from today‘s Yugoslavia to India and included all parts of Bulgaria, Israel, Egypt, Libya, iraq, lran, Afganistan and the Soviet Union. His exploits have left an indelible mark on the history and the culture of the places he Traces of Greek culture and art were found in the stone carvings as far as India. The oriental rugs bear the design of Greek art and Greek classics had found their way into the folk tales of Central Persia.
The only incident that tarnishes Alexander's impeccable record as the people's general and a' superb administrator is a foolhardy drunken instance. All the Macedonian soldiers were not as generous in respect their opponents as was Alexander. There rose a discontentment between the soldiers when they saw their leader doling lenient punishments to their prisoners of war and in many cases Alexander was downright kind. The Macedonians could not understand this liberal stance. it was on such an occasion at Samarcand that debauched with wine taunted Alexander that it was not Alexander that won the wars but the Macedonian soldiers that fought and were victorious. He also reminded Alexander that it was cleitus that saved his life when Alexander was attacked by the infantry soldiers of the Persian army. He hurled taunts with such exaggeration that Alexander who was worked up to frenzy, struck him down with a spear. It was a mortal blow and Alexander was inconsolable and chided himself a murderer.
Alexander married the beautiful daughter of Oxyartes of Sogdian Rock. Her name was Roxanne. It was in this matrimonial alliance that Alexander saw much happiness. Alexander's end came in 326 BC. After a huge drinking party he went to bed suffering of fever which eventually took his life. As word spread amongst his troops they all came to pay their last respects to this driving force of their lives. As the troops filled passed Alexander he lay their acknowledging their salute with the blink of his eyes for, he was too weak for any other movement. In his last moments too, this grand general never once forgot to respect his valiant troops for their unflinching and steadfast devotion to him. Though it has been more than 2000 years since Alexander walked the earth his footprints on the sands of time have left a lasting impression. His legacy of courage and leadership will always hold an inspiration to many an aspiring young warrior for generations to come.

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