Monday, November 10, 2008

Alexander the Great's most noteworthy accomplishment

Alexander the Great's most noteworthy accomplishment in my opinion was the conquering of the countries from Greece to western India. In this he grew a well-built army and by using his great brillance suceeded in many military advances.

Before Alexander the Great became a great conqueror he was a boy. He was son of Phillip 2 and Oympias. His father was king of Macedonia. As a child he was tutored by Aristotle in the subjects of rhetoric, literature, science, and medicine. At the early age of eighteen, Alexander had led a group of cavalry in the battle of Chaeronea against the two Greek cities-states Athens and Thebes. This helped his father win this battle and gain control over much of Greece. This shows that Alexander started his military training and practice at a young age. Phillip 2 decided to have a war with the Persians, but before he had the chance he was assassinated in 336B.

Soon after his father's death Alexander took the throne. Once becoming king he quickly executed his father's killer and all who opposed him. Then Along with the throne Alexander also received a highly trained army who were organized around the units of pikemen armed with sarissas, fourteen foot long spears. Alexander assembled thirty thousand pikemen, infantrymen, and engineers. He also assembled five thousand cavalry to carry out his father's plan to invade Asia Minor.

Alexander the Great continued his military passion for the rest of his life. Soon after he assembled his army he sacked Thebes. Then he started his conquest of Asia; this is when the battle of Granicus took place. In 333B.C. Alexander then defeats Darius at the battle of Issus, and captures the Family of Darius. He later lays siege to Tyre and enters Egypt. This is when he founded Alexandria in Egypt. In the same year he defeats Darius at the battle of Guagamela, takes Mesapotamia, and enters Babylon, Persepolis, and Pasargadae. In the next three years he burned Persepolis and campaigned in Sogdiana and Bactria. He started his plan be entering India and crossing the Indus River. Here he wins the battle of Hydaspes. He then sails down the Indus River to the India Ocean. In 325 B.C. Alexander returns through Baluchistan and suffers great hardships. In the next two years Alexander received a fever and died from it in 232 B.C. He died at the age of 32. This is a short biography of Alexander's military life. This is one of the reasons why Alexander's military life was his most noteworthy of his accomplishments.

Another one of the reasons why his military life was his most noteworthy accomplishment is the fact that his father created the military phalanx. The phalanx was a flexible unit well drilled and able to take on a variety of formations. Alexander extended his creation and used it in his long military life. The phalanx usually consisted of 16 men on a side, 256 men in each unit, always and exclusively Macedonian. They were armed with the sarissa and The real strength of the phalanx was its many formations and maneuvers. While the square was the usual formation, it could form a line or wedge or other shapes. The soldiers were trained to respond to flag and trumpet signals. No army in the Western world in the 4th century was its equal. This shows that Alexander had military brilliance in his blood and had a great military teacher in his childhood.

" Philip II was Alexander's father and Alexander inherited Philip's desire to conquer the Persians and to rule as much of the world as possiable." (Morgan, 34)

Another reason why this was Alexander's most noteworthy accomplishments is for the reason that he was passionate about it. You can see this in his bravery. He was always at the front and always in the thick of battle. He also was wounded in many battles, such as: wounded in neck and head at the Granicus River, the shoulder at Gaza, and had his lung pierced by an arrow in India. This hows that he would not give up and keep fighting. Alexander was also more than once was the first man over the wall at the storming of a city. For this reason he never lost a battle and was thought to be invincible by his men and his enemies. All of these factors created an army that simply could not be stopped. Its accomplishments eclipsed anything that had ever been done, Alexander and his Macedonians entered into legend.

"Alexander had spent almost almost all of his 13-year reign at war. In the process, he destroyed forever the power of the Greek sity-states. However wherever he went on his campaigns through Asia, he created city-states on the Greek model. . . He is said to have founded some 70 cities all together." (Ackroyd ,120)

These are a few of the many reasons why I believe that Alexander the Great's most noteworthy accomlishment is his military strength and many won battles that support it.

Ackroyd, Peter. Ancient Greece. DK Publishing, Inc., New York, 2005.

Morgan, Nicola. People Who Made History in Ancient Greece. Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, New York, 2001.