ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Just who was Alexander the Great? If it had not been for an anonymous historian who told the story of Alexander to Plutarch in the first century B.C., perhaps we would only know rudimentary facts, unembellished by romance and heroic adventures which may or may not have actually occurred. "Alexander accomplished greater deeds than any, not only of kings who lived before him, but also those who were to come later down to our time" (Popovic 1). That is the romantic view of the conqueror of the then-known world.
What we do know is that Alexander was the only heir of King Philip of Macedonia, and that, according to historical records, was born to Olympias, princess of Epirus, at Pella in Macedonia in the late July of 356. There seems to be some doubt whether Philip was Alexander's father. "Philip soon grew suspicious of Olympias' chastityàThis in turn angered Olympias. And it seems she in turn taught Alexander to hate the roistering, quarrelsome, hard-drinking king" (Cummings 54).
Alexander, as a teen-ager was high-strung and emotional, "prone to fits of ungovernable rage, a precocious genius, headstrong and willful as his parentsàHe would accept only guidance but would rebel at authority" (Cummings 54-5). No wonder that this adolescent would grow up to conquer and rule. He could not possibly accept bowing to anyone, even the powerful invaders from the East. "Alexander's first 'colony' was doubtless a mere hill villageà.More significant is that at sixteen he could call upon the standing army of Macedon" (Renault 45).
Alexander, as an adolescent was no unschooled schoolboy. He had as one of his teachers, the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle. "Philip invited him to undertake the education of Alexander, then a wild lad of thirteen. Aristotle came to Pella and labored at the task for four years" (Durant 525).
Philip was assassinated at the procession where a