An overview of Alexander’s life—from his early military exploits to the creation of his empire and the legacy left after his premature death.
Alexander was perhaps the greatest conquering general in history. In a dozen years, Alexander took the whole of Asia Minor and Egypt, destroyed the once mighty Persian Empire, and pushed his army eastwards as far as the Indus. No one in history has equaled his achievement.
Much of Alexander’s success can be traced to the Macedonian phalanx, a close-ordered battle formation of sarissa-wielding infantry that proved itself a war-winning weapon. The army Alexander inherited from his father was the most powerful in Greece—highly disciplined, trained, and loyal only to the king. United in a single purpose, they fought as one. Cavalry was also of crucial importance in the Macedonian army as the driving force to attack the flanks of the enemy in battle. A talented commander able to anticipate how his opponent would think, Alexander understood how to commit his forces to devastating effect and was never defeated in battle. He also developed a corps of engineers that utilized catapults and siege towers against enemy fortifications.
Alexander led from the front, fighting with his men, eating with them, refusing water when there was not enough, and his men would quite literally follow him to the ends of the (known) world. None of his successors were able to hold together the empire he had forged. Although he died an early death, his fame and glory persist to this day.