Today in World History: July 20th

King of Macedon, Alexander III, most commonly known as Alexander the Great, was born on this day in 356 B.C.E. to Philip II of Macedon. Alexander rose to the throne at a young age following his father’s death in 336 B.C.E. when he was assassinated. Tutored by Aristotle, the cunning Alexander was crowned the king of a stable and powerful kingdom. An ambitious young man, Alexander sought to expand Macedon’s borders. Launching a campaign as the leader of the Corinthian League, a confederation founded by his father to lead the Hellenic states as one, Alexander’s army crossed over into Persia, where in ten years, they managed to topple the Achaemenid Empire. Conquering the lands of Egypt as well, which would later become the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt, merging the cultures of his native Greece with those of Ancient Egypt. Alexander pushed further East, searching for wealth, fame, and the end of the world. He found none of these, as the increasing rebellions within his ranks forced Alexander to turn back as he was on the verge of entering India. The Hellenic army turned back, stopping at Babylon, the ancient capital, where he died on June 10 or 11, 323 B.C.E. most likely of alcohol poisoning or an assassination. Alexander’s body was used as a political weapon, moving between Alexander’s remaining heirs and generals, the Diadochi Kings. In Egypt, Ptolmey became Pharaoh, while other divisions included Carthage, the Seleucid Empire of Persia, and the lands of the future Roman Republic. Meanwhile, in Egypt, Alexander’s city of Alexandria became a cultural capital, home to the Library of Alexandria, the ancient world’s largest and most important library. It would also be home to the lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Alexander is still regarded as one of the greatest military leaders of all time, and his conquests led to the greatest empires ever.

Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.

-Alexander the Great
You can read more about Ancient Greece here.

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