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Alexander the Great 356-323 BC king of Macedonia conqueror of the Persian Empire and one of the greatest military geniuses of all times Alexander born in Pella the ancient capital of Macedonia was the son of Philip II king of Macedonia and of Olympias a princess of Epirus Aristotle was Alexanders tutor he gave Alexander a thorough training in rhetoric and literature and stimulated his interest in science medicine and philosophy In the summer of 336 BC Philip was assassinated and Alexander ascended to the Macedonian throne He found himself surrounded by enemies at home and threatened by rebellion abroad Alexander disposed quickly of all conspirators and domestic enemies by ordering their execution Then he descended on Thessaly where partisans of independence had gained ascendancy and restored Macedonian rule Before the end of the summer of 336 BC he had reestablished his position in Greece and was elected by a congress of states at Corinth In 335 BC as general of the Greeks in a campaign against the Persians originally planned by his father he carried out a successful campaign against the defecting Thracians penetrating to the Danube River On his return he crushed in a single week the threatening Illyrians and then hastened to Thebes which had revolted He took the city by storm and razed it sparing only the temples of the gods and the house of the Greek lyric poet Pindar and selling the surviving inhabitants about 8000 in number into slavery Alexanders promptness in crushing the revolt of Thebes brought the other Greek states into instant and abject submission Alexander began his war against Persia in the spring of 334 BC by crossing the Hellespont modern Dardanelles with an army of 35000 Macedonian and Greek troops his chief officers all Macedonians included Antigonus Ptolemy and Seleucus At the river Granicus near the ancient city of Troy he attacked an army of Persians and Greek hoplites mercenaries totaling 40000
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