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Alexander The Great

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Owen Dooley-Phillips

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Alexander The Great

A presentation by Owen Dooley-Phillips and Harry Barham
Alexander The Great
The Suspicious Death Of Phillip
Phillip was assassinated by one of his personal bodyguards. But instead of catching the assassin and getting him to talk they killed him. Phillips wife Olympias did not show any emotion (not a surprise) but Alexander acted like he was distraught. There was questioning and mystery all around this 'tragedy' but ultimately it wouldn't matter.
Phillips decision
The Father, successor, Phillip 2 of Macedonia
Alexander The Great
Alexander what is he known for?

-He was arguably the best Military tactician of his time, even military leaders today study his strategic methods

-Became ruler of the huge Persian Empire after his father Phillip was murdered


From a very young age Alexander showed tremendous military ability. He had so much ambition from a young age and was fairly confident and comfortable facing the fact that he was going to take over a massive empire
Phillip (father of Alexander) decided that Alexander needed a better education. So after a search for a tutor Phillip decided on a Greek philosopher named Aristole to be Alexanders tutor.
Alexanders dad Phillip the second ruled Macedonia from 359-336BCE. He revolutionized military thought and united Greece in his reign. The armor of the heavy infantry was lightened to improve mobility. Phillip introduced the Sarissa that was very effective in battle especially against cavalry. The military trained regularly and they went on marches that made the Macedonians the fittest army around.
The start of Alexanders reign
When Alexander took over from his father he had to immediately deal with the inevitable enemies this included the the several potential claimants. Killing two of three of the sons of Aëropus, sparing the last because he payed homage to Alexander. The murders continued only after a short period of time into Alexanders reign. His mother Olympias also getting involved, Alexander was worried about the scandals that these murders might cause. The people of Macedonia were questioning Alexanders ability. He needed to win over the support of the Macedonian people. He did just that and a new era had just started.
How did Alexander persuade the people?
Phillip wanted Alexander to work hard in school to avoid repeating his fathers mistakes
Some of the main subjects Alexander would have studied were, Poetry, geometry, and astronomy
Alexander had particularly developed a interest in medicine. This not being just a theoretical statement he actually prescribed medicines to sick friends and relatives
The thing about Alexander though was that he somewhat rebuked his father because he had children with other woman.
Alexander got a very high class education and studied in a isolated village from the city Pella in a village called Mieza
He had some very notable classmates some even future kings
But why was Aristole the chosen one?
Ultimately after Aristole shaped Alexanders education Phillip restored Aristoles native city Stagira, which he originally invaded
Aristole was not just his tutor simply for academic reasons, Aristole had a family connection, he served a Macedonian king in court before Phillips time. He also had a alliance that was useful for Phillip to invade Persia
The Early Years
Phillip lead a very successful empire in his time being Alexanders father and successor. Alexanders mother was proven to be the most powerful of all his wives
Alexander was born in July of 356 B.C. The father of Alexander being Phillip of Macedon 2. And Alexanders mom was Olympias
Alexanders parents relationship was not a happy one Phillip having several wives did not go down to well with Olympias. Causing a lot of confusion for Alexander at such a young age
Alexander reassured his people that he was the right man by saying he would follow in his fathers foot steps. He then took away a direct taxation.
He did not quite convince everyone though. After Athens learned Phillips death they thought it was a good time to revolt. Famous Athenian orator Demosthenes encouraged Athens to declare war on Alexander. Alexander was having none of this. He responded very aggressively he took action against the states that threatened to defect. Although he was warned it was crucial as leader Alexander could show no any signs of weakness. He eventually came to his senses and said cooperation would be the wisest decision
The rebellious nature continued in various places but what really but a land mark was the rebel leaders in Thebes. Anti-Macedonian feeling was stirring up particularly because of the ridiculous rumor that Alexander was dead. Thebes had the chance to surrender when Alexander showed up with a 30,000 man army but they would end up paying the ultimate price.
Thebes ends and Alexander begins
Thebes held a valiant struggle outside the city wall but a lapse of concentration led to their fatal destruction. A gate was left open and unguarded and Alexander sent his men rushing in. This resulted in Alexanders most destructive massacre. 6,000 people killed, 30,000 people taken as prisoners. If that was not bad enough Alexander did not hold back he sold the Thebes citizens as slaves. Even though many representatives in the league had there reasons to hate Thebes, The casualty came as a shock to Greece.
Thebes was one of the most historic and distinguished places in the Greek city states. Alexander was just out to prove a point. To make an example out of Thebes like there just some kind of demonstration of his destructibility. Alexander was never forgiven for what he did to Thebes but he didn't care he just wanted to show that he is powerful. How great does he sound now?
The start of the forming empire
Alexander wanted to waste not time in planning for his invasion of Persia. He had an army that was very expensive to run. He also had inherited expensiveness from his father Phillip. Alexander managed to get by from getting future loans and gifts. Alexander thought of the Persian empire as a long term solution because of their riches
Alexanders army within itself was a massive achievement. Made up of 50,000 odd men, broken up into 44,000 infantry and 6000 cavalry. There was four main components to his army: Native Macedonian soldiers, troops delegated by the league of Corinth, Greek mercenaries, and divisions from different countries in alliance with Macedonia
Alexander was slowly but surely wiping out the Persian forces on land. The Persians tried to tempt the league fleet to battle. Alexander had several reasons why he didn't. First he feared if he was defeated that it would show weakness and encourage rebellion in Greece. He also realized that he had little to gain from that engagement. He preferred the idea of gradually dissolving the Persian fleet by cutting of the ports
The Military Formation
The Macedonian army was divided into four main units. Each designed to complement each other and serve a certain purpose.
The first part is called the Phalanx which you all may already know as the main body of the army. Which is organized into 14 Battalions of 1500 each. After the phalanx breaks the enemies line that is when the Calvary come into play. Armored men on horses attack were the breaks have been created. Last and certainly not least the Hypaspits. They were essentially the kings bodyguards. Totaling 3000 the Hypaspits created a link between the companions and the Phalanx. Protecting one side of each while trying to exploit further gaps in the opponent.
The transformation from Macedonia to Persia
The desicive battle between Darrius and Alexander was already decided within minutes
Taking Egypt
Alexander wanted Egypt because it was a very rich country and it had a lot of wheat and things like that which meant he could feed his troops. After he took over Gaza the egyptians welcomed Alexander and they thought he was sent from the gods so they made him Pharaoh and son of Ammon. Alexander then heard about the knot that was impossible to untie. So when he got to the Gordian knot he looked at it drew out his sword and sliced the knot in half and then cheers erupted and the egyptians thought he was God himself.
Alexander was confident that Darius (Persian leader) would meet him in Sochi. Darius decided to sneak around and behind. He made a defensive formation preventing the Macedonians from retreating. Things were looking on the down side for Alexander.
Alexanders army had about an equal amount to the Persians. The battle lasting two hours but was decided within minutes. Alexander led a quick attack against the Persian left wing. Darius escaped even though he was chased into the night. In the end all that mattered was that the Macedonians tasted Persian exotic luxuries for the first time
Once Alexander took Egypt and took Persia he looked to the far east and what he could get from the trip and planned it out. Bessus was an excuse for Alexander to continue because Bessus was still stirring trouble about Alexander which did not please Alexander. As he got close to Bessus the Spitamenes gave Bessus up so Alexander put a wooden collar on him which meant slave. The Spitamenes thought that Alexander would stop after he had Bessus but this was not the case and as he tried taking over the Spitamenes put an army together and took out Alexanders garrisons. So Alexander was forced to turn back and slaughter all the Spitamenes. He then cut of Bessus ears before executing him.
Moving to the far east
The India attempt
Alexander wanted to take over India for three reasons. 1 because Persia once had parts of India and Alexander wanted to regain them. 2 Alexander was curios about India because he didn't know much about it. 3 India was the end of Asia for Alexander so if he got India then he could be ruler of the continent. So as he ventured into India the cities on the outskirts of India surrendered because they did not want to be slaughtered. But as Alexander reached the Hydaspes River Porus king of India was waiting for him. Porus had lined the bank with war elephants and behind them his army.
The Final Act
So as the two great leaders stood face to face Alexander played it smart he walked up and down the bank of the river as he did this Porus followed but after a while Porus thought it was stupid so he stopped and this is when Alexander took advantage. He was scouting positions the whole time but Porus did not recognized this. So at the dead of night a couple of months later Alexander attacked he crossed the river with half of his troops and headed towards Porus but Porus sent a branch of his main army because Porus didn't know if Alexander was part of the group that were coming down the river or the ones still at base. So Alexander trampled over the branch that Porus sent but word got back that Alexander was with them. So Porus left only a few men across the river bank were only some of Alexanders troops were but what Porus didn't know is that Alexander had setup reserve troops halfway between base and were he crossed. So Alexander had three Wuarters of his army with him. As he saw Porus and his army approaching he noticed the elephants and changed tactics completely in a matter of minutes. So as the battle happened the Macedonians had the Indians surrounded and even though the Indians were getting destroyed Porus did not stop. Alexander honored this and called a meeting with Porus. Porus let Alexander continued into India but what he didn't realize was that India is huge and they came together to build an army of 750,000. This is when Alexanders troops had enough and they persuaded him to turn back.
The End Of Alexander
So as Alexander returned from India he took his troops through the dessert which was to punish his troops for not continuing with him. As they went through the dessert he lost three quarters of his troops. But as the Macedonians reached Babylon Alexander felt sick some people believe that he had Typhiod. Which is a disease caused by bacterial ingestion from food. As he slowly died over a twelve day period. Losing the ability to speak, then move and eventually just shut down completely. His empire got broken up into different parts to all of his closest generals. The Military genius was dead and the reign of Alexander came to a end.
That's All Folks!
A new beginning for Alexander
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