Alexander the Great

Our collection at Ancient Gold Coins features many depictions of Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia. Beginning as a small kingdom in northern Greece, Macedonia began to grow when King Philip II overthrew the Persian rule in 359 BC. Under the direction of Philip II, the Macedonian army flourished using the latest weapons and tactics. These tactics were used to defeat the Athenian and Theban armies, and unify all of the Greek territories. In 356 BC, Philip’s son Alexander was born in Pella, creating a magnificent legacy. Alexander the Great was considered a military genius, and he inspired many later conquerors such as Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte. Who was Alexander the Great?

Early Life

In the early part of his life, Alexander rarely saw his father, who spent most of his time away from the family engaged either in battle or in extramarital affairs. In 343 BC, King Philip II hired philosopher Aristotle to tutor Alexander for three years. In that time, Alexander learned about science, politics, the art, poetry, and philosophy. After completing his education, Alexander ruled Macedonia in the interim as his father was away in battle, and he was only sixteen years old. Despite his young age, Alexander proved to be a capable and intelligent ruler.

Death of Philip II

King Philip II embarked on his great military pursuits in an effort to conquer the Persian empire, but he was not killed in battle. Instead, King Philip II was assassinated, and Alexander assumed the throne with the intention of carrying out the conquest of Persia. Once he became king, Alexander ordered the execution of anyone he considered a domestic enemy, and his military quickly established dominance and control over the territories that wanted to assert their independence. In fact, the entire population of Thebes was either slaughtered or sold off as slaves by the Macedonians after they tried to gain their independence.

side-inner300x640Early Campaigns

The Macedonian army crossed over the Asian Minor in 334 BC, and sacked the city of Baalbek, then liberated the Greek city of Ephistos from the Persians. Over the next few years, Alexander’s army conquered Syria and Egypt. In Egypt, an oracle declared Alexander as the son of Zeus, which transcended his mortal status.

Alexander Never Experienced Defeat

In his entire 15 year military campaign, Alexander the Great never lost a battle. Known for both their tremendous speed as well as their great size, his army consisted of 15,000 soldiers. Other secrets to their military success were sarissas, which were 20 foot-long pikes that could hold off the swords of the Persians.

His Death Remains A Mystery

In 323 BC, Alexander the Great fell increasingly ill after drinking a bowl of wine at a party and died two weeks later. With many enemies, some people believed that he was poisoned. Others speculate that he died from malaria, infection, typhoid, or liver failure (he was a very heavy drinker).

With such a great legacy, many people study the military strategies of Alexander the Great. During his rule, Alexander the Great issued many coins in his image. Check out our Alexander the Great ancient silver coins. Our store features many ancient gold coins from Greece, Rome, and Egypt as well.

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