Alexander III of Macedon, more commonly known as Alexander the Great, is one of history’s most renowned military leaders. Born in 356 BC, he became king at the young age of 20 and went on to conquer much of the known world before his untimely death at the age of 32.
Learn more as we’ll explore Alexander the Great height and other lesser-known details about his life and legacy in today’s post.
Why The ‘Great’
Alexander the Great is remembered as one of history’s greatest military leaders due to his successes during a short but tumultuous period in ancient Greek and Persian history. His campaigns spanned from Greece all the way to India, creating an empire that at its peak extended from Greece in the west to Egypt and parts of modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan in the east.
His skillful leadership was marked by tactical brilliance, inspiring speeches, military reforms and innovative strategies. By employing these strategies, he was able to defeat much larger forces than his own army with relative ease which demonstrated his bravery, genius, and skills as a battlefield commander. This led contemporaries and later historians alike to name him “the Great”. He also left behind a legacy of cultural diffusion across Asia which can still be seen today.
The Height Debate
One of the most popular debates surrounding Alexander is his height. While there is no consensus on exactly how tall he was, most historians agree that he was shorter than average for a man in ancient Greece.
According to accounts from his contemporaries, Alexander was said to be around 5’6″ (1.68 meters) tall – which would have been considered below average for a man during that time period. However, it’s worth noting that there are also accounts that describe him as being taller – up to 6 feet (1.83 meters) or more.
Regardless of his actual height, what mattered most was his commanding presence on the battlefield and his ability to inspire loyalty among his troops.
Early Life And Education
Alexander was born into royalty as the son of King Philip II of Macedon and Queen Olympia. As a child, he received an excellent education under the tutelage of Aristotle – one of history’s greatest philosophers.
Under Aristotle’s guidance, Alexander learned about subjects such as philosophy, mathematics, politics, and history – all skills that would serve him well in his later conquests.
Conquest And Expansion
After succeeding his father as king in 336 BC at just 20 years old, Alexander quickly set out to expand Macedonian territory. He embarked on a series of military campaigns that would eventually lead him to conquer much of Greece and parts of Asia Minor.
In 334 BC, he crossed into Asia with an army numbering around 40,000 men – beginning what would become one of history’s greatest military conquests. He defeated Persian forces at Granicus River before moving on to take major cities like Damascus and Tyre.
In 331 BC he famously defeated Darius III at Gaugamela in modern-day Iraq effectively ending Persian rule over their territories while expanding Macedonian territories even further eastwards reaching modern-day Pakistan.
Throughout these campaigns, Alexander proved himself to be both a brilliant strategist and fearless warrior who inspired great loyalty among his troops.
While Alexander may be best remembered for his military conquests, he also had a profound impact on cultures throughout the world through cultural exchange programs initiated by him after each victory.
As he conquered new lands with different traditions and customs than those found in Macedonia or Greece- rather than simply imposing Greek culture upon them- Alexander encouraged cultural exchange between different peoples.
He did this by promoting intermarriage between Greeks & Persians along with encouraging Greek art & literature along with local arts & literature! This helped foster understanding between cultures leading to greater tolerance among diverse groups.
Alexander also founded several cities named after himself such as Alexandria in Egypt which became important centers for learning & commerce where people from various backgrounds could come together.
Despite all these accomplishments however tragedy struck when Alexander died suddenly at age thirty-two under mysterious circumstances! There are many theories surrounding how exactly he died but nobody knows for sure since no definitive cause has ever been established.
Some people believe that he may have been poisoned while others speculate that malaria or other illnesses may have been responsible for taking him down so early.
Regardless though it can be agreed upon by all historians alike that regardless whether it was illness or foul play- Alexander left behind an incredible legacy having accomplished feats still unmatched today.
Although his exact burial place has never been discovered, there are several theories as to where he may have been laid to rest.
One theory is that he was buried in a tomb beneath the modern Turkish city of Istanbul. Although this theory has never been proven, it is believed that Alexander’s body would have been taken there for embalming and preservation purposes before his burial.
Another speculation about his burial site is that he was laid to rest in the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, an ancient Greek structure found in what is now modern-day Turkey.
Furthermore, archaeologists believe that he was buried in Egypt. It is believed that his body was taken there for preservation purposes before being laid to rest.
Alexander the Great is remembered for his military successes and for being one of the most powerful military leaders in history. However, he was not without controversy.
One of the most well-known controversies surrounding Alexander was his execution of Cleitus the Black in 328 BC, a close friend and general who had saved Alexander’s life at the Battle of the Granicus. This happened because Alexander was angered by Cleitus’ criticism of his plans for further military campaigns.
Aside from that, Alexander’s invasion of India in 326 BC was also controversial. Alexander intended to conquer India and extend his empire, but he was met with fierce resistance from Indian forces. Despite greatly outnumbering the Indian forces, Alexander was forced to withdraw from India and India’s people were left largely unscathed.
Another controversy surrounding Alexander is his sexual orientation. Though there is no clear evidence, some historians have argued that Alexander was bisexual or homosexual. This has been contested by many other historians who point out the lack of evidence in support of this theory.
He also had a habit of taking women as courtesans and wives, something that was frowned upon in Ancient Greek society. Alexander also believed himself to be divinely inspired, another point of contention for many of his contemporaries.
And as mentioned, Alexander’s height is often discussed as well, although records are inconclusive on how tall he actually was.
Alexander remains one of history’s most fascinating figures whose legacy continues to captivate people worldwide! From his impressive military conquests to fostering cultural exchange- there is no denying how impactful this powerful leader was during his lifetime.
While debates surrounding aspects like height will always continue- what truly matters is looking back upon all these accomplishments today with awe alongside recognizing how they shaped our world today.