Greatest Leaders of All Time

Alexander The Great

alexander the great

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Known as the Man who conquered the World, Alexander the Great is often said to be the greatest military leader of all time. He was born in 356 BC and by age of 33, he had the largest empire in the history which stretched from Greece to Egypt to India. He was the king of the Kingdom of Macedonia and perhaps he was the greatest military commander to have ever lived. He did the noble deed to unifying many Greek city states. He was undefeated in battle and succumbed to malaria and died in 323 BC. His fortes were his foresight, vision and military capabilities.

Macedonian king Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) was born to parents King Philip II and Queen Olympia. Tutored by Aristotle, the prince took charge of the Companion Cavalry at age 18 and aided Philip in defeating the Athenian and Theban armies at Chaeronea. After the death of his father, Alexander garnered the support of the Macedonian Army and eliminated his enemies to become king and leader of the Corinthian League. Alexander went on to conquer Persia and Egypt, his kingdom ranging from the Mediterranean to the border of India. Just 32 when he died from malaria, he is regarded as one of history’s brilliant military leaders and most powerful rulers.

During his youth, Alexander was tutored by the philosopher Aristotle until the age of 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, Alexander succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's Panhellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire, ruled Asia Minor, and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.

Alexander’s military genius is undisputed. He improved the fine army inherited from his father, Philip, by the addition of allied forces; he strengthened the cavalry arm, utilized weapons specialists, and employed a corps of engineers; he was invincible in both siege warfare and set battles. His movements were marked by speed; his logistical, intelligence, and communications operations were flawless; and his ability to improvise was unrivaled. Yet he was careful in strategy: rather than strike deep into Asia immediately, he spent nearly two years securing the coastal areas of Asia Minor and the Levant in order to ensure that Persian naval forces would not interdict his lines to Europe. Bit by bit he wore away the western sections of the Persian Empire before driving into Mesopotamia and the Iranian plateau.

Only three setbacks checked his progress. Along the Indian frontier his officers refused to march farther east, and, after his return to Babylonia, his Macedonian troops mutinied against the integration of Asian troops into the ranks. The third episode was the horrible loss of personnel in the Makran desert on the return march from India to the Persian Gulf, where lack of water and food accomplished what no enemy army had been able to do.

Seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs.

Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics. He is often ranked among the most influential people in human history, along with his teacher Aristotle.


There is nothing impossible to him who will try. -Alexander the Great

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. -Alexander the Great

Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all. -Alexander the Great

I would rather excel others in the knowledge of what is excellent than in the extent of my powers and dominion. -Alexander the Great

I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well. -Alexander the Great

I am dying from the treatment of too many physicians. -Alexander the Great

Heaven cannot brook two suns, nor earth two masters. -Alexander the Great

If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes. -Alexander the Great