Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was among the greatest of military commanders in the history of mankind. Here is our list of top 15 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the historical figure.
Number One: Alexander The Great was Undefeated for 15 Years. His battle tactics are still studied in the present day in a multitude of military academies. His first victory happened at the age of 18, and he continued on undefeated for over a decade.
Number Two: The Gordian Knot. Known as the most complicated of all knots in the world, there was a legend that claimed that whoever could come along and untie it, would become the greatest ruler of Asia. When Alexander attempted it, it’s said that he failed initially and proceeded to cut through it with his sword.
Number Three: He Named Cities After Himself. This great man was known for building up cities around previous military bases, which he usually ended up naming Alexandria. The most famous one exists today and is the second largest city in all of Egypt.
Number Four: He Smelled Divine. There are reports, up to 400 years after the death of Alexander the Great, that talk of the man exuding “a most agreeable odor”. His breath, body, and clothes apparently were very fragrant, enough to be remembered hundreds of years later.
Number Five: The King Named a City After His Horse. Alexander loved his horse a lot. So much, in fact, that after the passing of his dear friend he named a city in his honor; Bucephala.
Number Six: His Cause of Death is a Mystery. We know for sure that he got very drunk on a wine soon before his death, but the exact cause of his dying is still unknown. Some people believe he was poisoned while others believe a deathly mosquito bite did him in.
Number Seven: Alexander was Taught by Aristotle. Alexander’s famous father, Philip, hired Aristotle to educate his son when they boy was a mere 13 y.o. It can be assumed that much of Alexander’s success later in life could be attributed to what he gleaned from the wise philosopher.
Number Eight: Alexander The Great Was Preserved in Honey. After the man’s death, they needed a way to preserve his body before sending it back to Macedonia. They used an embalming method which involved immersing the corpse in honey to prevent decay.
Number Nine: A Skilled Strategist. Most of us know that he was a great leader of brutal battles, but it’s not as well known that he was also well versed in patient strategy. He became even more revered after he successfully devised a plan to penetrate a large island city.
Number Ten: Borrowed Persian Style. It’s been said that after invading Persia, he began dressing like the Persians. Some think this is because he saw it as a good infiltration tactic, and others say that he simply enjoyed their clothing style.
Number Eleven: Inspired by Leonidas. It’s been said that Leonidas gave Alexander some advice once about not wasting incense from a country unless you conquered it yourself. Later on, after successfully conquering many Asian lands, Alexander supposedly sent his old teacher an expensive ration of incense.
Number Twelve: Love at First Sight. It’s little known that Alexander loved his wife Roxanne from the moment he first saw her. They were married very soon after meeting, and she gave birth to his first and only son, a few short months after he died.
Number Thirteen: He Didn’t have the Greatest Relationship with His Father. King Philip was not around very often, busy with fighting wars in far off places. It’s also said that he abandoned his wife and son Alexander after meeting and remarrying a new woman.
Number Fourteen: The Charitable Leader. He was generous to family members of soldiers who had fallen in battle. He rewarded them with tax immunity and also put up statues to honor the death of their loved ones.
Number Fifteen: The Meeting with Diogenes. Alexander met this famous figure. Instead of being impressed, Diogenes asked the renowned man to please step aside out of his sunlight. Thanks for reading!
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