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Alexander the Great

Important Terms, People, and Events

Plot Overview

The Early Years

Terms

Asia Minor -   · A peninsula in western Asia located between the Black and Mediterranean seas. Asia Minor was Alexander's first objective, though he eventually sought to conquer much more territory.
City-state  -   · A city usually in Greece that possessed its own sovereignty, though it could be subject to a broader authority, as in the case of the Hellenic League.
Great King -   · The ruler of Persia.
Hellenic League  -   · The league first established by Philip that united the Greek city-states.
Hegemon -   · Term for a leader, specifically of the Hellenic League.
Satrap  -   · Term for a ruler of a province in Asia.

People

Antipater -  A close adviser to Alexander from the beginning, who served as European Viceroy while Alexander was away on campaigns. Ideological differences ultimately arose between Antipater and Alexander, as Antipater disapproved of Alexander's treatment of Persia. It is likely that Alexander was planning to have Antipater assassinated, but died before he could follow through.
Aristotle -  Alexander's tutor from the age of thirteen to sixteen. Aristotle taught Alexander formal subjects such as poetry and rhetoric, while also instilling the belief that all non-Greeks were barbarians and fit to be slaves.
Callisthenes -  Nephew of Aristotle and official historian of the Persian expedition. Callisthenes died a martyr because he refused to submit to the King's policies.
Darius -  King of Persia who fought and lost to Alexander. Darius was deposed and killed by conspirators before Alexander could capture him in battle.
Olympias  -  Alexander's mother. A headstrong figure, Olympias convinced Alexander of his destined greatness and was his closest adviser early on. She may have played a role in his father's death, as her son's succession was her most important ambition.
Parmenion -  A loyal and powerful general who served under Philip. Parmenion became Alexander's second officer in command. However, when his services were no longer required on the expedition, Alexander saw fit to dispose of him and his son before their influence could grow any greater.
Philip II  -  Father of Alexander and King of Macedonia. Philip II and Alexander had their difficulties when doubts arose over the latter's status as heir. Philip would be assassinated before alternatives could be established, and Alexander may have played a role in his death.
Porus -  One of the major rulers of India during Alexander's time. Porus faced Alexander and lost, but was allowed to maintain his kingdom.
Ptolemy -  One of Alexander's most faithful friends and most useful generals. Ptolemy later claimed Egypt after Alexander's death and established a dynasty there.
Spitamenes  -  One of Alexander's most formidable opponents. Spitamenes continued to raise trouble in the Far East after the death of Darius and even defeated a regiment of Alexander's in a battle.

Events

Chaeronea -  Philip's monumental victory in 338 B.C. over the combined forces of Athens and Thebes. Alexander played a vital role in defeating the Sacred Band, an elite group of Theban soldiers.
Gaugamela -  The second defeat of Darius in 331 B.C.
Granicus -  The first battle between Alexander and the Persians, which took place in 333 B.C.
Issus -  Alexander's first meeting with Darius in 332 B.C. He defeated the Great King soundly despite poor prospects, for the Persians had surprised Alexander with great positioning.

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