25 Unusual Facts About Alexander The Great

There is a great possibility that you are familiar with at least some facts about Alexander the Great. After all, his mark on history is quite substantial. Alexander the Great is responsible for the birth of a whole historical period, widely known as the Hellenistic age. During his reign, the Greeks saw an unprecedented scale of unification and expansion, and his campaign remains one of the greatest—if not the greatest—ever orchestrated by a single ruler. During this time, Greek cultural influence and power was at its peak in Europe, Africa, and Asia; it underwent prosperity and progress in exploration, literature, theater, architecture, music, mathematics, philosophy, and science.

His settlement of Greek colonies and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the East lasted many centuries, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-fifteenth century and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920’s. Even more importantly, his undefeated status and his genius battlefield tactics became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, while military academies throughout the world still teach his strategies. The following 25 unusual facts about Alexander the Great will make it perfectly clear why his legacy continues to live on and retains a strong hold on contemporary historians.

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Ever heard of Greco-Buddhism? This term refers to the cultural syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism, which developed between the fourth century BCE and the fifth century AD in Bactria and the Indian subcontinent, corresponding to the territories of modern-day Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. It was a cultural consequence of a long chain of interactions begun by Greek forays into India from the time of Alexander the Great, carried further by the establishment of the Indo-Greek kingdom and extended during the flourishing of the Kushan Empire.

mapSource: Wikipedia, Image: Wikipedia

One of the most famous legends about Alexander is that in 333 when he was in Gordium, in Asia Minor, he undid the Gordian knot. The prophecy about the Gordian knot said that he who untied it would rule all of Asia. Alexander is said to have undone the knot by slashing through it with a sword. It is believed that the man who tied the knot was either Midas of golden touch fame or his father, Gordius.

Gordian knotSource: Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox, Image: Wikipedia

The Republic of Macedonia, a modern country located in the central Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe, is not related historically to the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. Its name, however, derives from the Greek region Makedonía, capital of Alexander’s ancient kingdom.

mapSource: Wikipedia, Image: Wikipedia

Three of Fidel Castro’s sons are named after Alexander the Great: Alexis, Alejandro, and Alexander.

Fidel CastroSource: 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Alexander once held a drinking contest among his soldiers. When it was over, forty-two soldiers had died from alcohol poisoning.

Greek paintingSource: Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox, Image: Wikipedia

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