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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10

Alexander the Great was king of the Greek kingdom of Macedon, pharaoh of Egypt, king of Persia, and king of Asia all at the same time!

mapSource: Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
9

After defeating the Persians, Alexander started dressing like a Persian king and had two Persian wives so the newly conquered people would feel more comfortable with their new leader.

Alexander v PersiansSource: Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox, Image: Wikipedia
8

Even though there have been many theories throughout the years, the real cause of Alexander’s death remains one of the many mysteries of the ancient world. In modern times, medical experts have claimed that malaria, lung infection, liver failure, or typhoid may have been the causes but no one can say for sure.

Alexander's deathSource: Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox, Image: Wikipedia
7

The Iliad and The Odyssey were his favorite books. Since childhood he was inspired by the Homer’s heroes and slept with The Iliad under his pillow. Further, the Greek warrior Achilles, who fought at Troy, fascinated him and captured his imagination more than any other character in the epics.

AchillesSource: Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
6

However, Alexander’s biggest idol and influence was the one and only Heracles (Hercules). His admiration for the most famous Greek mythological figure of all time was so deep that he called himself son of Zeus (just like Heracles ), and always bragged that he was descended from Heracles on his father’s side.

HeraclesSource: Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

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