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Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was one of the greatest warriors of all time, with an empire that stretched from Macedon to India. His empire included parts of modern-day Greece, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

This fierce warrior began life as Alexander III, the son of King Philip II of Macedonia and his wife Olympias. Alexander the Great was born in Pella, the capital of Macedon, in July of 356 B.C. Trained to be a soldier, Alexander was also tutored by the Greek philosopher Aristotle.

By the time he was eighteen, Alexander was a soldier, fighting under the command of his father against the city-states of Athens and Thebes. His father was assassinated in 336 B.C. and Alexander became the King of Macedonia. He set out to conquer the Persian Empire, which included Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor. By the age of twenty-five, Alexander the Great became the King of Persia.

For the next eight years, he led his army further east, and founded over seventy cities including Alexandria, Egypt. When Alexander the Great died prematurely in June 323 B.C. of a high fever, his empire stretched across three continents. His son, Alexander IV, was born after his death. Although Alexander the Great had won an empire, it did not long survive him, splitting into independent states or monarchies after his death.

In this mini unit, you can: learn about the life of Alexander the Great, read what Plutarch wrote about him, see timelines of his life and maps of his vast empire, watch an online documentary, listen to a historian pose a “what if” scenario regarding Alexander, read a flip-book biography and choose from a variety of student activities to explore Alexander’s exploits.


Alexander the Great – Overview

Alexander the Great: Hunting for a New Past

Alexander the Great by Plutarch


Animated Map of Alexander’s Conquests

Alexander's Empire


Alexander the Great Documentary (4-part video)

What If... Alexander the Great had Gone West not East?
(MP3 radio broadcast)

Story of Alexander the Great by Robert Steele
(online flip-book)

Projects and Activities

Alexander the Great Student Activity Suggestions

Recommended Resource

Alexander the Great Rocks the World

Because of the frequent use of the word dude, this could pass as a biography of Tony Hawk. Yet tossing contemporary slang into Alexander the Great's story doesn't seem out of place; slang, after all, is the language of youth, and Alexander astonished the world as a very young man, making most of his conquests before he turned 30.

Despite the light tone, Shecter manages to impart the familiar information about Alexander while mixing in some lesser-known facts (for example, Alexander's famous steed, Bucephalas, was probably only slightly larger than a pony). Black-and-white cartoons combine with portraits depicting how people have perceived Alexander through the ages, and the book includes extensive notes, as well as a bibliography of books and Web sites geared toward adults. (Review by American Library Association)

Author: Vicky Alvear Shecter
Amazon Price: $14.21

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