• Imagining History

Alexander the Great: Who was he? - A KS2 Guide

Updated: Oct 5

Alexander the Great was greatest of all the Alexanders. There has never been as greater Alex in the history of Alex’s. But why was he so great?

Born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia in July 356 BC, Alexander founded a Macedonian Empire. He conquered every city-state in ancient Greece before taking on the Persian Empire. He never lost a battle and had soon achieved the seemingly impossible, the defeat of the Persian Empire and their massive armies.

Alexander racked up some 11,000 miles of travel at the head of his army, founding an empire that was 2,000,000 square miles in size. For some context, that’s really, really, really, really big. He achieved this all when the most advanced mode of transportation was a horse.

At the end of his reign Alexander had founded some 70 cities, though despite his tactical genius he was clearly a bit rubbish at naming; as nearly every single city was named ‘Alexandria’; after himself! The exception was the city of ‘Bucephala’, named after his favourite horse which had died in battle.

Due to his fame, historians know lots and lots about Alexander the Great, they even know what he smelt of. Plutarch wrote that Alexander had “a most agreeable odour” and “his breath and body all over was so fragrant as to perfume the clothes which he wore.” Clearly Alexander the Great must have used Sure for Men to tame his stinky armpits.

Alexander died at the young age of 32. Modern medical experts have theorised that malaria, lung infection, liver failure or typhoid fever may have polished Alexander off. Whatever the cause of his death, it is clear that during his short life Alexander had change the course of world history. I’ve no idea how he found time for it, I barely have chance for breakfast in the morning.

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