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Macedonian Army - Essay Example

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On the day that Alexander was born, the temple of Diana at Ephesus burned down, an omen which the fortune-tellers of the East interpreted as a sign that on that day, the force that would destroy Asia had entered the world".
At the age of only twenty, Alexander became king of Macedonia when his father, King Phillip, was murdered…
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Alexander's Army Introduction "On the day that Alexander was born, the temple of Diana at Ephesus burned down, an omen which the fortune-tellers of the East interpreted as a sign that on that day, the force that would destroy Asia had entered the world".
Alexander becoming King
At the age of only twenty, Alexander became king of Macedonia when his father, King Phillip, was murdered. Since Alexander was only a boy, the neighboring states and the cities of Greece rebelled against Macedonian rule. His people and his army were scared for their lives if any rebellions reached their doorstep. Alexander decided to meet with these rebellions head on and his army supported him all the way.
Conquest in Asia Minor
Between 30,000 and 43,000 infantry followed Alexander into Asia Minor to fight the Persians. He had only 70 talents for their pay, and no more than thirty days' provisions. These scarce resources destroyed any hope from his army. However this also motivated them to fight desperately before all their supplies finished. The 40,000 Persian infantry and cavalry were desiccated. The Macedonian army's confidence raised head high and this confidence scared all the cities on the coast into submission to Alexander.
Alexander's Illness
Alexander wanted to go into the heart of Persia to defeat their king Darius. However a secretive illness to Alexander prevented such an excursion for the time. All of Alexander's attendants were afraid to try any remedies, because if their remedy failed, and Alexander died, the Macedonians might blame the physician. During this time the Macedonian army was becoming demoralized day by day thinking whether Alexander could defeat his illness or would he let them rot deprived of a leader.
Battle of Issus and Defeat of Darius
The morale of Macedonian army soared sky high after they defeated the Persians and forced King Darius to flee. Darius knew that Alexander would come for his so he prepared an army of a million men. When the two armies came in sight and the noise and campfires of the vast barbarian camp were heard, fear started to creep into some of Alexander's generals. They advised a night attack because it would be too dangerous to take on such a huge force in daylight however Alexander wanted to defeat Darius in open sun.Some of Alexander's army men thought that this was immature and conceited, but it was a wise strategy. Alexander gained a lot of respect from his army and his foes alike after this battle.
Alexander's Marriage
Alexander continued into the Barbarian city of Bactria and conquered it in 328 B.C. Among the captives he saw Roxane, the daughter of the king, and immediately fell in love and eventually married her. He started to divulge in barbaric traditions and wear their customary clothes. In the army there was widespread resentment over Alexander's change to foreign clothes and customs.
Assassination Attempt
A Macedonian named Limnus conspired to assassinate Alexander. This news reached Philotas but he didn't tell Alexander about this. Philotas' enemies conspired against him too and ended up succeeding Alexander to believe Philotas was the ringleader. Therefore he ordered Philotas arrested and questioned under torture.Philotas denied the accusations so Alexander executed him and his father who was second in command of the army and had been a loyal friend of Alexander's father, King Philip. These proceedings made Alexander a terror to his friends
Training of Persians in Greek Camps
When he had left for India, Alexander had put 30,000 Persian boys into Greek military training. This greatly displeased the Macedonians and their soldiers thought that this was a stain to their honor.
Difficulties in India
As Alexander's soldiers started to become rich and addicted to pleasure, they began to be lax about their military training.They were tired of marching and fighting and wanted to lead luxurious lives. This attitude led them to say bad things about their leader and several rumors about the Alexander's cruelty towards they started to spread. The news about the difficulties he had in India, his brush with death, and the huge attrition of his army in the desert, all made the conquered nations think of revolution. He slowly was losing support of his army.
Conclusion
During this time his beloved horse Hephaestion died of a fever. Chased by the contempt of divine power and superstition, Alexander drove over the edge.He started to drink heavily, and he caught a fever and after suffering for twelve days, he died in Babylon on June 10, 323 B.C. Thus the life of a leader ended who was praised for his aggression and military skills by his soldiers. Alexander demanded and received enormous respect backed with passion from his army. The intoxication of power caused Alexander to become strange to his friends, and he died unhappy. There were times especially towards the latter half of his life that he made many enemies in his flanks, yet Alexander will be remembered in the history as Alexander the Great.
Work Cited
Plutarch (2000), "ALEXANDER the Great (356 -323 B.C.)", E-Classics, Retrieved October 1, 2007 from http://www.e-classics.com/index.html Read More
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