Life of Alexander

Part of the Department of European History.

Alexander the Great

This course will be focusing on the time period in the Classical Greek and Persian world from the birth of Alexander's father, Philip II, up to Alexander's untimely death. The course will examine not only Alexander's life, but also the many personalities, nations and concepts which were drastically altered due to Alexander and his army. The end result of the course will hopefully be to improve the student's understanding of the effects which Alexander's conquests had on all subsequent eras of history, up to and including modern times.

Student/Instructor Registration


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Strothatynhe 19:19, 22 June 2007 (UTC)



Materials/Suggested Reading


I am constructing this course from a number of different printed sources which will prove useful for students who desire a greater immersion in the subject. These include:

  • Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C., A Historical Biography by Peter Green. (Highly useful!)
  • Alexander the Great by Heckel and Yardley. (Historical sources in translation)
  • The Ancient World: A Social and Cultural History by Nagle, Sixth Ed. (Broad overview)
  • The Ancient World: Readings in Social and Cultural History by Nagle and Burstein, Third Ed.
  • Greece and the Hellenistic World by Boardman, Griffin and Murray.

Of course, any text on Alexander from today draws its information from ancient sources and authors (such as Arrian, Plutarch, Quintus Curtius Rufus, etc). Nearly all of these ancient sources can be found in completion and free of charge at Perseus Digital Library.

Additionally, students may use the Wikipedia pages on the subject to supplement their knowledge.

Format of the Course/Assignments


This course will be taught following a lecture format. As of right now I don't plan to assign any work or give any tests, but if there is any interest in adding something like this to the course, I am open for discussion. I am also open to address any questions/confusion on the discussion page. At some point I would like to be able to have a discussion regarding each week's different lesson, but this is once again pending student interest.

Timeline of Alexander the Great (In Progress)

Date(s) Event(s)
356 Alexander is born in Pella, Macedon, to Philip II and Olympias. Philip takes Potidaea.
354 Philip loses an eye from an arrow at siege of Methone.
351 Philip's navy skirmishes with Athenian merchantile fleet.
346 Philip takes Thermopylae. His dynasty is recognized with accession to Amphictyonic Council
343/2 Aristotle comes to Macedonia to tutor Alexander. Alexander's uncle takes throne of Epirus with help from Olympias.
340 Alexander temporarily controls regency of Macedon as Philip goes on campaign.
338 Battle of Chaeronea. Olympias and Alexander exiled after quarrel over Philip's new wife and Alexander's legitimacy.
337 Alexander returns. Crusade against Persia ratified by the Macedonian-controlled Hellenic League.
336 commander-in-chief for Persian expedition.
334 Alexander crushes army of Thebes and razes the city to the ground after its revolt in 335. Alexander goes on to consolidate his power by capturing Greek cities in Asia Minor, and gains popularity by doing so under the guise of city-state liberation.