Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ancient History test

Kings And Queens

From the 1st dynasty _____ _____ BC to the 8th dynasty _______-_____ BC Egyptian dating is expressed by ruling families - dynasties.

The historian _______ (______) wrote a history of Egypt giving the number of dynasties, the number of ______, their names and the length of each reign. Before the first _____ of _____ was in fact _____ _____. The unifier of these lands, in folk tales, was a fellow called _______ and known as the first mortal king of ______. The Greek____damming the Nile river to reclaim land for the _______.

During this time papyrus was invented and as a consequence writing was used as an ___________ tool of __________. This created the conditions for prosperity, which can be seen in the magnificent _______ that have been found from this period.

At the end of the ____st dynasty there appears to have been ________ ______ for the throne. The successful claimant’s Horus name, _________, translates as "peaceful in respect of the two powers" this may be a reference to the opposing gods __________ and ______, or an understanding reached between two rival factions. But the ________ rivalry was never fully resolved and in time the situation worsened into conflict.

The fourth pharaoh, _______, took the title of Seth instead of Horus and the last ruler of the dynasty, ______, took both titles. A _____/____ name meaning "arising in respect of the two powers," and "the two ___ are at peace in him." Towards the end of this __, however, there seems to have been more disorder and possibly civil war.

This period is one of the landmarks of Human history. A prosperous age and the appearance of the worlds first great m_______ building - the ________. The artistic masterpieces in the tombs of the nobles show the martial wealth of this time

______ - one of the outstanding kings of Egypt. His Step Pyramid at ________ is the first large stone building and the forerunner of later pyramids.

Egypt was able to accomplish the ambitious feat of the Giza pyramids because there had been a long period of peace and no threats of invasion. So their energies were spent in cultivating art to it’s highest forms.

The fourth dynasty came from Memphis and the fifth from the south in Elephantine. The transition from one ruling family to another appears to have been peaceful.

The first two kings of the fifth dynasty, were sons of a lady, _________, who was a member of the fourth dynasty royal family. There was an _______ of officialdom and high officials for the first time came from outside the royal family.

The _____ are smaller and less _______ constructed than those of the fourth dynasty, but the carvings from the mortuary temples are well preserved and of the highest quality.

There are surviving ______ from this period which ________ well _____1___ methods of accounting and record keeping. They document the redistribution of goods between the royal residence, the temples, and officials.

There are many inscriptions from the sixth dynasty. These include records of trading expeditions to the south from the reigns of Pepi I. One of the most interesting is a letter written by ______ II.

The pyramid of Pepi II at southern _______ is the last major monument of the Old Kingdom. None of the names of kings of the short-lived _____ dynasty are known and the eighth dynasty shows signs of and political decay.

First Intermediate Period ____th and ____th dynasties
2181- 2125 BC
About this time the Old Kingdom state collapsed. Egypt simultaneously suffered political failure and environmental disaster. There was _____, civil disorder and a rise in the death rate. With the climate of Northeast Africa becoming dryer, combined with low inundations of the Nile and the cemeteries rapidly filling, this was not a good time for the Egyptians.

The years following the death of _____ II are most obscure. The only person from this era to have left an impression on posterity is a woman called ______ who appears to have acted as king. There are no contemporary records but Herodotus wrote of her:

"She killed hundreds of Egyptians to avenge the king, her brother, whom his subjects had killed, and had forced her to succeed. She did this by constructing a huge underground chamber. Then invited to a banquet all those she knew to be responsible for her brother's death. When the banquet was underway, she let the river in on them, through a concealed pipe. After this fearful revenge, she flung herself into a room filled with embers, to escape her punishment."

For a time petty warlords ruled the provinces. Then from the city of ___________there emerged a ruling family led by one _____ who for a time held sway over the whole country. However, this was short lived and the country split into North, ruled from ______ and South, ruled from Thebes.

Whereas the ______ dynasty was stable, kings succeeded one another rapidly at _______. There was continual conflict between the two lands which was resolved in the ____th dynasty.

From the 11th dynasty 2125-1991 BC to the 17th dynasty 1650-1550 BC

Egyptian dating is expressed by ruling families - dynasties. The historian ________(_____B.C.) wrote a history of Egypt giving the number of dynasties, the number of kings, their names and the length of each reign.

The Middle Kingdom begins _____ the reunification of the country under _____ I who ousted the kings of _______.

He assumed the Horus name Divine of the White Crown, implicitly claiming all of Upper Egypt. This was later changed to _____ of the _____ Lands.

His remarkable mortuary complex at _________ was the architectural inspiration for ______'s temple which was built alongside some _______ years later

_______ I moved the capital back to the Memphis. There was a revival of Old Kingdom artistic styles.

He later took his son, ______ as his co-regent. During the 10 years of joint rule ____________ undertook campaigns in Lower Nubia which led to its conquest. _________was murdered during ______' absence on a campaign in Libya, but ______was able to maintain his hold on the throne and consolidated his father's achievements,
_______ III ________ Egypt into four regions the northern and southern halves of the Nile Valley and the eastern and western Delta. He and his successor _______ III left a striking artistic legacy in the form of statuary depicting them as ________, careworn rulers.

It was during this period that the written language was ________ in its classical form of Middle Egyptian. The first body of literary texts was composed in this form, although several are ascribed to Old Kingdom authors. The most important of these is the "Instruction for _______," a discourse on kingship and moral responsibility.

Queen ________, the first female monarch marked the end of the dynastic line.

The true chronology of the ____th dynasty is rather vague since there are few surviving monuments from this period. There were many kings who reigned for a short time, who were not of a single family and some were born commoners. The last fifty years represents a gradual decline. It seems that after the death of __, the eastern Delta broke away under its own petty kings (____th dynasty). There is even less known about this dynasty.

Asiatic immigration became widespread, the northeastern Delta being settled by successive waves of Palestinians.

The Second Intermediate Period
The Middle Kingdom fell because of the weakness of its later kings, which lead to Egypt being invaded by an Asiatic, desert people called the ______.

These invaders made themselves kings and held the country for more than two centuries. The word ________ goes back to an Egyptian phrase meaning "ruler of foreign lands".

The Jewish historian Josephus (1st century AD) mentions them. He depicts the new rulers as sacrilegious invaders who despoiled the land but with the exception of the title ________ they presented themselves as Egyptian kings and appear to have been accepted as such.

They tolerated other lines of kings within the country, both those of the 17th dynasty and the various minor ________ who made up the 16th dynasty.

The _______, sometimes referred to as the Shepherd Kings or Desert Princes, sacked the old capital of Memphis and built their capital at _______, in the Delta. The dynasty consisted of five possibly six kings, the best-known being ______ I, who reigned for up to ___ years.

Their rule brought many technical innovations to Egypt, from bronze working, pottery and looms to new musical instruments and musical styles. New breeds of animals and crops were introduced. But the most important changes was in the area of warfare; composite bows, new types of daggers and scimitars, and above all the horse and chariot. In many ways the _______ ______ Egypt and Ultimately Egypt was to benefit from their rule.

While the _______ ruled northern Egypt a new line of native rulers was developing in Thebes. They controlled the area from Elephantine in the south, to __________ in the middle of the country.

The early rulers made no attempt to challenge the _______ but an uneasy truce existed between them. However, the later rulers rose against the _______ and a number of battles were fought.

King Tao II, also know as ________, was probably killed in one of these battles since his mummy shows evidence of terrible head wounds.

It was to be one of his sons _____, the founder of the Eighteenth dynasty, who was to expel the ______ from_______.
Chapter 2 Rome
Romans were first known of by a story of two brothers named Romulus and ______
Were found in a basket by a wolf who took care of them they found a place good for a town one ____ didn’t like it so _________ killed Him so he named the town r_____ It got Its Independence so it was country after Romulus died a great ______ came took over England even thought for every roman there were 7 English they won

About ________

Neptune is the God of water and the sea, of earthquakes and of ______- ______ equivelint is Poseidon. He is the brother of Jupiter and Pluto. He carried a trident which had three prongs and rode a dolphin or a horse. Neptune had the reputation of haveing a violent _________ and earthquakes were a reflection of his furious rage. Neptune would not have been considered as one of the more important Gods, this might seem strange since the Roman Empire was based on the ______.But the ____ were relativly poor _____. His festival, ______, takes place on ____ ___-rd. He had two temples in Rome. The first, built in 25 BC, stood near the Circus________, the _______ racetrack, and contained a famous sculpture of a marine group of _______. The second, Basilica _______, was built on the Campus ________ and dedicated by Agrippa in _______ of the naval victory of ______.
Chapter 3 The _______

_____ is located in north ______ and spans four countries: In ____a it extends west to the ____ river; in _______ it extends north to ______, _______, _______, and Lake Van; in Iran it extends east to Lake _____, and in Iraq it extends to about ______ miles south of _______. This is the _______ heartland, from which so much of the ancient Near ______ came to be controlled.
Two great rivers run through Assyria, the Tigris and the _____, and many lesser ones, the most important of which being the Upper ____ and Lower ___, both tributaries to the Tigris. Strategically surrounding the Tigris and the two ____ are the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, _____, ______, Nimrod and _________ .
To the north and east of ____ lie the Taurus and _____ mountains. To the west and south lies a great, low limestone plateau. At the southern end of Assyria the gravel plains give way to alluvium deposited by the Tigris, and farther south there is insufficient rainfall for agriculture without irrigation. These two features create a _____ boundary between _____ and the neighboring land to the south.
To the south of ____ lies _______. There is a stark geographical distinction between Babylonia and Assyria. To quote ________,
A journey in spring from Baghdad, the capital of modern Iraq and within the Area of Ancient _______, to _______ [______], which is near several old ____ capitals, takes the traveller into what is manifestly a different country. In the region of Baghdad and southwards the ______ vegetation is palm trees. . .The _________ is flat to the horizon, and for most of the year its sun-parched earth is arid and dead wherever irrigation ditches do not reach. Approaching _______ [______] the ________finds a striking change. The flat terrrain gives way to undulating plains, in spring green with pasturage or cereal crop and gay and scented with flowers and clover. The rolling plains are cut with ____, ______after spring rains, with higher ranges of hills on the horizon. The traveller has reached Assyria.[Might that was Assyria, page 5]
The Assyrian land is rich and fertile, with growing fields found in every region. Two large areas comprise the Assyrian breadbasket: the ______ plain and the Nineveh plain. To this day these areas remain critical crop producers. This is from where Assyria derived her strength, as it could feed a large population of professionals and craftsman, which allowed it to expand and advance the art of civilization.
Assyrians have used two languages throughout their history: ancient Assyrian (A______), and Modern Assyrian (____-____). ______ was written with the cuneiform writing system, on clay tablets, and was in use from the beginning to about ______ B.C.. By 750 B.C., a new way of writing, on parchment, leather, or papyrus, was developed, and the people who brought this method of writing with them, the A________, would eventually see their language, Aramaic, supplant Ancient Assyrian because of the technological breakthrough in writing. Aramaic was made the second official language of the Assyrian empire in 752 B.C. Although Assyrians switched to Aramaic, it was not wholesale transplantation. The brand of Aramaic that Assyrians spoke was, and is, heavily infused with _____ words, so much so that scholars refer to it as Assyrian _______Religion
Assyrians have practiced two religions throughout their history: Ashurism and Christianity. Ashurism was, of course, the first religion of the Assyrians. The very word Assyrian, in its Latin form, derives from the name of Ashur, the Assyrian god. Assyrians continued to practice Ashurism until 256 A.D, although by that time, most Assyrians had accepted Christianity. Indeed, Assyrians were the first nation to accept Christianity, and the Assyrian Church was founded in 33 A.D. by Thomas, Bortholemew and Thaddeus.
_____ is convenient to divide Assyrian history into six periods:
1. Emergence: beginnings to 2400 B.C.
2. First Golden Age: 2400 B.C. to 612 B.C.
3. First Dark Age: 612 B.C. to 33 A.D.
4. Second Golden Age: 33 A.D. to 1300 A.D.
5. Second Dark Age: 1300 A.D. to 1918 A.D.
6. Diaspora: 1918 A.D. to the present:
Emergence: beginnings to 2400 B.C.
In 1932, Sir Max ____, the eminent British archaeologist, dug a deep sounding which reached virgin soil ninety feet below the top of the mound of Nineveh; this gave a pottery sequence back to prehistoric times and showed that the site was already inhabited by 5000 B.C.. Very soon after that, the two other great Assyrian cities were settled, _____and ______ although an exact date has yet to be determined. _____ is the oldest extant city, and remains largely unexcavated, its archaeological treasures waiting to be discovered. The same holds for ________. It is clear that by _________ B.C., these three cities were well established and were thriving _______.
This period of history saw the development of the fundamentals of our civilization: animal domestication, agriculture, pottery, controllable fire (kilns), smelting, to name but a few. As regards Assyrians, because of it rich corn fields, ______ was one of the very earliest permanent agricultural settlements.
Between ______ and ____ B.C., complex societies appear in the form of cities, with craft specialization and writing. These features were associated with the Sumerians, but they quickly spread to other parts of Mesopotamia, including Assyria. In Assyria, settlements had become large and guarded by fortifications walls, which implies the risk of attack from outside, and hence the need for defense and warfare.
First Golden Age: _______ B.C. to ______ B.C.
We enter into an extremely fruitful period in Assyrian History. This period would see ______ years of _____ hegemony over Mesopotamia, beginning witIt is convenient to divide Assyrian history into six periods:
1. Emergence: beginnings to 2400 B.C.
2. First Golden Age: 2400 B.C. to 612 B.C.
3. First Dark Age: 612 B.C. to 33 A.D.
4. Second Golden Age: 33 A.D. to 1300 A.D.
5. Second Dark Age: 1300 A.D. to 1918 A.D.
6. Diaspora: 1918 A.D. to the present:
Emergence: beginnings to 2400 B.C.
In _____, Sir Max Mallowan, the eminent British archaeologist, dug a deep sounding which reached virgin soil ninety feet below the top of the mound of Nineveh; this gave a pottery sequence back to prehistoric times and showed that the site was already inhabited by 5000 B.C.. Very soon after that, the two other great Assyrian cities were settled, Ashur and ____, although an exact date has yet to be determined. Arbel is the oldest extant city, and remains largely unexcavated, its archaeological treasures waiting to be discovered. The same holds for ____. It is clear that by ____ B.C., these three cities were well established and were thriving ________-.
This period of history saw the development of the fundamentals of our civilization: animal domestication, agriculture, pottery, controllable fire (kilns), smelting, to name but a few. As regards Assyrians, because of it rich corn fields, _________________________________________________________________________________________
Between _______ and ______ B.C., complex societies appear in the form of cities, with craft specialization and writing. These features were associated with the Sumerians, but they quickly spread to other parts of Mesopotamia, including Assyria. In Assyria, settlements had become large and guarded by fortifications walls, which implies the risk of attack from outside, and hence the need for defense and warfare.
First Golden Age: ___________ B.C. to ___________ B.C.
We enter into an extremely fruitful period in Assyrian History. This period would see 1800 years of Assyrian hegemony over Mesopotamia, beginning with Sargon of ____________ in 2371 B.C. and ending with the tragic fall of Nineveh in 612 B.C.
Sargon of Akkad established his kingdom in 2371 B.C., becoming the first king to assert control outside of his city-state. His model would be followed by all succeeding empires, down to our times. From his base at Akkad, south of Baghdad, Sargon would come to control territories stretching north to Ashur and west to the Mediterranean.
_____ I would establish his kingdom in 1813 B.C. ______________ forever united the three cities of ______ Nineveh and _____________ into one cohesive unit, and brought Arrapkha firmly into the Assyrian sphere, so that henceforth these four cities, and Nimrod, would constitute the very core of Assyria. Under Shamshi-Adad I, the long established Assyrian merchant colonies of Cappadocia saw renewed activity. Shamshi-Adad accomplished this through his administrative efficiency and political skill.
In 1472 B.C. or there about, a Mittanian king annexed Assyria, and this lasted for about 70 years. Mittanian control was decisively thrown off by about 1365 B.C. by Ashuruballit, who laid the foundation of the first Assyrian empire. Invaders from the Taurus mountains, north of Assyria, posed a significant threat to Assyria, and occupied Arik-den-ili for a number of years, but were successfully repelled, paving the way for Adad-narari (1307 B.C.) to establish the first Assyrian empire, which lasted until approximately 1248 B.C.
A new power from south-west Iran, the Elamites, would assert control over Babylon for 30 years. This affected Assyria slightly. The death of Ashurdan in 1135 B.C. brough instability as his two sons vyed for the crown. Their terms only lasted one year, and Ashur-resh-ishi I ascended to the thrown in 1133 B.C.
The Middle Assyrian empire began in 1307 B.C. with Tiglath-Pileser, who greatly expanded Assyrian territory. It is also during his reign that a significant development occurs, that of the Aramean migrations into Assyria. This would have a profound impact on Assyria and Assyrians, as we shall see. Tiglath-Pileser states "I crossed the Euphrates twenty eight pursuit of the Arameans." This would ultimately prove unsuccessful.
Tiglath-Pileser was not only a military man, but also a sportsman. Upon reaching the Mediterranean, he took the time, he tells us, to go dolphin hunting. He also established several zoos in Assyria, as he had a fascination with foreign animals.
The Aramean problem persisted during the reign of Tiglath-Pileser's successor and son, Ashur-bel-kala 1074-1057), who tells us that the Arameans were penetrating deep into Assyrian territory, including Tur Abdin, Harran and Khabur. For the next century Assyria declined, the Aramean disruptions being the principal cause. It was not until 934 B.C., by which time the Arameans had settled into stable kingdoms in Mesopotamia, that Assyria would reemerge.
Ashur-dan II would concentrate on rebuilding Assyria within its natural borders, from Tur Abdin to the foothills beyond Arbel. He built government offices in all provinces, and as an economic boost, provided ploughs throughout the land, which yielded record grain production. He was followed by four able kings, who used the foundation which he had laid to make Assyria the major world power of its time.
The four Kings that followed Ashur-dan II were Adad-nerari II (his son), Tukulti-Ninurta II, Ashur-nasir-pal II, and Shalmaneser III. Adad-nerari would provide the final solution to the Aramean problem. He defeated the paramount Aramean chief at Nisibin and, marching up and down the Khabur, he obtained formal submissions from a series of Aramean controlled cities.
Ashur-nasir-pal II would bring under Assyrian control the area from south Lebanon to the Zagros mountains, with loose control over the Taurus region. Diyarbekr was under direct Assyrian control.
Skipping ahead to Shamsi-Adad V, and I mention him because his wife was none other than Sammurammat, or Shamiram, whom so many Assyrian woman are named after today. There is a stele about her, it says:
Stele of Sammurammat
Queen of Shamshi-Adad
King of all, king of Ashur
mother of Adad-nerari
King of all, king of Ashur
Daughter-in-law [kalta] of Shalmaneser
King of the four regions
We come now to the beginning of greatest expansion of the Assyian empire with Tiglath-Pileser III (745-727); through a series of able kings, Sargon II, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, Ashurbnaipal, Assyria would extend its rule over a vast area, from Egypt up to cyprus to the west, through Anatolia, to the Caspian in the east.
The Assyrian empires, particularly the third one, had a profound and lasting impact on the Near East. Before Assyrian hegemony would come to an end, the Assyrians would bring the highest civilization to the then known world. From the Caspian to Cyprus, from Anatolia to Egypt, Assyrian imperial expansion would bring into the Assyrian sphere nomadic and barbaric communities, and would bestow the gift of civilization upon them.
And though today we are far removed from that time, some of our most basic and fundamental devices of daily survival, to which we have become so accustomed that we cannot conceive of life without them, originated in Assyria. One cannot imagine leaving his home without locking the door; it is in Assyria where locks and keys were first used. One cannot survive in this world without knowing the time; it is in Assyria that the sexagesimal system of keeping time was developed. One cannot imagine driving without paved roads; it is in Assyria where paved roads were first used. And the list goes on, including the first postal system, the first use of iron, the first magnifying glasses, the first libraries, the first plumbing and flush toilets, the first electric batteries, the first guitars, the first aqueducts, the first arch, and on and on.
But it is not only things that originated in Assyria, it is also ideas, ideas that would shape the world to come. It is the idea, for example, of imperial administration, of dividing the land into territories administered by local governors who report to the central authority, the King of Assyria. This fundamental model of administration has survived to this day, as can be seen in America's federal-state system.
It is in Assyria where the mythological foundation of the old and new testament is found. It is here that the story of the flood originates, 2000 years before the old testament is written. It is here that the first epic is written, the Epic of Gilgamesh, with its universal and timeless theme of the struggle and purpose of humanity. It is here that civilization itself is developed and handed down to future generations. It is here where the first steps in the cultural unification of the Middle East are taken by bringing under Assyrian rule the diverse groups in the area, from Iran to Egypt, breaking down ethnic and national barriers and preparing the way for the cultural unification which facilitated the subsequent spread of Hellenism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.First Dark Age: 612 B.C. to 33 A.D.
The Assyrian empire collapsed in 612 B.C. The Assyrian people survived the loss of their state, and they remained mostly inconspicuous for the next 600 years. The Persians mention employing Assyrians as troops, and there is the failed attempt at reestablishing an Assyrian Kingdom in 350 B.C.; the Persians squelched this attempt and castrated 400 Assyrian leaders as punishment.
Second Golden Age: 33 A.D. to 1300 A.D.
Assyrians continued living in their homeland throughout this dark age, until that momentous moment in human history, when the Lord Son of God gave himself for the salvation of mankind. Very soon after the crucifixion, the bulk of the Assyrian population converted to Christianity, although there remained to be Ashurites, until 256 A.D. It was the Apostle Thomas, with Thaddeus and Bartholomew who came to the Assyrian city of Edessa and founded the Assyrian Church of the East, the first and oldest church in the world.
Armed with the word of God, and after 600 years of dormancy, the Assyrians once again set out to build an empire, not a military empire, but a religious empire founded on divine revelation and Christian brotherhood. So successful was the Assyrian missionary enterprise, by the end of the twelfth century the Assyrian Church was larger than the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches combined, and it spanned the Asian continent, from Syria to Mongolia, Korea, China, Japan and the Philippines.
When Marco Polo visited China in the thirteenth century, he was astonished to find Assyrian priests in the Chinese royal court, and tens of thousands of Chinese Christians. The Assyrian missionaries had reached China in the sixth century. With only the bible, a cross, and a loaf of bread in hand, these messengers had walked thousands of miles along the old silk road to deliver the word of God. So successful were the missionaries, when Genghis Khan swept through Asia, he brought with him an army over half of which belonged to the Assyrian Church of the East. So successful were the missionaries, the first Mongolian system of writing used the Assyrian alphabet.
Armed with the word of God, Assyrians once again transformed the face of the Middle East. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries they began a systematic translation of the Greek body of knowledge into Assyrian. At first they concentrated on the religious works but then quickly moved to science, philosophy and medicine. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, and many others were translated into Assyrian, and from Assyrian into Arabic. It is these Arabic translations which the Moors brought with them into Spain, and which the Spaniards translated into Latin and spread throughout Europe, thus igniting the European renaissance.
By the sixth century A.D., Assyrians had begun exporting back to Byzantia their own works on science, philosophy and medicine. In the field of medicine, the Bakhteesho Assyrian family produced nine generations of physicians, and founded the great medical school at Gundeshapur. Also in the area of medicine, Hunayn ibn-Ishaq*s textbook on ophthalmology, written in 950 A.D., remained the authoritative source on the subject until 1800 A.D.
In the area of philosophy, the Assyrian philosopher Job of Edessa developed a physical theory of the universe, in the Assyrian language, that rivaled Aristotle*s theory, and that sought to replace matter with forces.
One of the greatest Assyrian achievements of the fourth century was the founding of the first university in the world. The School of Nisibis had three departments: theology, philosophy and medicine, and became a magnet and center of intellectual development in the Middle East. The statutes of the School of Nisibis, which have been preserved, later became the model upon which the first Italian university was based.
When Arabs and Islam swept through the Middle East in 630 A.D., they encountered 600 years of Assyrian Christian civilization, with a rich heritage, a highly developed culture, and advanced learning institutions. It is this civilization which became the foundation of the Arab civilization.
But this great Assyrian Christian civilization would come to an end in 1300 A.D. The tax which the Arabs levied on Christians, simply for just being Christian, forced many Assyrians to convert to Islam to avoid the tax; this inexorably drained the community, so that by the time Timurlane the Mongol delivered the final blow in 1300 A.D., by violently destroying most cities in the Middle East, the Assyrian Christian community had dwindled to its core in Assyria, and henceforth the Assyrian Church of the East would not regain its former glory, and the Assyrian language, which had been the lingua franca of the Middle East until 900 A.D., was completely supplanted by Arabic (except amongst the Assyrians). This, from 1300 A.D. until World War One, became the second Assyrian dark age.

Second Dark Age: 1300 A.D. to 1918 A.D.
The Assyrian missionary enterprise, which had been so successful throughout the Asian continent, came to an abrupt end with the coming of Timurlane the Mongol. The indiscriminate destruction leveled by Timurlane against the civilizations he encountered put to a permanent end the Assyrian missionary enterprise. A large segment of the Assyrian population escaped the ravages of Timurlane by fleeing into the Hakkary mountains (present day eastern Turkey); the remaining Assyrians continued to live in their homelands (presently North Iraq and Syria), and Urmi. The four Assyrian communities, over time, begin defining themselves in terms of their church affiliation. The western Assyrians, all of whom belonging to the Syrian Orthodox Church, began identifying themselves as "Jacobites". The remaining communities belonged to the Assyrian Church of the East. After the division of the Church of the East in 1550 A.D., the Chaldean Church of Babylon, a Roman Catholic Uniate, was created, and members of this church began to call themselves Chaldean. By the end of the nineteenth century, these three communities no longer saw themselves as one and the same.
In this century, Assyrians have suffered massive genocide, have lost control of their ancestral lands, and are in a struggle for survival. The Assyrian nation today stands at a crossroad. One third of is in a diaspora, while the remaining two-thirds lives perilously in its native lands. These are some of the dangers facing the Assyrians:
• Denominationalism and fragmentation
• Islamic fundamentalism
• Arabization
• Cultural immersion and absorption into Arab societies
• Mass emigration to the West, and absorption into Western societies World Assyrian Population
Iraq 1,500,000 France 20,000
Syria 700,000 Belgium 15,000
USA 400,000 Georgia 15,000
Sweden 120,000 Armenia 15,000
Lebanon 100,000 Switzerland 10,000
Brazil 80,000 Denmark 10,000
Germany 70,000 Greece 8,000
Russia 70,000 England 8,000
Iran 50,000 Austria 7,000
Jordan 44,000 Italy 3,000
Australia 30,000 New Zealand 3,000
Turkey 24,000 Mexico 2,000
Canada 23,000 Other 100,000
Holland 20,000
Total 3,447,000

Nebuchadnezzar II was the eldest son, and successor, of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins. According to Berossus, some years before he became king of Babylon, he married Amytis of Media, the daughter or granddaughter of Cyaxares, king of the Medes, and thus the Median and Babylonian dynasties were united. There are also conflicting account of Nitocris of Babylon either being his wife or daughter.
Nabopolassar was intent on annexing the western provinces of Syria from Necho II (who was still hoping to restore Assyrian power), and to this end dispatched his son westward with a powerful army. In the ensuing Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, the Egyptian army was defeated and driven back, and Syria and Phoenicia were brought under the control of Babylon. Nabopolassar died in August of that year, and Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon to ascend to the throne.
After the defeat of the Cimmerians and Scythians, all of Nebuchadnezzar's expeditions were directed westwards, although the powerful Median empire lay to the north. Nebuchadnezzar's political marriage to Amytis of Media, the daughter of the Median king, had ensured peace between the two empires.Nebuchadnezzar faces off against Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, who holds a plan of Jerusalem, in this Baroque-era depiction in Zwiefalten Abbey in Germany
Nebuchadnezzar engaged in several military campaigns designed to increase Babylonian influence in Syria and Judah. An attempted invasion of Egypt in 601 BC was met with setbacks, however, leading to numerous rebellions among the states of the Levant, including Judah. Nebuchadnezzar soon dealt with these rebellions, capturing Jerusalem in 597 BC and deposing King Jeconiah, then in 587 BC due to rebellion, destroying both the city and the temple, and deporting many of the prominent citizens along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judea to Babylon.[6] These events are described in the Prophets (Nevi'im) and Writings (Ketuvim), sections of the Hebrew Bible (in the books 2 Kings and Jeremiah, and 2 Chronicles, respectively). After the destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar engaged in a thirteen year siege of Tyre (585-572 BC), which ended in a compromise, with the Tyrians accepting Babylonian authority.
Following the pacification of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar turned again to Egypt. A clay tablet,[7] now in the British Museum, states: "In the 37th year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Mitzraim (Egypt) to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread abroad." Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and a campaign against Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon, and constructed canals, aqueducts, temples and reservoirs.
According to Babylonian tradition, Nebuchadnezzar, towards the end of his life, prophesied the impending ruin of the Chaldean Empire (Berossus and Abydenus in Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, 9.41). Nebuchadnezzar died in Babylon between the second and sixth months of the forty-third year of his reign.Building Inscription of King Nebuchadnezar II at the Ishtar Gate. An abridged excerpt says: "I (Nebuchadnezzar) laid the foundation of the gates down to the ground water level and had them built out of pure blue stone. Upon the walls in the inner room of the gate are bulls and dragons and thus I magnificently adorned them with luxurious splendour for all mankind to behold in awe."
During the last century of Nineveh's existence, Babylon had been greatly devastated, not only at the hands of Sennacherib and Assurbanipal, but also as a result of her ever renewed rebellions. Nebuchadnezzar, continuing his father's work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world's wonders. Old temples were restored; new edifices of incredible magnificence were erected to the many gods of the Babylonian pantheon (Diodorus of Sicily, 2.95; Herodotus, 1.183). To complete the royal palace begun by Nabopolassar, nothing was spared, neither "cedar-wood, nor bronze, gold, silver, rare and precious stones";[8] an underground passage and a stone bridge connected the two parts of the city separated by the Euphrates; the city itself was rendered impregnable by the construction of a triple line of walls. The bridge across the Euphrates is of particular interest, in that it was supported on asphalt covered brick piers that were streamlined to reduce the upstream resistance to flow, and the downstream turbulence that would otherwise undermine the foundations. Nebuchadnezzar's construction activity was not confined to the capital; he is credited with the restoration of the Lake of Sippar, the opening of a port on the Persian Gulf, and the building of the Mede wall between the Tigris and the Euphrates to protect the country against incursions from the north. These undertakings required a considerable number of laborers; an inscription at the great temple of Marduk suggests that the labouring force used for his public works was most likely made up of captives brought from various parts of western Asia.
Nebuchadnezzar is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens, for his homesick wife Amyitis (or Amytis) to remind her of her homeland, Medis (Media) in Persia.[9] However, some scholars argue that they may have been constructed by a queen from the Assyrian city, Nineveh.[10]
[edit] Portrayal in the books of Daniel and Jeremiah
Nebuchadnezzar is most widely known through his portrayal in the Bible, especially the Book of Daniel as נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר. This book discusses several events of his reign, in addition to his conquest of Jerusalem.
The second chapter of Daniel relates an account attributed to the second year of his reign, in which Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a huge image made of various materials (gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay). The prophet Daniel tells him God's interpretation, that it stands for the rise and fall of world powers, starting with Nebuchadnezzar's own as the golden head.
In Daniel chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar erects a large idol made of gold for worship during a public ceremony on the plain of Dura. When three Jews, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (respectively renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by their captors, to facilitate their assimilation into Babylonian culture), refuse to take part, he has them cast into a fiery furnace. They are protected by what Nebuchadnezzar describes as "a son of the gods" (Daniel 3:25) and emerge unscathed without even the smell of smoke.[11]
Daniel chapter 4 contains an account of another of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams, this time of an immense tree, which Daniel interprets
Nebuchadnezzar, by William Blake
While boasting over his achievements, Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God. The king loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal for seven years. After this, his sanity and position are restored and he praises and honors God. There has been some speculation on what the organic cause of this insanity, assuming the story is true, might have been. Some consider it to be an attack of clinical lycanthropy or alternately porphyria. Based on descriptions of Nebuchadnezzar's actions and physical traits, psychologist Henry Gleitman claims that Nebuchadnezzar's descent into insanity was a result of syphilis infection. Gleitman believes his odd behavior was actually general paresis or paralytic dementia seen in advanced cases of syphilitic infection.[12]
Some scholars [13] think that Nebuchadnezzar's portrayal by Daniel is a mixture of traditions about Nebuchadnezzar — he was indeed the one who conquered Jerusalem — and about Nabonidus (Nabuna'id). For example, Nabonidus was the natural, or paternal father of Belshazzar, and the seven years of insanity could be related to Nabonidus' sojourn in Tayma in the desert. Fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls, written from 150 BC to 70 AD[14] state that it was Nabonidus (N-b-n-y) who was smitten by God with a fever for seven years of his reign while his son Belshazzar was regent.
The Book of Jeremiah contains a prophecy about the arising of a "destroyer of nations", commonly regarded as a reference to Nebuchadnezzar[citation needed] (Jer. 4:7), as well as an account of Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem and looting and destruction of the temple (Jer. 52).
Roger Williams, a Baptist minister and founder of Rhode Island, interpreted several passages in the Old and New Testament to support limiting government interference in religious matters. Williams published The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution describing his analysis of why a civil government should be separate from religion according to the Bible. Williams believed that Israel was a unique covenant kingdom and not an appropriate model for New Testament Christians who believed that the Old Testament covenant had been fulfilled. Therefore, the more informative Old Testament examples of civil government are kings such as Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan (not one of the covenant kings), who provides an example of a "bad" king that forces his subjects to worship the official state religion or be thrown in the furnace.[15]
Voltaire interprets the legacy of Nebuchadnezzar and his relationship with Amasis in a short story entitled The White Bull.
• The opera Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi;
• The Nabucco pipeline, a planned natural gas pipeline that will transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary;
• Saddam Hussein considered himself to be the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar[16] and had the inscription "To King Nebuchadnezzar in the reign of Saddam Hussein" inscribed on bricks inserted into the walls of the ancient city of Babylon during a reconstruction project he initiated;[17] he named one of his Republican Guards divisions after Nebuchadnezzar.[18]
• A bottle of champagne filled with the volume equivalent of 20 standard bottles (15 litres) is called a Nebuchadnezzar;
• "Nebuchadnezzar's Furnace" is a type of daylily;
• In The Matrix film trilogy, the hovercraft captained by Morpheus is named the Nebuchadnezzar
• The first track from Marcus Roberts' album Deep in the Shed is titled Nebuchadnezzar
• The character "Mr.Nezzar" from VeggieTales.
• An object in Evangelion.

Born in Pella, Philip was the youngest son of the king Amyntas III and Eurydice I. In his youth, (c. 368–365 BC) Philip was held as a hostage in Thebes, which was the leading city of Greece during the Theban hegemony. While a captive there, Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas, became eromenos of Pelopidas,[4][5] and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes. In 364 BC, Philip returned to Macedon. The deaths of Philip's elder brothers, King Alexander II and Perdiccas III, allowed him to take the throne in 359 BC. Originally appointed regent for his infant nephew Amyntas IV, who was the son of Perdiccas III, Philip managed to take the kingdom for himself that same year.
Philip's military skills and expansionist vision of Macedonian greatness brought him early success. He had however first to re-establish a situation which had been greatly worsened by the defeat against the Illyrians in which King Perdiccas himself had died. The Paionians and the Thracians had sacked and invaded the eastern regions of the country, while the Athenians had landed, at Methoni on the coast, a contingent under a Macedonian pretender called Argeus. Using diplomacy, Philip pushed back Paionians and Thracians promising tributes, and crushed the 3,000 Athenian hoplites (359). Momentarily free from his opponents, he concentrated on strengthening his internal position and, above all, his army. His most important innovation was doubtless the introduction of the phalanx infantry corps, armed with the famous sarissa, an exceedingly long spear, at the time the most important army corps in Macedonia.
Philip had married Audata, great-granddaughter of the Illyrian king of Dardania, Bardyllis. However, this did not prevent him from marching against them in 358 and crushing them in a ferocious battle in which some 7,000 Illyrians died (357). By this move, Philip established his authority inland as far as Lake Ohrid and the favour of the Epirotes.[6]
He also used the Social War as an opportunity for expansion. He agreed with the Athenians, who had been so far unable to conquer Amphipolis, which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaion, to lease it to them after its conquest, in exchange for Pydna (lost by Macedon in 363). However, after conquering Amphipolis, he kept both the cities (357). As Athens declared war against him, he allied with the Chalkidian League of Olynthus. He subsequently conquered Potidaea, this time keeping his word and ceding it to the League in 356. One year before Philip had married the Epirote princess Olympias, who was the daughter of the king of the Molossians.
In 356 BC, Philip also conquered the town of Crenides and changed its name to Philippi: he established a powerful garrison there to control its mines, which granted him much of the gold later used for his campaigns. In the meantime, his general Parmenion defeated the Illyrians again. Also in 356 Alexander was born, and Philip's race horse won in the Olympic Games. In 355–354 he besieged Methone, the last city on the Thermaic Gulf controlled by Athens. During the siege, Philip lost an eye. Despite the arrival of two Athenians fleets, the city fell in 354. Philip also attacked Abdera and Maronea, on the Thracian seaboard (354–353).
Map of the territory of Philip II of Macedon
Involved in the Third Sacred War which had broken out in Greece, in the summer of 353 he invaded Thessaly, defeating 7,000 Phocians under the brother of Onomarchus. The latter however defeated Philip in the two succeeding battles. Philip returned to Thessaly the next summer, this time with an army of 20,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry including all Thessalian troops. In the Battle of Crocus Field 6,000 Phocians fell, while 3,000 were taken as prisoners and later drowned. This battle granted Philip an immense prestige, as well as the free acquisition of Pherae. Philip was also tagus of Thessaly, and he claimed as his own Magnesia, with the important harbour of Pagasae. Philip did not attempt to advance into Central Greece because the Athenians, unable to arrive in time to defend Pagasae, had occupied Thermopylae.
Hostilities with Athens did not yet take place, but Athens was threatened by the Macedonian party which Philip's gold created in Euboea. From 352 to 346 BC, Philip did not again come south. He was active in completing the subjugation of the Balkan hill-country to the west and north, and in reducing the Greek cities of the coast as far as the Hebrus. To the chief of these coastal cities, Olynthus, Philip continued to profess friendship until its neighboring cities were in his hands.
Philip II gold stater, with head of Apollo.
In 349 BC, Philip started the siege of Olynthus, which, apart from its strategic position, housed his relatives Arrhidaeus and Menelaus, pretenders to the Macedonian throne. Olynthus had at first allied itself with Philip, but later shifted its allegiance to Athens. The latter, however, did nothing to help the city, its expeditions held back by a revolt in Euboea (probably paid by Philip's gold). The Macedonian king finally took Olynthus in 348 BC and razed the city to the ground. The same fate was inflicted on other cities of the Chalcidian peninsula. Macedon and the regions adjoining it having now been securely consolidated, Philip celebrated his Olympic Games at Dium. In 347 BC, Philip advanced to the conquest of the eastern districts about Hebrus, and compelled the submission of the Thracian prince Cersobleptes. In 346 BC, he intervened effectively in the war between Thebes and the Phocians, but his wars with Athens continued intermittently. However, Athens had made overtures for peace, and when Philip again moved south, peace was sworn in Thessaly. With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip turned to Sparta; he sent them a message, "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." Their laconic reply: "If". Philip and Alexander would both leave them alone. Later, the Macedonian arms were carried across Epirus to the Adriatic Sea.
In 345 B.C., Phillip conducted a hard-fought campaign against the Ardiaioi (Ardiaei), under their king Pluratus, during which he was seriously wounded by an Ardian soldier in the lower right leg.[7]
In 342 BC, Philip led a great military expedition north against the Scythians, conquering the Thracian fortified settlement Eumolpia to give it his name, Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv).
In 340 BC, Philip started the siege of Perinthus. Philip began another siege in 339 of the city of Byzantium. After unsuccessful sieges of both cities, Philip's influence all over Greece was compromised. However, he successfully reasserted his authority in the Aegean by defeating an alliance of Thebans and Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, while in the same year, Philip destroyed Amfissa because the residents had illegally cultivated part of the Crisaian plain which belonged to Delphi. Philip created and led the League of Corinth in 337 BC. Members of the League agreed never to wage war against each other, unless it was to suppress revolution. Philip was elected as leader (hegemon) of the army of invasion against the Persian Empire. In 336 BC, when the invasion of Persia was in its very early stage, Philip was assassinated, and was succeeded on the throne of Macedon by his son Alexander III.
[edit] Assassination
The Golden Larnax, at the Museum of Vergina, which contains the possible remains of King Philip II.
The murder occurred during October of 336 BC, at Aegae, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedon. The court had gathered there for the celebration of the marriage between Alexander I of Epirus and Philip's daughter, by his fourth wife Olympias, Cleopatra. While the king was entering unprotected into the town's theater (highlighting his approachability to the Greek diplomats present), he was killed by Pausanias of Orestis, one of his seven bodyguards. The assassin immediately tried to escape and reach his associates who were waiting for him with horses at the entrance of Aegae. He was pursued by three of Philip's bodyguards and died by their hands.
The reasons for Pausanias' assassination of Phillip are difficult to fully expound, since there was controversy already among ancient historians. The only contemporary account in our possession is that of Aristotle, who states rather tersely that Philip was killed because Pausanias had been offended by the followers of Attalus, the king's father-in-law.
Fifty years later, the historian Cleitarchus expanded and embellished the story. Centuries later, this version was to be narrated by Diodorus Siculus and all the historians who used Cleitarchus. In the sixteenth book of Diodorus' history, Pausanias had been a lover of Philip, but became jealous when Philip turned his attention to a younger man, also called Pausanias. His taunting of the new lover caused the youth to throw away his life, which turned his friend, Attalus, against Pausanias. Attalus took his revenge by inviting Pausanias to dinner, getting him drunk, then subjecting him to sexual assault.
When Pausanias complained to Philip the king felt unable to chastise Attalus, as he was about to send him to Asia with Parmenion, to establish a bridgehead for his planned invasion. He also married Attalus's niece, or daughter, Eurydice. Rather than offend Attalus, Phillip attempted to mollify Pausanius by elevating him within the bodyguard. Pausanias' desire for revenge seems to have turned towards the man who had failed to avenge his damaged honour; so he planned to kill Philip, and some time after the alleged rape, while Attalus was already in Asia fighting the Persians, put his plan in action. Other historians (e.g., Justin 9.7) suggested that Alexander and/or his mother Olympias were at least privy to the intrigue, if not themselves instigators. The latter seems to have been anything but discreet in manifesting her gratitude to Pausanias, if we accept Justin's report: he tells us that the same night of her return from exile she placed a crown on the assassin's corpse and erected a tumulus to his memory, ordering annual sacrifices to the memory of Pausanias.
The entrance to the "Great Tumulus" Museum at Vergina.
Many modern historians have observed that all the accounts are improbable. In the case of Pausanias, the stated motive of the crime hardly seems adequate. On the other hand, the implication of Alexander and Olympias seems specious: to act as they did would have required brazen effrontery in the face of a military machine personally loyal to Philip. What appears to be recorded in this are the natural suspicions that fell on the chief beneficiaries of the murder; their actions after the murder, however sympathetic they might appear (if actual), cannot prove their guilt in the deed itself. Further convoluting the case is the possible role of propaganda in the surviving accounts: Attalus was executed in Alexander's consolidation of power after the murder; one might wonder if his enrollment among the conspirators was not for the effect of introducing political expediency in an otherwise messy purge (Attalus had publicly declared his hope that Alexander would not succeed Philip, but rather that a son of his own niece Eurydice, recently married to Philip and brutally murdered by Olympias after Philip's death, would gain the throne of Macedon).
The dates of Philip's multiple marriages and the names of some of his wives are contested. Below is the order of marriages offered by Athenaeus, 13.557b-e:
• Audata, the daughter of Illyrian King Bardyllis. Mother of Cynane.
• Phila, the sister of Derdas and Machatas of Elimiotis.
• Nicesipolis of Pherae, Thessaly, mother of Thessalonica.
• Olympias of Epirus, mother of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra
• Philinna of Larissa, mother of Arrhidaeus later called Philip III of Macedon.
• Meda of Odessa, daughter of the king Cothelas, of Thrace.
• Cleopatra, daughter of Hippostratus and niece of general Attalus of Macedonia. Philip renamed her Cleopatra Eurydice of Macedon.
Victory medal (niketerion) struck in Tarsus, 2nd c. BC (Cabinet des Médailles, Paris
On November 8, 1977, Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos found, among other royal tombs, an unopened tomb at Vergina in the Greek prefecture of Imathia. The finds from this tomb were later included in the traveling exhibit The Search for Alexander displayed at four cities in the United States from 1980 to 1982. It is generally accepted that the site at Vergina was the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including Philip, but the debate about the unopened tomb is ongoing among archaeologists.
The initial suggestion that the tomb may belong to Philip II was indicated by the greaves, one of which indicated that the owner had a leg injury which distorted the natural alignment of the tibia (Philip II was recorded as having broken his tibia). What is viewed as possible proof that the tomb indeed did belong to Philip II and that the surviving bone fragments are in fact the body of Philip II comes from forensic reconstruction of the skull of Philip II by the wax casting and reconstruction of the skull which shows the damage to the right eye caused by the penetration of an object (historically recorded to be an arrow).[8]
Eugene Borza and others have suggested that the unopened tomb actually belonged to Philip's son, Philip Arrhidaeus, and Philip was probably buried in the simpler adjacent tomb, which had been looted in antiquity. Disputations often relied on contradictions between "the body" or "skeleton" of Philip II and reliable historical accounts of his life (and injuries), as well as analyses of the paintings, pottery, and other artifacts found there.[9]

The heroon at Vergina in Greek Macedonia (the ancient city of Aigai - Αἶγαι) is thought to have been dedicated to the worship of the family of Alexander the Great and may have housed the cult statue of Philip. It is probable that he was regarded as a hero or deified on his death. Though the Macedonians did not consider Philip a god, he did receive other forms of recognition by the Greeks, such as at Eresos (altar to Zeus Philippeios), Ephesos (his statue was placed in the temple of Artemis), and Olympia, where the Philippeion was built.
Isocrates once wrote to Philip that if he defeated Persia, there was nothing left for him to do but to become a god;[10] and Demades proposed that Philip be regarded as the thirteenth god. However, there is no clear evidence that Philip was raised to the divine status accorded his son Alexander.[11]
Alexander the Great
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This article is about the ancient king of Macedon. For other uses, see Alexander the Great (disambiguation).
Alexander fighting the Persian king Darius III. From Alexander Mosaic, from Pompeii, Naples, Naples National Archaeological Museum
Reign 336–323 BC
Full name Alexander III of Macedon
Greek Μέγας Ἀλέξανδροςiv[›] (Mégas Aléxandros, Great Alexander)
Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας (Aléxandros ho Mégas, Alexander the Great)
Titles Hegemon of the Hellenic League, Shahanshah of Persia, Pharaoh of Egypt and Lord of Asia
Born 20 or 21 July 356 BC
Birthplace Pella, Macedon
Died 10 or 11 June 323 BC (aged 32)
Place of death Babylon
Predecessor Philip II of Macedon
Successor Alexander IV of Macedon
Philip III of Macedon
Wives Roxana of Bactria
Stateira of Persia
Offspring Alexander IV of Macedon
Dynasty Argead dynasty
Father Philip II of Macedon
Mother Olympias of Epirus
Alexander III of Macedon (356–323 BC), popularly known as Alexander the Great (Greek: Μέγας Ἀλέξανδρος, Mégas Aléxandros), was a Greeki[›] king (basileus) of Macedon. He is the most celebrated member of the Argead Dynasty and created one of the largest empires in ancient history. Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by the famed philosopher Aristotle, succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne in 336 BC after the King was assassinated and died thirteen years later at the age of 32. Although both Alexander's reign and empire were short-lived, the cultural impact of his conquests lasted for centuries. Alexander was known to be undefeated in battle and is considered one of the most successful commanders of all time.[1] He is one of the most famous figures of antiquity, and is remembered for his tactical ability, his conquests, and for spreading Greek culture into the East, marking the beginning of Hellenistic civilization.
Philip had brought most of the city-states of mainland Greece under Macedonian hegemony, using both military and diplomatic means. Upon Philip's death, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He succeeded in being awarded the generalship of Greece and, with his authority firmly established, launched the military plans for expansion left by his father. He invaded Persian-ruled Asia Minor, and began a series of campaigns lasting ten years. Alexander repeatedly defeated the Persians in battle; marched through Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Bactria; and in the process he overthrew the Persian king Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire.ii[›] Following his desire to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India, but was eventually forced to turn back by the near-mutiny of his troops.
Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, before realizing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following Alexander's death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, which resulted in the formation of a number of states ruled by Macedonian aristocracy (the Diadochi). Remarkable though his conquests were, Alexander's lasting legacy was not his reign, but the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered. Alexander's importation of Greek colonists and culture to the East resulted in a new Hellenistic culture, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire until the mid-15th century. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and features prominently in the history and myth of Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which generals, even to this day, compare themselves, and military academies throughout the world still teach his tactical exploits.iii[›]
"The night before the consummation of their marriage, she dreamed that a thunderbolt fell upon her body, which kindled a great fire, whose divided flames dispersed themselves all about, and then were extinguished. And Philip, some time after he was married, dreamed that he sealed up his wife's body with a seal, whose impression, as he fancied, was the figure of a lion. Some of the diviners interpreted this as a warning to Philip to look narrowly to his wife; but Aristander of Telmessus, considering how unusual it was to seal up anything that was empty, assured him the meaning of his dream was that the queen was with child of a boy, who would one day prove as stout and courageous as a lion."
Plutarch describing Olympias and Philip's dreams.[2]
Alexander was born on 20 (or 21) July 356 BC,[3][4] in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon. He was the son of Philip II, the King of Macedon. His mother was Philip's fourth wife Olympias, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, the king of the northern Greek state of Epirus.[2][5][6][7] Although Philip had either seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for a time.
As a member of the Argead dynasty, Alexander claimed patrilineal descent from Heracles through Caranus of Macedon.v[›] From his mother's side and the Aeacids, he claimed descent from Neoptolemus, son of Achilles;vi[›] Alexander was a second cousin of the celebrated general Pyrrhus of Epirus, who was ranked by Hannibal as, depending on the source, either the best[8] or second-best (after Alexander)[9] commander the world had ever seen.
According to the ancient Greek historian Plutarch, Olympias, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunder bolt, causing a flame that spread "far and wide" before dying away. Some time after the wedding, Philip was said to have seen himself, in a dream, sealing up his wife's womb with a seal upon which was engraved the image of a lion.[2] Plutarch offers a variety of interpretations of these dreams: that Olympia was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb; or that Alexander's father was Zeus. Ancient commentators were divided as to whether the ambitious Olympias promulgated the story of Alexander's divine parentage, some claiming she told Alexander, others that she dismissed the suggestion as impious.[2]
On the day that Alexander was born, Philip was preparing himself for his siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalkidiki. On the same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, and that his horses had won at the Olympic Games. It was also said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus—one of the Seven Wonders of the World—burnt down, leading Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it burnt down because Artemis was attending the birth of Alexander.[3][6][10]
Alexander fighting an Asiatic lion with his friend Craterus (detail). 3rd century BC mosaic, Pella Museum.
In his early years, Alexander was raised by his nurse, Lanike, the sister of Alexander's future friend and general Cleitus the Black. Later on in his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, and by Lysimachus.[11][12]
When Alexander was ten years old, a horse trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents. The horse refused to be mounted by anyone, and Philip ordered it to be taken away. Alexander, however, detected the horse's fear of his own shadow and asked for a turn to tame the horse, which he eventually managed. According to Plutarch, Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed him tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", and bought the horse for him.[13] Alexander would name the horse Bucephalus, meaning 'ox-head'. Bucephalus would be Alexander's companion throughout his journeys as far as India. When Bucephalus died (due to old age, according to Plutarch, for he was already thirty), Alexander named a city after him (Bucephala).[14][15][16]
[edit] Adolescence and education
Aristotle tutoring Alexander.
When Alexander was thirteen years old, Philip decided that Alexander needed a higher education, and he began to search for a tutor. Many people were passed over including Isocrates and Speusippus, Plato's successor at the Academy, who offered to resign to take up the post. In the end, Philip offered the job to Aristotle, who accepted, and Philip gave them the Temple of the Nymphs at Mieza as their classroom. In return for teaching Alexander, Philip agreed to rebuild Aristotle's hometown of Stageira, which Philip had razed, and to repopulate it by buying and freeing the ex-citizens who were slaves, or pardoning those who were in exile.[17][18][19][20]
Mieza was like a boarding school for Alexander and the children of Macedonian nobles, such as Ptolemy, Hephaistion, and Cassander. Many of the pupils who learned by Alexander's side would become his friends and future generals, and are often referred to as the 'Companions'. At Mieza, Aristotle educated Alexander and his companions in medicine, philosophy, morals, religion, logic, and art. From Aristotle's teaching, Alexander developed a passion for the works of Homer, and in particular the Iliad; Aristotle gave him an annotated copy, which Alexander was to take on his campaigns.[21][22][23][24]
[edit] Philip's heir
[edit] Regency and ascent of Macedon
Main articles: Philip II of Macedon and Rise of Macedon
A bust depicting Philip II of Macedon, Alexander's father
When Alexander became sixteen years old, his tutorship under Aristotle came to an end. Philip, the king, departed to wage war against Byzantium, and Alexander was left in charge as regent of the kingdom. During Philip's absence, the Thracian Maedi revolted against Macedonian rule. Alexander responded quickly; he crushed the Maedi insurgence, driving them from their territory, colonised it with Greeks, and founded a city named Alexandropolis.[25][26][27][28]
After Philip's return from Byzantium, he dispatched Alexander with a small force to subdue certain revolts in southern Thrace. During another campaign against the Greek city of Perinthus, Alexander is reported to have saved his father's life. Meanwhile, the city of Amphissa began to work lands that were sacred to Apollo near Delphi, a sacrilege that gave Philip the opportunity to further intervene in the affairs of Greece. Still occupied in Thrace, Philip ordered Alexander to begin mustering an army for a campaign in Greece. Concerned with the possibility of other Greek states intervening, Alexander made it look as if he were preparing to attack Illyria instead. During this turmoil, the Illyrians took the opportunity to invade Macedonia, but Alexander repelled the invaders.[29]
Philip joined Alexander with his army in 338 BC, and they marched south through Thermopylae, which they took after a stubborn resistance from its Theban garrison. They went on to occupy the city of Elatea, a few days march from both Athens and Thebes. Meanwhile, the Athenians, led by Demosthenes, voted to seek an alliance with Thebes in the war against Macedonia. Both Athens and Philip sent embassies to try to win Thebes's favour, with the Athenians eventually succeeding.[30][31][32] Philip marched on Amphissa (theoretically acting on the request of the Amphicytonic League), captured the mercenaries sent there by Demosthenes, and accepted the city's surrender. Philip then returned to Elatea and sent a final offer of peace to Athens and Thebes, which was rejected.[33][34][35]
Statue of Alexander in Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
As Philip marched south, he was blocked near Chaeronea, Boeotia by the forces of Athens and Thebes. During the ensuing Battle of Chaeronea, Philip commanded the right, and Alexander the left wing, accompanied by a group of Philip's trusted generals. According to the ancient sources, the two sides fought bitterly for a long time. Philip deliberately commanded the troops on his right wing to backstep, counting on the untested Athenian hoplites to follow, thus breaking their line. On the left, Alexander was the first to break into the Theban lines, followed by Philip's generals. Having achieved a breach in the enemy's cohesion, Philip ordered his troops to press forward and quickly routed his enemy. With the rout of the Athenians, the Thebans were left to fight alone; surrounded by the victorious enemy, they were crushed.[36]
After the victory at Chaeronea, Philip and Alexander marched unopposed into the Peloponnese welcomed by all cities; however, when they reached Sparta, they were refused, and they simply left.[37] At Corinth, Philip established a "Hellenic Alliance" (modeled on the old anti-Persian alliance of the Greco-Persian Wars), with the exception of Sparta. Philip was then named Hegemon (often translated as 'Supreme Commander') of this league (known by modern historians as the League of Corinth). He then announced his plans for a war of revenge against the Persian Empire, which he would command.[38][39]
[edit] Exile and return
"At the wedding of Cleopatra, whom Philip fell in love with and married, she being much too young for him, her uncle Attalus in his drink desired the Macedonians would implore the gods to give them a lawful successor to the kingdom by his niece. This so irritated Alexander, that throwing one of the cups at his head, "You villain," said he, "what, am I then a bastard?" Then Philip, taking Attalus's part, rose up and would have run his son through; but by good fortune for them both, either his over-hasty rage, or the wine he had drunk, made his foot slip, so that he fell down on the floor. At which Alexander reproachfully insulted over him: "See there," said he, "the man who makes preparations to pass out of Europe into Asia, overturned in passing from one seat to another."
— Plutarch, describing the feud at Philip's wedding.[25]
After returning to Pella, Philip fell in love with and married Cleopatra Eurydice, the niece of one of his generals, Attalus. This marriage made Alexander's position as heir to the throne less secure, since if Cleopatra Eurydice bore Philip a son, there would be a fully Macedonian heir, while Alexander was only half Macedonian.[40] During the wedding banquet, a drunken Attalus made a speech praying to the gods that the union would produce a legitimate heir to the Macedonian throne. Alexander shouted to Attalus, "What am I then, a bastard?" and he threw his goblet at him. Philip, who was also drunk, drew his sword and advanced towards Alexander before collapsing, leading Alexander to say, "See there, the man who makes preparations to pass out of Europe into Asia, overturned in passing from one seat to another."[25]
Alexander fled from Macedon taking his mother with him, whom he dropped off with her brother in Dodona, capital of Epirus. He carried on to Illyria, where he sought refuge with the Illyrian King and was treated as a guest by the Illyrians, despite having defeated them in battle a few years before. Alexander returned to Macedon after six months in exile due to the efforts of a family friend, Demaratus the Corinthian, who mediated between the two parties.[25][41][42]
The following year, the Persian satrap (governor) of Caria, Pixodarus, offered the hand of his eldest daughter to Alexander's half-brother, Philip Arrhidaeus. Olympias and several of Alexander's friends suggested to Alexander that this move showed that Philip intended to make Arrhidaeus his heir. Alexander reacted by sending an actor, Thessalus of Corinth, to tell Pixodarus that he should not offer his daughter's hand to an illegitimate son, but instead to Alexander. When Philip heard of this, he scolded Alexander for wishing to marry the daughter of a Carian. Philip had four of Alexander's friends, Harpalus, Nearchus, Ptolemy and Erigyius exiled, and had the Corinthians bring Thessalus to him in chains.[40][43][44]
[edit] King of Macedon
[edit] Accession
The Kingdom of Macedon in 336 BC
In 336 BC, whilst at Aegae, attending the wedding of his daughter by Olympias, Cleopatra, to Olympias's brother, Alexander I of Epirus, Philip was assassinated by the captain of his bodyguard, Pausanias.vii[›] As Pausanias tried to escape, he tripped over a vine and was killed by his pursuers, including two of Alexander's companions, Perdiccas and Leonnatus. Alexander was proclaimed king by the Macedonian army and by the Macedonian noblemen at the age of 20.[45][46][47]
[edit] Power consolidation
Alexander began his reign by having his potential rivals to the throne murdered. He had his cousin, the former Amyntas IV, executed, as well as having two Macedonian princes from the region of Lyncestis killed, while a third, Alexander Lyncestes, was spared. Olympias had Cleopatra Eurydice and her daughter by Philip, Europa, burned alive. When Alexander found out about this, he was furious with his mother. Alexander also ordered the murder of Attalus, who was in command of the advance guard of the army in Asia Minor. Attalus was at the time in correspondence with Demosthenes, regarding the possibility of defecting to Athens. Regardless of whether Attalus actually intended to defect, he had already severely insulted Alexander, and having just had Attalus's daughter and grandchildren murdered, Alexander probably felt Attalus was too dangerous to leave alive.[48] Alexander spared the life of Arrhidaeus, who was by all accounts mentally disabled, possibly as a result of poisoning by Olympias.[45][49][50][51]
News of Philip's death roused many states into revolt, including Thebes, Athens, Thessaly, and the Thracian tribes to the north of Macedon. When news of the revolts in Greece reached Alexander, he responded quickly. Though his advisors advised him to use diplomacy, Alexander mustered the Macedonian cavalry of 3,000 men and rode south towards Thessaly, Macedon's neighbor to the south. When he found the Thessalian army occupying the pass between Mount Olympus and Mount Ossa, he had the men ride over Mount Ossa. When the Thessalians awoke the next day, they found Alexander in their rear, and promptly surrendered, adding their cavalry to Alexander's force, as he rode down towards the Peloponnesus.[52][53][54][55]
Alexander stopped at Thermopylae, where he was recognized as the leader of the Amphictyonic League before heading south to Corinth. Athens sued for peace and Alexander received the envoy and pardoned anyone involved with the uprising. At Corinth, he was given the title Hegemon, and like Philip, appointed commander of the forthcoming war against Persia. While at Corinth, he heard the news of the Thracian rising to the north.[53][56]
[edit] Balkan campaign
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Alexander's Balkan campaign

Main article: Alexander's Balkan campaign
Before crossing to Asia, Alexander wanted to safeguard his northern borders; and, in the spring of 335 BC, he advanced to suppress several apparent revolts. Starting from Amphipolis, he first went east into the country of the "Independent Thracians"; and at Mount Haemus, the Macedonian army attacked and defeated a Thracian army manning the heights.[57] The Macedonians marched on into the country of the Triballi, and proceeded to defeat the Triballian army near the Lyginus river [58] (a tributary of the Danube). Alexander then advanced for three days on to the Danube, encountering the Getae tribe on the opposite shore. Surprising the Getae by crossing the river at night, he forced the Getae army to retreat after the first cavalry skirmish, leaving their town to the Macedonian army.[59][60] News then reached Alexander that Cleitus, King of Illyria, and King Glaukias of the Taulanti were in open revolt against Macedonian authority. Marching west into Illyria, Alexander defeated each in turn, forcing Cleitus and Glaukias to flee with their armies, leaving Alexander's northern frontier secure.[61][62]
While he was triumphantly campaigning north, the Thebans and Athenians rebelled once more. Alexander reacted immediately, but, while the other cities once again hesitated, Thebes decided to resist with the utmost vigor. However, the resistance was useless, as the city was razed to the ground amid great bloodshed, and its territory was divided between the other Boeotian cities. The end of Thebes cowed Athens into submission, leaving all of Greece at least outwardly at peace with Alexander.[63]
[edit] Conquest of the Persian Empire
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Persian campaigns

Main articles: Wars of Alexander the Great and Chronology of the expedition of Alexander the Great into Asia
[edit] Asia Minor
Main articles: Battle of the Granicus, Siege of Halicarnassus, and Siege of Miletus
Alexander's army crossed the Hellespont in 334 BC with approximately 42,000 soldiers from Macedon and various Greek city-states, mercenaries, and feudally raised soldiers from Thrace, Paionia, and Illyria.[64] After an initial victory against Persian forces at the Battle of the Granicus, Alexander accepted the surrender of the Persian provincial capital and treasury of Sardis and proceeded down the Ionian coast.[65] At Halicarnassus, Alexander successfully waged the first of many sieges, eventually forcing his opponents, the mercenary captain Memnon of Rhodes and the Persian satrap of Caria, Orontobates, to withdraw by sea.[66] Alexander left the government of Caria to Ada, who adopted Alexander as her son.[67]
From Halicarnassus, Alexander proceeded into mountainous Lycia and the Pamphylian plain, asserting control over all coastal cities. He did this to deny the Persians naval bases. Since Alexander had no reliable fleet of his own, defeating the Persian fleet required land control.[68] From Pamphylia onward, the coast held no major ports and so Alexander moved inland. At Termessos, Alexander humbled but did not storm the Pisidian city.[69] At the ancient Phrygian capital of Gordium, Alexander 'undid' the hitherto unsolvable Gordian Knot, a feat said to await the future "king of Asia".[70] According to the most vivid story, Alexander proclaimed that it did not matter how the knot was undone, and he hacked it apart with his sword.[71]
Alexander Mosaic, showing Battle of Issus, from the House of the Faun, Pompeii
After spending the winter campaigning in Asia Minor, Alexander's army crossed the Cilician Gates in 333 BC, and defeated the main Persian army under the command of Darius III at the Battle of Issus in November.[72] Darius fled the battle, causing his army to break, and left behind his wife, his two daughters, his mother Sisygambis, and a fabulous amount of treasure.[73] He afterward offered a peace treaty to Alexander, the concession of the lands he had already conquered, and a ransom of 10,000 talents for his family. Alexander replied that since he was now king of Asia, it was he alone who decided territorial divisions.[74]
Alexander proceeded to take possession of Syria, and most of the coast of the Levant.[75] However, the following year, 332 BC, he was forced to attack Tyre, which he eventually captured after a famous siege.[76][77] After the capture of Tyre, Alexander crucified all the men of military age, and sold the women and children into slavery.[78]
Egyptian alabaster statuette of Alexander the Great in the Brooklyn Museum
When Alexander destroyed Tyre, most of the towns on the route to Egypt quickly capitulated, with the exception of Gaza. The stronghold at Gaza was built on a hill and was heavily fortified.[79] At the beginning of the Siege of Gaza, Alexander utilized the engines he had employed against Tyre. After three unsuccessful assaults, the stronghold was finally taken by force, but not before Alexander received a serious shoulder wound. When Gaza was taken, the male population was put to the sword and the women and children were sold into slavery.[80]
Jerusalem, on the other hand, opened its gates in surrender, and according to Josephus, Alexander was shown the book of Daniel's prophecy, presumably chapter 8, where a mighty Greek king would subdue and conquer the Persian Empire. Thereupon, Alexander spared Jerusalem and pushed south into Egypt.[81][82]
Alexander advanced on Egypt in later 332 BC, where he was regarded as a liberator.[83] He was pronounced the new "master of the Universe" and son of the deity of Amun at the Oracle of Siwa Oasis in the Libyan desert.[84] Henceforth, Alexander often referred to Zeus-Ammon as his true father, and subsequent currency depicted him adorned with ram horns as a symbol of his divinity.[85][86] During his stay in Egypt, he founded Alexandria-by-Egypt, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic kingdom after his death.[87]
[edit] Assyria and Babylonia
Main article: Battle of Gaugamela
Initial dispositions and opening movements in the Battle of Gaugamela, 331 BC.
Leaving Egypt in 331 BC, Alexander marched eastward into Mesopotamia (now northern Iraq) and defeated Darius once more at the Battle of Gaugamela.[88] Once again, Darius was forced to leave the field, and Alexander chased him as far as Arbela. Darius fled over the mountains to Ecbatana (modern Hamedan), but Alexander instead marched to and captured Babylon.[89]
[edit] Persia
Main article: Battle of the Persian Gate
From Babylon, Alexander went to Susa, one of the Achaemenid capitals, and captured its legendary treasury.[89] Sending the bulk of his army to the Persian ceremonial capital of Persepolis via the Royal Road, Alexander himself took selected troops on the direct route to the city. However, the pass of the Persian Gates (in the modern Zagros Mountains) had been blocked by a Persian army under Ariobarzanes, and Alexander had to storm the pass. Alexander then made a dash for Persepolis before its garrison could loot the treasury.[90] At Persepolis, Alexander stared at the crumbled statue of Xerxes and decided to leave it on the ground.[91][92] During their stay at the capital, a fire broke out in the eastern palace of Xerxes and spread to the rest of the city. Theories abound as to whether this was the result of a drunken accident, or a deliberate act of revenge for the burning of the Acropolis of Athens during the Second Persian War.[92]
[edit] Fall of the Empire and the East
Alexander then set off in pursuit of Darius again, first into Media, and then Parthia.[93] The Persian king was no longer in control of his destiny, having been taken prisoner by Bessus, his Bactrian satrap and kinsman.[94] As Alexander approached, Bessus had his men fatally stab the Great King and then declared himself Darius' successor as Artaxerxes V, before retreating into Central Asia to launch a guerrilla campaign against Alexander.[95] Darius' remains were buried by Alexander next to his Achaemenid predecessors in a full regal funeral.[96] Alexander claimed that, while dying, Darius had named him as his successor to the Achaemenid throne.[97] The Achaemenid Empire is normally considered to have fallen with the death of Darius.[98
Alexander, now considering himself the legitimate successor to Darius, viewed Bessus as a usurper to the Achaemenid throne, and set out to defeat him. This campaign, initially against Bessus, turned into a grand tour of central Asia, with Alexander founding a series of new cities, all called Alexandria, including modern Kandahar in Afghanistan, and Alexandria Eschate ("The Furthest") in modern Tajikistan. The campaign took Alexander through Media, Parthia, Aria (West Afghanistan), Drangiana, Arachosia (South and Central Afghanistan), Bactria (North and Central Afghanistan), and Scythia.[99]
Bessus was betrayed in 329 BC by Spitamenes, who held an undefined position in the satrapy of Sogdiana. Spitamenes handed over Bessus to Ptolemy, one of Alexander's trusted companions, and Bessus was executed.[100] However, when, at some point later, Alexander was on the Jaxartes dealing with an incursion by a horse nomad army, Spitamenes raised Sogdiana in revolt. Alexander personally defeated the Scythians at the Battle of Jaxartes and immediately launched a campaign against Spitamenes and defeated him in the Battle of Gabai; after the defeat, Spitamenes was killed by his own men, who then sued for peace.[101]
[edit] Problems and plots
During this time, Alexander took the Persian title "King of Kings" (Shahanshah) and adopted some elements of Persian dress and customs at his court, notably the custom of proskynesis, either a symbolic kissing of the hand, or prostration on the ground, that Persians paid to their social superiors.[102][103] The Greeks regarded the gesture as the province of deities and believed that Alexander meant to deify himself by requiring it. This cost him much in the sympathies of many of his countrymen.[103] A plot against his life was revealed, and one of his officers, Philotas, was executed for failing to bring the plot to his attention. The death of the son necessitated the death of the father, and thus Parmenion, who had been charged with guarding the treasury at Ecbatana, was assassinated by command of Alexander, so he might not make attempts at vengeance. Most infamously, Alexander personally slew the man who had saved his life at Granicus, Cleitus the Black, during a drunken argument at Maracanda.[104] Later, in the Central Asian campaign, a second plot against his life was revealed, this one instigated by his own royal pages. His official historian, Callisthenes of Olynthus (who had fallen out of favor with the king by leading the opposition to his attempt to introduce proskynesis), was implicated in the plot; however, there has never been consensus among historians regarding his involvement in the conspiracy.[105]
[edit] Indian campaign
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Alexander's Indian campaign

Main article: Alexander's Indian campaign
[edit] Invasion of the Indian subcontinent
After the death of Spitamenes and his marriage to Roxana (Roshanak in Bactrian) to cement his relations with his new Central Asian satrapies, Alexander was finally free to turn his attention to the Indian subcontinent. Alexander invited all the chieftains of the former satrapy of Gandhara, in the north of what is now Pakistan, to come to him and submit to his authority. Omphis (whose actual name is Ambhi), ruler of Taxila, whose kingdom extended from the Indus to the Hydaspes, complied, but the chieftains of some hill clans, including the Aspasioi and Assakenoi sections of the Kambojas (known in Indian texts also as Ashvayanas and Ashvakayanas), refused to submit.[106]
A painting by Charles Le Brun depicting Alexander and Porus (Puru) during the Battle of the Hydaspes
In the winter of 327/326 BC, Alexander personally led a campaign against these clans; the Aspasioi of Kunar valleys, the Guraeans of the Guraeus valley, and the Assakenoi of the Swat and Buner valleys.[107] A fierce contest ensued with the Aspasioi in which Alexander himself was wounded in the shoulder by a dart but eventually the Aspasioi lost the fight. Alexander then faced the Assakenoi, who fought bravely and offered stubborn resistance to Alexander in the strongholds of Massaga, Ora and Aornos.[106] The fort of Massaga could only be reduced after several days of bloody fighting in which Alexander himself was wounded seriously in the ankle. According to Curtius, "Not only did Alexander slaughter the entire population of Massaga, but also did he reduce its buildings to rubbles".[108] A similar slaughter then followed at Ora, another stronghold of the Assakenoi. In the aftermath of Massaga and Ora, numerous Assakenians fled to the fortress of Aornos. Alexander followed close behind their heels and captured the strategic hill-fort after the fourth day of a bloody fight.[106]
After Aornos, Alexander crossed the Indus and fought and won an epic battle against a local ruler Porus, who ruled a region in the Punjab, in the Battle of Hydaspes in 326 BC.[109] Alexander was greatly impressed by Porus for his bravery in battle, and therefore made an alliance with him and appointed him as satrap of his own kingdom, even adding land he did not own before. Additional reasons were probably political since, to control lands so distant from Greece required local assistance and co-operation.[110] Alexander named one of the two new cities that he founded on opposite sides of the Hydaspes river, Bucephala, in honor of the horse that had brought him to India, and had died during the battle[111] and the other Nicaea (Victory) at the site of modern day Mong.[112][113
Campaigns and landmarks of Alexander's invasion of the Indian subcontinent.
East of Porus' kingdom, near the Ganges River, was the powerful Nanda Empire of Magadha and Gangaridai Empire of Bengal. Fearing the prospects of facing other powerful Indian armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, his army mutinied at the Hyphasis River, refusing to march further east. This river thus marks the easternmost extent of Alexander's conquests.[114][115]
As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand war elephants.[114]
Alexander spoke to his army and tried to persuade them to march further into India but Coenus pleaded with him to change his opinion and return, the men, he said, "longed to again see their parents, their wives and children, their homeland". Alexander, seeing the unwillingness of his men, eventually agreed and turned south. Along the way his army conquered the Malli clans (in modern day Multan), and other Indian tribes.[116]
[edit] Return
Alexander sent much of his army to Carmania (modern southern Iran) with his general Craterus, and commissioned a fleet to explore the Persian Gulf shore under his admiral Nearchus, while he led the rest of his forces back to Persia through the more difficult southern route along the Gedrosian Desert and Makran (now part of southern Iran and Pakistan).[117]
[edit] Last years in Persia
Discovering that many of his satraps and military governors had misbehaved in his absence, Alexander executed a number of them as examples, on his way to Susa.[118][119] As a gesture of thanks, he paid off the debts of his soldiers, and announced that he would send those over-aged and disabled veterans back to Macedon under Craterus. But, his troops misunderstood his intention and mutinied at the town of Opis, refusing to be sent away and bitterly criticizing his adoption of Persian customs and dress, and the introduction of Persian officers and soldiers into Macedonian units.[120] Alexander executed the ringleaders of the mutiny, but forgave the rank and file.[121] In an attempt to craft a lasting harmony between his Macedonian and Persian subjects, he held a mass marriage of his senior officers to Persian and other noblewomen at Susa, but few of those marriages seem to have lasted much beyond a year.[119] Meanwhile, upon his return, Alexander learned some men had desecrated the tomb of Cyrus the Great, and swiftly executed them, because they were put in charge of guarding the tomb Alexander held in honor.[122]
After Alexander traveled to Ecbatana to retrieve the bulk of the Persian treasure, his closest friend and possibly lover[123] Hephaestion died of an illness, or possibly of poisoning.[124] According to Plutarch, Alexander, distraught over the death of his longtime companion, sacked a nearby town, and put all of its inhabitants to the sword, as a sacrifice to Hephaestion's ghost.[125] Arrian finds great diversity and casts doubts on the accounts of Alexander's displays of grief, although he says that they all agree that Hephaestion's death devastated him, and that he ordered the preparation of an expensive funeral pyre in Babylon, as well as a decree for the observance of a public mourning.[124]
Back in Babylon, Alexander planned a series of new campaigns, beginning with an invasion of Arabia, but he would not have a chance to realize them.[126]
An Astronomical diary (c. 323–322 BC) recording the death of Alexander (British Museum, London)
On either 10 or 11 June 323 BC, Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon at the age of 32.[127] Plutarch gives a lengthy account of the circumstances of his death, echoed (without firm dates) by Arrian. Roughly 14 days before his death, Alexander entertained his admiral Nearchus, and then, instead of going to bed, spent the night and next day drinking with Medius of Larissa.[128] After this, and by 18 Daesius (a Macedonian month) he had developed a fever, which then grew steadily worse.[128][129] By 25 Daesius, he was unable to speak.[129] By 26 Daesius, the common soldiers had become anxious about his health, or thought he was already dead. They demanded to see him, and Alexander's generals acquiesced.[129] The soldiers slowly filed past him, whilst Alexander raised his right hand in greeting, still unable to speak.[130] Two days later, on 28 Daesius (although Aristobolus's account says it was 30 Daesius), Alexander was dead.[128][129] Conversely, Diodorus recounts that Alexander was struck down with pain after downing a large bowl of unmixed wine in honour of Hercules, and (rather mysteriously) died after some agony,[131] which is also mentioned as an alternative by Arrian, but Plutarch specifically denies this claim.[128]
Given the propensity of the Macedonian aristocracy to assassination,[132] it is scarcely surprising that allegations of foul play have been made about the death of Alexander. Diodorus, Plutarch, Arrian and Justin all mention the theory that Alexander was poisoned. Plutarch dismisses it as a fabrication,[49] but both Diodorus and Arrian say that they only mention it for the sake of completeness.[131][133] The accounts are nevertheless fairly consistent in designating Antipater, recently removed from the position of Macedonian viceroy, and at odds with Olympias, as the head of the alleged plot. Perhaps taking his summons to Babylon as a death sentence in waiting,[134] and having seen the fate of Parmenion and Philotas,[135] Antipater arranged for Alexander to be poisoned by his son Iollas, who was Alexander's wine-pourer.[49][133][135] There is even a suggestion that Aristotle may have had a hand in the plot.[49][133] Conversely, the strongest argument against the poison theory is the fact that twelve days had passed between the start of his illness and his death; in the ancient world, such long-acting poisons were probably not available.[136]
[edit] Natural causes
Several natural causes (diseases) have been suggested as the cause of Alexander's death; malaria or typhoid fever are obvious candidates. A 1998 article in the New England Journal of Medicine attributed his death to typhoid fever complicated by bowel perforation and ascending paralysis,[137] whereas another recent analysis has suggested pyrogenic spondylitis or meningitis as the cause.[138] Other illnesses could have also been the culprit, including acute pancreatitis or the West Nile virus.[139][140] Natural-cause theories also tend to emphasise that Alexander's health may have been in general decline after years of heavy drinking and his suffering severe wounds (including one in India that nearly claimed his life). Furthermore, the anguish that Alexander felt after Hephaestion's death may have contributed to his declining health.[137]
An other possible cause of Alexanders death is overdosing on medicine made from Hellebore, deadly in large doses.[141][142]
Detail of Alexander on the Alexander Sarcophagus
Alexander's body was placed in a gold anthropoid sarcophagus, which was in turn placed in a second gold casket.[143] According to Aelian, a seer called Aristander foretold that the land where Alexander was laid to rest "would be happy and unvanquishable forever".[144] Perhaps more likely, the successors may have seen possession of the body as a symbol of legitimacy (it was a royal prerogative to bury the previous king).[145] At any rate, Ptolemy stole the funeral cortege, and took it to Memphis.[143][144] His successor, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, transferred the sarcophagus to Alexandria, where it remained until at least Late Antiquity. Ptolemy IX Lathyros, one of the last successors of Ptolemy I, replaced Alexander's sarcophagus with a glass one so he could melt the original down for issues of his coinage.[146] Pompey, Julius Caesar and Augustus all visited the tomb in Alexandria, the latter allegedly accidentally knocking the nose off the body. Caligula was said to have taken Alexander's breastplate from the tomb for his own use. In c. AD 200, Emperor Septimius Severus closed Alexander's tomb to the public. His son and successor, Caracalla, was a great admirer of Alexander, and visited the tomb in his own reign. After this, details on the fate of the tomb are sketchy.[146]
The so-called "Alexander Sarcophagus", discovered near Sidon and now in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, is so named not because it was thought to have contained Alexander's remains, but because its bas-reliefs depict Alexander and his companions hunting and in battle with the Persians. It was originally thought to have been the sarcophagus of Abdalonymus (died 311 BC), the king of Sidon appointed by Alexander immediately following the battle of Issus in 331.[147][148][149] However, more recently, it has been suggested that it may date from earlier than Abdalonymus' death.[150]
Alexander had no obvious or legitimate heir, his son Alexander IV by Roxane being born after Alexander's death. This left the huge question as to who would rule the newly conquered, and barely pacified Empire.[151] According to Diodorus, Alexander's companions asked him when he was on his deathbed to whom he bequeathed his kingdom; his laconic reply was "tôi kratistôi"—"to the strongest".[131] Given that Arrian and Plutarch have Alexander speechless by this point, it is possible that this is an apocryphal story.[152] Diodorus, Curtius and Justin also have the more plausible story of Alexander passing his signet ring to Perdiccas, one of his bodyguard and leader of the companion cavalry, in front of witnesses, thereby possibly nominating Perdiccas as his successor.[131][151]
In any event, Perdiccas initially avoided explicitly claiming power, instead suggesting that Roxane's baby would be king, if male; with himself, Craterus, Leonnatus and Antipater as guardians. However, the infantry, under the command of Meleager, rejected this arrangement since they had been excluded from the discussion. Instead, they supported Alexander's half-brother Philip Arrhidaeus. Eventually, the two sides reconciled, and after the birth of Alexander IV, he and Philip III were appointed joint kings of the Empire—albeit in name only.[153]
It was not long, however, before dissension and rivalry began to afflict the Macedonians. The satrapies handed out by Perdiccas at the Partition of Babylon became power bases each general could use to launch his own bid for power. After the assassination of Perdiccas in 321 BC, all semblance of Macedonian unity collapsed, and 40 years of war between "The Successors" (Diadochi) ensued before the Hellenistic world settled into four stable power blocks: the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt, the Seleucid Empire in the east, the Kingdom of Pergamon in Asia Minor, and Macedon. In the process, both Alexander IV and Philip III were murdered.[154]
[edit] Testament
Diodorus relates that Alexander had given detailed written instructions to Craterus some time before his death.[155] Although Craterus had already started to carry out some of Alexander's commands, the successors chose not to further implement them, on the grounds they were impractical and extravagant.[155] The testament called for military expansion into the southern and western Mediterranean, monumental constructions, and the intermixing of Eastern and Western populations. Its most remarkable items were:
• Construction of a monumental pyre to Hephaestion, costing 10,000 talents
• Construction of a monumental tomb for his father Philip, "to match the greatest of the pyramids of Egypt"
• Erection of great temples in Delos, Delphi, Dodona, Dium, Amphipolis, Cyrnus, and Ilium
• Building of "a thousand warships, larger than triremes, in Phoenicia, Syria, Cilicia, and Cyprus for the campaign against the Carthaginians and the others who live along the coast of Libya and Iberia and the adjoining coastal regions as far as Sicily"
• Building of a road in northern Africa as far as the Pillars of Heracles, with ports and shipyards along it
• Establishment of cities and the "transplant of populations from Asia to Europe and in the opposite direction from Europe to Asia, in order to bring the largest continent to common unity and to friendship by means of intermarriage and family ties."[134][155]
Roman copy of a statue by Lysippus, Louvre Museum. According to Plutarch, sculptures by Lysippus were the most faithful.
Green provides a description of Alexander's appearance, based on ancient sources:
Physically, Alexander was not prepossessing. Even by Macedonian standards he was very short, though stocky and tough. His beard was scanty, and he stood out against his hirsute Macedonian barons by going clean-shaven. His neck was in some way twisted, so that he appeared to be gazing upward at an angle. His eyes (one blue, one brown) revealed a dewy, feminine quality. He had a high complexion and a harsh voice.[156]
Many descriptions and statues portray Alexander with the aforementioned gaze looking upward and outward. Both his father Philip II and his brother Philip Arrhidaeus also suffered from physical deformities, which had led to the suggestion that Alexander suffered from a congenital scoliotic disorder (familial neck and spinal deformity). Furthermore, it has been suggested that this may have contributed to his death.[138]
During his last years, sculptor Lysippus sculpted an image of Alexander. Lysippus had captured in the stone Alexander's appearance characteristics; slightly left-turned neck and peculiar gaze. Lysippus' sculpture, which is opposite to his often vigorous portrayal, especially in coinage of the time, is thought to be the most faithful depiction of Alexander.[157]
Alexander's personality is well described by the ancient sources. Some of his strongest personality traits formed in response to his parents.[156] His mother had huge ambitions for Alexander, and encouraged him to believe it was his destiny to conquer the Persian Empire.[156] Indeed, Olympias may have gone to the extent of poisoning Philip Arrhidaeus so as to disable him, and prevent him being a rival for Alexander.[49] Olympias's influence instilled huge ambition and a sense of destiny in Alexander,[158] and Plutarch tells us that his ambition "kept his spirit serious and lofty in advance of his years".[159] Alexander's relationship with his father generated the competitive side of his personality; he had a need to out-do his father, as his reckless nature in battle suggests.[156] While Alexander worried that his father would leave him "no great or brilliant achievement to be displayed to the world",[12] he still attempted to downplay his father's achievements to his companions.[156]
Alexander's most evident personality traits were his violent temper and rash, impulsive nature,[159][160] which undoubtedly contributed to some of his decisions during his life.[156] Plutarch thought that this part of his personality was the cause of his weakness for alcohol.[159] Although Alexander was stubborn and did not respond well to orders from his father, he was easier to persuade by reasoned debate.[17] Indeed, set beside his fiery temperament, there was a calmer side to Alexander; perceptive, logical, and calculating. He had a great desire for knowledge, a love for philosophy, and was an avid reader.[22] This was no doubt in part due to his tutelage by Aristotle; Alexander was intelligent and quick to learn.[17][156] The tale of his "solving" the Gordian knot neatly demonstrates this. He had great self-restraint in "pleasures of the body", contrasting with his lack of self control with alcohol.[159][161] The intelligent and rational side to Alexander is also amply demonstrated by his ability and success as a general.[160]
Alexander was undoubtedly erudite, and was a patron to both the arts and sciences.[22][159] However, he had little interest in sports, or the Olympic games (unlike his father), seeking only the Homeric ideals of glory and fame.[158][159] He had great charisma and force of personality, characteristics, which made him a great leader.[151][160] This is further emphasised by the inability of any of his generals to unite the Macedonians and retain the Empire after his death – only Alexander had the personality to do so.[151]
[edit] Megalomania
During his final years, and especially after the death of Hephaestion, Alexander began to exhibit signs of megalomania and paranoia.[134] His extraordinary achievements, coupled with his own ineffable sense of destiny and the flattery of his companions, may have combined to produce this effect.[162] His delusions of grandeur are readily visible in the testament that he ordered Craterus to fulfil, and in his desire to conquer all non-Greek peoples.[134]
He seems to have come to believe himself a deity, or at least sought to deify himself.[134] Olympias always insisted to him that he was the son of Zeus,[3] a theory apparently confirmed to him by the oracle of Amun at Siwa.[85] He began to identify himself as the son of Zeus-Ammon.[85] Alexander adopted some elements of Persian dress and customs at his court, notably the custom of proskynesis, a practice of which the Macedonians disapproved, and were loath to perform.[102][103] Such behaviour cost him much in the sympathies of many of his countrymen.[103]
A mural in Pompeii, depicting the marriage of Alexander to Barsine (Stateira) in 324 BC. The couple are apparently dressed as Ares and Aphrodite.
The greatest emotional relationship of Alexander's life was with his friend, general, and bodyguard Hephaestion, the son of a Macedonian noble.[124][156][163] Hephaestion's death devastated Alexander, sending him into a period of grieving.[124][125] This event may have contributed to Alexander's failing health, and detached mental state during his final months.[134][137] Alexander married twice: Roxana, daughter of a Bactrian nobleman, Oxyartes, out of love;[164] and Stateira, a Persian princess and daughter of Darius III of Persia out of political interest.[165] He apparently had two sons, Alexander IV of Macedon of Roxana and, possibly, Heracles of Macedon from his mistress Barsine; and lost another child when Roxana miscarried at Babylon.[166][167]
Alexander's sexuality has been the subject of speculation and controversy.[168] Nowhere in the ancient sources is it stated that Alexander had homosexual relationships, or that Alexander's relationship with Hephaestion was sexual. Aelian, however, writes of Alexander's visit to Troy where "Alexander garlanded the tomb of Achilles and Hephaestion that of Patroclus, the latter riddling that he was a beloved of Alexander, in just the same way as Patroclus was of Achilles".[123] Noting that the word eromenos (ancient Greek for beloved) does not necessarily bear sexual meaning, Alexander may indeed have been bisexual, which in his time was not controversial.[169][170]
Green argues that there is little evidence in the ancient sources Alexander had much interest in women, particularly since he did not produce an heir until the very end of his life.[156] However, he was relatively young when he died, and Ogden suggests that Alexander's matrimonial record is more impressive than his father's at the same age.[171] Apart from wives, Alexander had many more female companions. Alexander had accumulated a harem in the style of Persian kings but he used it rather sparingly;[172] showing great self-control in "pleasures of the body".[161] It is possible that Alexander was simply not a highly sexed person. Nevertheless, Plutarch describes how Alexander was infatuated by Roxanne while complimenting him on not forcing himself on her.[173] Green suggests that, in the context of the period, Alexander formed quite strong friendships with women, including Ada of Caria, who adopted Alexander, and even Darius's mother Sisygambis, who supposedly died from grief when Alexander died.[156
The Hellenistic world view after Alexander: ancient world map of Eratosthenes (276–194 BC), incorporating information from the campaigns of Alexander and his successors.[174]
Alexander's most obvious legacy was the introduction of Macedonian rule to huge new swathes of Asia. Many of these areas would remain in Macedonian hands, or under Greek influence for the next 200–300 years. The successor states that emerged were, at least initially, dominant forces during this epoch, and these 300 years are often referred to as the Hellenistic Period.[175]
The eastern borders of Alexander's empire began to collapse even during his lifetime.[151] However, the power vacuum he left in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent directly gave rise to one of the most powerful Indian dynasties in history. Taking advantage of the neglect shown to this region by the successors, Chandragupta Maurya (referred to in European sources as Sandrokotto), of relatively humble origin, took control of the Punjab, and then with that power base proceeded to conquer the Nanda Empire of northern India.[176] In 305 BC, Seleucus, one of the successors, marched to India to reclaim the territory; instead, he ceded the area to Chandragupta in return for 500 war elephants. These in turn played a pivotal role in the Battle of Ipsus, the result of which did much to settle the division of the Empire.[176]
[edit] Hellenization
Main article: Hellenistic civilization
Hellenization is a term coined by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen to denote the spread of Greek language, culture, and population into the former Persian empire after Alexander's conquest.[175] That this export took place is undoubted, and can be seen in the great Hellenistic cities of, for instance, Alexandria (one of around twenty towns founded by Alexander[177]), Antioch[178] and Seleucia (south of modern Baghdad).[179] However, exactly how widespread and deeply permeating this was, and to what extent it was a deliberate policy, is debatable. Alexander certainly made deliberate efforts to insert Greek elements into Persian culture and in some instances he attempted to hybridize Greek and Persian culture, culminating in his aspiration to homogenise the populations of Asia and Europe. However, the successors explicitly rejected such policies after his death. Nevertheless, Hellenization occurred throughout the region, and moreover, was accompanied by a distinct and opposite 'Orientalization' of the Successor states.[178][180]
The core of Hellenistic culture was essentially Athenian by origin.[178][181] The Athenian koine dialect had been adopted long before Philip II for official use and was thus spread throughout the Hellenistic world, becoming the lingua franca through Alexander's conquests. Furthermore, town planning, education, local government, and art current in the Hellenistic period were all based on Classical Greek ideals, evolving though into distinct new forms commonly grouped as Hellenistic.[178] Aspects of the Hellenistic culture were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire up until the mid-15th century.[182][183]
fake roman gods
At the founding of Rome, the gods were 'numina', divine manifestations, faceless, formless, but no less powerful. The idea of gods as anthropomorphized beings came later, with the influence from Etruscans and Greeks, which had human form. Some of the Roman Gods are at least as old as the founding of Rome.
The concept of numen continued to exist and it was related to any manifestation of the divine. For the Romans, everything in Nature is thought to be inhabited by numina, which explains the big number of deities in the Roman pantheon, as will be shown. Numina manifest the divine will by means of natural phenomena, which the pious Roman constantly seeks to interpret. That's why great attention is paid to omens and portents in every aspect of Roman daily life.
A groups of twelve Gods called Dii Consentes is especially honored by the Romans: Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Vesta, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, Mercurius, Neptunus, Volcanus, and Apollo. These are the ones listed by the Poet Ennius about the 3rd Century, B.C.E.. Their gilt statues stood in the Forum, later apparently in the Porticus Deorum Consentium. As there were six male and six female, they may well have been the twelve worshipped at the lectisternium of 217 BC.
A lectisternium is a banquet of the gods, where the statues of the gods were put upon cushions, and where these statues were offered meals. The number 12 was taken from the Etruscans, which also worshipped a main pantheon of 12 Gods. Nevertheless, the Dii Consentes were not identified with Etruscan deities but rather with the Greek Olympian Gods (though the original character of the Roman Gods was different from the Greek, having no myths traditionally associated). The twelve Dii Consentes are lead by the first three, which form the Capitoline Triad. These are the three cornerstones of Roman religion, whose rites were conducted in the Capitoleum Vetus on the Capitoline Hill.

Roman and Greek God Comparisons
Roman Greek
Apollo Apollo
Bacchus Dionysus
Ceres Demeter
Cupid Eros
Diana Artemis
Juno Hera
Jupiter Zeus
Mars Ares
Mercury Hermes
Minerva Athena
Neptune Poseidon
Pluto Hades
Proserpina Persephone
Saturn Cronus
Uranus Ouranos
Venus Aphrodite
Vesta Hestia
Vulcan Hephaestus

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