Alexander Foot Steps
ISLAMABAD – PESHAWAR – CHITRAL – SWAT – BESHAM – KALARKAHAR - LAHORE
Alexander the great foot steps (356-323 BC). More than any other world conqueror, Alexander III of Macedon, or ancient Macedonia, deserves to be called THE GREAT. Although he died before the age of 33, he conquered almost all the then known world and gave a new direction to history. Alexander was born in 356 BC at Pella, the capital of Macedon, a kingdom north of Hellas (Greece). Under his father, Philip II, Macedon had become strong and united, the first real nation in European history. Greece was reaching the end of its Golden Age. Art, literature, and philosophy were flourishing.. Alexander was handsome and had the physique of an athlete. He excelled in hunting and loved riding his horse Bucephalus. When Alexander was 13 years old, the Greek philosopher Aristotle came to Macedon to tutor him. Alexander learned to love Homer’s ‘Iliad’. He also learned something of ethics and politics and the new sciences of botany, zoology, geography, and medicine. His chief interest was military strategy. He learned this from his father, who had reformed the Greek phalanx into a powerful fighting machine. Philip was bent on the conquest of Persia and Alexander prepared to carry out his father’s bold plan and invaded Persia. Two centuries earlier the mighty Persian Empire had pushed westward to include the Greek cities of Asia Minor–one third of the entire Greek world. In the spring of 334 BC, Alexander crossed the Hellespont (now Dardanelles), He had with him a Greek and Macedonian force of about 30,000 foot soldiers and 5,000 cavalry. The infantry wore armor like the Greek hoplites but carried a Macedonian weapon, the long pike and Alexander himself led the campaign, the elite of the cavalry. With the army of geographers, botanists, and other men of science who collected information and specimens for Aristotle. A historian kept records of the march, and surveyors made maps that served as the basis for the geography of Asia for centuries. . At the Granicus River he defeated a large body of Persian cavalry, four times the size of his own. Then he marched southward along the coast, freeing the Greek cities from Persian rule and making them his allies. Alexander charged with his cavalry against Darius, who fled. Alexander then marched southward along the coast of Phoenicia to cut off the large Persian navy from all its harbors. Tyre, on an island, held out for seven months until Alexander built a causeway to it and battered down its stone walls. Late in 332 BC the conqueror reached Egypt. The Egyptians welcomed him as a deliverer from Persian misrule and accepted him as their pharaoh, or king. Near the delta of the Nile River he founded a new city, to be named Alexandria after him. In March (330 BC) he set out to pursue Darius and found him dying, murdered by one of his attendants. His men now wanted to return home. Alexander, however, was determined to press on to the eastern limit of the world, which he believed was not far beyond the Indus River. He spent the next three years campaigning in the wild country to the east. There he married a chieftain’s daughter, Roxane. In the early summer of 327 BC Alexander reached Pakistan. At the Hydaspes River (now Jhelum) he defeated the army of King Porus whose soldiers were mounted on elephants. Then he pushed farther east. Alexander’s men have now marched 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers). Soon they refused to go farther, and Alexander reluctantly turned back. He had already ordered a fleet built on the Hydaspes, and he sailed down the Indus to its mouth. Then he led his army overland, across the desert. Many died of hunger and thirst. Alexander reached Susa in the spring of 324 BC. There he rested with his army. The next spring he went to Babylon. Long marches and many wounds had so lowered his vitality that he was unable to recover from a fever. He died at Babylon on June 13, 323 BC. His body, encased in gold leaf, was later placed in a magnificent tomb at Alexandria, Egypt. The three centuries after the death of Alexander are called the Hellenistic Age, from the Greek word Hellenizein, meaning “to act like a Greek.” During this period, Greek language and culture spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean world.