Alexander the Great created the largest political empire in the ancient world. He is considered a great military leader and was an inspiration to future leaders such as Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Alexander III of Macedonia was born in 356 BCE to King Phillip II of Macedonia and his wife, Olympias, princess of Epirus. As part of his royal upbringing, he was tutored by the philosopher Aristotle. Many of Aristotle's teachings stayed with Alexander and guided him throughout his life.
Alexander showed early leadership qualities. When King Phillip invaded Thrace, he left Alexander in charge of Macedonia at the age of 16. During his father's absence, one of the Thracian tribes, the Maedi, rebelled. Alexander was able to mobilize an army and put down the rebellion.
In 336 BCE, Alexander's father was assassinated, putting Alexander on the throne at the age of 20. Shortly after this, Alexander left Macedonia with his armies to put down rebellions in the countries of Illyria, Thrace and Greece, all of which had previously been conquered by King Phillip.
Alexander then moved his armies into Asia Minor and began to conquer the peoples there. Among the countries conquered by Alexander were Syria, Phoenicia and Egypt. Persia, under the rule of Darius III, fought Alexander's armies repeatedly, only yielding after the death of Darius.
Alexander the Great never returned to Macedonia. He died of a fever in Babylon in 323 BCE. At the time of his death, Alexander was planning to invade Arabia. He left no heir, and soon after his death, Alexander's vast empire crumbled.