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As a Greek-American, I value both cultures and the ways we got to where we are today. One of the main influencers of the world was Hellene, Alexander the Great. Alexander was born in 356 B.C. to Philip II and his fourth wife, Olympias. Many of his accomplishments throughout his life were said to be superhuman, and as legend has it, his mother was struck by the almighty Zeus while he was in her womb.

Alexander the Great gained his education from the infamous philosopher Aristotle. He studied at the Temple of the Nymphs at Mieza with other Macedonian noble children. These classmates would one day become his “companions” and future generals. Alexander’s education only lasted a few years. When he was 16, his father, Philip II, left Macedonia to fight a war against Byzantium, leaving Alexander in charge of the regent. During this time, Alexander proved his worth and beat the “unbeatable” Sacred Band of Thebes.

At 20 years of age, his father was assassinated which left Alexander to succeed to the throne. In this, he gained the strong army built by his father and was able to expand the Greek empire even further. By the age of 30, Alexander the Great was successful in conquering almost all of what Ancient Greeks believed to be the world. These territories included Syria, Judea, Mesopotamia, and many, many others. He spread the Greek culture as far as India as well.

Although it’s unclear exactly how Alexander died, we do know he was never defeated in battle, even though he was greatly outnumbered in many of the battles, which led to his title of “the Great.” His death was sudden, and many did not believe in his passing.

Alexander the Great owes many of his accomplishments to his upbringing. His parents were remarkably ambitious and encouraging and equipped their child with the best possible education of their time. This is the way many Hellenic families raise their children today. Family is vastly important to the Greek culture.