Alexander III of Macedon
"There is nothing impossible to him who will try."
Alexander III of Macedonia was a hardcore bastard who accomplished more towering deeds of heroic awesomeness in thirty-three years than most people could ever hope to dream of in their entire lifetimes. He was undefeated in battle, conquered most of the known world, and is remembered to this day as one of the greatest and most successful generals in the history of warfare, thanks mostly to his impeccable ability to make other great military leaders of his era look like dumbfucks out of a Marx Brothers movie.
Alexander was the son of King Phillip II of Macedon, though most of his followers believed that his mother was actually sneaking around to cheap motel rooms with Zeus Himself, and that Alexander was descended from awesome badasses like Hercules and Perseus. I guess if your mom is going to screw around and have an affair, you could do a lot worse than the motherfucking God of Thunder, that’s for sure. As a young man, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle, which is kind of like having Stephen Motherfucking Hawking as your Algebra T.A. or getting batting tips from the Ghost of Ted Williams. Aristotle taught him all kinds of insane philosophy shit that would make most peoples’ heads explode into a giant cloud of stupid (Alexander didn’t even give a fuck and was later renowned amongst Indian Brahmins and being an incredibly wise philosopher), and also gave him a copy of the Iliad so that he could learn the fine art of ultimate badassitude from such shining examples as Hector and Odysseus. When the time came to put that knowledge into practical application at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE, Alexander led King Phillip’s cavalry against the legendary Sacred Band of Thebes and made them look like the Sacred Band of Pussies, kicking their asses across Greece and wiping the fabled cavalry unit out of historical records forever.
Two years later, King Philip was assassinated by jackasses, leaving Alexander to take over as the sole ruler of Macedonia. Now as you can probably imagine, most of Macedonia’s neighbors thought they could fuck with the new twenty year-old King, so shit hit the HVAC pretty goddamned quickly after Phillip bit the dust. Barbarians from the North threatened Macedonia’s borders with Revenge of the Nerds-style panty raids, while the city-states of Athens and Thebes took up arms to the south and sent Alexander engraved invitations to “bite their collective asses”. At a time when most twenty year old kids would have crapped their pants and run off to get wasted or download internet porn, Alexander raised his army and set about restoring order Judge Dredd-style by killing any motherfucker stupid enough to cross him. First he moved north and beat the holy living shit out of the Thracians and Illyrians, putting an end to their bullshit permanently, before turning south and sticking it to the Thebians. His movements and ass-kickings were so balls-out rapid that he had already quelled the barbarians and surrounded the entire city of Thebes before the bullshit bureaucracy there had even decided upon a fucking plan of action. Alexander gave Thebes the option to surrender and submit to his will. The Thebians responded by sending their armies out to meet the Macedonians, so Alexander beat the shit out of the Thebian army, executed everyone in the government, burned the city to the ground, and sold the surviving citizenry into slavery. The next day, he received word that Athens had surrendered peacefully and was willing to bend to Alexander’s iron will. They saw what happens to jerks who cross Alexander, and they didn't want anything to do with that party.
Simply unifying the Greek city-states wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy Alexander’s Ramesses-sized ego, however, as he had his sights set on something much more ginormous – the goddamned Persian Empire. See, the Persians had been fucking with the Greeks for a while now, and Alexander decided it was time to stick it to the folks who had spent the better part of two centuries using his countrymen as target practice for their badass archers. As any good ruler did in those days, he consulted the Oracle at Delphi before marching his army of 42,000 men across the Hellespont into Persia. Her response: “My son, you are invincible!”
You can’t get a much more emphatic reply than that.
Of course, the greatest empire in the known world wasn’t just going to roll over like a trained dachshund just because the Macedonian phalanxes stuck a few thousand twenty-foot-long spears in its face, and Alexander really had his work cut out for him when he sent his troops marching into Asia Minor. His first encounter with the forces of the Persian King Darius III came at the Battle of the Granicus, where Alexander’s elite Companion Cavalry charged uphill through a river to kick Persian asses when they were least expecting it, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy while sustaining very few casualties on his own side. While the Persian Army withdrew to regroup, Alexander captured Halicarnassus and went to work “liberating” cities along the Ionian Coast of present-day Turkey, which was home to many ethnically-Greek villages and townships. Once the coastal cities had fallen and Alexander had unmitigated access to the Mediterranean, he began to work his way inwards, driving towards the heart of the mighty Persian Empire.
His next stop was a place called Gordium, where they had the fabled “Gordian Knot” – a tangle of old-school NES controller cables so convoluted and fucked up that no human being could ever possibly hope to untangle the thing, even if they had the manual dexterity of a 19th century seamstress. There was a legend in the city that the man who unraveled the knot would be destined to be the greatest king to ever live, so Alexander decided to take a look at the accursed thing and prove his worthiness to the rest of Asia. He glanced at the unholy tangle of cordage, drew his sword, hacked the knot in half with one swing, and replaced the entire thing with an Xbox 360 and some wireless controllers. And that’s how a badass handles shit like that.
Having essentially solved the Asian version of the Sword in the Stone, Alexander marched his army through the Cilician Gates, and once again came face-to-face with the armies of King Darius at the Battle of Issus in 333. Despite being outnumbered by more than a two-to-one ratio, Alexander’s Companion Cavalry once again delivered a powerful surgical strike at the perfect time, crashing his troops through the Persian flank and personally chasing Darius himself from the field. With the Persian flank broken and their leader fleeing like a goddamned pansy, the Greeks swept behind the Persian lines and crushed the demoralized enemy troops. Alexander the Destroyer (as he was known to the Persians) then captured Darius’ family and a shitload of his treasure before marching south and capturing the cities of Tyre and Gaza. Then he liberated Egypt from the Persians, and the Egyptian people welcomed him with open arms, pronouncing him Pharoah of their peoples and building the city of Alexandria in his honor. Alexandria would be a testament to his badassitude, and would grow to be one of the most prosperous and prestigious cities in all of Egypt.
After chilling out in Egypt for a while, basking in his own awesomeness, Alexander continued to push into Persia and seek out back-alley fistfights the armies of King Darius III. It wouldn’t take long before the two rulers would once again find themselves pitted against one another, this time at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BCE. Once again Alexander’s Macedonians were outnumbered two-to-one and facing all ten thousand Persian Immortals, an assload of cavalry, and over two hundred badass fucking scythed war chariots of death. This time Alexander used a brilliant tactic to defeat his hated enemies. He drew out the chariots and forced Darius to over-extend the cavalry on his left flank, creating a gap in the Persian lines through which Alexander and his Companion Cavalry charged. The Macedonian cavalry drove a wedge through the Persian formation, slaughtered the Immortals and the Royal Guard and drove Darius from the field, before circling around and falling upon the rear of the Persian forces. The sweeping victory at Gaugamela broke the back of the Persian war machine. From there, Alexander captured Babylon and Susa before marching through the Persian Gates and capturing the capital city, Persepolis. The treasury was looted, the royal palace was torched, and Alexander declared himself to be “The Great King”, ruler of Greece, Egypt, and Persia.
At this time, Alexander started hearing stories of mad crazy bling out in India, so he once again set his army on the march East. He continued hunting for Darius, but when the Macedonians finally caught up with him, they found that he had been assassinated by his own men. Alexander got pissed, tracked down Darius’ killers, and executed them before honoring Darius with an opulent royal burial.
In 326, Alexander met up with the Indian King Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes River, where the Macedonian phalanxes faced hardcore Indian war elephants and all kinds of other insane balls-out shit in the middle of a crazy-ass thunderstorm, but still managed to emerge victorious thanks to the strategic brilliance of their General. Alexander and his men continued to battle throughout India, capturing towns, looting villages, and engaging in philosophical debates with Hindu Brahmin (seriously). In 325, Alexander’s armies reached the mouth of the Indus River, and having carved out an empire stretching from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, Alexander finally decided it was time to turn around and go back home. He never made it back to Macedonia however, and died randomly of a fever in 323 BCE at the age of 33.
Alexander the Great is regarded as one of the greatest military minds to ever live, and in his short lifetime he carved out one of the largest land empires in the history of the world. He drilled his army into a well-oiled machine, prepared for anything, and his battlefield tactics were unmatched by any general the world had to offer, as his outnumbered group of hardcore soldiers managed to defeat the most powerful Empire on Earth. His strategies and tactics are studied by military officers to this day, and his legend as a conquering hero lives on, not only in the hearts and minds of his Greek countrymen, but in the respect and honor his memory is given by the Persian and Indian peoples he spent his life battling.
The Empire of Alexander the Great. Beat that, bitches.
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