In 337-336 BC Philip divorced Olympias, declared war on Persia, and was assassinated. Alexander was then 20 and immediately declared the new king of Macedonia. From the very beginning he established his authority by executing all persons alleged with his fathers assassination as well as all possible rivals and factions that opposed him. Alexander was then confirmed as strategos autocrator (supreme commander).
In 335 BC Alexander began blitz campaigns against the Triballiand Ilyrians. He then marched into Thrace and defeated the Triballi, crossed the Danube and brought the Getae and Celtic tribes under his control. Abruptly after he defeated a coaliton of Illyrians who invaded Macedonia.
The Greeks growing weary under the rule of Macedonia and hearing rumors about Alexander"tms death in Illyria revolted. Due to this Alexander marched his armies 380 kilometers in 14 days ordering the Thebans to surrender. When they refused he marched into their city and destroyed it sparing only temples and the poet Pindar"tms house. 6,000 were killed and the survivors (30,000) were sold into slavery for 440 talents o
In 333 BC while in Babylon, Alexander became ill while celebrating Nearchus"tms departure to Arabia. It has been told that during the evening he was drinking a lot of wine and became gravely ill. Alexanders friends, fearing his death asked him, "To whom do you leave the kingdom" Alexander replied, "To the strongest!" These were Alexanders last words. After 10 days of fever Alexander died. Alexander received divine honors in Egypt and many Greek cities. Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, transferred Alexander"tms body to Alexandria where he was laid to rest in a golden sarcophagus. Alexander"tms tomb received many visitors over the centuries including Caius Julius Caesar, Augustus, Caligula, and Caracalla to mention a few.
2300 years later Alexander is known as a military genius who overthrew the Persian empire extending his rule from Greece to Egypt and all the way to India. Alexander was a true leader who led all battles from the front inspiring his men. Alexander inspired his men so much that they followed him for eight years marching 22,000 miles on foot, winning numerous battles even while being severely outnumbered. To this day Alexander is recognized as one of the greatest Generals of all time.
After Alexander"tms victory the only obstacle left was capturing or killing Darius. So in July 330 BC Alexander chased Darius with his fastest troops 12 days. When he caught up with him in Bactria he found him dead, killed by the satrap Bessus (Bessus had betrayed Darius in order to proclaim himself as king of Persia). Alexander captured Bessus and had him executed. Darius was given an imperial funeral with all honors as the last Persian emperor. During the next five years (330-325 BC) Alexander would march towards India engaging in many battles along the way.
During his many years of absence and rumors of his death, many of his appointed satraps had been overthrown or killed and his empire was weakened. Alexander then decided to go to Susa, the capital of Elam and administrative center of Persia to begin consolidating and governing his huge empire. The first thing Alexander did was to promote and encourage a policy to infuse Macedonians and Persians into one master race. Alexander led by example as well as 80 of his officers and best friend Hephaestion by taking Persian wives. Alexander married the daughter of Darius, and Hephaestion married her sister. This caused a lot of discontent among Macedonians, but Alexander was able to solve this problem by discharging his whole Army and enrolling only Persians.
In the winter of 334-333 BC Alexander conquered all of western Asia Minor and brought the tribes of Lycia and Pisidia under his rule. On his way to Ancyra, Alexander stopped in Gordium where it is recorded that he cut the Gordium knot. Traditions record that the knot could only be loosed by the man who would rule Asia. During this movement, Darius II (king of Persia) had advanced northward on the eastern side of Mt. Amanus with a huge Army that greatly outnumbered Alexander"tms. Alexander came upon Darius and his Army in Issus. Even though Alexander was outnumbered he defeated the Army, and Darius fled leaving his family (mother, wife-Sisygambis, harem-Stateira, and princesses) behind. Darius also left behind 3,000 talents of gold.
The next place Alexander met resistance was the island city of Tyre where he was refused en