Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

Interesting Facts & Trivia

26 - QUESTION:  Who was tutored by the famed philosopher Aristotle, and was considered one of the most successful commanders of all time?

Answer: "Alexander the Great"

The expansion of Alexander the Great's empire into Central Asia further leads to opening the Silk Road between the East and the West. Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedon or Macedonia. By the age of thirty he was the creator of one of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ionian sea to the Himalaya. He is considered one of the most successful commanders of all time. Alexander was tutored by the famed philosopher Aristotle. In 336 BCE he succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne after he was assassinated. The Macedonian Empire stretched from the Adriatic sea to the Indus River. Following his desire to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea," he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back.

It was after Alexander's Balkan campaign in Europe that Alexander crossed into Asia where in 334 BC the Battle of the Granicus River was fought in Northwestern Asia Minor near the site of Troy in modern-day Turkey. He conquered Asia Minor, Syria, Phoenicia, Egypt, and Iran. After Alexander defeated the last of the Achaemenid Empire's forces in 328 BC, he began a new campaign against the various Indian kings in 327 BC. Crossing through the Amudarya, in the summer of 327, he passed through the Hindukush and began his famous Indian campaign. Alexander's goal was to conquer the entire "known world," which in Alexander's day, ended on the eastern end of India.

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