THE FOREIGN PHARAOH
Alexander the Great was the ancient world’s mightiest warrior. He died Pharaoh of Egypt, and his body was a powerful political tool that enabled anyone possessing it to receive honor and legitimacy as a potential ruler. Learn more about this legendary man:
- Alexander was the first foreigner to be crowned Pharaoh.
- Alexander did not look like the Egyptians—he was a blond-haired Greek from the kingdom of Macedonia.
- Alexander arrived in Egypt in 332 B.C. and drove out the Persian Army that was occupying Egypt.
- The powerful class of priests who had survived Persian rule quickly gave Alexander their support.
- Alexander’s empire stretched across three continents and covered an area of two million square miles— from Greece to the Punjab, and from the Danube to Nubia.
- Alexander modeled himself after who he believed was the greatest of all Greek heroes—Achilles, the hero of Homer’s Iliad. He even went as far as to claim Achilles as an ancestor on his mother’s side.
- Alexander’s own copy of the Iliad, annotated by his tutor Aristotle, was one of his most prized possessions.
- Alexander created as many as 70 new cities, founded as part of his policy of his “conquest through civilization.” He named over 20 cities after himself.
- Before his death, Alexander left a series of plans relating to further military conquests and massive building projects. He hoped to construct a pyramid tomb for his father that would out-do the Great Pyramid of Giza.
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