Alexander the Great was an ancient Macedonian ruler and one of history’s greatest military minds who—as King of Macedonia and Persia—established the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen. By turns charismatic and ruthless, brilliant and power hungry, diplomatic and bloodthirsty, Alexander inspired such loyalty in his men they’d follow him anywhere and, if necessary, die in the process. Though Alexander the Great died before realizing his dream of uniting a new realm, his influence on Greek and Asian culture was so profound it inspired a new historical epoch—the Hellenistic Period.
*Alexander’s appearance has been most thought to be accurately depicted by the sculptor Lysippos, and in fact Alexander himself preferred Lysippos’s likenesses of him over that of any other artist. This bust is one of those works.
WHERE WAS ALEXANDER THE GREAT FROM?
Alexander III was born in Pella, Macedonia, in 356 B.C. to King Philip II and Queen Olympias—although legend had it his father was none other than Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods.
Philip II was an impressive military man in his own right. He turned Macedonia (a region on the northern part of the Greek peninsula) into a force to be reckoned with, and he fantasized about conquering the massive Persian Empire.
*Alexander’s physical description is variously reported as of him having curly, dark blonde hair, a prominent forehead, a short, jutting chin, fair to reddish skin, an intense gaze, and a short, stocky, tough figure. It has been commented upon more than once that Alexander had one dark brown eye and one blue eye! Such a phenomenon does exist, so it is not too much to suppose that Alexander could also have exhibited this trait.