Mosaic depicting Alexander III
Circa 100 BC
At the assassination of Philip II in the autumn of 336 BC, his son Alexander III acceded to the throne. In a few weeks he succeeded in obtaining recognition as 'archon' (president) of the Thessalian League, 'hegemon' (leader) and 'strategos' (commander-in-chief) of the League of Corinth (336 BC).
When he had consolidated the northern borders of his kingdom, he dealt with rebellion of the southern Greek cities by destroying Thebes and garrisoning hostile cities with Macedonian troops.
Having entrusted the government to the aged general Antipater, in the spring of 334 BC Alexander set out on a pan-Hellenic campaign to punish the Persians and liberate the Greek cities of the Asia Minor littoral from the Persian yoke. His army, large for the times, devastated the immense Persian State and reached the Indus River.
As monarch, heir to the Persians, he organized his empire by preserving the previous administration, minting a strong currency and introducing Greek education and language. By sending out concurrent exploratory missions he contributed hitherto unknown and valuable information about the world.
Furthermore, by instituting the principle of equality between Greeks and non-Greeks, he laid the foundations on which the Roman Empire later based its development, and which also led to the spread of Christianity.
Alexander III died at the age of 33 having changed the aspect of the world and the course of history. He went down as "the Great", although he did not have time to complete his visionary task.