Born the son of King Philip of Macedonia, Alexander started life at the apex of society and was not about to move down. Yet even Philip, who expounded Hellenic culture and military might all over the Mediterranean world, would have been thunderstruck by the sweeping victories of his son's reign.
Macedonia is north of Greece, and even in our own day has been the subject of dispute between that country and Yugoslavia. In ancient times, however, it was its own kingdom, with Greek language and culture. Neighboring countries sometimes referred to it as a backwater. Alexander and the people of his time were not about to take this insult. When Alexander ascended to the throne, he set about on military campaigns that subjugated land from Egypt to the Far East. His settlers and tradesmen brought Hellenic art, construction and language to societies far and wide.
Yet like any other mortal, even Alexander's time had to come to an end. He was felled not by the sword or the spear, but by a common illness. His achievements are still the source of wonder today, as this revealing documentary shows. One of the best episodes of a thoroughly enjoyable series.
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