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The Hellenistic Age
Guide: Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great earned his historical title as one of the most ruthless conquerors of the ancient world. Use this collection of primary and secondary sources to support students' investigation into Alexander's major campaigns, battle tactics, leadership style, and the ultimate dissolution of his empire. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Geography impacts a civilization's ability to communicate and unify
  • Centralization allows for culture to flourish and disseminate
  • Oral history and tradition perpetuate cultural norms and religion
  • Societal celebrations and norms can glorify and support warfare
  • Political structure influences the economic stratification of a society
  • Democratic systems value the rights and opinions of citizens
  • Internal rivalry leads to competitive rather than collaborative systems
  • Art and architecture depict society's values and histories
  • Philosophy, or the love of wisdom, contributes to the betterment of society through academic research, reasoning, and discovery
  • Strong leadership leads to success of political and military campaigns
  • Cultural diffusion can lead to romanticism of past civilizations and culture

Key Questions

  • How did Alexander the Great's father lay the foundation for him to become a successful commander? How did Alexander's education in Greek culture prove significant?
  • Why do you think Alexander was such a successful conqueror? Why was his defeat of Persian king Darius III so important?
  • What methods did Alexander use to unify his empire? How did his rule influence and change culture throughout his empire?
  • Why did Alexander's empire break up after his death?

Resources

  1. Overview: Alexander the Great
  2. Visuals: Alexander the Great (Visual)
  3. Outline: Outline
  4. Transcript: Transcript
  5. Lesson: Introduction
  6. Lesson: 1-Philip II and Rise of Alexander
  7. Lesson: 2-Alexander's Career and Conquests
  8. Lesson: 3-Spread of Greek Culture
  9. Lesson: 4-Division of Alexander's Empire
  10. Lesson: Closing
  11. Photos & Illustrations: Alexander the Great: Battle of Issus
  12. Reference Articles: Alexander the Great, Career of
  13. Reference Articles: Issus, Battle of
  14. Biographies: Darius III
  15. Biographies: Philip II of Macedon
  16. Letters & Narratives: Arrian: Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus (second century CE)
  17. Letters & Narratives: Diodorus Siculus: Alexander at the Battle of the Hydaspes (ca. 60–30 BCE), excerpt
  18. Letters & Narratives: Plutarch: Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela (early second century CE), excerpt
  19. Letters & Narratives: Rufus, Quintus Curtius: Alexander and the Gordian knot (first century CE)
  20. Maps: Alexander the Great's empire, 323 BCE

MLA Citation

"Alexander the Great." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2158312. Accessed 15 Sept. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2158312

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