around the year 336 a. c., the assassination of Philip II was one of the greatest murders the ancient era has ever seen.
the sudden incident led to the accession of his son to the throne. this is where alejandro’s epic journey of victories began.
alexander iii famous throughout the world since alexander the great was barely 20 years old when he ascended the throne. Much has been written about the heroism of the adult Alexander.
but what about their early days? what his childhood was like that is something we rarely read or hear about. So let’s dig a little deeper to learn about the Macedonian atmosphere that Alexander the Great’s childhood saw.
birth and childhood of alexander the great
The story of Alexander III of Macedonia begins in July 356 BC. He was born in Pella as the son of Olympia of Epirus and Philip II.
His father was fighting against Potidaea who was one of his Athenian allies. Olympia was Philip’s fourth wife and Alexander was her second son.
However, Alexander’s older half-brother, Philip III Arrideus, had intellectual disabilities and was therefore declared unfit to be king.
this is what fate planned for alejandro and he became the successor of felipe ii after his death.
alexander spent the first 14 years of his life in the royal palace of pella. He lived with his mother Olympia and his adoptive mother Lanice.
He was deprived of the company of his father, who had been busy conquering the Greek world. Alexander the Great had Lysimachus of Acarnania and Leonidas as his first teachers, who taught him mathematics, literature, music, and geometry.
with his teachings, little alexander was fascinated by greek literature, especially homeric stories and heroes, achilles, the hero of the trojan war, and heracles.
Along with intellectual studies, Alexander was also well-trained physically. hunting had been one of the favorite activities of the young Macedonian nobles.
little alexander practiced it from a very young age. Talking about his personality, he was a passionate being from his youth.
He was also characterized by letting himself be carried away by outbursts of anger and affection and by his courage and resolution for glory.
the school for pages and the youth of alexander the great
after the age of 14, alexander the great attended page school for higher education. The school was founded by his father to educate young men from the leading Macedonian noble families.
Students from these families would move to the Pella court to be educated in the military with the crown prince on the most sought after Greek values.
Throughout these years at page school, these young men became personal attendants to the prince. they all learned together, shared tables, guarded and even fought at the prince’s side.
Being part of the royal pages was a great honor for a Macedonian family. so that no one can deny this opportunity.
With such an arrangement, Felipe II achieved two goals, one long-term and one short-term. First of all, it would produce a sense of fidelity, friendship and camaraderie in families for the future king.
Also, the school guaranteed the blossoming of loyalty and good behavior of these families towards their son when he is in power.
who was the tutor of alexander the great?
Of all the people who tutored Alexander the Great, none is as famous or important as Aristotle.
The sage was not unknown in Macedonia, as his Nicomachean father had practiced as a physician at the court of Pella. The relationship between Aristotle and Alexander the Great lasted for years, specifically between 343 and 335 B.C.
Alexander’s father, Philip II of Macedonia, hired the great philosopher Aristotle to tutor his sun from the age of 13.
With his peers of the high nobility, Aristotle taught them a wide variety of subjects: history, literature, geography, mathematics, ethics, politics, philosophy, medicine…
in fact, in the future it would be Alexander the Great himself who would cure many diseases of his soldiers by prescribing drugs and therapies.
in the literary field, aristotle placed special emphasis on homer’s iliad, which would become the young prince’s favorite book; and in the works of Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon, which profoundly influenced him at the time of the conquest of Asia.
In addition, according to Callisthenes, Aristotle’s great-nephew by his sister and Alexander’s chronicler in his campaigns, Alexander the Great was also a great admirer of the poetry of Pindar and Greek tragedy, especially Euripides.
It should be noted that throughout this process of intellectual training, physical and military preparation did not stop, training in horse riding, gymnastics and athletics was constant.
Aristotle is considered, along with his teacher Plato, one of the most important philosophers not only in ancient history, but in the entire history of philosophy.
A scholar of infinite curiosity, Aristotle investigated in most branches of human knowledge: philosophy, history, mathematics, biology, political science, physics, astronomy, psychology, anatomy, chemistry…
who was aristotle?
Aristotle was born in 384 BC in the city of Stagira, in northern Greece.
His parents were dedicated to medicine, his father was a doctor at the court of the King of Macedonia, so from a very young age he was interested in scientific knowledge.
Orphaned at the age of sixteen, he traveled to Athens to enter the Academy, where he became Plato’s most brilliant disciple during the twenty years he remained there.
unlike Plato, who never married or had children, Aristotle married twice in his life, first with pity and then with Herpilis, and had a son and a daughter.