“For the Kingdom is the Lord’s and He shall rule over the nations.”
Alexander the Great and the Battle of Guagamela, October 1, 331 BC
od ceased direct and written revelation in the era between the Old Testament and the New Testament, but He did not stop His providential disposition of history. Some astounding events occurred in that interim period that changed the course of history through the rise and conquests of the Greeks and Romans, some of which would have profound implications for the Church and for the future of all mankind. Alexander III of Macedon, known to history as the “Great,” conquered and administered the most extensive empire since that of the Persians.
Bust of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) in white and red marble
Olympias, one of the eight wives of Phillip of Macedon, gave birth to Alexander in 356 BC. Many myths surround his birth, likely recorded to create the illusion that he was more of a god than a man. The royal court provided the education of a prince, teaching him to read, fight, ride and hunt. At one point, the Greek philosopher Aristotle tutored him in logic and philosophy. Alexander proved both courageous and ambitious, as well as a masterful student. He trained a wild horse himself, which he named Bucephalus, and rode him to victory for more than twenty-five years.
Alexander and Bucephalus, the legendary warhorse of Alexander
When King Phillip carried out military campaigns, he left sixteen-year-old Alexander in charge as regent and heir-apparent. In that capacity, the teenaged prince put down a Thracian rebellion, for which deed his father colonized the conquered territory and founded a city named after his son. Determined to invade Greece, Alexander organized an army and, with his father, marched through the pass at Thermopylae in 338 BC. They defeated both the Athenians and Thebans in bitter and tactically clever battles. Alexander led an entire wing of the army, proving once again he would be a worthy successor of his father. They created a Pan-Hellenic (i.e. Greek) alliance and outlined plans to cross into Asia and attack the Persian Empire.