Alexander the Great was king of Macedonia and one of the greatest generals in history. He conquered much of what was then the civilized world. Alexander brought Greek ideas and the Greek way of doing things to all the countries he conquered. This great general and king made possible the broadly developed culture of the Hellenistic Age.
Alexander was twenty when he became king of Macedonia. The Greek other states had grown restless under Macedonian rule. While Alexander was away making war on some barbarian tribes in the north, someone spread a story that he was dead. The people in the city of Thebes revolted and called upon the people of Athens to join them. Alexander soon appeared before Thebes with his army. His soldiers stormed the city. Every building in Thebes was destroyed. About 30,000 inhabitants were sold into slavery. Alexander's action broke the spirit of rebellion in the other Greek states.
The ambitious young king then turned his thoughts to conquering Persia. This had been part of his father's plan before him. He crossed the Hellespont with an army of 35,000 soldiers. After a three year siege, the whole region then submitted. Alexander next went to Egypt. The Egyptians welcomed him as a deliverer, because they hated their harsh Persian rulers. Alexander founded the city of Alexandria here and it became a world center of commerce and learning. He set out for and reached the rich plains of India where he defeated an Indian prince, Porus.