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in: Ancient Greece, Military History, Podcast

February 26, 2020 Last updated: March 26, 2020

Podcast #588: The Audacious Command of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great became king of Macedonia at age 19. By age 30 he controlled an empire that spanned from Greece to India. In the two thousand years after his early death, his influence has persisted. Military leaders from Caesar to Napoleon studied his campaigns and imitated his strategies and tactics, and without Alexander, the influence of Greek culture on the world wouldn’t have been the same. 

My guest today has written a very readable, yet academically authoritative biography of this legendary king, commander, and conqueror. His name is Philip Freeman, and he’s a classics professor and the author of Alexander the Great. Today on the show, Philip takes us on an engaging tour of Alexander’s life, beginning with the myths surrounding his birth, and his education under the great philosopher Aristotle. Philip then explains the cloak and dagger intrigue of Macedonian politics and why Alexander’s father was assassinated. We then dig into Alexander’s political reign and military command and highlight the most famous battles during his decade-long campaign to conquer the ancient world. Along the way, Philip shares the leadership lessons we can learn from Alexander.

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Show Highlights

  • How did Alexander become “great”? What was his impact on the world?
  • How Alexander’s father set the stage for his rise
  • The legends of Alexander’s birth 
  • The influence of his mother 
  • Did Alexander’s childhood foreshadow his future power?
  • How ancient Macedonia was basically a real life Game of Thrones scenario
  • The strategic and tactical innovations of Alexander
  • Alexander’s unparalleled campaign against Tyre 
  • The administrative successes of Alexander
  • Injury, illness, and the mystery of his death 
  • What happened to his vast empire?
  • The lasting impact of Alexander the Great

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

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Philip’s website

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Coming soon!