Alexander is born in Pella, the Macedonian capital, at about the time his father becomes king of Macedonia. Philip II’s expansion of the kingdom, an unfolding saga of glory and excitement, is Alexander’s boyhood.
At an early age he proves himself well equipped to share in these military adventures. He is only sixteen when he is left in charge of Macedonia, while his father campaigns in the east against Byzantium. During his father’s absence he crushes a rebellious tribe, the Thracians. As a reward he is allowed to found a new town in their territory – Alexandropolis, the first of many to be named after him.
Τhe education of the prince is the best that Greece can provide. In 343, when Alexander is thirteen, Philip invites Aristotle to become the royal tutor.For three years the philosopher teaches the prince. No doubt they study Homer together. The Iliad becomes a profound source of inspiration to Alexander. Scrolls of the text will later be kept beside him in his tent while he achieves military feats to put the Homeric heroes to shame. Alexander and his most intimate friend from childhood days, Hephaestion, are compared by their contemporaries to the Homeric hero Achilles and Patroclus.

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