Alexander III of Macedon, also known as Alexander the Great, was born on July 20, 356 B.C in Pella, in the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, and during his time of reign (336 to 323 B.C.), he united the Greek city-states and led the Corinthian League. In this article, we bring you the best and most conquering Alexander the Great quotes.
Alexander the Great was king of Macedonia and a conqueror. He later also became the king of Babylon, Persia, and Asia, and set Macedonian colonies in these regions. When Alexander was young and a prince, he was raised in Pella’s royal court, yet rarely saw his father who was constantly engaged in war. Alexander grew up resenting his father and becoming rebellious.
Alexander was tutored by several teachers. Leonidas of Epirus taught him math, archery, and horsemanship. Lysimachus, who was his next tutor, used to roleplay with him in order to get the boy’s attention.
In 343 B.C., philosopher Aristotle was hired to tutor Alexander. He taught him and a few of his friends philosophy, politics, drama, science and poetry. in 340 B.C., Alexander completed his education and only a year later, while still just a teen boy, he became a soldier and embarked on his first military expedition, against the Thracian tribes.
In 336, during a festival following the wedding of Alexander’s sister, his father was murdered. Alexander, who was 19 years old at the time, was determined to seize the throne by any means necessary, and so, he quickly got the support of the Macedonian army, which also included the general and troops he had had fought with at Chaeronea.
On June 13, 323 B.C., at the age of 32, Alexander the Great died in Babylon. It is speculated that he died of malaria. His son was born a few months after his death. After his death, the great empire collapsed, and all the nations who were part of it began battling each other for power.
Here is a sneak peek at the quotes in this article:
Alexander the Great Quotes
I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.
There is nothing impossible to him who will try.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.
When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never take back.
Whatever possession we gain by our sword cannot be sure or lasting, but the love gained by kindness and moderation is certain and durable.
You shall, I question not, find a way to the top if you diligently seek for it; for nature hath placed nothing so high that it is out of the reach of industry and valor.
Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.
Let us conduct ourselves so that all men wish to be our friends and all fear to be our enemies.
I had rather excel others in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and dominion.
Through every generation of the human race there has been a constant war, a war with fear.
Each moment free from fear makes a man immortal.
I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity.
Those who have the courage to conquer fear are made free and those who are conquered by it are made to suffer until they have the courage to defeat it, or death takes them.
For my own part, I would rather excel in knowledge of the highest secrets of philosophy than in arms.
Toil and risk are the price of glory, but it is a lovely thing to live with courage and die leaving an everlasting fame.
Glory crowns the deeds of those who expose themselves to toils and dangers.
Bury my body and don’t build any monument. Keep my hands out so the people know the one who won the world had nothing in hand when he died.
A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient.
False reports have many times done as great things as true courage and resolution.
On their side more men are standing, on ours more will fight!
The end and object of conquest is to avoid doing the same thing as the conquered.
Without Knowledge, Skill cannot be focused. Without Skill, Strength cannot be brought to bear and without Strength, Knowledge may not be applied.
My treasure lies in my friends.
For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a Barbarian.
Heaven cannot brook two suns, nor earth two masters.
True love never has a happy ending, because there is no ending to true love.
Sex and sleep alone make me conscious that I am mortal.
I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions.
With the right attitude, self-imposed limitations vanish.
May God keep you away from the venom of the cobra, the teeth of the tiger, and the revenge of the Afghans.
In the end, when it’s over, all that matters is what you’ve done.
How should a man be capable of grooming his own horse, or of furbishing his own spear and helmet, if he allows himself to become unaccustomed to tending even his own person, which is his most treasured belonging?
Who does not desire such a victory by which we shall join places in our Kingdom, so far divided by nature, and for which we shall set up trophies in another conquered world?
If we turn our backs of the Scythians who have provoked us, how shamefully shall we march against the revolted Bactrians; but if we pass Tanais and make the Scythians feel, by dear experience, that we are invincible, not in Asia only, it is not to be doubted but that Europe itself, as well as Asia, will come within the bounds of our conquests.
Soldiers, I had lately like to have been taken from you by the attempt of a few desperate men, but by the grace and providence of the gods, I am still preserved.
I wish that the Indians believed me a god, for upon the report of an enemy’s valor oftentimes depends the success of a battle, and false reports have many times done as great things as true courage and resolution.
O Athenians, what toil do I undergo to please you!
I am involved in the land of a leonine and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a well of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one son into the world, but everyone in this land can be called an Alexander.
God must have loved Afghans because he made them so beautiful.
Every light is not the sun.
Now you fear punishment and beg for your lives, so I will let you free, if not for any other reason so that you can see the difference between a Greek king and a barbarian tyrant, so do not expect to suffer any harm from me. A king does not kill messengers.
There are so many worlds and I have not yet conquered even one.
I do not steal victory.
Holy shadows of the dead, I’m not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people, to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine. On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions.
Are you still to learn that the end and perfection of our victories is to avoid the vices and infirmities of those whom we subdue?
I send you a kaffis of mustard seed, that you may taste and acknowledge the bitterness of my victory.
Your ancestors came to Macedonia and the rest of Hellas [Greece] and did us great harm, though we had done them no prior injury. I have been appointed leader of the Greeks, and wanting to punish the Persians I have come to Asia, which I took from you.
I consider not what Parmenio should receive, but what Alexander should give.
We of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war.
Shall I pass by and leave you lying there because of the expedition you led against Greece, or shall I set you up again because of your magnanimity and your virtues in other respects?
I foresee a great funeral contest over me.
But truly, if I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes.
As for a limit to one’s labors, I, for one, do not recognize any for a high-minded man, except that the labors themselves should lead to noble accomplishments.
Now that the wars are coming to an end, I wish you to prosper in peace. May all mortals from now on live like one people in concord and for mutual advancement. Consider the world as your country, with laws common to all and where the best will govern irrespective of tribe. I do not distinguish among men, as the narrow-minded do, both among Greeks and Barbarians. I am not interested in the descendance of the citizens or their racial origins. I classify them using one criterion: their virtue. For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a Barbarian. If differences ever develop between you never have recourse to arms, but solve them peacefully. If necessary, I should be your arbitrator.
There are no more worlds to conquer!
If it were not my purpose to combine barbarian things with things Hellenic, to traverse and civilize every continent, to search out the uttermost parts of land and sea, to push the bounds of Macedonia to the farthest Ocean, and to disseminate and shower the blessings of the Hellenic justice and peace over every nation, I should not be content to sit quietly in the luxury of idle power, but I should emulate the frugality of Diogenes. But as things are, forgive me Diogenes, that I imitate Herakles, and emulate Perseus, and follow in the footsteps of Dionysos, the divine author and progenitor of my family, and desire that victorious Hellenes should dance again in India and revive the memory of the Bacchic revels among the savage mountain tribes beyond the Kaukasos…
Youths of the Pellaians and of the Macedonians and of the Hellenic Amphictiony and of the Lakedaimonians and of the Corinthians… and of all the Hellenic peoples, join your fellow-soldiers and entrust yourselves to me, so that we can move against the barbarians and liberate ourselves from the Persian bondage, for as Greeks we should not be slaves to barbarians.
For my part, I think that to a man of spirit there is no other aim and end of his labours except the labours themselves.
Interesting Facts about Alexander the Great
Now it’s time for some interesting facts about Alexander the Great that may even surprise you. Enjoy!
- Alexander the Great Has Never Lost a Battle – That’s not the most interesting fact here. What amazed me even more, is the fact that his tactics and strategies are still being taught military academies to this day! Alexander won his first battle when he was only 18 years old, and gained a reputation for being a leader who led his men and soldiers using great speed, and with that allowed small forces to break enemy lines before his foes were ready. Alexander battled for 15 years and never lost a single battle.
- Cities Named After Him and Even His Horse – Alexander used to found new cities that were built around what used to be military forts. And so, with his conquests, Alexander named no less than 70 cities after his name and even one after his beloved horse – Bucephala. Unfortunately, the horse died during one of Alexander’s battles.
- He Even Smelled Good – “Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans” by Plutarch was written 400 years after Alexander died. In there, it is stated that Alexander had “a most agreeable odor”, and even his clothes and breath smelled well, like a perfume.
- He Started Dressing Like the Persians – In 330 B.C., Alexander conquered and took control over Persepolis, which at the time was the center of the Persian culture. Alexander wished to maintain control of the Persians, so he realized that dressing like them was a good way to achieve it. And so, he started wearing striped tunic, girdle and diadem of Persian royal dress. Needless to say that back in Macedonia, this was not appreciated at all.
- His Body was Preserved in a Vat of Honey – It was reported that Egyptians embalmers treated Alexander’s body in Babylon, and it was speculated that his remains were immersed in honey in order to slow down the decay.
- Alexander Loved to Drink – Alexander was probably a heavy drinker, because at one of the times when he was drinking, he got into an argument with his friend and also general, Cleitus the Black, and eventually killed him by throwing a javelin into his chest. Some theories suggest that alcoholism may also be one of the causes to his early death.
- The Whereabouts of Alexander’s Tomb is a Mystery – After Alexander died, his body was seized by Ptolemy and moved to Egypt. It was placed in Alexandria, but it seems that all the records of his tomb disappeared at the end of 4th century A.D., so some believe that his tomb may not even be now in Alexandria, but somewhere else.