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Childhood and Adolescence of Alexander The Great

Future King of Macedon

Alexander was born in the year of 356 BC of mother Olympias, priestess of Zeus-Amon, and father Philip II. king of Macedon. At the moment of his birth, two eagles were flying over the Macedon's court, which was interpreted by the court's sorcerer Aristander as a sign that a newborn baby will rule over two empires.

His first friend was Cleitus, a young officer of his father. He was known as "The Black" because of his very dark skin and hair; young boy Alexander was always running after him, observing him when he was grooming horses, cleaning weapons, or unloading the carriage full of spoils that Philip sent home from battles. Only the greatest sorcerers in the kingdom could foretell that this child would kill Cleitus The Black one day, piercing his chest with a spear.

At the age of six, his father brought him his first teacher. It was Lysimachus, who knew the Iliad and the Odyssey by heart and had the custom to annex some similarity with Homer's characters to every person he'd met. He called young Alexander "The Achilles" and was showing him his armor; the young boy was dreaming of growing up and wearing that armor one day.

His second teacher, Leonidas, was brought in by his mother; he was a big advocate of poverty, scarcity, moderation when it comes to food, and modesty in clothing. As such, he was priceless in Alexander's formative years because the taught him to refrain from all the privileges of the rich that could've blurred his mind and showed him the exercises that helped him develop physically.

When Alexander was thirteen, some Thessalonian merchant tried to sell his father a horse, tall and black, of incredible strength and beauty, called Bucephalas. The merchant was seeking a great amount of money for it. Since not one of his officers managed to ride the horse, Philip was ready to drop the purchase when Alexander stepped in and made a bet with his father. If he manages to ride this horse, his father would buy it for him. Observing the officers that tried to ride the horse he realized that Bucephalas was afraid of his own shadow so he turned him toward the sun and managed to ride him. Having seen that, Philip was filled with pride and from that moment on he decided to spend more time with his son and give him a better education. Honoring that decision he brought him his third teacher, Aristotle.

Aristotle believed that nobody on this world could pay him enough for his effort to teach the rulers of men how to rule themselves. He was teaching Alexander and the sons of the other noblemen like Plato used to do, out in the open and walking. It took him three years to teach Alexander everything he needed to know about geometry, geography, morals, law, physics, medicine, history and philosophy so that, when he becomes the king, he can compare with any expert from any field of his kingdom.

At the age of 16, Alexander was shaped like a Spartan, cultured like an Athenian, and in the science field was at the level of Egyptian priests,  and he had the ambition of a barbarian. Everyone admired him and when he was passing by, it was difficult to believe that he wasn't son of one of the Gods. His baptism by fire was the battle of Perinthus, shoulder to shoulder with his father whose body was heavily scared due to the many battles he was part of. Philip was a half blind, half cripple who had trouble using his left hand that was injured in some battle. As much as the son was looking better compared to his father, the father was looking even uglier compared to his handsome son. That was the reason Philip was envious of Alexander and started to drink even more, because he realized that his youth is way behind him.

In Perinthus, Alexander learned that in wartime, in a king's life, for every two hours of battle comes another couple hundred hours of care about logistics, intelligence, receiving envoys, administration, and diplomacy. He saw that the ruler can rule his many provinces from a simple tent, if he has an excellent web of connections and if his strength demands respect even from far away. And when it came to that, Philip was an expert. Every single day he knew what the governors of his provinces were doing and would send them his personal orders if any difficulties would emerge.

Leaving his father to lead a siege on Perinthus, Alexander returned to Macedon in the role of governor and soon enough he led an army to fight one of the northern tribes who rebelled against the kingdom. The tribe was expecting an exhausted Philip's army but instead faced Alexander's fresh one and suffered a terrible defeat.  Alexander's big victory was greeted with great enthusiasm in the Macedon kingdom and was first out of many to come for the future king.

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Childhood and Adolescence of Alexander The Great
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