Silhouette of Alexander the Great Statue at sunrise. Thessaloniki city. Greece. Depositphotos.

Alexander the Great: His 10 Most Tremendous Battles

Here are 10 of the most important battles fought by Alexander the Great during his life.

Alexander III (Macedonian) lived from July 356 BC to June 323 BC and is commonly known as Alexander the Great. He was the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. After succeeding his father for the throne of Macedon in 366 BC, he transformed this large city in northern Greece into one of the largest empires of human history. What were his 10 Most Tremendous Battles?

This article takes a different approach than every single analysis on the internet for Alexander the Great and 10 battles. The online media has spent a lot of time working on his most victorious battles or some of the most peculiar facts about his gain of power and his Macedonian reign. The following analysis is different since it considers all conflicts of utmost significance, including essential facts and details of Alexander the Great’s life. 

So without further ado, let’s get straight to the 10 Most Tremendous Battles of the Greek emperor Alexander the Great. 

Alexander the Great’s Campaign Begins

1. Alexander’s Balkan Wars

This is probably the military campaign that doesn’t get most of the credit it deserves. The Balkan campaign of Alexander the Great took place in 335 BC. He and the Macedonian military fought several rebellious vassals in the Macedonian kingdom. 

Alexander the Great was able to successfully appease the rebels. They were able to let him continue his longstanding ambitions of conquering the ancient world. After 336 BC, he was able to begin the invasion of Persia. The entire history would be altered if, in that war, he was forced to stay behind or killed by the rebels.

2. Battle of Chaeronea

Staying in the Greek world for a while, Alexander the Great had to continue the conquest and the appeasement of his own people in Greece. Not only for dominance purposes but also because he needed this support from the Greeks to continue building the Hellenic empire

The Battle of Chaeronea is a historical military event that will always be remembered as a civil war between Alexander’s Macedonians and Athens, Thebes, and their allies at Chaeronea. The former was victorious since their deployment of 32 thousand troops dominated the Athenian lines of 15 thousand. By the end, the Theban dominance was overthrown, and Macedonians asserted their power in Boeotia, and practically the center and the entire land of Greece.

3. Battle of the Granicus

This is mainly characterized as the first of Alexander the Great’s battles against the Persian empire, fought in May 334 BC. The two armies faced in Northwestern Asia Minor, near the site of Troy. The specific location of the battle was at the road from Abydos to Dascylium, at the crossing of the Granicus River.

The fascinating factor here is that Alexander and the Greeks didn’t only defeat the Persian satraps of Asia Minor. Still, they were also victorious over large Greek mercenaries by Memnon of Rhodes. 

Alexander the Great in Persia

4. Battle of Issus

Alexander’s next big fight occurred in Issue, Turkey. It’s a big part of his 10 tremendous battles. The neighbors of Greece had to fight the Macedonians. After a while, in southern Anatolia, the Hellenic military around November 333 BC., more formally, the Hellenic League, led by Alexander the Great, and the Achaemenid Persia, led by Darius III. 

The Hellenic league defeated Persia. The Greeks defeated the Persian satraps in the Battle of Granicus (as mentioned before). However, Darius took personal command of the army. Hence, he counterattacked surprisingly behind the Hellenic advance. Alexander the Great battled the Persians victoriously near the mouth of the Pinarus River and the town of Issus.

5. Battle of Gaugamela

The previous battles were influential in starting the invasion of the Persian empire. Nonetheless, the Battle of Gaugamela was one decisive battle in the march against the Persian Achaemenid Empire around 331 BC. 

The military battle took place close to the modern city of Mosul in Iraq, and it was the first time that Alexander showed the unique characteristics and skills of a great general. It was the first time the military had to rely on his tactics since the Macedonians were vastly outnumbered by the Persians. The Battle of Gaugamela depicted the ability of Alexander the Great as a military general, let alone leading to the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.

6. Battle of Jaxartes

Another very underrated battle for the history and the honor of Alexander. The Battle of Jaxartes was fought in 329 BC between the Macedonian army against the Scythians. It was at the Syr Darya River, but it was called the River Jaxartes back then.

A crucial battle for the continuation of Alexander’s dominance since he got further than the borders of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan with this battle. 

7. Battle of the Hydaspes

The Battle of the Hydaspes took place in 326 BC. Its outcome goes back to the introduction when the introduction states that the list doesn’t include only glorious victories for the Macedonian empire. This battle cost Alexander most of his financial, military, or territorial resources. 

Alexander fought King Porus of the Paurava kingdom. It took place at the border of the Hydaspes River in Punjab near Bhera. Although it resulted in a Macedonian victory, the cons and the pros of the outcome were somehow balanced. 

Alexander the Great’s Egyptian Glory

A map showing the empire of Alexander the Great. Depositphotos.
A map showing the empire of Alexander the Great. Depositphotos.

8. Siege of Tyre 

Another very controversial battle for the list of Alexander the Great and his 10 tremendous battles. Why? Because it was one of the first times, in 332 BC, where the enemy challenged Alexander’s power. The Macedonian army couldn’t capture the city of Tyre. 

Hence, they couldn’t control the entire Mediterranean. Furthermore, they were unable to consider power and trade, where the coastal strategies were concerned. Alexander was furious that once he deployed tremendous numbers of troops, he destroyed half of the city of Tyre.  

9. Siege of Halicarnassus

This was another great battle between the Macedonian army of Alexander the Great and the Persians. Still, this time, the latter’s fleet had sailed to Halicarnassus so that they would establish and develop a new defense.

The siege of Halicarnassus was fought between Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid Persian Empire in 334 BC. Hence, the navy constantly threatened Alexander. Nonetheless, Ada surrendered the fortress to him once he arrived at the place. 

10. Siege of Gaza

The siege of Gaza was probably the most crucial battle of the Egyptian campaign by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. Therefore, in a masterful move, he successfully used the engines he had deployed in the walls of the last siege in Tyre. According to historians, he was likely aware of Alexander’s intention of controlling the entire Mediterranean coast before moving to Persia proper.

References

Fawcett, Bill, ed. (2006). How To Lose A Battle. Foolish Plans and Great Military Blunders. Harper. ISBN 978-0-06-076024-3.

Fuller, JFC (1958). The Generalship of Alexander the Great. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode. ISBN 978-0-306-80371-0.

Green, Peter (1992). Alexander of Macedon: 356–323 BC. A Historical Biography. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-07166-7.

Greene, Robert (2000). The 48 Laws of Power. Penguin. p. 351. ISBN 978-0-14-028019-7.

Hammond, NGL (1989). The Macedonian State: Origins, Institutions, and History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-814883-8.

Written by Ioannis Dedes

Hi, I'm Ioannis Dedes, an experienced Freelance Writer with a demonstrated history of working in the online media industry. After working in the Freelance writing world for a while, I can say that I have produced great articles for the niches of history, philosophy, and politics. Curiosmos was the best platform to apply what I have learned after two years of creative writing experience, and I am more than ecstatic to share my thoughts with the special readers of the blog and people that are interested in finding out the roots of human civilization and the evolution of our world.

Write for us

We’re always looking for new guest authors and we welcome individual bloggers to contribute high-quality guest posts.

Get In Touch