Alexander the Great, depicted in typical Hellenistic style in this alabaster bust from Egypt, was probably physically ordinary. By most accounts, he was short and stocky. Many historians also think Alexander had heterochromia—one eye was brown, the other blue.
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett, National Geographic
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    On June 11, 323 BCE, Alexander the Great died in Babylon, in what is today Iraq. Alexander was a king of Macedon, a region in what is today northeastern Greece. Only 33 at the time of his death, Alexander spent his brief reign expanding his empire from the Mediterranean basin to the banks of the Indus River.
    As Alexander and his army conquered much of southwestern Asia, they influenced local traditions. Historians have called this process Hellenization, after the Greek word for Greece, Hellas. Greek culture—including artistic styles, language, urban planning and architecture, and military organization—remained a part of western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean for more than 1,000 years.
    The magnitude of Alexander’s conquest is still evident in the names of more than 20 cities named after him. These cities include Alexandria, Egypt; Kandahar, Afghanistan; Iskandaria, Iraq; and Bucephala, Pakistan—which Alexander named after his horse.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    Alexander the Great Noun

    (356-323 BCE) Greek ruler, explorer, and conqueror.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Alexander the Great
    architecture Noun

    style and design of buildings or open spaces.

    bank Noun

    a slope of land adjoining a body of water, or a large elevated area of the sea floor.

    conquer Verb

    to overcome an enemy or obstacle.

    culture Noun

    learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

    empire Noun

    group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

    evident Adjective

    clearly understood.

    expand Verb

    to grow or get larger.

    Hellenization Noun

    process of adopting Greek culture, traditions, or language.

    influence Verb

    to encourage or persuade a person or organization to act a certain way.

    king Noun

    male monarch.

    magnitude adjective, noun

    relative size or amount.

    Mediterranean basin Noun

    land that surrounds the Mediterranean Sea.

    military Noun

    armed forces.

    process Noun

    continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a defined manner.

    region Noun

    any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region
    reign Verb

    to rule as a monarch.

    tradition Noun

    beliefs, customs, and cultural characteristics handed down from one generation to the next.

    urban planning Noun

    process of creating or improving the natural, built, economic, and social environments of urban areas. Also called city planning.