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What was the first battle called that Alexander the Great won, when he was 16?


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Dear Madisyn,

Alexander has just completed his studies under Aristotle when King Philip II of Macedon set out on a campaign against Byzantium and left Alexander in charge of Macedonia in his absence. Seeing such a young regent as an opportunity, wild Tracian hill tribesmen called Maedi tried raiding into Macedonian territory, but that just gave Alexander an excuse to launch a counterattack that in a matter of weeks destroyed the Maedi as a threat and took over their land, which turned out to hold deposits of iron that would be most useful for the Macedonian army in future. There were no great battles during the campaign, but upon taking one of the Maedi’s larger strongholds the young prince gave a hint to his ambitions by renaming it Alexandropolis (“city of Alexander”). He would come to more serious notice two years later by playing a major role in his father’s great victory over the Athenians, Thebans and their allies at Chaeronea on August 2, 338 BC. Details of that battle can be found in an article I wrote for a special edition that we published on Alexander the Great, which is available through our HistoryNet Shop.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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