“Then a mighty king will rise to power who will rule with great authority and accomplish everything he sets out to do. But at the height of his power, his kingdom will be broken apart and divided into four parts. It will not be ruled by the king’s descendants, nor will the kingdom hold the authority it once had. For his empire will be uprooted and given to others.” Daniel 11:3-4
For more than two centuries, the Achaemenid Empire of Persia ruled the Mediterranean world. One of history’s first true super powers, the Persian Empire stretched from the borders of India down through Egypt and up to the northern borders of Greece. But Persia’s rule as a dominant empire would finally be brought to an end by a brilliant military and political strategist, Alexander the Great.
Alexander III was born in 356 B.C. in the small Kingdom of Macedonia. Tutored in his youth by Aristotle and trained for battle by his father, Philip II, Alexander the Great grew to become a powerful imperialist. His undermanned defeat of the Persian King Darius III at the Battle of Gaugamela is seen as one of the decisive turning points of human history, unseating the Persians as the greatest power in the ancient world and spreading Hellenistic culture across a vast new empire.
The reign of Alexander the Great was short-lived. After subduing all of the Persian Empire, his army marched east and got as far as India before turning back home to Macedon. But he never made it home. At just 32 years old, Alexander died in Persia in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon from a sudden and mysterious illness. The empire of Alexander the Great eventually fell into the hands of his four generals and did not preserve the glory and power it had in his day.