How Well Do You Know Alexander the Great?


By: Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: James Margolis/Photodisc/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Alexander the Great was a Macedonian king of old who created one of the largest land empires the ancient world had ever seen. By the age of 30, he had built an empire that spanned 3 entire continents. However, that was not enough for the king. Had it been possible, he surely would have conquered the whole world. King Alexander III of Macedon was virtually undefeated in battle, which is what led to him becoming one of the most famous men who has ever lived.  

He is a much loved and discussed figure by academics of all kinds. His battle tactics have been studied for centuries, as Alexander the Great was one of the most successful military strategists who ever lived. More personal details of the great king's life are still debated by scholars to this day. It would be hard to find a person in the world who has not heard of Alexander the Great. 

If you are a true history buff with a love for the grit and strategy of ancient warfare, you have to know a thing or two about Alexander the Great. Put your knowledge to the test and go to battle with this most historic quiz! 

Alexander the Great was initially the king of:

While known as Alexander the Great, his royal title was Alexander III of Macedon. Macedonia was an ancient kingdom that existed in what is modern day Greece.


Who was Alexander's father?

Alexander was the son of Phillip II of Macedon. Phillip was assassinated in 336 BC.


How old was Alexander when he became king?

Alexander's father, Phillip II of Macedon, was assassinated in 336 BC. This led to Alexander being crowned king at 20 years old.


Which famous figure tutored Alexander when he was a child?

Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until he was 16. Aristotle is considered by many to be the father of Western philosophy.


Alexander the Great's empire stretched from Greece to:

Alexander the Great had one of the largest empires of the Ancient world. It stretched from Greece and Egypt, through the Middle East, to northwestern India.


Why did Alexander end his conquering campaign?

After years of campaigning, Alexander's soldiers were tired and homesick. They mutinied in India and refused to march any further east.


Was Alexander the Great ever defeated in battle?

Alexander the Great is remembered for many reasons. One of them is that he is one of the few military figures in history to never face defeat in battle.


How many cities did Alexander found and name after himself?

Alexander founded and named 20 cities after himself throughout his empire. The most famous of these is Alexandria, Egypt.


Which of these countries did Alexander not conquer at least a part of?

Alexander the Great's empire only stretched to northwest India. He and his men never reached China.


Do we know the exact date that Alexander was born?

The ancient Greek calendar was different from the calendar used by the modern world. Most historians place his birth roughly in mid to late July.


Who was Alexander's mother?

Alexander was born to Olympias. She was the daughter of the King of Epirus, Neoptolemus I.


According to legend, what did Alexander's mother dream of before his birth?

According to Plutarch, Alexander's mother Olympia had a strange dream before his birth. She dreamed that her womb was hit by a thunder bolt. This caused a widespread fire.


Some people thought that Alexander the Great's father was a Greek god. Which one was it?

According to legends, both of Alexanders parents had different odd dreams before he was born. Some speculated based on those that he may have been a child of Zeus.


According to legend, what happened on the day of Alexander's birth?

According to legend, on the day of Alexander's birth, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus burned down, because the goddess left to watch over his birth. Some think that the legends surrounding his birth were largely started by Alexander himself during his reign.


Which instrument was Alexander taught to play as a child?

All Macedonian nobles received a similar education. This included learning to read, play lyre and fight.


Alexander carried a copy of the Iliad with him on his campaigns. True or false?

Aristotle tutored Alexander in a vast range of subjects. During his education, Alexander developed a love for the Iliad.


Did Alexander have his father assassinated so he could take the throne?

Phillip was assassinated by the captain of his bodyguards. Historic record indicates that Alexander and his father were largely a formidable team in battle, and that Alexander may have even saved his father's life.


What was one of the first things Alexander did as king?

Alexander ensured his power by killing anyone who could take the throne from him. He had a cousin of his and two princes killed, as well as others.


After becoming king, what problem did Alexander immediately have to deal with?

After the news of Phillip's death spread, many states began to revolt. Alexander handled all of them with measures of success.


What happened to Greece as a result of all of Alexander's campaigns?

The city-states of Ancient Greece are historically known for constantly fighting with each other. A brief peace resulted from Alexander's campaigns, even though there was much death and carnage in the process.


As Alexander's campaign stretched into Egypt, he was proclaimed the son of which Egyptian god?

Amun was considered the Egyptian King of the Gods. He is often combined with the sun god Ra.


Did Alexander capture the famous city of Babylon?

After taking Egypt, Alexander and his men marched into Mesopotamia. He then captured Babylon.


Which king ran from Alexander multiple times?

Alexander defeated Darius I of the Achaemenid empire on multiple occasions. Each time Darius fled, only to eventually be stabbed to death by one of his kinsmen who took the title of king.


Ancient historian Plutarch claims that after his men looted and burned the city of Persepolis, Alexander felt:

Alexander and his men stayed in Persepolis for months, during which they looted it and possibly accidentally burned a large portion of it to the ground. According to Plutarch, Alexander regretted the destruction.


What kind of funeral did Alexander give his longtime rival, Darius I?

Alexander buried Darius with his predecessors in a respectful and royal funeral. He claimed that Darius had named him the successor of his empire as he died.


Alexander adopted some of the customs of which place that he conquered?

Alexander adopted some customs of Persia, which caused him to be unpopular with his countrymen. He was forced to abandon these habits.


Were there any plots to kill Alexander?

There were several plots against Alexander's life during his reign. In fact, some think he may have been assassinated via poisoning.


Did Alexander's campaigns help or hurt Greece?

Alexander's campaigns in Asia brought wealth, prosperity and general peace to Greece. However, he required so many troops and resources for his campaigns that it weakened Macedon, and led to it being conquered after his death.


What critique did Alexander's men have of him?

Alexander's men did not like that he adopted Persian dress and other customs. They also did not like that he allowed Persian men to join and rank in the Macedonian army.


Which of these people is rumored to be a lover of Alexander the Great's?

To this day, Alexander the Great's sexuality is debated by scholars. Some think that Hephaestion, who he planned a grand Babylonian funeral pyre for after his death, was more than his friend.


Where did Alexander the Great die?

In the summer of 323 BC, Alexander died in Babylon at age 32. There are two different accounts of his death, and much speculation surrounding it.


What did Alexander the Great die of?

There are different accounts of his death, which makes things hard to piece together. No one can say for sure whether he was poisoned or fell fatally ill. He suffered for over a week before dying.


Experts who think he died of natural causes speculate that __________ contributed to the death of Alexander the Great.

Alexander was a known heavy drinker, and historic records even exist of his drunken brawls, during which he killed people. It is thought that years of drinking and battle wounds may have caught up with him.


Did Alexander have a clear heir?

Alexander had no apparent heir. His son Alexander IV was born after his death.


By the end of his life, Alexander the Great is thought to have been:

By the end of his life, Alexander the Great exhibited signs of paranoia and megalomania. His will was largely ignored because it called for the conquering of the whole of Eurasia and the circumnavigation of Africa, which was not possible for Macedonia as he had left it.


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