Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) was one of history's great generals, a man studied by Caesar and Napoleon, among hundreds of others. He was born to the king of Macedon and educated by Aristotle, whose inquiring mind Alexander appreciated. After his father, Philip II, was assassinated, the 19-year-old Alexander succeeded to the throne and swiftly consolidated power. Over the next 13 years until his death at age 32, Alexander created one of the great empires of history, covering an area as far south as Egypt and as far east as Afghanistan and India. Most of the world that he conquered had been the province of the Persian Empire. Upon his death his empire was broken up and ruled by his generals, the best known were the Ptolemies, who ruled Egypt until Cleopatra was defeated by Caesar. Alexandria, Egypt and many other Alexandrias throughout that part of the world were named in his honour.
Alexander's greatest influence was not his leadership (his empire was eventually conquered by Rome), but spreading Greek culture throughout the lands east of the Mediterranean. He is the reason that gold coins from Afghanistan depicted Greek gods and heroes until as recently as several centuries ago. It is because of Alexander that St. Paul, a Jew who lived in modern-day Syria before travelling to modern-day Israel, spoke Greek, and it is because of Alexander that the earliest Christian documents, including the scriptures, were written in Greek.