Alexander of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, is without question one of the most famous and influential people in the history of the world. Though he lived only a few decades—born in 356 BCE, he died only thirty-three years later—Alexander’s life is an epic tale, brimming with fascinating characters, exotic locations, stupendous battles, deadly conspiracies, exciting discoveries, and countless acts of courage, betrayal, and madness. With the blood of Greek mythological heroes coursing through his veins— his mother’s family claimed descent from the great warrior Achilles, while his father’s family pointed to Heracles as their great ancestor—and tutored by the philosopher Aristotle, Alexander was brought up in a rugged world of competition and conquest. In a little over a dozen years, Alexander fought his way from Greece to India, founding cities and inspiring enduring legends all along the way. In this course we will follow the life, career, and conquests of Alexander, crossing seas, mountains, and deserts as we go, and drawing on a broad range of literary, archaeological, and artistic sources from the ancient world. What, in the end, made Alexander “great”? And how, with our modern eyes, should we view this man who brought Greek culture to a vast new world, and reshaped much of it in his image—but did so on the sharpened tips of his armies’ spears?