Alexander the Great | Top 5 Facts

Server Costs Fundraiser 2023

Running a website with millions of readers every month is expensive. Not only do we pay for our servers, but also for related services such as our content delivery network, Google Workspace, email, and much more. We would much rather spend this money on producing more free history content for the world. Thank you for your help!
$10097 / $21000


Jan van der Crabben
by History Answers
published on 30 March 2016

City founder, natural leader and proud red head, here’s five shocking facts on the battle born Alexander the Great.

For more historical facts and features, visit

Or purchase the latest issue of the magazine from the Imagine Shop

You can also find us on:


He never lost a battle

The Macedonian invasion of Persia was one of the emphatic military campaigns of all time. The units at Alexander’s disposal included the companion cavalry and Hypaspist elite infantry who were vastly superior to anything the Persians could throw at them, even the Immortals. Alexander’s tactics were also better than his rival Darius III and his intelligent military brain dominated the ancient battlefield.


He founded over 70 cities

Alexander was such a good military leader and empire builder that he founded over 70 cities, as the Macedonian Empire swelled to its greatest ever extent. At least 20 were named Alexandria after him and one city was even named after his horse.


He liked to keep clean

Alexander liked to keep as hygienic and healthy as possible and even washed his hair in saffron to keep it shiny and strawberry blonde. At the time, saffron was as rare as diamond and more expensive than gold. He may have looked and smelt good but there was one thing Alexander couldn’t change about himself and that was his Heterochromia Iridum, which meant that one of his eyes was blue and one of his eyes was brown. Sort of like an ancient David Bowie!


He had a fear of cats

The Persians were famous for their cat soldiers but maybe they should have used them a bit more against the Alexander himself. The great leader is believed to have had Ailurophobia, the fear of cats. Other famous people who suffered from this phobia were Mussolini and Hitler. Must be a dictator thing…


His death is still a mystery

We’re still not 100% sure what killed Alexander with theories ranging from a drinking contest that went horribly wrong to him being poisoned by one of his jealous generals, to him contacting malaria. What we do know though, is that the Romans held him in high regard, with Caesar, Mark Antony and Octavian all visiting his tomb 300 years after his death.

Remove Ads


Cite This Work

APA Style

Answers, H. (2016, March 30). Alexander the Great | Top 5 Facts. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Answers, History. "Alexander the Great | Top 5 Facts." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 30, 2016.

MLA Style

Answers, History. "Alexander the Great | Top 5 Facts." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 30 Mar 2016. Web. 23 Mar 2023.