Alexander the Great and Augustus, two names that countless people have spoken. Many people have no doubt heard these names; others perhaps have not. Alexander the Great and Augustus were two men who were famous for their accomplishments in ancient times. So, they are similar right? Wrong. The earlier of these two men was Alexander the Great, records indicate that he was born in the summer of 356 B.C. Alexander was the son of Philip II, King of Macedonia, and Olympias.
Stories say that on the same day that Alexander was born, the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, burned down. This occurrence was supposedly an omen, the force that would destroy Asia had entered the world. Alexander was a smart man and there was one main person to thank for that, his father. Philip II, knowing that someday his son would be a powerful figure arranged for none other than Aristotle to be Alexander's tutor.
Alexander grew to love his tutor almost as much as his father. Alexander's favorite book was the Iliad by Homer, it was a story about some of the things he hoped to do when he got older, such as fight in wars. As a youth Alexander also enjoyed hunting and martial arts. Alexander feared that by the time he became king there would be nothing left for him to conquer. Alexander's first battle came when he was only sixteen.
Philip, his father had gone away on a campaign and left Macedonia under the control of Alexander while he was gone. During this time a people rebelled and Alexander was forced to lead an army against their largest city. Alexander won and renamed the city "Alexandropolis" The road to Alexander becoming king was an odd one, but this is how it goes. Philip and Olympias, Alexander's parents, did not get along well and eventually separated. Philip remarried, but Olympias did not. Olympias, being a jealous, violent and unforgiving person, held a grudge so she instigated a man who already disliked Philip to assassinate him.
Ergo Alexander became king of Macedonia at the age of twenty due to the untimely assassination of his father. All of Alexander's accomplishments are too numerous to list, but it would do him justice to simply say that he was a hero of his time and his name is still known throughout much of the world. Unfortunately Alexander the Great died on June 10th, 323 B.C. without many close friends. Apparently the intoxication of power caused him to treat everyone as they were inferior to him.
Augustus was supposedly born on September 23rd, 63 B.C. To his parents, Octavius and Asia, he was known as C. Octavius. Most of his early life is unclear due to a very uneventful nineteen years. There is one thing that is documented about him though, he was adopted by Julius Caesar and his name was changed to C. Julius Caesar Octavian us. Augustus's first public appearance came when he was twelve years old, in 51 B.C. His grandmother Julia died and he delivered the eulogy at her funeral.
Other than small parts in the government, Augustus was a political nobody up until March 44 B.C., when his great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated. Bearing his father's name, Caesar, Augustus intended to ratify his adoption by Julius Caesar and take what was his, control of Rome. This was a long and grueling process since no one would take him seriously due to his young age. Augustus did all he could to convince the Roman senators and other politicians that he was now the rightful ruler of Rome, but still no one would listen and most shrugged him off like a fly.
To assert his seriousness, Augustus gathered an army simply by using the name "Caesar". After securing his army's loyalty, he marched on Rome and seized the city with eight legions. Not surprisingly Augustus was soon elected consul. As with Alexander the Great, Augustus's accomplishments are also too numerous to list, his life story is also too long to tell. Augustus led a very successful life and was arguably the peoples' favorite ruler of Rome. In conclusion, contrasting Alexander the Great and Augustus will show that these two men from ancient times were distinct figures in history, each having his own flaws and accomplishments.
To begin with, when Alexander the Great was born, he already had prophecies about how he would conquer Asia. When Augustus was born, he was treated like a normal child. Alexander was the son of a king; he would someday become king himself. Augustus was virtually unknown throughout his childhood; he had no idea what he would someday become. Throughout Alexander's life, he was expected to make something of himself and perform amazing tasks. Augustus on the other hand wasn't supposed to do anything.
The fact that Augustus turned out to be leader of Rome shows how much more strong willed he was than Alexander. Augustus had to work harder for his position than Alexander did for his. Last but not least, at the end of Alexander's life he had nearly no friends due to the fact that he felt superior because of the power he had. It was the exact opposite with Augustus, he died peacefully while traveling and had many friends and admirers.