Alexander of Macedonia, son of King Philip II of Macedon, was born into privilege. Legend has it that a Persian Magi, upon viewing the flames engulfing the temple of Artemis on the evening of Alexander’s birth ran through the streets shouting that woe and great calamity for Asia had been born that day. Philip, shaken by the incident, consulted the Oracle at Delphi for assurances about his newborn son. The Oracle at Delphi assured Philip that Alexander would one day be a great ruler.
Alexander at a young age learned all the skills of war, but became known as somewhat of a precocious child prodigy. Growing up in the king’s court, Philip was constantly surrounded by intrigue and suspense. Plans and threats of conquest filled his youth. Philip, wanting the best for his son, sent Alexander to study with Aristotle. Here, Alexander added to his martial skills the accumulated knowledge of his day.
In May 333 B.C. Alexander faced a crucial decision concerning his Persian conquests. Lacking reinforcements, his men ragged, and with Macedonia poverty stricken from funding his war effort, Alex waited near Gordium for inspiration from the gods. Upon resolving to continue his campaign, Alex was halted by his personal seer just before leaving the city. To depart without attempting the Gordian Knot would cause bad luck to befall his armies. Alexander had to attempt the puzzle.
Making his way to the acropolis , Alexander was followed by a great crowd. Anxious, they gathered to see the great king struggle with their famed puzzle as all had before him. The townspeople were not disappointed. For nearly two hours Alex racked his brain for a solution. Finally, in a fit of frustration he asked of his advisors, "What does it matter how I loose it." He drew his sword and, in a single spinning flourish, sliced the Gordian Knot open to reveal the ends hidden inside.
That night a wicked storm descended upon Gordium . Thunder raged and lightning crackled. Oracles and soothsayers gathered...