Yet, despite the opposition from the Spartans, Alexander was successful against Persia.
The teachings of Aristotle [would later aid] him in the treatment of his new subjects in the empires he invaded and conquered, allowing him to admire and maintain these disparate cultures."Alexander watched his father campaign nearly every year and win victory after victory.
Philip remodeled the Macedonian army from citizen-warriors into a professional organization.
The toughest opposition actually came from a Greek mercenary force fighting for Darius.
Positioned in the center the "action there was desperate, as the Greeks tried to drive the Macedonians back to the river and to recover victory for their own men who were already fleeing," Arrian wrote. In his haste, Darius III left much of his family behind including his mother, wife, infant son and two daughters.
While ancient writers spin an elaborate tale about his motives, some modern historians suspect that he may have been part of a larger plot to kill the king, one that may have included Alexander and his mother.
At the time of his death, Philip was contemplating invading Persia.
"One courtier after another incited Darius, declaring that he would trample down the Macedonian army with his cavalry." So, Darius gave up his position and chased Alexander.
At first this went well, and he actually got in the rear of Alexander's force.
However, when Alexander gave the Persian king battle, it turned out Darius had been led to a narrow spot where the Persians could not use their superior numbers effectively.
Arrian wrote that, against the experienced Macedonian troops, Darius's left wing was "routed" almost immediately.