As soon as he ascended the throne of Macedonia, Alexander the Great had decided to set up a campaign against the Persians. His father, Philip had already put the foundations of this project and had taught him as a child and ever since Alexander did not have anything in mind other than this purpose. After Philip had defeated the Illyrians and Thracians, the Paeonian and Scythians, Greeks imposed to regroup and led him to begin his campaign on the pretext of liberation of the Greek colonies in Asia and the punishment of the descendants of Xerxes. The murder of Philip left on the shoulders of 20-year old Alexander the big mission.
The idea of the campaign in Asia was certainly not new. The Greeks had a sense of superiority over the barbarians (non-Greeks) long before. Immediately following the victories of Plataea and Mycale in 479, the war took aggressive form (478-466) with leadership of Cimon and brilliant successes, culminating in the victory at Eurymedon.
From 399 until 394 Spartans troubled the Persians in Asia Minor. The Agesilaus tried even to give a nationwide character to the campaign of sacrificing at Aulis, just like Agamemnon. So the idea of the final assault against the Persian state was pervasive and it was only someone to be found that will make it happen.
And the right person for that seemed to be Philip, who had successfully, propagate the idea of punishing the Persians for all they had committed against Greece in the Persian wars.
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