Head Of Alexander in Istanbul Archaeological Museums – Chapter 1,
The Turkish and foreign visitors who visit the Istanbul Archaeological Museums are usually most concerned to see the Sarcophagus of Alexander and the Head of Alexander, both of which are made of marble. The Head of Alexander is the oldest and most famous bust of this famous king.
Alexander the Great, son of the Macedonian King Phillip II, was born in 356 BC. At the age of thirteen, he became a pupil of Aristotle who tried to teach him philosophy, and politics, while Aristotle, like his father, showed interest only in the arts of war. He rode horses, shot arrows and learned to fight with a sword. Whenever he got news of a new victory of his father’s he’d complain:
— My father doesn’t let me do anything. One day they brought a beautiful horse to the palace. When none of the king’s best riders could mount this wild horse, Alexander came forward. He realized that the horse had been frightened of its own shadow. He turned its head towards the sun and jumped on his back. When King Phillip saw this he called out:
— My son, you ‘will have to find yourself another kingdom. Macedonia is too small for you.
When King Phillip was stabbed to death Alexander was only 20 years old. He was tall, blonde with a beard that had newly sprouted and large eyes. Astrologers told him that there was no one who could conquer him. He decided to march to Asia and conquer the Persian Empire to the east, the traditional enemy of Macedonia. In the year 334 BC, he crossed the Canakkale Straits to Troy with a well-trained army of 30 thousand soldiers and 5 thousand cavalries, and a train of advisors. He had been brought up on the legends of the courage of Achilles of Troy and learned the Iliad of Homer off by heart. He put on the armor of Achilles that was hidden in the temple at Troy.
Anatolia was in the hands of the Persians, who could launch an attack on him at any time. The cities of Anatolia looked upon Alexander as their liberator. He entered the castle gates opened to him like a hero, and in every city appointed a trusted man to be its governor and lowered the taxes. When he was asked why he did not extort high taxes from these rich cities he replied:
— I despise the gardener who cuts the root of a plant whose leaves and fruit would be of use.
You can find more details about Head Of Alexander in Istanbul Archaeological Museums in Chapter 2.