Why Is Alexander "The Great"

In order to assess whether Alexander of Macedonia is justly described as "The Great", we first have to define what we mean by "great". The usage I will consider is that in The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary which defines “great” as remarkable in ability, character, and achievement.

Alexander of Macedon (356-323 BC), also known as Alexander III, is considered as one of the most successful military commanders in history, conquering most of the known world before his death. Following the unification of the city-states of ancient Greece under the rule of his father, Philip II of Macedon, (a feat Alexander had to repeat twice because the southern Greeks revolted after Philip's death), Alexander went on to conquer the Persian Empire, including Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Gaza, Egypt, Bactria and Mesopotamia and extended the boundaries of his own empire as far as the Punjab. The question of whether or not he deserved his title of   “Great” is still one of great debate.
Alexander is one of the most fascinating personalities in human history. Although he was the son of a king and inherited an empire that included most of the Greek city-states, Alexander's own conquests are what have made him admired, vilified, and studied for over two thousand years.
Growing up, Alexander was fascinated by Homer's Iliad. It was the character of Achilles, the hero of the story that especially attracted him. His fascination grew further upon learning that he was a direct descendent of Achilles, on his mother’s side. It is written that as well as being a descendent of Achilles, that his lineage on his father’s side links him to Hercules. Plutarch writes “On his father’s side, Alexander was descended from Hercules, and on his mother’s from Aeacus (Achilles’ grandfather)”. And so, in keeping with his family tradition and the great expectations of his parents, Alexander looked for any opportunity to demonstrate his heroic strength and courage.
Philip saw to it that his only son had...