Alexander the third of Macedonian ruled in the period of 332 BC. History prominently knows him as the great Alexander. He conquered the then province of Egypt in the autumn of 332 BC. The Egyptians had started rebelling against the Persian rule, and they needed a change in governance. They felt a need for a saviour and a liberator. Then was the right time for Alexander to take over and lay strong and lasting foundations for the people. Alexander marched south into Egypt after the conquer of Persia’s naval base along the coastal line. He stayed in Egypt for six months.
Alexander was determined to have a robust coastal base as it would guarantee a long-term military advantage and for also commercial purposes. He needed that which he could communicate across the Mediterranean not forgetting the highly profitable trade network he wanted to alter route from the Phoenicia. Late October 332 BC, his Macedonian army travelled the precarious 130 miles in seven days to arrive at the coastal town of Pelusium. They were aided by additional troops who followed his progress cautiously to the coast.
His reputation got the attention of Mazaces Egypt’s Persian governor who came to him with no armed forces and with no support following the defeat of Darius. Darius had promptly departed back to Persia. He brought with him treasury’s 800 talents and all the royal furniture. In reciprocation, Mazaces was kept on as part of the new administration together with new governor Cleomenes.
The journey to Memphis (traditional capital city of Egypt province) commenced after garrisons were installed at the major points of Pelusium. Alexander then commanded his navy force to sail south up the Nile to Memphis at the crest of the delta. He strategised to reach there by land at the head of the navy. By passing by Heliopolis (ancient religious site) also known as Lulu with its huge obelisks and white temples portrayed a high profile of the twenty-four (24) year old leader and his troops.
Alexander rose at the time when the Persian king had greatly angered the Egyptians. The vast exploitation of the grain stores and the tax imposed on them led to more rebellion. He easily won the hearts of many and garnered double grown of the two lands; 14th November 332 BC he was anointed pharaoh in the traditional capital city and being named as the son of the gods by the high priest. The naming was a tradition dating back to 3000 years.
He left Memphis in January 331 BC and sailed down the western branch of Nile to check on the Greek trading colony of Naucratis. By April 331 BC, Alexander had done exemplarily recommendable work. He then left Egypt a changed person during the same period of spring. Although he did not return to Egypt to see his great foundation, he was brought back ten (10) years later for the burial of his mummified body.