10th June, 323 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king, dies from either fever or excessive wine at 32.
It was May of 323 BC and Alexander the Great was in Baghdad. The thirty-two-year-old King of Macedonia had spent the past thirteen years conquering much of the known world. In the process, he created an empire that reached from Macedonia through Greece and the Persian Empire to the fringes of India. He had plans to expand his holdings, but these dreams would never be realized.
Alexander’s campaign of domination had started when he crossed the Hellespont to conquer the Persian Empire (see Alexander Defeats the Persians, 331 BC). Victorious after three major battles and the death of the Persian leader Darius III in 330 BC, Alexander continued his march eastward into the area to the west and north of India. He vanquished all who challenged his authority and would have extended his dominion into India and the lands beyond if his army had not balked, forcing him to abandon his plans to continue his march eastward.
Now that he had returned to Baghdad after years of military campaigning, Alexander took the opportunity to rest and to plan his next conquest. On May 29 he attended a dinner given by a close friend. Alexander joined in the heavy drinking during the day-long event. Complaining that he did not feel well, he went to bed. Alexander’s health steadily deteriorated as fever wracked his body. Finally, too weak to leave his bed, the conqueror of the world died ten days after he was stricken.