Science: Where Alexander Began

In ancient Macedonia, the boisterous city of Pella was a pulsing magnet for talent from all over Greece. Euripides went there to write and die; top artists and scholars abounded. King Philip II was a backwoods baron, but in Pella he could send his son to the finest of tutors, Aristotle himself. Out of Pella one spring day in 334 B.C. rode Aristotle's finished pupil—Alexander the Great, 22, the tough intellectual whose armies Hellenized most of the known world.

Until recently, the exact site of this onetime world capital was unknown. The Romans destroyed it in 168 B.C., and peasants later quarried...

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