Rarely has a single person changed the world as profoundly as Alexander the Great changed it in the 4th century BC. In barely a decade, the young Macedonian conquered first Greece, then the Persian Empire. By his mid-thirties, he ruled over an empire that stretched from the Aegean Sea to the Indian Ocean – the end of the world as it was known at that time. As a conqueror he inspired rulers in the Orient and Occident – even in modern times. Over 2,000 years later, his namesake, natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt, proclaimed: “At no time before the discovery of America did our knowledge of nature and the world expand as quickly as in the twelve years of Alexander’s reign.” What drove him? Was it only wealth and fame? What was the key to his success – charisma or violence? ZDF-History searches for answers to these questions.