He once entertained the envoys from the Persian king who came during Philip's absence, and associated with them freely. He won upon them by his friendliness, and by asking no childish or trivial questions, but by enquiring about the length of the roads and the character of the journey into the interior, about the king himself, what sort of a warrior he was, and what the prowess and might of the Persians. The envoys were therefore astonished and regarded the much-talked-of ability of Philip as nothing compared with his son's eager disposition to do great things.
At all events, as often as tidings were brought that Philip had either taken a famous city or been victorious in some celebrated battle, Alexander was not very glad to hear them, but would say to his comrades: ‘Boys, my father will anticipate everything; and for me he will leave no great or brilliant achievement to be displayed to the world with your aid.’
For since he did not covet pleasure, nor even wealth, but excellence and fame, he considered that the more he should receive from his father the fewer would be the successes won by himself. Therefore, considering that increase in prosperity meant the squandering upon his father of opportunities for achievement, he preferred to receive from him a realm which afforded, not wealth nor luxury and enjoyment, but struggles and wars and ambitions.
In the work of caring for him, then, many persons, as was natural, were appointed to be his nurturers, tutors, and teachers, but over them all stood Leonidas, a man of stern temperament and a kinsman of Olympias. Although he did not himself shun the title of tutor, since the office afforded an honourable and brilliant occupation, yet by other people, owing to his dignity and his relationship, he was called Alexander's foster-father and preceptor.
The man, however, who assumed the character and the title of tutor was Lysimachus, a native of Acarnania, who had no general refinement, but because he called himself Phoenix,
Alexander Achilles, and Philip Peleus, was highly regarded and held a second place.