In 350 BCE Philip of Macedonia united Greece under Macedonian rule. His son Alexander, surnamed the Great, in turn conquered the entire Persian empire uniting Greece with the Ancient Near east.
The name which he afterwards acquired being doubtless due to the peculiarity of his personal appearance, the largeness of his head. Matthew Paris speaks of him as "Robert who is known by the surname of Grosseteste," or "Robert called Great-Head." Nicholas Trivet says, "he was surnamed by many Great-Head."