Alexander's Conquests : Historical and Hypothetical possibilities

Feb 2019
15
UK

So far from different perspectives discussed in this forum by members, the view on Alexander the Great was not universal.
Anyhow, he was the undefeated warrior king who never lost a battle , and his legacy continues to be as strong as the days of Hellenism.
I tend not to compare the different empires and various historical personalities as I have much respect of all.

Hypothetically speaking, would it change the entire course of history if Alexander did not die young in 323 B.C. but lived on to conquer either Rome and celtic tribal nations in Europe or Scythians or Carthage and Arabia. 3 most striking possibilities would be :

Even if it would be very doubtful whether the Macedonian phalanx would be enough to overcome Nanda empire which could have fielded thousands of war elephants corps, it would have stopped the ascendency of mauryan house if Alexander's grip its indian vassals were strong and , also supportive.

If the armies of Alexander ventured further beyond Sogdia, there would be nothing stopping him from reaching China proper except some oasis city states . Then the first state of warring China would be Qin . The contact between unknown-to-each-other civilizations would be ???

Or Rome was conquered in his time before its rise , it would have change the whole course of European history.

But they are all ifs and buts ,

( Historical Conquests in Above Video )
 
Aug 2018
337
America
I don't think Alexander could have been able to conquer Celts or Carthaginians. Celts would sack Delphi just a few decades after Alexander died, for example, and the Greeks were forced to give them Galatia, not to mention they were such good warriors that they became mercenaries for the Greeks.
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,615
Athens, Greece
I don't think Alexander could have been able to conquer Celts or Carthaginians. Celts would sack Delphi just a few decades after Alexander died, for example, and the Greeks were forced to give them Galatia, not to mention they were such good warriors that they became mercenaries for the Greeks.
But the Celtic invasion of Greece in 279 BC happened at a time when the Hellenistic kingdoms were weakened by the infighting of the Diadochi wars, and the city-states of southern Greece were already in decline, for some time now. And the king of Macedon of the time, Ptolemy Keraunos, was an arrogant fool who would make one mistake after the other regarding the Celtic threat and paid for them with his head. None of these resemble the army and leadership of Alexander the Great. Still, the Celtic invasion of Greece ended up in disaster for them. Although they did manage to sack Delphi, very few survived that expedition. The Celts were formidable warriors for sure, but against organised, disciplined armies they suffered heavy losses. At Thermopylae, 279 BC, and against a much smaller Greek force, they had a disastrous first day of battle. They bypassed Thermopylae and marched on to Delphi, only through the infamous mountain pass that the Persians had used centuries before. And the battle of Delphi was also very costly to them, managing to overcome the Greek resistance through numerical superiority. Earlier, a hastily recruited Macedonian army, led by a capable leader, Sosthenes, had managed to defeat and repulse another Celtic horde led by Bolgios.

I don't see why Alexander would not be able to conquer the Celts or the Carthaginians. If the Romans could do it, why not Alexander?
 
Aug 2018
337
America
But the Celtic invasion of Greece in 279 BC happened at a time when the Hellenistic kingdoms were weakened by the infighting of the Diadochi wars, and the city-states of southern Greece were already in decline, for some time now. And the king of Macedon of the time, Ptolemy Keraunos, was an arrogant fool who would make one mistake after the other regarding the Celtic threat and paid for them with his head. None of these resemble the army and leadership of Alexander the Great. Still, the Celtic invasion of Greece ended up in disaster for them. Although they did manage to sack Delphi, very few survived that expedition. The Celts were formidable warriors for sure, but against organised, disciplined armies they suffered heavy losses. At Thermopylae, 279 BC, and against a much smaller Greek force, they had a disastrous first day of battle. They bypassed Thermopylae and marched on to Delphi, only through the infamous mountain pass that the Persians had used centuries before. And the battle of Delphi was also very costly to them, managing to overcome the Greek resistance through numerical superiority. Earlier, a hastily recruited Macedonian army, led by a capable leader, Sosthenes, had managed to defeat and repulse another Celtic horde led by Bolgios.

I don't see why Alexander would not be able to conquer the Celts or the Carthaginians. If the Romans could do it, why not Alexander?
The Romans did it almost two centuries after Alexander, and did so by improving their nautical skills too. Also, the fact that your only explanation of Keraunos's death is that he was "arrogant" shows how little your argument regarding the Celts is. The fact that they were capable of doing that shows they were quite equal to the Greeks. Not only that, but you outright ignored the fact that the Greeks were forced to cede Galatia to them, as well as the fact that the Greeks hired them as mercenaries.

One should add that the Celts sacked Rome, a feat the Greeks never did. Of course, Rome wasn't the same back then, but the fact that Greeks from Naples were also incapable of doing that, and in fact got conquered by the Romans even before the Celts who invaded Italy is further proof that Alexander is not going to subjugate them. Certainly, Alexander was capable of dominating other Greeks, or his father did at least, but the fact that Celts were capable of destroying those same Greeks, as well as Romans whom Greeks preferred to avoid or lost to, in battle shows that their military prowess is comparable.
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,615
Athens, Greece
The Romans did it almost two centuries after Alexander, and did so by improving their nautical skills too. Also, the fact that your only explanation of Keraunos's death is that he was "arrogant" shows how little your argument regarding the Celts is. The fact that they were capable of doing that shows they were quite equal to the Greeks. Not only that, but you outright ignored the fact that the Greeks were forced to cede Galatia to them, as well as the fact that the Greeks hired them as mercenaries.

One should add that the Celts sacked Rome, a feat the Greeks never did. Of course, Rome wasn't the same back then, but the fact that Greeks from Naples were also incapable of doing that, and in fact got conquered by the Romans even before the Celts who invaded Italy is further proof that Alexander is not going to subjugate them. Certainly, Alexander was capable of dominating other Greeks, or his father did at least, but the fact that Celts were capable of destroying those same Greeks, as well as Romans whom Greeks preferred to avoid or lost to, in battle shows that their military prowess is comparable.
Nautical skills had naught to do with the Roman subjugation of the Celts. It was essential regarding the Carthaginians only. And besides, the Greek navies were very competent to begin with, traditionally. The Celts were fearsome warriors individually, but against a disciplined, well-organised and capably led army, they didn't stand much of a chance. Galatia was not ceded to them, they were allowed to settle there, in exchange for recruiting them as mercenary warriors. The King of Bithynia, Nicomedes, invited them to settle in his lands and aid him in his military efforts.

Naples (Neapolis) was captured by Rome in 326 BC, the sack of Rome by the Celts was in 390 BC, you got it wrong. Naples was an ally of Rome, why would it want to sack Rome or even try it in the first place? And in any case, mingling Celts, Romans, Neapolitan Greeks and Alexander is a nonsensical argument. What does Alexander has to do with Magna Grecia Greeks? You actually think that the Celts were a more difficult opponent than the armies of Persia or the other foes that Alexander overcame?
 
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Aug 2018
337
America
Nautical skills had naught to do with the Roman subjugation of the Celts. It was essential regarding the Carthaginians only. And besides, the Greek navies were very competent to begin with, traditionally.
But I was talking only about Carthaginians in regards to nautical skill. And not all Greeks were nautically the same. The Macedonian fleet has no comparable feats to that of Syracuse or even Athens. Alexander's empire is essentially a land empire. Not to mention history shows that even the nautical Greeks were not exactly a match against Carthage, as we can see by how Carthage became the hegemonic power of the Western Mediterranean and overshadowed the local Western Mediterranean Greek states. The later Hellenistic powers didn't even attempt going after Carthage.



The Celts were fearsome warriors individually, but against a disciplined, well-organised and capably led army, they didn't stand much of a chance. Galatia was not ceded to them, they were allowed to settle there, in exchange for recruiting them as mercenary warriors. The King of Bithynia, Nicomedes, invited them to settle in his lands and aid him in his military efforts.
They only gave Galatia because the Celts invaded. It was their way of appeasing them. They would not have been "invited" (more like forced to give that land to them) without their invasion of Greek lands. And sure, they performed so badly against organised armies that they basically did a comparable amount of damage to the Greeks as the Persian Empire did under Darius and Xerxes (heck, the Persians didn't kill any major leader in the invasion of Darius and Xerxes as far as I remember, whereas the Celts killed a major Greek king).


Naples (Neapolis) was captured by Rome in 326 BC, the sack of Rome by the Celts was in 390 BC, you got it wrong. Naples was an ally of Rome, why would it want to sack Rome or even try it in the first place? And in any case, mingling Celts, Romans, Neapolitan Greeks and Alexander is a nonsensical argument. What does Alexander has to do with Magna Grecia Greeks? You actually think that the Celts were a more difficult opponent than the armies of Persia or the other foes that Alexander overcame?
Seeing how the Celts basically did a comparable amount of damage against Greece as the Persians under Darius and Xerxes, yes, they actually are quite equal to the Persians. Not only that, but they aren't even using outdated tactics like chariot warfare either, like Darius III did against Alexander. Now sure, Naples and Magna Graecia Greeks were not fighting completely the same as Alexander, but they still had similar tactics and are therefore still a yardstick. The fact that the Romans conquered these Greeks before they conquered the Cisalpine Gauls - let alone the Transalpine Gauls, who were also conquered about a century after Macedon and Greece - is still a significant comparison.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2014
1,219
Queens, NYC
Why would Alexander turn to Italy? The area was not as rich as Asia, and Alexander would almost certainly would simply prepare more thoroughly for another push eastward.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,808
Cornwall
I think his early death was inevitable. One way or another. Complete self-destruct bonkers, as in all power-crazed dictators. It what drives their brilliance
 
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Feb 2011
1,123
Scotland
Arnold Toynbee speculated on the 'might have been' of Alexander living to 69-

What might be different, renowned British historian Arnold Toynbee wondered, if Alexander the Great had lived to be 69 years old? He wrote an essay exploring the possible outcomes.

323 B.C.
Alexander is cured from his almost-deadly illness. He becomes a lot calmer and lets his loyal officers Eumenes, Perdikkas and Ptolemaios rule the empire during his the next few years when he is campaigning.

322 B.C.
Alexander sails around the Arabian peninsula. In Suez, he orders the renewal of the channel. Phoenicians are settled at the Persian Gulf, along with other neighbouring peoples as Samaritans, Moabites and and Hebrews. They use the opportunity and become an open-minded people. There is no religious strife and therefore no religious movements which spring off a humiliated Judaism. Thus: No Christianity (according to Toynbee). Alexander's new capital becomes Alexandria in Egypt.

321 B.C.
He sails to Macedonia and secures the frontiers in Thracia and Anatolia.

320/319 B.C.
Conquered of Sicily and Carthage. Both are reorganized in the same manner as the Corinthian league. In Gibraltar, he founds the city of Alexandreia Eschata Herakleia. Pytheas of Massilia receives order to sail around Africa.

318 B.C.
Greek-Roman Pact against Samnites.

317 B.C.
Victory over Samnium. Southern Italy ("Magna Graecia") is reorganized as the league of Naples. Rome may conquer whole Italy and - if possible - Gaul.

317-314 B.C.
With the Mediterrean Sea in his hands, Alexander forms a new army with mercenaries and moves to India. He conquers the kingdom of Magadha and Seleukos is installed as ruler. At the Ganges river, Alexander mets a Phoenician fleet that discovered the way to India by sea. From now on, Buddhist missionaries move deep into the empire. In Hellas, Zenon and Epicurus write essays on Buddhistic philosophy. World state and world religion are linked together from now on.

312/311 B.C.
Alexander moves to the Jaxartes river. Having heard of Chinese wealth, he joins an uprising and conquers China. Antigonos is made king of China.

308 B.C.
Nearchus discovers the sea passage from India to China. In the following centuries, Chinese population moves down the islands in the south, making Australia a Chinese continent.

287 B.C.
Alexander dies.

Alexander's successor Alexander IV. civilizes his empire, reorganizes administration, builds up infrastructure etc. In Alexandria, he builds a university ("Museion" for philosophers, "Hephaisteion" for Technicians). Heron discovers the steam power, Aristarchus the heliocentric idea. Erastothenes finds that Earth is kind of a ball.

Circa 220 B.C.
A young Carthaginian named Hannibal has read the stories of Atlantis and hopes to find it across the ocean. He finds the new continent of Antipodia.

The rest of the world slowly joins the peaceful and benevolent empire.

Circa 1930 A.D.
A historian named Arnoldus Toynbeenus sits in Alexandria and imagines a world where Alexander died. He shudders by the mere thought of it and praises Alexander LXXXVI.

If Alexander the Great had lived on 69
 
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Duke Valentino

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,327
Australia
It wouldn't be much longer until Alexander started facing SERIOUS communication problems, along with ambition from his generals and what not.