How much about the world did the ancient rulers knew about?

M.S. Islam

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,333
Dhaka
I'm not so sure he was only out to conquer the Achaemenid Empire. The primary sources are pretty clear that the main reason Alexander turned home from the Indus is that his army mutinied, being tired of the endless campaigning and wanting to go home. Even when heading home Alexander did not give up on plans of further conquest. At the time of his death he was planning a war in Arabia. That was outside the Achaemenid Empire.

I did not intend to glorify Alexander as a world conqueror. I mentioned it as a way of illustrating Alexander's changing perceptions of the world. It's easy to conquer the world if the world is a relatively small place. As Alexander came to understand that the world was larger than he originally believed, he (or his army) gave up on the plan to conquer India and any places farther east.
No, I did not mean you, I meant those ancient narrators/ historians who floated the idea of Alexander's supposed global conquest.

Can you cite a source that Alexander only wanted to conquer the Achaemenid Empire?
Alexander's actions demonstrated his intentions better than any source.

However, it is well established that Alexander simply continued with his father's plan to invade Persia.

There was no conceivable reason or context for undertaking a 'global conquest'.
 
Oct 2018
1,695
Sydney
Alexander's actions demonstrated his intentions better than any source.
Alexander's actions are reported through the same sources you want to dismiss. Alexander turned back after his army mutinied, and he made preparations for the conquest of Arabia after sending several expeditions to reconnoiter the region, which Arrian discusses in detail (7.19-20), but died before campaigning could begin.
 
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M.S. Islam

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,333
Dhaka
Alexander's actions are reported through the same sources you want to dismiss. Alexander turned back after his army mutinied, and he made preparations for the conquest of Arabia after sending several expeditions to reconnoiter the region, which Arrian discusses in detail (7.19-20), but died before campaigning could begin.
Why did he turn south towards India after conquering Sogdia? Why not continue further east from there?
 

M.S. Islam

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,333
Dhaka
If the sources don't talk to us in that regard, we can only speculate.
Sure. If he had the intention to conquer the world, he would have continued eastward after Sogdia. Sogdia marked the eastern boundary of the Achaemenid empire, and he stopped in that direction after conquering it and turned south for remaining unconquered Achaemenid territory. Therefore, we can safely speculate that conquest of the Achaemenid empire was his objective, not the world.
 
Oct 2018
1,695
Sydney
Sure. If he had the intention to conquer the world, he would have continued eastward after Sogdia.
Unnecessary assumption.

Sogdia marked the eastern boundary of the Achaemenid empire, and he stopped in that direction after conquering it and turned south for remaining unconquered Achaemenid territory. Therefore, we can safely speculate that conquest of the Achaemenid empire was his objective, not the world.
India was associated with wealth in the Greek mindset. We need not assume that the conquest of the Achaemenid empire was Alexander's only interest as a conqueror simply because he marched into India. We also need not assume that Alexander's goals remained stagnant. His war with Persia appears to have evolved into something more ambitious, thus his plans for Arabia and the fact that he had to be dissuaded from progressing deeper into India.
 

M.S. Islam

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,333
Dhaka
Unnecessary assumption.
If he were to conquer the world, why would he stop there?

India was associated with wealth in the Greek mindset. We need not assume that the conquest of the Achaemenid empire was Alexander's only interest as a conqueror simply because he marched into India. We also need not assume that Alexander's goals remained stagnant. His war with Persia appears to have evolved into something more ambitious, thus his plans for Arabia and the fact that he had to be dissuaded from progressing deeper into India.
Agreed.
 
Oct 2018
1,695
Sydney
If he were to conquer the world, why would he stop there?
Perhaps his goals had yet to progress further than the Achaemenid Empire. Perhaps they had progressed, but he first wanted to complete his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Perhaps India was as a whole more appealing. Tulius may be right that we can only speculate on this matter.
 

M.S. Islam

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,333
Dhaka
Perhaps his goals had yet to progress further than the Achaemenid Empire. Perhaps they had progressed, but he first wanted to complete his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Perhaps India was as a whole more appealing. Tulius may be right that we can only speculate on this matter.
Perhaps.

Or, maybe he was so obsessed with Persia that the rest of the world mattered little to him.

Maybe once he became successor to the Achaemenid emperors (king of kings), his goal was to restore the empire to its fullest extent. Hence conquest of India upto Indus, after Sogdia. Maybe he had former Persian possessions on Arabian peninsula in mind when he supposedly intended to conquer Arabia.

Why else would he want to conquer Arabia? Oil?
 
Oct 2018
1,695
Sydney
Perhaps.

Or, maybe he was so obsessed with Persia that the rest of the world mattered little to him.

Maybe once he became successor to the Achaemenid emperors (king of kings), his goal was to restore the empire to its fullest extent. Hence conquest of India upto Indus, after Sogdia. Maybe he had former Persian possessions on Arabian peninsula in mind when he supposedly intended to conquer Arabia.

Why else would he want to conquer Arabia? Oil?
Arrian (cited above) describes Alexander's preparations, reconnaissance missions and ambitions with regard to Arabia as being tailored to sailing around and penetrating deep into Arabia, with a desire to conquering new mysterious lands both in Arabia itself and on the surrounding islands. This speaks to ambitions that transcended what the Achaemenids appear to have ever possessed. My partner conducts research on perfumes in the ancient world, and Arabia was mistakenly regarded as being a place replete with myrrh, frankincense, cinnamon and other luxury trade items. Indeed, Arrian describes these products as being part of the appeal for Alexander. The problem is that many Greeks and later many Romans do not appear to have realized that Arabia and the surrounding islands were not producing these items, but were associated with these products because they were regions through which trade routes from south Asia crossed.