Was Alexander Great?

Nov 2008
1,315
England
#31
That's interesting. Gabriel doesn't pull any punches on Alexander. He criticizes his generalship and his mental health (I suppose murdering your friends while on a drunken bender isn't an act of sanity) and directly calls him a conquistador whose credit really deserves to go to the subordinate generals and army created by his father.
This obviously begs the question why those generals, good as they were, did not achieve what Alexander did. Only a detailed study of the life of this Macedonian king will reveal the reasons why he was great. And this detailed study importantly must include his character and his motivation. Here are some clues:

When Alexander`s sarcophagus was brought from its shrine, Augustus gazed at the body, then laid a crown of gold on its glass case and scattered flowers to pay his respects. When they asked if he would like to see Ptolemy too, "I wished to see a king", he replied, "I did not wish to see corpses."

Suetonius, Life of Augustus.

As for the exact thoughts in Alexander`s mind, I am neither able nor concerned too guess them, but this I think I can state, that nothing common or mean would have been his intention; he would not have remained content with any of his conquests, not even if he had added the British Isles to Europe; he would always have searched beyond for something unknown, and if there had been no other competition, he would have competed against himself.

Arrian, Alexander`s Expedition.

Concerning those generals. Five years after Alexander`s death, his generals in Asia met in Persia to sort out their differences. They would not even sit together, until the suggestion was made to use Alexander`s royal tent. There they sat, before his royal robes, his sceptre, and his empty throne. This way they could perhaps talk as equals, and discuss matters as if with his unseen presence. But it wasn`t the same, the mood had disappeared that had once been there.
 
Sep 2014
864
Texas
#32
IMHO, though far from perfect (indeed) the closest thing to a living god there ever was. ALWAYS leading from the front. Fighting CONSTANTLY. Winning EVERY SINGLE BATTLE. Winning EVERY SINGLE SIEGE. And there were the conquests......

Yet I sense so much revisionism around here whenever his name comes up. So, was Alex truly the loser that y'all seem to think?
Oh Alexander did all that. So did Genghis Khan and Tamurlane. If you like destroying other cultures that are older and in my opinion better than yours, yeah he was great. I don't care for him, but then I read Olmstead's History of the Persian Empire. What a remarkable civilization destroyed by an egomaniac self appointed by a god. But my dislike for Macedonia is based on their entire history....Alex is just one more nail in that coffin. And yes, you could argue the Persians attacked Greece and even burned the Acropolis. I wish they hadn't done that, but Pericles turned around and made it bigger and better.
1554906463992.png No one made Persepolis bigger and better.

Alexander is popular for many reasons...being a cute sixteen year old beating the crap out of Thebes does in spire the imagination (I absolutely despise Thebes).
So anyway, I blame it all on Olmstead....and another eunuch who poisoned everyone who might have been able to put down Alex III.

1554906794122.png

1554907006386.png horseman of Artaxerxes II attacking a Greek soldier. People forget Cyrus the younger brought the Greek mercenaries to Asia minor to overthrow his brother.
 
#34
Alexander is a giant among historical figures and rightfully so.

There are many great figures in history, men and the civilisations and armies / peoples they represent who have done absolutely amazing feats that we couldn't even attempt today, we're just not made of that same stuff as they were back then.

The pain, the agony, the risks, the bravery, the innovations and the strength of character to achieve what they did is something I've always admired.

If you take the Navy Seals or the SAS and multiply them into thousands, that is the sort of calibre of men we're talking about, yes they were indeed great.

I will add though, when I say Alexander is great I don't mean just him as an individual, I mean him as a representation of what his father started, the generals and Macedonians around him and what they were for their time.

We do tend to focus on the Kings and Generals maybe too much but its an easy way of celebrating an era for them and their people.
 
Nov 2008
1,315
England
#35
Alexander is popular for many reasons...being a cute sixteen year old beating the crap out of Thebes does in spire the imagination (I absolutely despise Thebes).
When he was sixteen and fighting the Thebans, Alexander commanded the cavalry but his father, King Philip of the Macedonians, commanded the army. And why do you despise the ancient city of Thebes?

So anyway, I blame it all on Olmstead....and another eunuch who poisoned everyone who might have been able to put down Alex III.
You seem to be suggesting Olmstead is a eunuch! Furthermore you seem to be suggesting both he and another eunuch poisoned a lot of people. Would you please be good enough to explain all of this?
 
Feb 2019
331
California
#36
He had a small side to him. He seemed to enjoy hearing criticism of his father's achievements and dismissed Antipater's important victory at Megalopolis as a battle between mice.

Yes Alexander had a couple of serious weaknesses (one of which was a source of strength): vanity and alcoholism. I would not have wanted to be anyone with a possible claim to even a small share of Alex's glory attending a drinking party with Alex and his buddies---unless all spears had been checked at the door, that is.

Still, closest thing to a living god this earth will ever see, IMHO.
 
Mar 2019
813
Kansas
#37
Yes Alexander had a couple of serious weaknesses (one of which was a source of strength): vanity and alcoholism. I would not have wanted to be anyone with a possible claim to even a small share of Alex's glory attending a drinking party with Alex and his buddies---unless all spears had been checked at the door, that is.

Still, closest thing to a living god this earth will ever see, IMHO.
Well Macedonians were renowned for their drinking and carousing. And Alexander was famous among them for drinking and carousing......so God knows what it must have taken to drink him under the table
 
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