Was Alexander the Great more than a conqeror?

Nov 2011
1,051
The Bluff
What was so fortunate about state of Persian empire at the time of his attack ? How it was that much worse or different from previous decades and centuries ?
This is an oft retailed trope. Apparently, the Persian Empire was decadent, decayed and just waiting to fall over by the time of Alexander's invasion. Nonsense, of course.
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
This is an oft retailed trope. Apparently, the Persian Empire was decadent, decayed and just waiting to fall over by the time of Alexander's invasion. Nonsense, of course.
Yeah I keep seeing people repeat this cliche over and over again, but they never go into any detail as to how it was weak and declining, they just say it as if it's a universally known fact that needs no elaboration.
 
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Mar 2019
1,837
Kansas
Yeah I keep seeing people repeat this cliche over and over again, but they never go into any detail as to how it was weak and declining, they just say it as if it's a universally known fact that needs no elaboration.
Whats the old saying?

- The winners write the history books
 
Nov 2008
1,402
England
Yeah I keep seeing people repeat this cliche over and over again, but they never go into any detail as to how it was weak and declining, they just say it as if it's a universally known fact that needs no elaboration.
This is an oft retailed trope. Apparently, the Persian Empire was decadent, decayed and just waiting to fall over by the time of Alexander's invasion. Nonsense, of course.
Exactly. The wealth of the Persian king was enormous. The royal palaces such as those at Babylon, Susa, and the ceremonial centre at Persepolis held reserves estimated at 235,000 talents of bullion and coinage, and the annual tribute, after deductions for the use by satraps, was about 10,000 talents of wealth. Darius could, given time, marshal an army of 120,000 men for a decisive battle such as happened at Gaugamela. Moreover, the Persians maintained a huge and complex bureaucracy to govern their vast empire. It was far from being decayed and decadent when Alexander invaded.
 
Mar 2019
1,837
Kansas
Exactly. The wealth of the Persian king was enormous. The royal palaces such as those at Babylon, Susa, and the ceremonial centre at Persepolis held reserves estimated at 235,000 talents of bullion and coinage, and the annual tribute, after deductions for the use by satraps, was about 10,000 talents of wealth. Darius could, given time, marshal an army of 120,000 men for a decisive battle such as happened at Gaugamela. Moreover, the Persians maintained a huge and complex bureaucracy to govern their vast empire. It was far from being decayed and decadent when Alexander invaded.
But see for all this to be true then the Macedonians must have been........................................the bad guys???????????? lol

I mean really are you telling me the documentary 300 was all a lie
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
But see for all this to be true then the Macedonians must have been........................................the bad guys????????????
What do you mean? No one is saying Alexander was the bad guy. It was essentially an ambitious and glory-seeking king overthrowing a massive empire that conquered dozens of smaller lands because of their incessant imperialism. No side was 'good' or 'bad' (even though such labels are inappropriate for people that lives 2,300 years ago and did not believe such concepts applied to them).
 
Mar 2019
1,837
Kansas
What do you mean? No one is saying Alexander was the bad guy. It was essentially an ambitious and glory-seeking king overthrowing a massive empire that conquered dozens of smaller lands because of their incessant imperialism. No side was 'good' or 'bad' (even though such labels are inappropriate for people that lives 2,300 years ago and did not believe such concepts applied to them).
I was playing with a popular notion that the Persians were the great evil empire and the Macedonians were freedom loving Brave heart inspired heroes. The reality was the Persians were no better or worse than anyone else at the time. They were however brilliant organizers. In a lot of ways the Persian empire created the administrative template for many future empires.
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
I was playing with a popular notion that the Persians were the great evil empire and the Macedonians were freedom loving Brave heart inspired heroes. The reality was the Persians were no better or worse than anyone else at the time. They were however brilliant organizers. In a lot of ways the Persian empire created the administrative template for many future empires.
Actually the current modern belief is that the Persians were tolerant, multicultural and anti-slavery, and that Alexander was a power-hungry egotistical maniac.
 
Apr 2019
45
Mumbai
I was playing with a popular notion that the Persians were the great evil empire and the Macedonians were freedom loving Brave heart inspired heroes. The reality was the Persians were no better or worse than anyone else at the time. They were however brilliant organizers. In a lot of ways the Persian empire created the administrative template for many future empires.
That portrayal was probably a 19th century invention, to justify the superiority of the west over the east. The movie 300 was fascinating because it indicated Persian women were more oppressed than Greek women (extrapolating the status of Iranian women today to a time 2300 years ago). And since a lot of people get more information from Hollywood than their school, the myth continues.