Was Alexander's Empire screwed kinda from the start?

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Closed
Nov 2019
8
USA
Even if the young King had lived, he was a terrible administrator and was now tasked with administrating and consolidating an Empire which reigned from the Danube to the Indus. Is my Alexander hate just getting to my head, or is there really no chance for a long lasting Macedonian Empire?
 
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Sep 2019
68
Vergina
Why do you say Alexander is a terrible administrator?

In my opinion, he seems pretty competent. Alexander was generally tolerant of local beliefs-customs such as in Egypt and Babylonia. He tried to incorporate the Persians into his empire through marriage alliances, administrative appointments, training Persian youth in the Greek style. He also secured his borders with settlements like Alexandria Eschate and vassals like Porus. I don't think Alexander's Empire was that unstable at the time of his death and had a proper succession plan been enacted it could have survived generally intact. We should recall that the Seleucids ruled much of Alexander's Asian conquests and had Seleucus not been assassinated they might have brought Macedon into the fold as well.
 
Nov 2019
8
USA
Why do you say Alexander is a terrible administrator?

In my opinion, he seems pretty competent. Alexander was generally tolerant of local beliefs-customs such as in Egypt and Babylonia. He tried to incorporate the Persians into his empire through marriage alliances, administrative appointments, training Persian youth in the Greek style. He also secured his borders with settlements like Alexandria Eschate and vassals like Porus. I don't think Alexander's Empire was that unstable at the time of his death and had a proper succession plan been enacted it could have survived generally intact. We should recall that the Seleucids ruled much of Alexander's Asian conquests and had Seleucus not been assassinated they might have brought Macedon into the fold as well.
While he did encourage cultural syncretism between the Macedonians and Persians, he often set off the Macedonian Old Guard who hated the idea of cooperating with the enemy. It's clear that Alexander suffered from extreme narcissism and Megalomania (for evidence I point out the twenty-something cities named "Alexandria"), and keep in mind the first thing he did once he marched his army back to Babylon was excessively feast, drink, and whore his way to oblivion. Even if Alexander had a son, it was also clear that the Macedonian generals had plans of their own, and were probably extremely paranoid of being disposed of by Alexander after Parmenion and Philotas' assassination.
 
Sep 2019
68
Vergina
While he did encourage cultural syncretism between the Macedonians and Persians, he often set off the Macedonian Old Guard who hated the idea of cooperating with the enemy. It's clear that Alexander suffered from extreme narcissism and Megalomania (for evidence I point out the twenty-something cities named "Alexandria"), and keep in mind the first thing he did once he marched his army back to Babylon was excessively feast, drink, and whore his way to oblivion. Even if Alexander had a son, it was also clear that the Macedonian generals had plans of their own, and were probably extremely paranoid of being disposed of by Alexander after Parmenion and Philotas' assassination.
I don't think the old guard fundamentally understood how to administer a multi-ethnic empire. Alexander rewarded men like Peucestas who bothered to learn Persian language-customs and governed their provinces effectively. I doubt Parmenion and Philotas had any interest in Persian ways or trying to understand their new subjects. The naming of cities after ones self was common enough among ancient rulers. The important point is the cities all served a purpose of solidifying Macedonian rule in Asia something the Seleucids would continue. I think this demonstrates Alexander was a pretty effective state builder. At the same time criticisms of his personal character can also still be true.
 
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Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,639
Australia
The Empire continued for ages, just under the reign of the generals. Had he lived there's every reason to think it could have lasted for some time.
 
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Sep 2016
1,324
Georgia
keep in mind the first thing he did once he marched his army back to Babylon was excessively feast, drink, and whore his way to oblivion.
No, the first thing that Alexander did after finishing march through Gedrosia was the execution of Satraps who abused their power and reassertion of his authority. Tomb of Cyrus the Great was also restored.

Alexander then managed to suppress the mutiny of his veterans at Opis. After that, he arranged a mass wedding of his officers to Persians in Susa to create a stronger ties between Macedonian and Persian nobility.

Upon returning to Babylon Alexander held many meetings with diplomatic delegations and ambassadors from various kingdoms and states. Arrian describes them in detail. He also started to prepare for his next campaign in Arabia.
 
Nov 2019
8
USA
Another 'Alexander was he all that' thread eh? Makes you wonder how he ever got remembered by history at all!
Oh not at all, Alexander has a tremendous impact in history, there is simply no way to deny that fact, I'm just wondering if the Macedonian Empire, given it's sheer scale and colossal amount of races and peoples it ruled over, could really last a while as a united entity.
 
Jan 2013
1,067
Toronto, Canada
Oh not at all, Alexander has a tremendous impact in history, there is simply no way to deny that fact, I'm just wondering if the Macedonian Empire, given it's sheer scale and colossal amount of races and peoples it ruled over, could really last a while as a united entity.
It wasn't an empire; it was a realm - it had no institutional superstructure. Alexander held it together through force of personality. It fell apart once that personality was gone.
 

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,639
Australia
It wasn't an empire; it was a realm - it had no institutional superstructure. Alexander held it together through force of personality. It fell apart once that personality was gone.
Except it didn't? The parts he conquered held together fine, under the various generals. Had there been one general who defeated the others, he'd have held the whole territory much as Alexander (or the Persian predecessors did)
 
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