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Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon (Alexander the Great, Alexander III of Macedon) (356-323 B.C.), king of Macedonia, born in late July 356 BC in Pella, Macedonia, one of the greatest military genius in history. He conquered much of what was then the civilized world, governed by his divine ambition of the world conquest and creation of universal world monarchy.
Arrian describes Alexander: the strong, handsome commander with one eye dark as a night and one blue as a sky, always leading his army on his faithful Bucephalo, accompanied by the best military formation of the time, the Macedonian Phalanx which was armed with sarisses, the fearful five and half meter long spears. He was the first great conqueror which has reached, Greece, Egypt , Asia Minor, and Asia till the river Ind in India. He was famous for having created ethnic syncretism between the Macedonians and the conquered populations, especially the aggressive Persians. Alexander brought Greek ideas, culture and mentality to the conquered countries and assured expansion and domination of the Hellenistic Culture which together with the Roman Civilization and Christianity presents the fundaments of what is now called Western Civilization.
Alexander was born at Pella in Macedonia in the late July of 356 BC, on the same day as the famous Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was burned. His father was Philip II of Macedon, who was brilliant ruler and strategist, while his mother was Olympias, princess of Epirus, daughter of King Neoptolemus of Epirus. Olympias practiced dyonisiastic rituals. She was jealous, vindictive and very protective of Alexander. Alexander was even more ambitious than his father; he was desperate when he heard of Philip's conquests and said:
My father will get ahead of me in everything, and will leave nothing great for me to do.
His mother Olympias' ancestor was Achilles, and his father Philip II of Macedon, descends from Hercules.
PROJECT, son of Philip , an Epirot and Aeacid by mother's side: Paus.
PERSEUS PROJECT,reputed son of Ammon: Paus. 4.14.8
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Even as a young boy Alexander was fearless and strong. He, in the age of 12 years, tamed the beautiful and spirited Bucephalus, a horse that no one else could ride. Philip was so proud of Alexander's horsemanship that he said:
O my son, seek out a kingdom worthy of thyself, for Macedonia is too little for thee.
Later, this famous stallion carried him as far as India till Hydaspes
river, where it died. There Alexander had built the city of Bucephala,
in memory of his beloved horse.
Alexander knew by heart the Iliad. He loved Homer, and always slept with a copy of the Iliad under his pillow.
Plutarch writes : The care of his education, as it might be presumed, was committed to a great many attendants, preceptors, and teachers, over the whole of whom Leonidas, a near kinsman of Olympias, a man of an austere temper, presided, who did not indeed himself decline the name of what in reality is a noble and honorable office, but in general his dignity, and his near relationship, obtained him from other people the title of Alexander's foster-father and governor. But he who took upon him the actual place and style of his pedagogue was Lysimachus the Acarnanian, who, though he had nothing to recommend him, but his lucky fancy of calling himself Phoenix, Alexander Achilles and Philip Peleus, was therefore well enough esteemed, and ranked in the next degree after Leonidas.
From age 13 to
16 Alexander, at Mieza, together with the other boys belonging to the Macedonian
aristocracy was taught by Aristotle, who introduced him to the world of
arts and sciences.
During Philip's expedition against the Byzantium in 340, he left Alexander, then sixteen years old was left in Macedonia in the charge of his seal; Alexander in the mean time was not idle, he reduced the rebellious Maedi, a Thracian people to obedience. He took their capital town by storm, drove out the barbarous inhabitants, and created a colony of several nations in their room, called the town after his own name, Alexandropolis.
Philip's politics was not appreciated by the Athenians, and Demosthenes considered him semi-barbarian. Obviously the Macedonian hegemony presented the threat for their independent politics.
Related articles on the net:
PERSEUS PROJECT,wives and sons: Paus. 9.7.2
PERSEUS PROJECT,passionate nature: Paus. 6.18.2
PERSEUS PROJECT, good fortune: Paus. 4.35.4, Paus. 7.10.3
PERSEUS PROJECT,Aristotle's influence with him: Paus. 6.4.8
PERSEUS PROJECT,house at Megalopolis: Paus. 8.32.1
PERSEUS PROJECT,makes Chaeron tyrant of Pellene: Paus. 7.27.7
Alexander and Philip
At the battle of Chaeronea Philip defeated the allied Greek states of the Sacred Band of Thebes in September 338 BC. at the time Alexander was only 18, when he commanded the left wing of Philip's cavalry, and demonstrated personal courage in breaking the Sacred Band of Thebes. It is said he has been the first man that charged the Thebans' sacred band. Although Philip's army was greatly outnumbered by the Athenian and Theban troops, the Macedonian phalanxes triumphed over the Athenians and Thebans. Athens and Thebes became Philip's subjects. Sparta remained the only Greek state not under Macedonian control. This early bravery made Philip so proud of Alexander, that nothing pleased him more than to hear his subjects call himself their general and Alexander their king.
At the Council at Corinth, Philip imposed his politic system to the Greek states (with exception of Sparta); Philip gave freedom and autonomy to all the political parties in each state, establishing a bureaucratic system that would be stable and loyal to him.
In 337 divorced Olympias. After a quarrel at a wedding feast, Alexander and his mother left Macedonia. Few months later, they were reconciled and Alexander returned; but his life was in danger...
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is dead, Long live the King.
Spring - Autumn 336 BC
Philip on his way to the theater during the wedding celebration of his daughter with the Olympias' brother, Alexander of Epirus, in July 336, was assassinated by the macedonian officer Pausanias at Ege, antique capital of Macedonia. Alexander was immediately presented to the army as new king. Alexander was 20 when he became king of Macedonia. He at once executed at Lyncestis (region of northern Macedonia), all alleged to be behind Philip's murder along with all possible rivals and the whole fraction opposed to him. He executed Philip's nephew Aminita, while Olyimpias has eliminated Cleopatra's new born sun.
The Murder of Philip II
Consolidation of Kingdom and European Campaigns
He then marched south, stabilised Thessaly, and at an assembly of the Greek League at Corinth was appointed the strategos autocrator ( supreme commander ) of all Greeks for the expected invasion of Persian Empire, previously planned and initiated by Philip. On his return to Macedonia by way of Delphi, the Pythian priestess acclaimed him invincible.
He started with blitz campaigns against the Triballi and Ilyrians, which took him across the Danube. He marched into Thrace in spring 335 and, after forcing the Shipka Pass and crushing the Triballi, crossed the Danube to reduce to obedience Getae and Celtic tribes; turning west, he then defeated and shattered a coalition of Ilyrians who had invaded Macedonia.
PERSEUS PROJECT, destroys Thebes: Paus. 4.27.10, Paus. 7.6.9, Paus. 7.17.2, Paus. 9.6.5 ff., Paus. 9.7.1, Paus. 9.23.5, Paus. 9.25.10
The other Greek states were frightened by this cruelty, and Alexander could afford himself to treat Athens diplomatically, while Macedonian garrisons were left in Corinth, Chalcis, and the Cadmea.
PERSEUS PROJECT, makes war on Darius: Paus. 6.17.5
Battle of Granicus
On the way he stopped at Troy and after visiting Ilium , at the Granicus River, near the Sea of Marmara (May/June 334).he confronted his first Persian army which was led by three satraps.
The conquest of Persian empire had become more realistic than in 346: Artaxerxes III had died in 338, and the new king was the much weaker Darius II (he succeeded in 336, after the brief reign of Arses, whom the trilingual inscription found at Xanthus in 1973 shows that he has borne with the title Artaxerxes IV).
When city of Miletus opposed, encouraged by the closeness of the Persian fleet, Alexander took it by assault; without a maritime battle: he disbanded his expensive navy and decided to defeat the Persian fleet on land, by occupying the coastal cities. In Caria, Halicarnassus resisted and was destroyed; but Ada, the widow and sister of the satrap Idrieus, adopted Alexander as her son and Alexander appointed her as a satrap of Caria. However, until 332 some parts of Caria held out. On his way toward Babylon, Alexander won several important battles
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Intelligence on both sides was imprecise, and the two armies had in
fact been advancing randomly. Alexander was already encamped by Myriandrus
(near modern Iskenderun, Turkey) when he find out that Darius was astride
his line of communications at Issus, north of Alexander's position (autumn
333). Alexander came head to head with King Darius during the Battle
of Issus on the north-east Mediterranean coast. Although Alexander
was advancing south he was surprised to find Darius approaching from his
North! Turning, Alexander found Darius drawn up along the Pinarus River.
In the battle that followed, Alexander won a decisive victory, and Darius
fled, leaving his family in Alexander's hands.
Alexander was outnumbered many times (perhaps even 10:1). Even so, he held back a reserve force, for the first time in the military history.
After the battle when he had entered in the Darius's tent in all its luxury, golden bath, silk carpets ..., while Alexander was known for living in modest spartan conditions by comparison and is said to have commented:
and Hephaestion went to meet Sisygambis, she prostrated herself at the
feet of the most kingly figure she saw, she chose by the mistake the taller
Hephaestion! Alexander is said to have responded rather friendly:
"Don't worry mother, he is Alexander too."
Alexander treated all the women with great respect "due to their station". An interesting fact is that later when Sisygambis had an opportunity to return to Persians, she had refused.
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of Syria, Phoenicia and Egypt
With the intention to isolate the Persian fleet from its maritime bases and so to destroy it as an effective fighting force, from Issus Alexander marched south into Syria and Phoenicia. The Phoenician cities Marathus and Aradus came over with no resistance. In reply to a letter from Darius offering peace, Alexander replied with arrogance, demanding unconditional surrender to himself as lord of Asia.
After taking Byblos and Sidon , he met resistance at Tyre, where he was refused entry into the island city. The Tyrians walled themselves in their island fortress. Alexander couldn't leave them to attack his rear and he could not attack by sea so he decided to build a land bridge, which still exists. He suceeded finally only after seven month not by land but in a very brutal naval battle; the Tyrians fired red hot sand at Alexander's fleet. The storming of Tyre in July 332 was Alexander's greatest military achievement; it was attended with great massacre and the sale of the women and children into slavery.
In the meantime (winter 333-332) the Persians had counterattacked by land in Asia Minor, but they were defeated by Antigonus, the satrap of Greater Phrygia; But by sea, Persians succeeded to recapture various cities and islands.
During the siege of Tyre, Darius sent a letter with his offer: he wanted to pay ransom of 10,000 talents for his family and cede all his lands west of the Euphrates. On that occasion Alexander's general Parmenio advised him to accept.
in Syria, Alexander advanced south without opposition until he reached
Gaza on its high mound; there bitter resistance halted him for two months,
and he sustained a serious shoulder wound during a sortie.
PERSEUS PROJECT, at Tyre, Diodorus, Historical Library 17.41.1
Alexander organized Egypt employing Egyptian governors, while keeping the army under a separate Macedonian command. He founded the city of Alexandria near the western arm of the Nile between the sea and Lake Mareotis, protected by the island of Pharos, and had it projected by the famous Rhodian architect Deinocrates. From Alexandria he marched along the coast to Paraetonium and from there inland to visit the celebrated oracle of the god Amon at Siwah. Alexander reaching the oracle in its oasis, the priest gave him the traditional salutation of a pharaoh, as son of Amon; Alexander consulted the oracle, which reviled him that he was the son of Amon (Zeus).
In spring 331 he returned to Phoenicia, nominated a Macedonian satrap for Syria, and prepared to advance into Mesopotamia, toward Babylon. Early in July 331 Alexander was at Thapsacus on the river Euphrates, then he advanced across northern Mesopotamia toward the Tigris. Darius sent his general Mazaeus, who marched up the Tigris to oppose him.
PERSEUS PROJECT,in Babylon Diodorus, Historical Library 17.31.1
The Battle of Gaugamela
(or Arabela as it is also called in Assyria), was the last big battle of
the war, which took the place on the plain of Gaugamela between Nineveh
and Arbela on the 1st October 331 BC. Darius III succeeded to escape with
his Bactrian cavalry and Greek mercenaries into Media before the battle
was over. Babylon welcomes Alexander as new "King of Asia"; Mazaeus, who
wisely surrendered Babylon was confirmed by Alexander as satrap. Alexander
with Mazaeus was so generous that he granted him the right to have his
coin. The same as in Egypt, the local religion and priests was encouraged.
The capital city Susa, also surrendered, releasing huge amounts of silver
and gold which corresponds to 120.000 talents, when the gold was estimated
in terms of silver. Reducing to obedience the mountain tribe of the Ouxians,
he now continued over the Zagros range into Persia, and successfully took
the Pass the Persian Gates, held by the satrap Ariobarzanes, Alexander
entered in the capital of Persia, Persepolis and Pasargadae.
PERSEUS PROJECT, The battle of Arbela, Diodorus, Historical Library 17.60.1
PERSEUS PROJECT, at Susa and Persepolis, Diodorus, Historical Library 17.71.1
As a symbol that
the Panhellenic war was terminated, Alexander ceremonially burned down
the palace of Xerxes; dyonisiastic act that was inspired by the Athenian
courtesan Thaïs. Later in spring 330 Alexander marched north into
Media and occupied its capital Ecbatana. Panhellenic war was over, the
Thessalians and Greek allies were sent home; since then he was conducting
a purely personal war. Since the Panhellenic war of revenge came to an
end, Alexander's political and ideological views on the empire were changing:
He had come to new political idea of two jointly ruling people: Macedonians
and Persians. That new politics created the opposition and misunderstanding
between Alexander and Macedonians. Before continuing to pursuit Darius,
who had escaped into Bactria, he collected all the Persian treasure and
entrusted it to Harpalus, who was to keep it at Ecbatana as chief treasurer.
Parmenio was also left behind in Media to control communication lines.
In July 330 Bessus, the satrap of Bactria, had betrayed and imprisoned Darius, after a the Caspian Gates at Skirmish (near modern Shahrud), the usurper Bessus finally had stabbed Darius III and left him to die in agony.
Alexander found him dead or dying. Alexander organized an imperial funeral with all honors for the last Persian emperor.
Images of Ancient Iran
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Philotas, Parmenio's son, commander of the elite Companion cavalry, took a part in a plot against Alexander. He was condemned by the army, and executed; and a secret message was sent to Cleander, Parmenio's second in command, who obediently assassinated him. This brutal action diffused horror but strengthened Alexander's position. All Parmenio's men were eliminated and men close to Alexander promoted. The Companion cavalry was reorganized in two sections, each containing four squadrons (since then known as hipparchies); one group was commanded by Alexander's oldest friend, Hephaestion, the other by Cleitus, an older man .
From Phrada during
the winter of 330-329, Alexander moves to south through Arachosia toward
valley of the Helmand River, and crossed the country of the Paropamisadae,
where he founded another cities Alexandria in Aracosia and Alexandria by
the Caucasus. In the meantime Bessus in Bactria was organizing a revolt
in the eastern satrapies with the usurped title of Great King. Crossing
the mountains of Hindu Kush, Alexander marches northward over the Khawak
Pass (over 3000m), Alexander brought his troops, despite food shortages,
snow and very cold climate to Drapsaca (modern Banu ). Then he moves westward
to Bactra-Zariaspa (modern Balkh/Wazirabad in Afghanistan), appointed loyal
satraps in Bactria and Aria. Crossing the Oxus, he sent his general Ptolemy
in pursuit of Bessus, who had meanwhile been overthrown by the Sogdian
Spitamenes. Bessus was captured, flogged, and sent to Bactra, where he
was later mutilated after the Persian manner (losing his nose and ears);
several months later he was publicly executed at Ecbatana. They fastened
him to a couple of trees which were bound down so as to meet, and then
being let loose, with a great force returned to their places, each of them
carrying that part of the body along with it that was tied to it.
PERSEUS PROJECT, among Arimaspians and Gedrosians, Diodorus, Historical Library 17.81.1
Alexander occupies Maracanda (modern Samarkand). From there Alexander marched to north by way of Cyropolis to the Jaxartes (modern Syrdarya), at the extreme limits of the Persian Empire. There he broke the rebellion of the Scythian nomads, who had massacred Macedonian soldiers. At the site of modern Khojent on the Jaxartes, he founded a city, Alexandria Eschate, "the last Alexandria" In the mean time Spitamenes, prince of Sogdiana had raised in revolt, who had escaped in the hart of Asiatic Russia raising the Massagetai against the Macedons. It took Alexander until the autumn of 328 to crush the most rigid opponent he encountered in his campaigns. In the autumn, Alexander’s general Craterus triumphed over the Massagetai; who then have killed Spitamenes, offering his head to Alexander, asking for the peace. It is interesting fact that Spitamenes daughter, Apame had become the wife of Seleuco, who had later founded the Seleucid dynasty. At Maracanda in the autumn of 328 BC, during the dyonisiastic feasts, Alexander murdered Cleitus, one of his most trusted commanders. That event widened the detachment between Alexander and many Macedonians. Alexander occupies Maracanda (modern Samarkand). From there Alexander marched to north by way of Cyropolis to the Jaxartes (modern Syrdarya), at the extreme limits of the Persian Empire. There he broke the rebellion of the Scythian nomads, who had massacred Macedonian soldiers. At the site of modern Khojent on the Jaxartes, he founded a city, Alexandria Eschate, "the last Alexandria" In the mean time Spitamenes, prince of Sogdiana had raised in revolt, who had escaped in the hart of Asiatic Russia raising the Massagetai against the Macedons. It took Alexander until the autumn of 328 to crush the most rigid opponent he encountered in his campaigns. In the autumn, Alexander’s general Craterus triumphed over the Massagetai; who then have killed Spitamenes, offering his head to Alexander, asking for the peace. It is interesting fact that Spitamenes daughter, Apame had become the wife of Seleuco, who had later founded the Seleucid dynasty.
On his march towards India through Afghanistan, he attacked Oxyartes and the remaining three princes (Corienes, Catanes and Austanes) who controlled the hills of Paraetacene (modern Tadzhikistan).One of his splendid moves was the capture of the Sogdian Rock. At the top of the rock was Oxyartes, who felt protected because of the vertical cliffs on each side. He provoked Alexander to send up men with wings to take the fortress. Alexander did exactly what Oxyartes ironically proposed. He sent up 300 experiences climbers during the night with the assurance of spectacular wealth if they succeed. The climb - a "very severe" in alpinistic manner of speech was concluded by 90% of the soldiers. Next morning Oxyartes was shocked to see these men "with wings" waving down at him. He surrendered with no resistance. Alexander and Oxyartes became good friends. Alexander married his sister (according some authors his daughter) Roxanne.
Shortly afterward, at Bactra, he tried to impose the Persian court ceremonial, the prostration (proskynesis, genuflexsion) on the Greeks and Macedonians too. This habit which was normal for Persians entering the king's presence, to them was intolerable and unacceptable. Even Callisthenes, historian and nephew of Aristotle refused to abase himself. Several weeks later Callisthenes was held to be involved in conspiracy among the royal pages and was arrested (he was executed or died in prison according some authors).
PERSEUS PROJECT, his danger among Oxydracians: Paus. 1.6.2
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Before Alexander crossed into India in early summer 327 BC, he felt the necessity to reorganize the army that he had led through Persia and to it adapt the different climate and terrain. He burned all of the baggage wagons of Persian booty that impeded his mobility, and he dismissed a large number of his soldiers, reshaping his army with several thousand east Iranian cavalrymen. The fighting forces were about 40,000, while the troops with auxiliary services were 120,000 men. Crossing again the Hindu Kush mountain, this time without snow, by Bamian and the Ghorband Valley, Alexander split his forces. Half the army with the luggage under Hephaestion and Perdiccas, both cavalry commanders, was sent through the Khyber Pass. Alexander led the rest through the mountains to the north.
In spring 326, crossing the river Cofen, Alexander entered Taxila, and King Taxiles equipped Alexander with elephants and troops in return for aid against his rival Porus, who ruled the lands between the Hydaspes and the Acesines. In June 326 BC. Alexander fought his last great battle on the left bank of the Hydaspes against Porus, one of the most powerful Indian kings. Alexander's army crossed the heavily defended river in dramatic manner during a violent tempest to meet Porus' forces. The Indians were defeated in a brutal battle, although they fought with elephants. Alexander captured Porus and, like the other kings he had defeated, allowed him to continue to reign his country. Alexander even conquested an autonomous province and granted it to Porus as a gift. He founded two cities there, Alexandria Nicaea (to celebrate his victory) and Bucephala (named after his horse Bucephalus, which died there); and Porus became his friend and ally.
PERSEUS PROJECT, in India, Porus, Diodorus, Historical Library 17.89.1
November 326 - Spring 325
Alexander's next goal was to reach the Ganges River, which was actually 400 kilometers away. He was impatient to continue farther, but when he had advanced to the Hyphasis his army exhausted in body and spirit denied to go farther in the tropical rain. Coenus, one of Alexander's four chief commanders, acted as their speaker. His soldiers had heard stories of the powerful Indian tribes that lived on the Ganges and remembered the difficulty of the battle with Porus, they refused to proceed any farther. On finding the army insistent, although he was extremely disappointed, he accepted their decision, but persuaded them to travel south down the rivers Hydaspes and Indus so that they might reach the Ocean. On the Hyphasis he erected 12 altars to the 12 Olympian gods. On the Hydaspes Phoenician and Egyptian sailors built a fleet of 800 ships. He then proceeded down the river and into the Indus, with half his forces on shipboard and half marching in three columns down the two banks, leaded by Craterus, Haphesteion and him. The fleet was commanded by Nearchus, and Alexander's own captain was Onesicritus; both of them later wrote the memoirs of the campaign. The march was attended with much fighting and heavy, merciless massacre; at the invasion of one town of the Malli near the Hydraotes (Ravi) River, Alexander was heavily wounded. During this journey, Alexander sought out the Indian philosophers, the Brahmins, who were famous for their wisdom, and debated them on philosophical issues. He became legendary for centuries in India for being both a wise philosopher and a courageous conqueror.
One of the villages in which the army stopped belonged to the Malli, who were said to be one of the most warlike of the Indian tribes. Alexander was wounded several times in this attack, most seriously when an arrow pierced his breastplate and his ribcage. The Macedonian officers rescued him in a narrow escape from the village.
Alexander and his army reached the mouth of the Indus in July 325 B.C.
In the summer of 325 BC, Alexander on reaching Patala, situated at the top of the Indus delta, built a harbor and explored both arms of the Indus, which then ran into the Rann of Kutch. He intended to lead part of his forces back by land, across the dangerous Gedrosian Desert. Nearchus, a Cretan with naval experience, who made a exploration voyage along the Persian Gulf. was put in command of a fleet of 150 ships that took the sea route. Nearchus sailed westwards with northeast monsoon in late October 325 BC.
September - October 325
Alexander marched along the coast through Gedrosia (modern Baluchistan), but he was soon forced by mountainous country to turn inland. Craterus, a high-ranking officer, already had been sent off with the baggage and siege train, the elephants, and the sick and wounded, together with three battalions of the phalanx, by way of the Mulla Pass, Quetta, and Kandahar into the Helmand Valley; from there he marched through Drangiana in order to rejoin the main army on the Amanis (modern Minab) River in Carmania. Alexander, on land, lost nearly three quarters of his army because of the severe conditions of the desert, and in a unexpected monsoon flood while they were encamped in a Wadi many of them died.
Autumn - Winter 325
When the survivors reached the region called Carmania, their fortune changed radically as they were welcomed into the prosperous country. Alexander and his men celebrated the end of their calamities in the desert and traveled in luxury to Harmezeia, where they rejoined to Nearchus' fleet, which also had suffered losses. Then the joined army marched to Persis to take rest.
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In spring 324 he was back in Susa, capital of Elam and administrative center of the Persian Empire; at Susa Alexander held a banquet to celebrate the conquest of the Persian Empire. In promotion of his policy of fusing Macedonians and Persians into one master race, he and 80 of his officers took Persian wives; he married Darius' daughters Barsine (also called Stateira) and Hephaestion married her sister Drypetis, and 10,000 of Macedonian soldiers which married with native wives were given generous gifts. The filopersian policy brought increasing friction to Alexander's relations with the rest of Macedonians, who had no understanding for his new conception of the empire. His determination to incorporate Persians on equal terms in the army and the administration of the provinces was heavily criticized by Macedonians. This discontent was now disqualified by the arrival of 30,000 native youths who had received a Macedonian military training and by the introduction of Orientals from Bactria, Sogdiana, Arachosia, and other parts of the empire into the Companion cavalry. Persian aristocracy had been accepted into the royal cavalry bodyguard. Peucestas, the new governor of Persis, gave this policy full support, but most Macedonians saw it as a danger to their own favored position. The issue came to a head at Opis (324 BC.), when Alexander's decision to send home Macedonian veterans under Craterus was interpreted as a move toward transferring the seat of power to Asia. There was an open insurrection involving all but the royal bodyguard; but when Alexander discharged his whole army and enrolled Persians instead, the opposition deceased. An emotional scene of reconciliation was followed by a vast banquet with 9,000 guests to celebrate the ending of the misunderstanding and the partnership in government of Macedonians and Persians as partners in the empire. Ten thousand veterans were now sent back to Macedonia with gifts, and the crisis was eliminated.
summer 324 Alexander attempted to solve another problem, that of the nomadic
mercenaries, of whom there were thousands in Asia and Greece, many of them
political exiles from their own cities. A decree brought by Nicanor to
Europe and proclaimed at Olympia (September 324) required the Greek cities
of the Greek League to receive back all exiles and their families (except
the Thebans), a maneuver that indicated some modification of the oligarchic
regimes maintained in the Greek cities by Alexander's governor Antipater.
Alexander now planned to recall Antipater and replace him by Craterus;
but he has died before this could be done. In autumn 324 Hephaestion died
in Ecbatana, and Alexander indulged in extravagant mourning for his best
friend; he was given a royal funeral in Babylon with a pyre costing 10,000
talents. His post of chiliarch (grand vizier) was left unfilled. It was
probably in connection with a general order now sent out to the Greeks
to honor Hephaestion as a hero that Alexander linked the demand that he
himself should be accorded divine honors. For a long time his mind had
dwelt on ideas of godhead. Alexander had on several occasions encouraged
favorable comparison of his own accomplishments with those of Dionysus
PERSEUS PROJECT, against the Cossaeans, Diodorus, Historical Library 17.111.1
In the winter of 324 Alexander carried out punitive expedition against the Cossaeans in the hills of Luristan. The following spring at Babylon he received complimentary embassies from the Libyans and from the Bruttians, Etruscans, and Lucanians of Italy; representatives of the cities of Greece who came to celebrate and confirm Alexander's divine status. Following up Nearchus' voyage, he had founded an Alexandria at the mouth of the Tigris and made plans to develop sea communications with India, for which an expedition along the Arabian coast was to be a preliminary one. He also appointed Heracleides to explore the Hyrcanian (Caspian) Sea.
The plans for the conquest of the western Mediterranean and the creation of a universal monarchy were mentioned by Diodorus. In his later years Alexander's aims have been directed toward exploration, in particular of Arabia and the Caspian.
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PERSEUS PROJECT, death, Diodorus, Historical Library 17.117.1
PERSEUS PROJECT, death: Paus. 1.25.3
PERSEUS PROJECT, said to have been poisoned by water of Styx: Paus. 8.18.6
PERSEUS PROJECT, buried at Memphis: Paus. 1.6.3, Paus. 1.7.1
PERSEUS PROJECT, ranked as general below Pyrrhus by Procles: Paus. 4.35.4
No heir had been appointed to the throne, and his generals adopted Philip II's illegitimate son, Philip Arrhidaeus, and Alexander's posthumous son by Roxana, Alexander IV, as kings, sharing out the satrapies among themselves, after much negotiation. Some years later, both kings were murdered, Arrhidaeus in 317 and Alexander in 309. The parts of former Alexander's empire became independent monarchies, and the generals, following Antigonus' lead in 306, took the title of monarch. Alexander generals known as Diadochs had established their own kingdoms on the rests of the Alexander's empire:
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Alexander had the iron will and capacity to led his men; he knew when to with draw and to modify and adapt his policy. Alexander had imaginative fantasy of genius which was driven with the strong romantic figures like Achilles, Heracles, and Dionysus. He was sometimes cruel and autocratic. The only clear characteristics that emerge are his outstanding military genius and his successful politics. The only psyhologically clear motive is the pursuit of glory: the urge to surpass the heroes of myth and to attain divinity. The success of his ambition, at immense cost in human terms, spread a veneer of Greek culture far into central Asia, which remained present during the Hellenistic era for a long time after his death.
His financial policy was centralized with collectors independent of the local governors, the establishment of a new coinage helped trade everywhere and vast amount of the Persian treasuries, have created desperately needed impact to the economy of the Mediterranean.
Alexander has founded over 70 new cities. The Greek influence remained strong and the colonization process was continued by Alexander's successors. The diffusion of Hellenic customs over Asia till India was one of the most dominant effects of Alexander's conquests, but his plans for ethnic fusion, did not have success. The Macedonians rejected the idea of ethnic fusion and in the later Seleucid Empire the Hellenistic element was dominant. After his death, nearly all the noble Susa marriages were dissolved.
As a conqueror Alexander is among the greatest the history has seen. He had adapted new tactics and created innovative forms of warfare ( battles against the Shaka nomads, or against Porus with his elephants). His strategy was genial and imaginative and he knew how to use the opportunities that occurred in every battle that were decisive for the victory.
He initiated the era of the Hellenistic monarchies, and created, if not politically, at least economically and culturally, a single market extending from Gibraltar to the Punjab, open to trade, social and cultural exchange. This vast territory had common civilization, and the Greek was in fact was the lingua franca of the time.
brought significant improvements of geography and natural history. His
achievements mark a decisive moment in the World history. The Roman Empire,
the spread of Christianity as a world religion, and the thousand years
of Byzantium were all in part the consequences of Alexander's conquests.
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PERSEUS PROJECT, epic poem on him: Paus. 6.18.6
PERSEUS PROJECT, statues: Paus. 1.9.4, Paus. 5.20.10, Paus. 5.25.1, Paus. 6.11.1
PERSEUS PROJECT, overreached
by Anaximenes: Paus.
PERSEUS PROJECT, joins Clazomenae to mainland: Paus. 7.3.9
PERSEUS PROJECT, wishes to dig through promontory of Mimas: Paus. 2.1.5
PERSEUS PROJECT, sets up no trophies: Paus. 9.40.9
PERSEUS PROJECT, dedicates cuirass and spear to Aesculapius: Paus. 8.28.1
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