Alexander The Great Essay

960 words - 4 pages

There is no one description of Alexander the Great, he has become for modern and ancient writers an astonishing man from Macedon who was a controversial, yet admirable ruler of the largest empire of the known ancient world. The fascination and relevance of Alexander in the contemporary world has proven to be a reflection of his extraordinary successes, which has led to a strong debate on whether Alexander’s epithet as “The Great” is at all an indication of his achievements.
Alexander’s ability to expand his empire connecting the East and the West of the known world; a feat that had never been achieved prior to Alexander, or in fact achieved again after his death has been greatly admired by ...view middle of the document...

Although Alexander’s ability to conquer lands has been ultimately undisputed, modern historians question his military reputation which is marred by his cruel nature through the unnecessary deaths made under his command and the treatment of women and children, whom many were sold into slavery. His most infamous crusade being The Battle of Thebes which has, by contemporary historians such as R.D. Milns; who have grown up in the aftermath of WW1 and WW2 would see Alexander’s destruction of Thebes as an unnecessary and brutal act, J.R. Hamilton finding his actions a form of terrorism; both questioning the necessity, or lack thereof of Alexander ordering for Thebes to be razed to the ground and for 30,000 of Thebes inhabitants to be sold into slavery; which has been described by Plutarch as a political move to make an example of the Greeks, in the hopes of scaring them into submission. This ruthlessness and brutality on the battlefield during Alexander’s time were accepted and even expected by many; a stark contrast to the values shared by Milns and Hamilton, which would indicate the reasoning behind their dismissal of Alexander’s military abilities and actions.
Alexander, although well known for his military accomplishments, has proven himself to be a strong administrative leader, who was known for his unique mixture of policies stemming from both Macedon and Persia. Most ancient writers were under the impression that Alexander was, as Livy believes, an exceptional leader who would remain, as mentioned by Cantor a model king for the Middle Ages; a world who idolised warriors and great battles, even regarding Alexander as one of the four great kings of the Ancient world. Their admiration is showcased in a variety of artworks including the “Alexander’s Flight” mosaic in the Cathedral of Otranto depicting Alexander making ascent into Heaven with the help of two griffins. Alexander’s adoption of Darius the Great’s fixture of...

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