Alexander the Great has gained an immortality in his strong presence in our minds as well as in the history books. Known for a greatness of military genius and diplomatic skills, he conquered most of the known world of his time and brought on a new era of the Hellenistic World. But who really was Alexander, the man?
The intention of this article is not to go into the whole history of Alexander’s invasion and conquest of the Near East, but rather to look at the man himself. In doing so, we will understand why Alexander invaded and will dispel some of the myths about Alexander’s intentions, in turn helping us to understand why the Greco-Macedonian Empire broke apart a little over a hundred years after his death. Nearly all traces of his once glorious empire had been tossed into the ash heap of history.
A bust of Alexander the Great (CC BY-ND 2.0)
The War Business
The army that King Philip II of Macedon left to his son Alexander was semi-professional and a paid fighting force. In order for Alexander to pay for this army, either he had to disband a portion of it to save money, risking much in doing so, or he had to go on the march to save his kingdom. Alexander choose to save his kingdom at another empire’s expense. Alexander needed to pay the bills, but would do so by looting Persia.
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