After the death of King Darius III, Alexander began to introduce his ‘Policy of Fusion’. He believed that if the two traditions (Macedonian and Persian) could be “blended and assimilated”, his authority would be more securely established and would rest on good will rather than on force, according to ancient historian Plutarch. This tell us that Alexander did not want to destroy the Persia that Darius and his ancestors had set up and replace it with a Macedonian ruling. Quoting Plutarch, “He understood that the sharing of race and customs is a great step towards the softening of men’s heart”. Alexander knew that if he were to change Persia to a Macedonian ruling, the Persians would not have obeyed nor trusted him. He instead opted to combine the Macedonian and Persian kingship, an act that he knew would gradually earn the trust of the Persians. He changed his lifestyle by adopting Persian customs.
It started with Alexander starting to fashion Persian clothing. “He adopted the Persian diadem and the pure white robe and the Persian sash and everything else except the baggy trousers”, says Diodorus. Despite this, he made sure to stay true to his roots. Alexander did not don the tiara, baggy trousers and sleeved vests which was described as “altogether barbaric and outlandish” according to Plutarch. Alexander also made changes to his army. According to Diodorus, “He dressed his companions in purple cloaks and fitted out the horses in Persian harness”. He also appointed instructors to teach about thirty thousand Persian boys to “speak the Greek language and to use Macedonian weapon” [Plutarch], the very same boys who would eventually be known as his ‘Successors’. Through these incidents, we can see that Alexander showed a strong determination to instill his ‘Policy of Fusion’ by going as far as to alter his lifestyle and his army.
Many Macedonians were unhappy with his kind attitude towards the Persians though many had kept the resentment in the silence of...
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