Alexander the Great's Impact on the World

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Alexander the Great is without doubt one of the greatest military leaders of history. Not only did Alexander of Macedon conquer enormous areas of the known world but also he demonstrated dynamic leadership and masterful strategy on a large scale and tactics on the battlefield. During his life, he ruled the largest empire the world had ever seen, which stretched from ancient Greece to India. The son of King Phillip II of Macedon, Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle and first led Macedonian troops at age 18. Many times Alexander was worshipped as a god in some of the countries he ruled. He had a huge impact on world history spreading the seeds of western culture and philosophy across the world and has legends and stories about him in over 80 languages. He was head strong, violent, extremely brave, politically cunning, loved by his men, and a gifted leader. Few individuals have had the sort of impact on history that Alexander did. With his death, what was called the Hellenic Age becomes the Hellenistic. No longer was Greece a minor collection of city states, but a mighty empire. The western world, for better and for worse, became almost a single place, united by a common culture that left its mark on language, literature, and politics.

Alexander extended the boundaries of European civilization as far as India, and left behind a definite impact on the history, art and religion of the areas he conquered. Alexander sparked what is known as the Hellenistic period. This period was the pinnacle of Greek influence in the ancient world; the Hellenistic period was the time after Alexander’s death when Greeks, Persians and other cultures were mixed together with Greek culture being the main influence. Before his death, Alexander created a unified ruling class for his huge empire; he placed a mixture of Persians and Greeks in charge of different satrapies in his empire. He encouraged the inter-marrying of Greeks and Persians and the result was the combination of the two cultures and the spread of Greek culture throughout the world. Alexander the Great’s military expedition brought many Greeks and Macedonians to the East through the Persian Empire and into India. The men in his army, families, historians, philosophers, poets, scientists and others traveling with Alexander carried their Western customs with them and he made sure to place Greek and Macedonian people in charge of his conquests along the way. As a result, Western culture mixed with Eastern culture to create a new culture throughout Alexander’s Empire.

Many people fail to realize that Alexander has had a definite affect on us today, although not as great as he would have had on people of the past. In most parts the world today, Alexander The Great is considered a legend; however, in some places, Alexander is considered a god. One of the most notable people in history, Alexander has reached an iconic status in our world today. He possibly may have even been referred to in the Quran (Surah 18:89-98). There are still many stories told about him including folktales, and movies. In modern Iran, Alexander is still known as an evil king who nearly destroyed the ancient Persian culture and religion. Although the effect of “Alexander Mania” has died down since the time of his reign, you can still see the mark that he has left on today’s world.

One particular side effect that Alexander's conquests inspired admiration in the military leaders that followed after him, though he may have also made them feel a bit of status anxiety. Scipio Africanus, and his Carthaginian counterpart Hannibal Barca were both recorded to have felt a slight sense of inadequacy at being unable to achieve the same level of military prowess as Alexander. Hannibal, in particular, can be seen as having felt status anxiety when he compared himself to Alexander. According to classical accounts, he felt that Alexander would not have been defeated in the Battle of Zama, despite the...
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