Alexander the Great According to Arrian

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Alexander and His Campaigns: How He Changed
The Alexander portrayed by Arrian in his The Campaigns of Alexander, is an interesting and complex Alexander, a character that slowly grows, matures and evolves throughout his adventures in new lands. Arrian is able to give an in depth description of the battles Alexander took part in as well as the lands he traveled to, while at the same time describing Alexander’s character. He is able to describe how Alexander goes from an over-confident youth, with great dreams of grandeur, to an adult who remains almost the same but more wise, and then finally a sad shadow of his former self who finally dies in depression.

As a youth Alexander set out with his army to Egypt with a confidence that he could do almost anything. After conquering Egypt he describes himself as being part god, to the dimay of some Greeks. He even refuses Darius’ offer for Alexander to marry his daughter, because he says he does not need his permission to marry Darius’ daughter. This part of Alexander’s life serves to show his “young and stupid” phase, where is extremely cocky, acting as if he could take over the entire world if he wanted to, even though he does see most of the world in terms of what people during Alexander’s time thought the world was. Although Alexander does become more wise to the ways of the world as he ages, he never really sheds his over-confidence until right before his death.

Alexander shows more signs of maturity as he travels through Asia into India, where he battles Porus with his fleet of Indian elephants, which Alexander’s horses were not used to. Although the battle between Alexander and Porus was long and hard fought, Alexander comes out victorious. But before that Alexander rides up to the dying Porus and asks what the defeated king wants. He answers that he wants to be treated as a king and Alexander proceeds to give Porus’ kingdom back. Although Alexander showed some sense of mercy all throughout his life, this part...
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