Alexander The Great:
Conqueror and Legacy of Ancient Greece
Greece Research Paper
All throughout Ancient Greece, there were many great influential legacies. Some were philosophers, such as Aristotle and Plato, and some were mathematicians, like Archimedes. However, there was Alexander the Great, who became king of Macedonia and was one of the most successful military commanders in history since he sustained abundant accomplishments. He was undefeated in battle, and by the time of his death, he had conquered most of the world known to the Ancient Greeks, along with unifying the multiple city-states of Ancient Greece.1 From the rise of Macedonia and his numerous conquests, Alexander The Great expanded the Greek empire to its greatest size, where his reign would change the face of Europe and Asia forever. Although Alexander The Great had successful conquests and ultimately became one of the most influential military legacies of Greek culture, his ambition of doing so was driven by his own egocentricity, where he sought revenge for the terrible attacks on Greece that the Persians had wrought under Darius the Great and Xerxes, as well as fulfilling his desire to diversify himself in order to become an individual in the cultures of the Greek city-states. Alexander’s undeniable legacy includes many achievements through his kingship, yet one of the leading successes would be all of the conquests he had succeeded. According to Plutarch in Alexander, Alexander’s reasoning of beginning the conquest in Thebes was clear; “When he came to Thebes, to show how willing he was to accept of their repentance for what was past, he only demanded of them Phoenix and Prothytes, the authors of the rebellion, and proclaimed a general pardon to those who would come over to him.” 2 Alexander The Great was, and still is, known for his narcissistic attitude and determination to dominate anything standing in his way. Yet, it seemed as though Alexander truly desired revenge, and wanted complete control over the cities, in addition to the people within them. Moreover, through the Quintus Curtius’ History of Alexander, Alexander was portrayed as “all-powerful… influential” 3, skilled and determined through his conquests, and after his last official battle of Arbela, “Alexander falls into great peril, but is saved by his boldness and courage.” 4 His horrible sickness, that eventually killed him after battle, could not even stop his true intentions to dominate. Alexander was a military genius at the shocking age of 20 years old, and could notably be one of the greatest warriors of all time. An official Alexander The Great biography states that in the start of Alexander’s conquest period, “Alexander's hope that the destruction of Thebes would serve as a warning to city-states contemplating revolt. His intimidation tactic proved effective; the other Greek city-states, including Athens, chose to pledge their alliance to the Macedonian Empire.”5 Through the source Heilbrunn Timeline of History of The Rise of Macedonia and the Conquests of Alexander the Great, Alexander attains his conquests through “a remarkable campaign that lasted eleven years, he went on to fulfill his claim and more by conquering the Persian empire of western Asia and Egypt, and by continuing into Central Asia as far as the Indus Valley.”6 But because of Alexander’s intense egocentricity, his troops were far more prepared, organized and trained than the Egyptians and the Persian army, which led to both of these cities’ defeat by Alexander’s mighty army. Another way in which Alexander The Great became one of the most influential legacies in all of Ancient Greece and our world today, is through his establishment of the Hellenistic period, and introducing his citizens into a flourishing, successfully reformative culture. 7 This started where Alexander “spread Greek thought and culture in his wake, thus...
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