Homer's Influence On Alexander The Great In The Illiad And The Iliad

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Homer’s epics have left an undisputable and profound influence on Western literature. However, outside of the realm of literature, Homer’s ideas about honor, kingship, and leadership continued to affect the political world hundreds of years after his death. Specifically, Homer’s impact on Alexander the Great played a central role in not only the way Alexander saw himself, but also in the way he established and ruled the largest empire on earth. From an early age, Alexander was exposed to The Iliad and The Odyssey under the instruction of his teacher, Aristotle. The parallels between Alexander and Achilles are striking; for instance, both are undoubtedly the most remarkable warriors. In fact, Alexander considered himself as the son of a god, specifically Zeus, in the same way Achilles was the son of the goddess Thetis. The manner by which Alexander conducts himself during war shows direct understanding of the lessons taught by Homer’s poems, especially The Iliad. Based on how Alexander led his soldiers during battle, it becomes apparent that he has understood that the best kings put themselves on the same level as their subordinates, which is one of the characteristics of the distinguished leaders in The Iliad. Early in The Iliad, Achilles chastises King Agamemnon for watching others do the fighting, and then taking the lion’s share …show more content…
King Agamemnon’s tendency to allow others to do much of the fighting in wars earns him rebuke and criticism; Alexander makes it a point to make sure he is in the middle of the fight, inspiring his fellow soldiers. Likewise, he sacrifices physical comfort in a Homeric manner with the intention of conquering until he reaches the end of the world. Therefore, the early influence of Homer’s poems expresses itself by how Alexander embodies the ideal Homeric

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