Alexander The Greatness

Amazing Essays
No study of world civilization would be complete without a look at the campaigns of Alexander the Great of Macedonia. Nevertheless, there remain varying opinions as to his actual “greatness”. Through a study of the scholarly book The Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian, the Oliver Stone production Alexander, and my own research, I hope to determine for myself if Alexander is genuinely worthy of the title bestowed upon him. During my high school world civilization class Alexander became a topic of interest to me. What makes a man remarkable enough to have “the Great” added to his name? Furthermore, what motivates a man to dedicate his entire adulthood to war against foreign peoples in foreign lands? Finally, why would hundreds of thousands of …show more content…
Following this victory, the Persian King Darius fled by chariot with Alexander in pursuit. The fact that Alexander is considered one of the greatest military leaders is not in question and Arrian expresses this by saying,
He had an uncanny instinct for the right course in a difficult and complex situation, and was most happy in his deductions from observed facts. In arming and equipping troops and in his military dispositions he was always masterly.
Furthermore, Arrian is not alone is admiring Alexander’s military strategies, as I will revisit this from other sources. Along with being a masterful military strategist, Alexander was also a master at inspiring his men prior to battle with personal and heartfelt speeches. Arrian’s account of one such speech prior to one of the biggest battles goes as
…show more content…
So extraordinary was the effect of this action that the water wasted by Alexander was as good as a drink for every man in the army. I cannot praise this act too highly; it was a proof, if anything was, not only of his power of endurance, but also of his genius for leadership.
The willingness of Alexander to fight and suffer alongside his men makes him stand out as a remarkable leader in my mind, and thus I concur with Arrian’s assessment of the greatness of Alexander. Although Arrian does find fault with some of Alexander’s decisions at times, overall the perspective of the book is exceedingly favorable. The 2004 movie, Alexander, is an Oliver Stone production that looks at the life and times of Alexander the Great from his childhood in Macedonia until his untimely death in Babylon at the age of 32, giving a brief look at his early education with the Greek philosopher Aristotle, his training in Greco-Roman wrestling, and his aptitude for horseback riding. We also get a glimpse at his oftentimes tumultuous relationships with his mother, who insists he is the son of Zeus, and his father who exiles Alexander and his mother from the kingdom for

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Caesar was a great leader due to his tactics during war, because of his honor and loyalty that he has given his army and family, and his demonstration of his strategies before war. Bevington’s edited version of the book Julius Caesar had information about Caesar’s life. Bevington is a scholar who wrote plays and edited old literature. He studied and graduated from Harvard University with a M.A. and Ph.D. “he was elected…

    • 1099 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Campaigns of Alexander the Great by Arrian is easily comparable to The Funeral Oration of Pericles by Thucydides since these two primary sources exemplify the maximum power of the pre-Roman leaders in antiquity. Alexander the Great and Pericles both had complete authority and admiration of their men, but both likewise encountered troubling periods amongst their men. In the case of Alexander, his kinsmen were far from home, and were questioning why they persisted to fight under, and with, Alexander. Pericles’s people doubted anything they might accomplish about the war in Peloponnese. Throughout their speeches, they possessed the aptitude to persuade.…

    • 1077 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Reasons why I think Alexander is a hero is because he was a great military leader, he advanced the Greek civilization, and he wanted to educate people. Alexander was a great military leader. He knew how to win a war easily because of his many strategies that helped him and his army fight. He was very smart when it came down to military. People have said that he is a military genius.…

    • 311 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    According to it the better state is the one that uses its own troops, and that resists too much outside influence. The better prince is the one who rises by his own force, rather than by the help of friends or by good luck. Machiavelli is a huge admirer of intelligence. Not surprisingly, the one person, who may be considered as Machiavelli’s ideal ruler through the whole book is Cesare Borgia. Seems like Borgia had all the qualities that Machiavelli praises.…

    • 2022 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Alexander became a young king at the age of 20, and later known as Alexander the Great. His leadership, wit, strategic plans, and knowledge helped him succeed in ruling the people. The way he portrayed himself to people was critical to the publics eye. “When he felt it was necessary, Alexander could be brutal, and his show of force brought the Greek cities back into line. But Alexander also could be merciful, as Plutarch demonstrates in the story of Timoclea…Aleander was so taken by her bravery that he let her and her children go free” (Kidner et.a;, 98).…

    • 900 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He knew how to take the fear out of his army and throw them at the face of danger without and scare from any of them. “Excerpts from “The Anabasis of Alexander,” A.D. 171 “He was … very heroic in courage, … He was very clever in recognising what was necessary to be done, when others were still in a state of uncertainty; … In … ruling an army, he was exceedingly skillful” this was very important for him being a ruler. Without traits like this he would of never conquered as much land or accumulated as much power. In alexander's last battle he fought to the death of him “Excerpts from “In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great.” 1997 “The exact cause of Alexander’s death has never been determined. He, of course, suffered greatly during his campaigns, enduring at least 21 wounds that, at one point, left his so [hurt] he could not speak above a whisper.…

    • 970 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hektor truly is a man of high moral standards because of his feeling of liability and fidelity towards his city-state, Troy, and his continued humbleness through his victories. Achilleus and Agamemnon both become increasingly arrogant when they are bestowed traditional Greek honor, but Hektor continually shows gratitude and grace no matter the amount of honor he receives because of his fierce and noble fighting. All three of the characters Homer’s Iliad show honor, but all show differing levels of true honor. Anyone can have honor, but only those who are truly virtuous and continually demonstrate the extent of their ethics can attain true…

    • 749 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Napoleon success and great leadership came about because he was power hungry, loved fame, arrived at a time when no one expected him, and for the reason that he was able to control two things that Clausewitz the greatest writer on the nature of war defines success in battle 1) Mutual transformation of forces in conflict and 2) keeping in control. His national background together with his upbringing affected him as a leader. Though in addition to his nature, and focus as a leader part of his success was due to his military career that without most probably would not have allowed him to be the leader that he was. • King David- A leader with charisma like no other. Today, over 2,000 years later King David is still revered around the world regardless of religion.…

    • 1152 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Yes! The conquests he went on/the wars he fought, his achievements, and his legacy (Hellenistic Age) all contribute to the great person that he is remembered as today. Additionally, Alexander possessed the characteristics of what it means to be great; he was a courageous, intelligent, creative, disciplined, and integrous leader with remarkable achievement. Alexander had all of these! Although Alexander is criticized for his cruelty, one can confidently say that Alexander the Great was great and his cruelty was a result of a burning desire to his empire.…

    • 1286 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A great deal of respect was earned through success in battle, and was equated to a man’s ability to lead in government. Prominent figures like Pompey and Caesar were so successful because of the abilities they showed early in their careers. Augustus did not immediately establish himself as a threat during the battles against Caesar’s assassins. In fact, when he and Antony led their army against Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, Augustus “disgraced himself in the first of the two actions by taking to his tent with illness” (Potter 172). Surely, if this weakness…

    • 911 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays