Alexander The Greatness

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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
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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

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