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Alexander the Great Historiography


Submitted By gallitrl
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Alexander the Civilizer or Alexander the Tyrant?
Alexander the Great was only 20 years old when he became king in 336, BC and, thanks to his father Philip II and to his education under Aristotle, he was a very competent and able commander. He learned early how to ride a horse, use weapons and command troops. He conquered the Greeks and then led them into battle against the Persians. He liberated Egypt. He then defeated Persia and marched his troops across Iran and Afghanistan, and could go no further because he got sick and died. According to most accounts, he was intelligent, handsome, and a successful military leader, one who cared about his men and paid attention to even the lowest soldier. He respected his enemies by giving them glorious funerals (Darius of Persia) and/or awarding them large expanses of territory after defeating them (King Porus of Paurava). He is credited with playing a huge part in the spread of Greek culture into all the regions he conquered, leading to a flourishing of trade, cultural diversity, art and architecture, education, philosophy, math and science up until the rise of the Roman Empire. By some accounts his quests reached as far north as the Arctic Ocean and as far east as China and he died at the age of 33.
Despite all of his accomplishments, both contemporary historians and historians through the ages have seen Alexander in a different light. In this light, Alexander's military prowess were only possible due to the actions of his father, Philip II. The Greeks rejected and rebelled against his rule, but could do nothing about it. His conquests were not so much brilliance as luck and an aversion to ruling his actual empire, and his darker side, in which he had a ferocious temper, allowed him to needlessly kill thousands and even murder close advisors and friends without rhyme or reason. This Alexander led his

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