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Alexander the Great

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Essay title: Alexander the Great

Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great's relation to triumph is obvious, he created an army which took over most of the known world. But what is not known widely is how tragic his life was. I cannot do full justice to his life but I will do my best to describe it. When Alexander was a child his parents were constantly fighting and his father was usually away on campaigns, so he rarely saw him when he was young. He therefore was usually under his mother's influence. When he was a young man his father was killed and he had to take over an entire country by himself which was in very bad shape. As he grew he had to deal with disputes, revolts and cruel neighboring rivals. When he was a grown man he killed many people, including some of his friends while in a drunken rage who had saved his life. At one point in his life he killed a life long friend while drunk and then realizing what he had done would have killed himself if his bodyguards had not restrained him. He then went into seclusion for three days. This is most likely just a small number of things that shaped Alexander the Great's life and it is likely some of the memories tormented him through most of his life. Most of Alexander's life was one big problem after another. I personally think it would have been hard to live with the blood of so many friends deaths on my hands, but maybe he could. Apart from the immense increase of international trade and the fraternization of many nations, what were the results, temporary and enduring, of the career of this great man? Of supreme and lasting importance to the world was the extension of Greek culture; secondly, a vast territory was opened up which had been useless as a desert until the conquered nomad tribes had been trained to follow civilized ways of life. This included the incentive to build cities, create harbors, ships and other aids for travel on land and sea; thirdly, financial and economic reforms; and lastly, the partial realization of Alexander's dream of universal toleration for all religions and the brotherhood of mankind. These results differed in many regions of the empire; for various reasons the successors of Alexander had not been able to follow all his visions. Greece and the Greek language were forgotten during the Dark Ages, but with the Renaissance their natural supremacy was recognized and became the basis of European culture. Hellenic culture continues to influence the world to this day. In Bacteria, it left an indelible mark which extended to northern India and parts of the Far East; two large volumes, beautifully illustrated, describe this information: L'Art Greco-Bouddique du Gandhara, by A. Foucher. Comparatively recent discoveries by archaeologists show how the technique of Hellenic art was adapted to Indian buildings and statues. Brief as was the transit of the Macedonian march from the Cophen Valley to the Delta of the Indus, the refining influence of Greek art can be traced all along Alexander's path from the Hindu-Kush, Peshawar and Taxila to the mouth of the Indus. Even in Turkestan and China, where Alexander never penetrated, the Buddha statues are modified by the gracious style of Greece. Alexander had started out as a crusader, to avenge the invasion and the destruction of the precious buildings of Greece, but later had as his goal the extension of Hellenic ways of life throughout his empire. In this he succeeded. Greek democratic liberty-freedom to think and to speak, and the duty of the individual to take his share in the government of his city was instituted wherever he became master. After the surrender of the robbers and semi-savage tribes of the mountainous regions of Persia, who had for centuries been a persistent menace to life on the plains, Alexander founded new towns and improved communications. The so-called "Foundation cities" were built at the junction of important roads, in positions specially chosen to assist the transit of merchandise and to command the valleys-a precaution necessary for adequate military supervision. The towns were planned on the Greek pattern, with a market square, school, offices, shops, temple, theater, gymnasium, and often a fountain. The young were given instructions in military methods and in Hellenic culture with its ideals of chivalrous courage. Some records speak of seventy cities having been founded, but only sixteen are certain; those hastily built with mud walls soon crumbled into dust. Six remain to this day: in Egypt was Alexandria; in Aria was Herat (in modern day Afghanistan); in Arachosia was Ghazni (also in modern day Afghanistan); in Margiane was Merv; on the Oxus River was Termez (on the modern day Amudarja River in Uzbekistan); and on the Jaxartes was Chodjend. Seven endured a considerable time: among these seven were Susiana, Prophthasia, Alexandria-ad-Caucasum, and Bucephala. The new cities were placed near enough already

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