A. Samuel Goldenberg 10/02/2009 HIST 50: World Civilizations, Begginnings-1600 Stephanie Murphy Prompt #1 Alexander the Great Countless Homo sapiens have roamed the globe since about 250,000 years ago. Many wars have been fought, empires rising and falling as leaves on a tree grow in the spring and fall in the winter. (The first two sentences are fluff, which add nothing to your essay. Get rid of them. ) Very few ancient leaders leave left behind a legacy that is still remains present resonates in today’s world.
Alexander the Great is one of those exceptional leaders. Alexander led an imperialistic Greek military campaign from 336-323 BC, bringing most of the known world at the time under his rule. An outstanding military leader, Alexander the Great was highly revered for his achievements during his short life. Not only did he win fame for his numerous victories on the battlefield, but he also enhanced that fame through the shrewd use of propaganda. However, his most enduring legacy came through actively promoting the spread Hellenistic culture in the regions he conquered.
Alexander was born in on 20, July, 356 BC to Phillip the II, the king of Macedonia. Macedonia is a mountainous land rich in silver and gold. It is located north of the Peloponnesian islands, which were ruled by more democratic city-states. These democratic cities, such as Sparta and Athens, denounced Macedonians by labeling the area as barbaric due to because of its monarchy. However, these democratic city-states were weakened due to by the Peloponnesian War in which the democratic lands fought one another.
In the Peloponnesian’s moment of fragile existence the monarch Phillip conquered and assumed power and King of Greece. (These two sentences are awkward and unclear. I assume that you’re trying to say that Athens and Sparta were been weakend by fighting the Peloponnesian war against each other, and that their relative weakness allowed Phillip to conquer both of them and declare himself King of Greece. However, you might want to check your dates as Phillip didn’t conquer these areas until decades after the war was over. Moreover, he also subdued the city-states of mainland Greece.
Phillip had a dream to dreamed of wage waging a war of revenge against the Persian Empire, which had initiated a losing campaign against Greece 100 years prior. Persia had attacked Greece in hopes of expanding its borders into Europe. Unfortunately, Phillip was murdered assassinated, propelling Alexander to power at the young age of 20. Alexander the Great surpassed acquired even more fame through Greece’s revenge conquest against the Persian Empire eventually realized his father’s dream of conquering Persia, leading a successful military campaign against its considerable empire.
Greece fought off the attack through superior troops and military commandment. Alexander the Great led the war against the significant Persian Empire, “In just twelve years, Alexander the Great conquered vast territories, dominating lands from west of the Nile to the east of the Indus. ” (The Essential World History, p90-map 4. 2) The reign of the Persian king, Darius III, ended as when he was killed by his brother as all of the just as Alexander captured the Persian empire was being captured by Alexander the Great; Finally, Greece had its vengeance.
Wealth from the conquered lands flooded into Greece, like the Tigris and Euphrates enabling Alexander the Great to make it Greece the strongest, wealthiest country in the world. Alexander’s popularity (with whom?? ) seemed to be infinite. Egyptians hailed Alexander the Great as a deity, a true god (to strengthen your argument, you should probably add another example or two of his popularity with conquered peoples here).
Throughout his reign, Alexander the Great transformed himself into a representation of an immaculate (immaculate means without stain or flawless—I think it’s the wrong word here as no leader is flawless) leader through the use of propaganda. Polytheism was widespread across the Greek Empire. The Greeks with the worshipped of Apollo the sun god, Zeus the king of gods, and Poseidon the god of the seas. Likewise, they glorified heroes were glorified (by whom? —avoid passive voice) for their victories, such as Hercules, who was celebrated for slaying beasts from multi-headed monsters to the Nemean lion.
Alexander the Great used images from Greek mythology to promote his own image of greatness. For instance, in 325 BC, he issued coins that represented him , “Issued by Alexander in 325, this represents him [Alexander the Great] “as Herakles, wearing the lion skin from the Nemean lion. ” (Notes: Idealized. Hellenistic. Slide7) Alexander the Great’s used of such imagery appealed to people’s emotions. This distribution of currency created a link between Alexander the Great and Hercules, the mythological leader which was glorified to a significant extent.
By visually linking himself to the mythological leader Hercules, Alexander glorified himself and his achievements. People began to see Alexander the Great as more than just not simply a man, but more of a divine being in human form. During Alexander the Great’s rule, he surpassed overshadowed Hercules in the public eye because he could continue to bring Greece glory through further heroic acts and military conquests, whereas Hercules was simply a creature of legend. Hercules was not a live man. He could not perform any future actions where Alexander the Great could.
Alexander the Great’s string of military victories came to an end in 325 BC, when he tried and failed to conquer India. He died soon after in Babylonia in July 323 BC at the young age of 32. His empire was torn apart by civil wars and disintegrated into many separate governing kingdoms including the Antigonid, Ptolemaic, Seleucid, Pergamene, and Mauryan Empires. Yet despite the fall of the Greek empire, Alexander the Great left an immense legacy through his efforts to spread Greek culture to the regions he had conquered.
These efforts gave rise to the time known as the Hellenistic period. The Hellenistic period, the spread of Greek culture and ideas made Alexander the Great renown even after he passed away. One of the primary means Alexander used to spread Greek culture to the lands he conquered was to construct new cities there. Of these cities, the most notable was Alexandria, located in northeast Egypt on near where the Nile River meets the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandria became the largest city in the Mediterranean, known for its lighthouse and its library, which was the largest in the ancient world.
Another means Alexander used to spread Greek culture to the territories he conquered was through education and the sharing of ideas. Ideas were shared between Greeks and those of lands that Alexander the Great had recently conquered and education gained a new value. Greeks shared their the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle with intellectuals in the conquered territories, and those intellectuals reciprocated by sharing their own philosophies and ideas. the foreigners of the East and members of the East shared their insights in retribution.
This exchange of ideas encouraged the development of new philosophies such as Epicureanism, which theorized that primary goal of life was happiness, and Stoicism, which held that people should pursue happiness through worship and overcoming destructive emotions. These philosophies laid the groundwork for Christianity and later the religion of Islam. Islam requires constant worship to its god, Allah, it seems as if Stoicism influenced this aspect of Islam. You need to flesh these ideas out a bit. They’re merely suppositions without a few examples to back them up.
Almost all religions require prayer and devotion from their followers—this quality is not unique to Stoicism. I can see where aspects of Greek philosophy, which stressed control of emotions and ethical behavior, influenced Christianity. Christianity also embraced a lot of pagan celebrations into their religion to encourage conversion. Science also flourished during the Hellenistic period. The most prominent scientist of the era was Archimedes, who was “especially important for his work on the geometry of spheres and cylinders and for establishing the value of the mathematical constant pi. (The Essential World History, p92) Boundaries that were once closed became open public which led to a spark in science and philosophy. All these philosophies and scientific revolutions are thanks to Alexander the Great’s incredible feat of conquering the Persian land. Due to these breakthroughs the area became enormously prosperous. Again, these are bold statements with little in the way of examples to back them up. It’s more accurate to say that by allowing the exchange of ideas between Greece and the regions he conquered, Alexander nabled the kind of cross-pollination of ideas that led to intellectual and scientific revolutions and that this kind of intellectual openness and exchange was his greatest legacy. People living during the Hellenistic period praised revered Alexander the Great, in part because of his skillful use of propaganda to promote his image as a demigod. However, individuals of either Persian or Greek decent descent had reason to be grateful To Alexander because they benefited from both the scientific and intellectual discoveries he fostered, and from the wealth these discoveries generated. t was beneficial time for both Greeks and Persians alike. Alexander the Great is one the most important famous figures in history. If he had not existed philosophical ideas, religions, and the knowledge on proper use of propaganda may have never been created and practiced in the modern world. Had he not existed, the foundations for modern philosophy, religion, and science might not have been laid and developed in the modern world.