Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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Asander
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

Post by Asander »

marcus wrote: I don't intend to "limit" Alexander, but I cannot "go further" than I have evidence to support what I say. If there was evidence that he wanted more than to provide a solid base for his empire, and for future campaigning, then I would have no hesitation in evaluating that evidence and making known my opinion on it. But without evidence, unfortunately, any opinion I might have is pure speculation.
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You are on the same level with Badian then, who says about Alexander that he was just a megalomanic? Only a lover of war? If we are talking about someone else, I understand, but we talk about Alexander; it could't be just that, the war for the sake of the war.

Your ideas are based just on existing proofs; you're a scientist, I understand, but I cannot stop thinking at the lack of informations regarding Alexander.
Is there a source about the asiatic campaing that has been writed in his life time? What is the first source written about Alexander?
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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Asander wrote:For my essay, I was searching for all know authors that wrote about Alexander
Wow, that's quite a big task, as there are literally hundreds of authors that wrote about Alexander. You need to read a few of them, though.
Asander wrote:I wish to know on what arguments he based his theory about the unity of mankind, if someone is willing to reveal them.
Er ... if you have not been able to find Badian's article, then on what basis were you able to say:
Asander wrote:Regarding E. Badian, he is simply destroying both reputations of Alexander and Tarn.
?

To be honest, I think it would be asking a bit much of anyone to precis Badian's article for you. It's all to do with the seating arrangement at the reconciliation banquet, the language that Arrian uses, and associated things. I'm afraid you'll have to find it, or find a precis somewhere else (unless someone else on Pothos wishes to precis it for you).

If you PM me your email address, however, I don't mind emailing the article to you.

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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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spitamenes wrote:In my personal opinion, selling human beings is not a weak arguement when your discussing if a man wanted equality or not.
This is true. You're right.
spitamenes wrote: But you are correct, it is possible unity was his goal, I'm afraid there is just no real evidence for it.
I'm affraid that there is some evidence, but some people interprets in their own way.
I would like to know on what ideas based Tarn his theory about the unity of mankind.
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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marcus wrote: Wow, that's quite a big task, as there are literally hundreds of authors that wrote about Alexander. You need to read a few of them, though.
Yes. A teacher promised me hundreds of titles about Alexander, but he didn't kept his word.
I've founded, on my own, just a few authors at the public library.
Asander wrote:Regarding E. Badian, he is simply destroying both reputations of Alexander and Tarn.
?
From a article on the internet.
marcus wrote: If you PM me your email address, however, I don't mind emailing the article to you.

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Yes.
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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Asander wrote:
marcus wrote: I don't intend to "limit" Alexander, but I cannot "go further" than I have evidence to support what I say. If there was evidence that he wanted more than to provide a solid base for his empire, and for future campaigning, then I would have no hesitation in evaluating that evidence and making known my opinion on it. But without evidence, unfortunately, any opinion I might have is pure speculation.
ATB
You are on the same level with Badian then, who says about Alexander that he was just a megalomanic? Only a lover of war? If we are talking about someone else, I understand, but we talk about Alexander; it could't be just that, the war for the sake of the war.
(a) That's not Badian's position ...
(b) .... and nor do I ascribe to it.
Asander wrote:Your ideas are based just on existing proofs; you're a scientist, I understand, but I cannot stop thinking at the lack of informations regarding Alexander.
Is there a source about the asiatic campaing that has been writed in his life time? What is the first source written about Alexander?
I'm not a scientist, I'm a historian. But historians have to use evidence. Otherwise they become romantics and fiction-writers (which is not a bad thing, but it is something completely different).

As for sources - we have no source that was written in Alexander's lifetime. We have sources that are based on sources that were written during or shortly after; but the absolutely contemporary sources are all lost.

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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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marcus wrote: ATB
Except Badian's article, will you reveal the arguments that Tarn used to construct his theory about the unity of mankind? I want to know his interpretations.
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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Asander wrote:I wish to know on what arguments he based his theory about the unity of mankind, if someone is willing to reveal them.
I would like to know as well.
Asander, on what basis are you placing your theory that Alexander was for the unity of mankind? I'm not calling you out. I would really like to know what convinced you the most that Alexander was fighting for the common good.
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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My belief is based on the fusion that happened between Greeks and barbarians under Alexander’s rule. If he wanted, as marcus says, to create a solide base for his future campaings, he did create simultaneously a temporary unity between Greeks and nations that he conquered. Starting from this, if he didn’t stop in Babilon and continued further, to his new campaigns, most likely he would proceed in the same manner. His actions at Babilon, when he reconfirmed Mazaeus as a leader with the right to make coin, his actions in Sogdiana, when he offered the liberty of laws (as Weigall sustains), his actions in India, when he reconfirmed Porus as a king after fierce battles, despite the protests of his army, shows that he wanted solid and peaceffuly teritories to fulfill his ultimate goal. To say that he wanted only solid base, it's funny. When I’m thinking at Alexander, this is not enough. To create a solid base – that is the limit where marcus stops based on historical evidence, but Alexander was much more than that - the man himself had no limits. Regarding Porus - why did someone reconfirme an enemy as a king, like Alexander did, if his relation with his ‘macedonian’ army was very bad at the time? This was a measure that breaked the first rule of an war. Why the battle, if afterwards you give back what you have conquered with the price of your own soldiers lives? Only to create a solid base? I don’t think so.


I’m not saying that Alexander departed from Macedonia with the thought to unite all mankind, but I’m saying that he departed from Macedonia without his teacher’s theory about races; and when I’am saying this, I’m thinking at his meeting with Diogenes, the philosopher who believed in cultural universality.

I’m remembering only the cities from Asia Minor (Miletus and Halicarnassus) and Tyre when I’m saying that Alexander first wanted to treat peacefully with those; I don’t know if he proceded in the same way further in his campaign.


A man who payed those who stolen his horse for his keeping, a man who permitted to an deserter to go home together with his woman, a man who refused the water because his soldiers had none – this is Alexander.

A man who sought only to create a base from his future conquests – this is not Alexander.


I remember that in a documentary named The True Story of Alexander the Great, made with the participation of Brian Bosworth and Peter Green, it’s says that Alexander, at Siwa, received the confirmation that he was destinated to rule the ‘empire of the world’. Or, an ‘empire of the world’ it’s defined by the unity of nations that are included in him.

This ideas are just a starting point for me, and really I want to know on what base did Tarn made his theory.
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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I'm willing to bet there is at least one fine gentleman who has some Tarn on file somewhere... :D
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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spitamenes wrote:I'm willing to bet there is at least one fine gentleman who has some Tarn on file somewhere... :D
Well, it ain't me - at least, not electronically! :D

And, with the best will in the world, I'm not going to copy type it all out, either!

W.W. Tarn, "Alexander the Great: Volume 2", 1948.

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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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Asander wrote:A man who sought only to create a base from his future conquests – this is not Alexander.
Says who?

Anyway, I was probably not really clear, because I never intended to suggest that that was the one and only reason why Alexander effected the so-called reconciliation between the Macedonians and Persians. Because the way you put it here makes it seem as if I didn't think he cared about the good governance of the Empire. That was what he was after - stable government, which therefore would give him a solid base for future conquests, without him having to look over his shoulder.

There might have been other reasons, but the "unity of mankind" is not one that is supported by the sources.

I do think that we are rather running round in circles here. And, with the best will in the world, I think that you are beginning to mix different points together which is further obscuring quite what you are trying to say, or trying to ask. If you wish to continue, do you think you could spend a short while sorting out what your three or four main points are, and setting them out clearly. Because there are times when you appear to be arguing that Alexander, who wanted equality of all men, was the same Alexander who kept slaves and was happy to keep adding to his slave numbers ... and yet you don't appear to acknowledge the irony/paradox of this.

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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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I've already removed the Opis speech from my front page of the essay and yes, it's a irony to say that Alexander wanted equality while he had a big number of slaves.

Perhaps I should only say that Alexander treated equal both Greek and persian (barbarian) aristocracies?
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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marcus,

No one asked you to type phrases from the book. Only to reveal some ideas that helped Tarn to construct his theory.

Thank you for Badian's article!
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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Asander wrote:
Perhaps I should only say that Alexander treated equal both Greek and persian (barbarian) aristocracies?
That's a good question. The fact that he started wearing persian garb and integrating the persian army into his own? Was this because he was trying to equal out the two? Or was it strictly propaganda for the persians? I know the macedonians weren't all too happy about it, naturally. P.s. I vote for an "Ask Marcus" column here on Pothos. :D
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Re: Alexander the Great and his 'equality'

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spitamenes wrote:
Asander wrote:
Perhaps I should only say that Alexander treated equal both Greek and persian (barbarian) aristocracies?
That's a good question. The fact that he started wearing persian garb and integrating the persian army into his own? Was this because he was trying to equal out the two? Or was it strictly propaganda for the persians? I know the macedonians weren't all too happy about it, naturally.
They certainly weren't!
It is said that their [the Epigoni] arrival aggrieved the Macedonians, as if Alexander was actually contriving every means of reducing his dependence on Macedonians in future, that in fact they were greatly pained to see Alexander wearing the Median dress, while the marriages celebrated in the Persian style did not correspond to the desires of most of them, including even some of the bridegrooms, despite the great honour of being raised to equality with the king ...
Arrian 7.6.2
("Equality with the king" referring to the fact that they married noble Persian ladies at the same time that Alexander married two Persian princesses, not that they were equal in any other respect.)

Also see Curtius 6.6.9-11; Diodorus 17.77.7; Plutarch, Alexander, 45.3; and Livy 9.18.

I wouldn't go as far as to say "propaganda", although it is true that Alexander must have done it in order to help the Persians accept him as their new Great King - which, in the case of some, worked. It was, again, pragmatic (and I don't mind using the word again). At this point also Alexander was now so much more than the conquering Greek/Macedonian: the war of revenge was over, and he knew that he would need the Persians to be pliable if the empire wasn't to collapse (he'd already appointed Persian satraps, of course). He had to keep them on his side, especially with Bessus running around as an alternative Great King.
spitamenes wrote:P.s. I vote for an "Ask Marcus" column here on Pothos. :D
That's kind. I'm not sure I'm really up to it, though - and I'll be terribly embarrassed when there's a question I struggle with, as there undoubtedly would be! :(

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