Alexias wrote:Asander, I am sorry to disagree with you, but Alexander did not believe in equality for all men. He owned slaves; he sold 30,000 men, women and children from Thebes into slavery; he sold the Greek soldiers who fought for the Persians at Granicus into slavery; he sold the inhabitants of Tyre into slavery; he crucified 2,000 men from Tyre for defying him. Did he do it for their own good? Or did he do it so that everyone else would be too terrified to resist him? That is quite a brutal way to teach everyone that they are equal.
First, thank you for your great answer.
Second, maybe I have walked too far with this concept of equality and that's why it's necessary to clarify some things by putting some limits. Yes, he sold 30.000 men and women into the slavery, but later he was sorry for that and for destroying the city of Thebes; therefore, he later released or treated kindly every Theban who came in front of him. Yes, he sold the Greek soldiers who fought at Granicos, but later, after another battle, he released them or incorporated them in his own army. Yes, he crucified 2.000 men from Tyre, but he didn't have a choice, as you say, if he wanted to terrify everyone. But don't forget that before, he wanted to avoid a military conflict with Tyre by sending some messagers to treat about a peacefully resolution. He did that even at Milet or Halicarnassus, if I'm not mistaken.
How is this compatible with your view of him as some sort of messiah?
Ha, your're funny. I think Weigall says in his book about Alexander, how macedonians where scandalized about his divinity and his demand to be worship as a son of God; but, after a few centuries, some jews (lead by Peter and Paul) don't have nothing to say against Jesus from Nazareth, who claimed that he was the son of God. But the majority of jews was not agree with that, 'cause they expected an emperor like Alexander; for the Greeks, he was the Savior.
It's just a small observation, nothing more.
Neither would Alexander have believed that women had the same rights as men.
Why do you say that? There are some facts in the ancient sources regarding Alexander that proves he didn't believed in the equal rights for men and women? Did he not permitted the women to stay, along with him, at the feast in Persepolis?
Perhaps for some people from here it's a silly question, but I really want to know.
Alexander’s views on the equality of the adult males citizens of Greece (and Macedonia) and Persia towards the end of his life, were a political gloss designed at re-writing what had started out as a war of revenge for Persian invasions of Greece. He was redefining the war as having the ulterior motive of establishing peace between the two nations.
Alexander in person may have been charming, self-deprecating, and at times noble-minded, but as a king he was ruthless, ambitious, arrogant and implacable. In the incident Semiramis refers to, he told Hephaestion and Craterus, his two closest friends, that if either of them fought each other again, he would kill them. Army discipline was at stake and Alexander rarely let sentimentality impair his judgement.
I don't understand, if he was a ruthless king, why did he permitted Eurylochus (who abandoned the army by tricking the law) to leave together with his woman in Macedonia; if he considered himself above all and cruel, why he did refused the water in a march and why offered his gold to a soldier who was helping his mule to carry the weight? And I'm sure there are more little stories like these.
It's hard to understand Alexander because sometimes, regarding Alexander, you have the impression that you are talking about two different persons, the god and the man, the ruthless king and the merciful friend. His personality is a complex paradox and that's why I don't agree with just one theory about the purposes of his actions.
As for the Hephaestion/Sisygambis incident, saying your closest friend is your equal is not the same as saying all men are equal. Alexander may not have even said the “He too..” quote. It may have been something he, or the historians, embellished the story with in later re-telling. But the incident isn’t about Hephaestion; it is about Alexander’s public image. I’ve said this before elsewhere, but in being charming and unthreatening instead of being affronted, Alexander is showing Darius’s womenfolk that he is a reasonable man.
So, the only two explications about this incident with Sisigambis is the embellished of the story and his wish to be charming with Darius's womenfolk.
Alexander’s ultimate message of equality was ‘Do what I want, and I will treat you like my brother. But if you don’t do what I want, I will crush you.’ And this applied to his friends as well as his enemies.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Alexander didn't permitted to his soldiers to leave wherever they want because he will not hold them by force? I think Weigall mentions that. And oh... there are many stories regarding Alexander that dissagree what are you saying above.
If I want to resume some part of my belief about Alexander, I will say that two of the principles that Alexander adopted, the one of universality and equality among nations (Greeks and barbarians, that is), where set in motion along with his marches through Asia, the macedonian king putting at the same level of parity the Greeks together with barbarians who inhabited Asia. The perspective of equality, translated in equitability of laws for everyone (Greeks and barbarians) promoted by Alexander, the marriage with Roxana instead the marriage with a noble macedonian woman, the killing of Parmenion, Philotas and Cleitos, the proskinesis and the death of Calisthenes, has created a gap between him and the army with the result of a major rebellion later, in India. Of course, these are only a few facts.
Do you think this sentence is acceptable at some point?
And please, if you know what is the meaning of 'look, this is human blood, not the blood of the gods'
and who wrote the paragraph that I've posted above yesterday, do tell. Thanks.