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Alexander The Great Part 2

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by

Harry Webb

on 8 April 2014

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Transcript of Alexander The Great Part 2

Alexander The Great
Recap From Last Class
Things to know about Alexander:
- He was incredibly young. He took his father's crown when he was 20 years old.
- He believed himself to be the son of a God, or at least acted as though he believed that.
- To date, had not suffered any serious loss or defeat.
- Had been very successful in his campaign. Beating the Persians several times, including Darius III himself. He was continuing south.
If you recall last class,
Alexander was making
his way down along
the coast.
He was heading
towards Egypt.
Egypt
Post - Tyre
Who remembers the siege of Tyre?
Tyre
This is the siege where Alexander tried to
take the island of Tyre, but failed to do so
with ships.
It's no use
captain!
Ha
So he built a path of land to the
island.
And took Tyre.
Significance
- After capturing Tyre, killing all the men, and selling all the women/children in to slavery, no other city wanted to stand up to Alexander.
They had seen his ruthlessness.
So Alexander continued his march to Egypt.
Alexander's Army
But what of his army? This was becoming a long campaign, surely Alexander was losing soldiers.
Of course he was. So what did he do?
Army Solution
He still had many Macedonian soldiers
Yes! Still relevant.
including Parmenion, his most trusted general.
But he was also bringing in soldiers from lands he had conquered.
And mercenaries
Bad Mixture
- The Macedonians were very proud. They also saw the Persians as barbaric. (Most groups see other groups this way).
- The Macedonian army was hesitant and even repulsed at the idea of including Persians , who they had just been fighting, in to the army to now fight on their side.
- The Macedonians, however, still held the highest rank, so they were OK. They also maintained trust in Alexander.
Why was Alexander doing this?
- This was not a campaign of revenge. This was a campaign of expansion.
- This in turn means that Alexander was not looking to simply conquer parts of Persia, kill a few Persians, and return home. He wanted to absorb it in to Macedonia, and rule BOTH Macedonians and Persians.
- He wanted both cultures under his rule.
If Ghostbusters Taught us Anything
It's don't cross the streams.
The Macedonian army didn't know Alexander's intentions, and saw this as more of a "revenge" campaign. They thought they were going home soon. They did not think they would be welcoming the Persians into their country.
Back to the Campaign
Alexander arrived in Egypt. He made it there with little confrontation.
Only place that put up a fight: Gaza
Alexander conquered them.
Egypt
- Was tired of Persian rule and welcomed Alexander with open arms.
- Alexander did a few things during his stay there. He:
- Founded the city of Alexandria
- Visited the Oracle of Siwa, who confirmed that he was the descendant of the god Ammon-Zeus
Keep in Mind...
Pretend you're the Oracle of Siwa
You have someone before you who has just conquered a good chunk of Persia...
Has killed tens of thousands
Are you going to be the one to tell him he's not a God?
Sold the rest in to slavery
Next Step:
Mesopotamia
Journey so far
Now...
Up into Mesopotamia
Observations?
- He's covered a lot of distance / conquered a lot of land.
- He's FAR AWAY from home, something his Macedonian soldiers certainly notice.
- Both of these factors will cause problems.
Darius once again got away...
Alexander never got the opportunity to fight Darius III again.
Darius III was killed by one of his generals, who didn't believe he had the right to rule anymore.
The Mess Gets Messier
Remember how big Persia is? And just how much of it Alexander had conquered to this point?
One of the problems was... it wouldn't stay conquered. Once Alexander left and distanced himself from a city / area, it would revolt and regain it's independence.
Alexander had to squash the rebellions he could
India
Alexander still wanted to conquer more land.
He made the march to India along with his army.
Macedonian Response
The Macedonian army BEGGED Alexander to change his mind and return home.
1. Darius III was now dead, why were they still here?
Reasons:
2. Soldiers wanted to see their wives, children, and parents again. They had after all been gone YEARS (close to a decade).
3. They were currently traveling through a desert. Many of them were succumbing to disease.
Alexander's Response
Finally agreed after being pressured by his generals and soldiers.
Fought a few battles with enormous armies.
Turned South and began the march back to Macedonia.
Story Ending Happily?
No... Alexander didn't truly intend to return.
When they marched back to Susa, he agreed to send old veterans and injured soldiers back to Macedon, the rest would stay.
Alexander was also adopting more of the Persian culture. Persians were more prominent in the army, were being given Macedonian titles, and Alexander was even beginning to dress as a Persian.
But his greatest offense to his Macedonian army?
He forced them to marry Persian brides in a hope of intertwining the two cultures.
Even worse for the Macedonians, they discovered
that Alexander was planning more
campaigns for them.
However...
Alexander died before any of this could come to fruition.
Causes?
It is often believed that he died due to the fever he had contracted.
Poisoning has always been a possibility.
Other Views:
The West often portrays Alexander as "Great"
Other areas depict him as an evil tyrant who killed and enslaved populations.
What do you think?
Full transcript