In the p of twelve years, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great conquered a vast empire stretching from Greece to modern day Pakistan, consuming the great Persian empire and absorbing many smaller kingdoms in the process. Alexander was a headstrong, violent, extremely brave, politically cunning, and gifted leader who was loved by his men. Very few individuals throughout history have affected the world to such an extent as he. This essay will examine the effects of Alexander the Great's campaigns and explain why they were so influential in shaping western world.
The effects of these campaigns that will be examined are his unification of western civilization and how they changed western culture, his making Greek the common language throughout his empire and the effects of this, and his legacy as a political and military leader and how they have influenced people throughout history. To begin with we will examine the effects of what is considered Alexander's Greatest accomplishment, the conquest and unification of the western half of the European continent.
By conquering and replacing quarrelsome kingdoms with more amicable leaders, Alexander was able to exact an era of peace across his empire. Instead of imposing his own ideas of truth, religion, or behavior upon those he conquered, as long as they willingly kept the supply lines open to feed and equip his troop, he let them practice their native beliefs. This is important because it placated the conquered people, preventing revolt as well as allow for the relatively peaceful flow of culture and philosophy throughout the western continent.
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Greek however had the strongest influence during this period because of Alexander's conquest. His empire, at it's height, which pned from Greece to modern day Pakistan, was conquered hrough a series of campaigns directly led by himself. Not once was he defeated by an enemy general in his campaigns. The most notable of these was the one against the Persian empire. It is estimated that 50 million people, or approximately 40% of the world's population, lived in the persian empire at this time.
The Persian army was considered the most powerful the world had ever seen. Had Alexander been defeated at the battle of Issus, Granicus or any number of other critical battles during this campaign, it is possible that the Persian thought rather than the Athenian thought would have contributed to western philosophy. Instead, his conquest of Persia and a number of smaller kingdoms allowed for the diffusion of cultures throughout his empire after his death. This diffusion came to be known as the Hellenistic Age, which literally means the dissemination of greek culture.
That is because this period was the pinnacle of Greek influence in the ancient world; it was an age where Greeks, Persians and Asiatic cultures became intertwined. This cultural diffusion was so impactful that, even when the Romans came to power centuries later, they still felt the influence of this period. One example can be seen in Roman Greek god's. This is because as time passed, The Roman's adopted the Greek god's, absorbing them into their own pantheons. Another example is the influence of Greek art. Portraits became more realistic, and the use of Greek style portraits continued on into the Parthian period.
In essence Alexander's conquests led to the deep rooting of Greek influence throughout western history. His policies and methods allowed for the diffusion of cultures that can still be felt today. For a time, for better or worse, the Western world became a single place. It was united by a common culture and anguage that left its mark on literature, language, and politics. Another influence that was a direct result of Alexander The Great's conquest was the diffusion of the Greek language across the continent. As the greek culture diffused throughout the empire so did its language.
This allowed Greek to become the "lingua franca", or unifying language, of the empire. This is important because it allowed for a vast number of different cultures and people to communicate and understand one another. One effect was the transcribing of various texts into different languages. For example n places like Alexandria, where Jews had stopped speaking Hebrew and had adopted greek as their native language due to Hellinization, Greek translations of the bible appeared. This allowed Jewish theology, the basis of Christianity, to be readily available throughout the empire and to the world.
This simple occurrence helped spread the idea of monotheism throughout the world, which had been unheard of until this time. Directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, Alexander's life provided the catalytic changes which resulted in the end of paganism and the rise of Christianity and Islam. One culture - stopped persian expansion Had Alexander failed at Issus, Granicus, or any number of other critical battles, it is entirely possible that Persians rather than Athenians would have dictated Western thought.
Moreover, until his premature death - set up stage for rome The Hellenistic age - which literally means the dissemination of Greek culture although it was in fact a fusion of Greco-Asian cultures - lasted until the final years of the Roman Republic. Nevertheless, the influence of Hellenism on the Romans continued because the Greek gods had over time been absorbed into the Roman pantheon. This lasted until the accession of Roman Emperor Constantine l, who ruled rom AD 306 to 337 and adopted Christianity as the official imperial religion for reasons of political expediency.
Though he had conquered Egypt, Alexander was not interested in imposing his own ideas of truth, religion, or behavior upon the people as long as they willingly kept the supply lines open to feed and equip his troops (an important aspect of his ability to rule vast areas which was to be neglected byhis troops married Persian women to help create one culture allowed for the diffusion of greek andpersion culture. The western world, for better and for worse, became almost a single place, united by common culture that left its mark on language, literature, and politics.
This period was the pinnacle of Greek influence in the ancient world; the Hellenistic period was the time after Alexander's death when Greeks, Persians and Alexander attempted to merge elements of the Greek and Persian cultures together, "notably that ofproskynesis, a symbolic kissing of the hand that Persians paid to their social superiors, but a practice of which the Greeks disapproved". In addition he recruited the local peoples into his army, something which created hostility from the Greek and Macedonian soldiers.
Greek the lingua franca
He had a huge impact on world history spreading the seeds of western culture and philosophy across the world and has legends and stories about him in over 80 languages. The influence on other cultures in the effected areas was profound. In the period after Alexander's death Judea was annexed by the Ptolemy dynasty, as a result there were Greek government officials and merchants in every Judean village while the region was surrounded by Greek cities. This started to 'Hellenize' the Jews, although not to the degree of other peoples.
In addition to the previous many Jews were Dispersed' as in the Hellenistic Kings moved Jewish families across their empires, sometimes by force. Syria had the largest Jewish population caused by emigrants fleeing the crisis-ridden region, with many also moving to the Tigris river cities, Egypt and into Asia Minor. Many eventually took up Greek clothing and learning to speak and write in Greek, even adopting a Greek name (Alexander being popular) in addition to their Hebrew name.
This situation continued to the point that many Jews no longer spoke Hebrew, so the "Jews of Alexandria had begun the translate their own writings into Greek. Most important of all was the Greek translation of the Bible". The Hellenistic world even had an influence on the spread of Christianity. Saint Paul (ACE 64) was a Jew from the Hellenized city of Tarsus who spoke and wrote in Greek, who upon his conversion to Christianity adopted some Hellenistic elements to the message, making it more palatable to the Greeks and other gentiles.
Greek became the lingua franca that allowed mass communication and exchange of ideas. It was in Alexander's city of Alexandria By Egypt on the offshore island of Pharos, that the first translation of the old testament was made from Hebrew to Greek. Although this translation called, The Septuagint, was made for Jews who had so long resided in foreign land that they could no longer read Hebrew, it made Jewish theology, the basis of Christianity, at once available to the entire world and promulgated the idea of monotheism which had been on the fringe of Greek philosophy since Anaxagoras in the 5th century BCE.
Directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally his life was the catalyst which provided the changes which resulted in the end of paganism showed power o f unifying ruler/legacy Moreover, until his premature death, Alexander held in his hands a power than no an, before or since, has known: the power to bring peace and stability to the known world, uniting it under one banner. This notion traveled forward through time, from Greeks to Romans, and from Romans to Europeans.
His lessons of organization, acceptance, and political integration have informed the decisions of countless leaders since, His lessons of organization, acceptance, and political integration have informed the decisions of countless leaders since, and, most notably, his image has carried forward through time to become one of the most memorable fgures in history: - d say that Alexander had a part to play in Rome becoming an empire. GJC worshiped Alexander that he even visited his statue. I can definitely see GJC power hunger coming from the accomplishments of Alexander.
Lead from the Front
Alexander was admired by his troops. He rode and walked in front of them; he didn't ride behind them in a golden carriage. He ate the same rations and drank the same amount of water that his troops had. Alexander knew exactly how far and how fast his army could march, and he knew their physical and emotional state before battle. Set up the archetype of heroic ruler charging into battle.
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