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Alexander the Great: The Legendary Student of Aristotle Who Conquered The World

Alexander the Great: The Legendary Student of Aristotle Who Conquered The World

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Alexander the Great: The Legendary Student of Aristotle Who Conquered The World

Länge:
52 Seiten
45 Minuten
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 17, 2018
ISBN:
9781386460787
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

The celebrated Macedonian king has been one of the most enduring figures in history. He was a general of such skill and renown that for two thousand years other great leaders studied his strategy and tactics, from Hannibal to Napoleon, with countless more in between. He flashed across the sky of history like a comet, glowing brightly and burning out quickly: crowned at age nineteen, dead by thirty-two. He established the greatest empire of the ancient world; Greek coins and statues are found as far east as Afghanistan. Our interest in him has never faded. 

King Alexander went on to control most of the known world of the time. His victories won him many supporters, but they also earned him enemies. This easy-to-read biography offers a fascinating look at the life of Alexander and the world he lived in.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 17, 2018
ISBN:
9781386460787
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

David Wood is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. His most recent book is Deep Time, Dark Times: On Being Geologically Human.


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Alexander the Great - David Wood

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Prologue and Introduction

Why Alexander Was Great

Historians have argued for countless centuries about who is considered to be the greatest ruler in the history of the world. While this question is not a great one, it is still asked because of the yearning of culture to compare the great men and women of history. It is in our nature as a civilization to, not only compare ourselves to our ancestors but to compare our ancestors against each other as well. The problem with making comparisons is twofold. The first problem is that the conditions in which our ancestors accomplished the things that they did were much different, with every generation experiencing. Every generation handles different diseases, different technologies, and various other leaders. Historians have argued that if Napoleon Bonaparte, the great French general who took over power at the end of the French Revolution in 1813, lived during the times of the Roman Empire, his expansion would have reached all the way to the Pacific Ocean, but the same historians have also argued that if Napoleon Bonaparte lived during the age of William the Conqueror in 1066 AD, he would not have been able to conquer much more than a few small feudal realms. Ultimately, it’s impossible to know what the previous generations would or would not have accomplished, but historians still try so that they can ultimately appease the masses.

The thing that historians look for in terms of comparison is similarities. When various generations are discussed and compared, the first thing that historians have to find is what the two comparables have in common. For the example involving Napoleon Bonaparte, the biggest similarity to the Roman Empire is the state-controlled army with professional soldiers. In 1066, feudalism was in effect across all of Europe and standing armies were always small and the bulk of the soldiers came from the many feudal estates that operated in the country. Without a large, professional army, Napoleon Bonaparte would have ultimately struggled to gain any momentum, and with the divisions in France at the time, two hundred years after the death of Charlemagne, capturing much, if any territory, would have been ultimately difficult.

However, a fallacy to this argument is that the best leaders can adapt, and this example does not account for that. Many of the greatest leaders in history showed several different sides and various positions. Many historians argue that some leaders, no matter their generation, would have risen to the top no matter what and dominated whatever generation they were born into. One of these men is Alexander III of Macedonia. He was an incredibly gifted and charismatic leader, adapting to various situations domestically and diplomatically, showing how much of an incredibly gifted tactician he was. No matter the generation, Alexander III of Macedonia would have been successful, rising through the ranks and accomplishing as much as possible.

The second thing that historians look for are the elements that affected the various leaders and examined the hardships and reactions to those incidents. Not every leader is forced to deal with famine, disease, or invasions on a regular basis. Similarly, not every leader is forced to deal with constant war or having to completely rebuild and reshape their government domestically. The environment that the leader is born has a large effect on who they become and how they have to lead. To continue with the discussion of Napoleon, he was placed in a position after the fall of the French monarchy where he had to unite the nation, which he did through warfare. Had he tried to accomplish this through social programs, he would not have been successful      Alexander III of Macedonia was born into the perfect era that suited his beliefs and nurtured his abilities to become an incredibly gifted

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