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Yahya Sattar 2015-10-0199 Adiah Afraz Writing & Communication (SS-100) October 20, 2011.

Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar

History has seen number of personalities who rose to the zenith of success because of their qualities which are not found in common man. Among these one who got fame in political and battle field were remembered by people forever .on this ground only a few are comparable to the Alexander 111 of Macedon and Gaius Julius Caesar of Rome. These two men were having lot of leadership qualities. Among these ambition, strategy making, speed of action and political understanding can be declared as key factors which made these two personalities immortal. Although both Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were equally ambitious for power, master of strategies and quick in action yet in political ground Julius Caesar had a lead.

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Both Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were equally ambitious for power. This fact is evident from the military life of both generals. Alexander wanted to be the conqueror of the whole world, in order to fulfill his ambition for power. As mentioned by Michael H. Hart, Alexander first led his troops through Asia Minor, defeating the smaller Persian armies stationed there. Then, moving into Northern Syria, he routed an immense Persian army at Issus. Alexander then moved further south. .(H. Hart; Michael. 176-77) and so on. But still his ambition was not fulfilled as he did not declare his heir, and died leaving no legitimate heir for the throne. This shows that he thought he was not going to die until he conquered the whole world. In the same way, Julius Caesar also showed his ambition for power. As mentioned by Michael H. Hart in his book The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History that from the starting of his political career to his assassination, Caesar employed every mean to get more and more power. His formation of First Triumvirate with Pompey and Crassus, two of the most influential Romans at that time, serves as an example of his ambition for power. Therefore to say that both Alexander and Julius Caesar were extremely ambitious for power seems quite justified.

Both Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were great strategists and implied these strategies at difficult times. Individuals such as Alexander are so conspicuous in strategic history because they excel in the art of strategy (J. Lonsdale; David. 18). He proved his strategic power during his Asia conquest. Due to his great strategies, Alexander remained unbeatable throughout his life and became the greatest conqueror of world undefeated. Similarly , Julius Caesar would not have got any importance in history if he has not used his strategies. If someone

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thinks about the unusual incidents which occurred when Caesar was uprising the following questions came into mind, Could anyone have predicted that the youngest member of the triumvirate (A political agreement among Caesar, Pompey and Crassus), would out-do Pompey, the renown military commander, and change the whole face of the then known world? With only a years military experience in Spain (61 BC), and already past forty years of age,(Fullers; Major General J.F.C) . It was just the strategic power of Caesar that he made impossible to be the possible. So no doubt, both Alexander and Caesar can be truly regarded as the Master of Strategies. Both Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were extremely quick in action. Alexander proved himself quick in action even at the age of sixteen. The incident was that, In an extraordinary gesture of trust, Philip appointed the sixteen-year old Alexander as regent and put the royal seal into his care as Philip left to a campaign against Byzantium. Alexander was put to test almost immediately when the Tracian tribe of the Maidoi , on the boarder of Paeonia and Thrace , revolted and threatened Philips communications. Alexander marched immediately with the reserve and in a lightning campaign crushed the rebels, drove them from their city, and refounded it as a Macedonian settlement.. It was a stunning performance for a sixteen-year old and bore the hallmark of his future generalship_ quickness of decision and speed of action.(Tsouras; Peter.22) Similarly Julius Caesar was also known for his quick decision and speed of action. According to Michael Grant,

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The point was that he (Julius Caesar) could do everything with extraordinary speed. Caesar lived at a faster tempo than the people who had to contend with him, and this gave him an enormous advantage, offering the widest scope to that capacity for the unexpected, unpredictable action which his friends found such an irresistibly attractive feature of his talents. History is evident that all those generals who were capable of making quick decisions always won in the battles.

If seen from political point of view, Julius Caesar was more deeply indulged in politics than Alexander, so he was more effective in politics. Julius Caesar showed he was able to achieve political success from a young age. His most influential, if not clever, political endeavor was his formation and manipulation of the First Triumvirate. To reach consular position and farther his political career , Caesar needed to make powerful and carefully planned alliances .He approached Pompey and Crassus, two of the most powerful men in Rome . Together they held influence over the entire state. while Pompey and Crassus had thought only of the short term benefits, Caesar had carefully considered this alliance, and how he could manipulate it, for his long term personal gain(Roman Empire . UNRV History) In this way he used his political insight to get a long term benefit from this Triumvirate. When his first wife Cornelia Cillinna died then,

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Despite any personal grief over the loss of his wife, of who all accounts suggest he loved dearly; Caesar was set to remarry in 67 BC for political gain. This time, however, he chose an odd alliance. The granddaughter of Sulla (Roman general and statesman), and daughter of Quintus Pompey, Pompeia was to be his next wife (Roman Empire. UNRV History). In short, Caesar employed his political insight to gain power .However; Alexander was not politically as clever as Julius for these reasons. Firstly, he was the heir of King Philip 11 of Macedon. His father was a conqueror of most of the Greece. So Alexander did not need to implement any political strategy to access the power. Secondly, Alexander deserved the throne as he was tutored by the famous scientist and philosopher, Aristotle. Moreover, it is said by Michael H. Hart: Philip had carefully prepared his son to succeed him. So it can be predicted that a lot of trials in the way towards power bestowed Julius with more political insight than Alexander.

All of the qualities possessed by Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar was equally important in making them unforgettable parts of human history. Without ambition there is no use of war strategies. In the similar manner, a person who is not ambitious for power definitely would not be quick in his action. Although the two leaders possess a lot of qualities which were common between them yet in some of the qualities one got a lead. For example Julius Caesar had more political insight than Alexander and similarly, Alexander was more intellectual than Caesar. Yet the authenticity of these qualities lies in the fact that, no matters more or less, both of them possess these qualities. And these qualities made both of them unforgettable.

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Works Cited H. Hart, Michael. "Julius Caesar." The 100 (A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History). Great Britain: Simon & Schuster, 1993. 336-40. Print. H. Hart, Michael. "Alexander the Great." The 100 (A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History). Great Britain: Simon & Schuster, 1993. 176-77. Print. J. Lonsdale, David. "The Art of Strategy." Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy. Published June 26th 2009 by Routledge 198 Pages. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. < %3d%3d&rand=2106845007&buyNowLink=&page=&chapter=>. Major General J.F.C., Fullers. "Introduction." Battlefield Anomalies ,Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar, Man, Soldier and Tyrant. Web. 20 Oct. 2011. <>. Michael, Grant. "The Twelve Caesars." New York: Scribner, 1975. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <>. Politics. Roman Empire. UNRV History. <> Tsouras, Peter. Alexander: Invincible King of Macedonia. 1-121. Alexander: Invincible King of Macedonia. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.

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