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420chan is Getting Overhauled - Changelog/Bug Report/Request Thread (Updated July 26)

Alexander the Great

- Sat, 20 Jul 2013 21:56:23 EST Dv4EQMVh No.50164
File: 1374371783708.jpg -(510006B / 498.05KB, 576x768) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Alexander the Great
Alexander has to be one of the most enigmatic characters in history. On one hand the sheer magnitude and glory of his accomplishments has to set him amongst the greatest and most succesful men who have ever lived, but on the other hand he was something of a cruel and vindictive megalomaniac with a murderous temper. In the west he's one of our greatest heroes, but in the east he's known as 'the two horned devil'.

How do you all feel about the great man himself?
Phineas Clablingbanks - Sun, 21 Jul 2013 01:20:37 EST oUaUIEDt No.50165 Reply
I respect him for his military strategy, which was absolutely amazing, but you can't conquer without causing a lot of suffering along the way.

Interesting man, none the less.
Nicholas Pucklegold - Sun, 21 Jul 2013 01:37:50 EST RPRwOqZ/ No.50166 Reply
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There's a Mithridates thread up now, and he was definitely a big influence on him. Also traces his ancestry to him and Darius.

I can't fully appreciate either character. Most people throughout history have major flaws. The farther back you go, the only good people where probably the ones that made no impression on history at all. Even in more recent times. Jefferson? Great, better than Alexander imo, but yuck on slavery. Everyone has something wrong with them.
But I thoroughly dislike referring to him as "the great" Remarkable is more fitting.
Hedda Bungersig - Sun, 21 Jul 2013 07:41:50 EST Dv4EQMVh No.50169 Reply
He was definitely a big influence on many historical figures. Pyrrhus and Augustus are two other big ones who spring to mind.

My own stance on him is kind of conflicted. There was an extremely nasty side to him and he plunged much of what he conquered from stability into a strife from which it never fully recovered but on the other hand, when he was my age he was being worshipped as a living god. When he died they pulled his body half way across the world in a massive golden temple rolled on logs. I find it hard to think about those aspects of him without being awestruck.
Esther Fellerbadging - Sun, 21 Jul 2013 11:01:43 EST UlezD+xM No.50172 Reply
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I'm ambivalent, but not evenly so, for a number of reasons.

First of all, yes he was an exploitative conqueror but from that angle he was pretty even handed. Greeks and Macedonians obviously received preferential treatment but he also accepted (with active enthusiasm or acquiescing to need depending on who you ask) that the "barbarians" he conquered would have to participate in the affairs of the empire, from administration to martial service. Accordingly, he didn't change much in the everyday affairs of, say, the Persian government or the Egyptian theologic society except introduce hellenic populations (which, in fairness, rose to become an operative first-class over the natives) and the cultures and institutions they held.

In other words, Alexander wasn't perfect, but given another hellenic ruler with equal ability and resources things might have gone a lot differently for the worst in terms of multiculturalism and imperial order. In this regard he's comparable to Cyrus, though he had his shortfalls where Cyrus had strengths.

Lastly, and with the prior points in mind, I make the risky argument that he was a victim of his time and circumstance. This arguement is "risky" because it can and has been taken to absurd extremes to soften heinous historical acts, but I beg to point out that the only thing that separated the man from the status quo of powerful militant nobility was his success and cultural (some might add propagandic) flexibility. He had less choice in the course of his life than one might think, certainly less so than the dictators of the 20th century. This excepts his later career, which we can chalk up to momentum, avarice, and the need to outdo himself.

A cursory understanding of his life and ancient Greek homosocial culture reveals that not only was he acting upon the norms and indeed expectations toward royal youths, but he had Philip's shoes to fill, which included an invasion of asia that Phil planned but never lived to see (here its also important to note that this inheritance is also the source of the revolutionary new battle-formations Alex utilized, but perhaps that drifts from the point...). Mind you this is an era where to not follow in your father's footsteps as a man is to spit on his name.

I guess my point is that he had the double pressures to succeed (in a conquest-dominance pattern) of Greek aristocratic notions of "arete" and machismo AND the hard, quasi-tribal demands of Macedonian polity, that is; of holding on to power through fear and war-readiness , the latter of which was constantly tested and challenged. Any outlets of passion and effort (i.e. art, poetry, getting in the way of drills and and maneuvers) that hindered this were not only socially unacceptable, but deadly dangerous as a distraction.

Now imagine growing up as a male in these circumstances, imagine a 9 year old boy
(who, for those who don't know, tend to be dreadful little monsters who can't even keep their hands [or fists] to themselves, follow a retaliatory model of justice, and must be THE BEST or else tearfully perceive their own crushing failure) being the prince of all this, ego stroked even by the bare facts of being treated differently, expected to do great things, offered every form of improvement from intense martial training to the tutelage of Aristotle. I mean my god, he didn't even have cultural characters to identify with other than the skull-smashing, woman-snatching heroes of Greek myth!

In conclusion, given all this and the potential detrimental effects on sanity of (apparently) God-given and unheard-of success in expansion and achievement, I'm honestly shocked he didn't turn out worse. Again, no angel, but pretty decent for the lot he was given.
Albert Bommerridge - Sun, 21 Jul 2013 14:58:55 EST EpgP2obO No.50175 Reply
I think that had he lived longer, he would have been a more positive influence over history. He seemed ready and willing to make his empire work for most people involved.
Faggy Dronkinchudging - Mon, 22 Jul 2013 13:11:57 EST stqMNcEZ No.50179 Reply
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Charles Pegglechirk - Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:14:02 EST Dv4EQMVh No.50181 Reply
I was under the impression that he would have gone on conquering non stop for the rest of his life anyway. He had plans drawn up to conquer the Arabian peninsula and then most likely planned to swing into Europe. There was pretty much no chance of him living much longer though. He was going pretty crazy right before he died and I'm a fan of the assassination theories.
Emma Blicklefield - Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:35:48 EST 3FRGccNQ No.50182 Reply
He could have done so much but instead he didn't name a fucking heir.
SakeCult - Tue, 23 Jul 2013 08:23:20 EST fX7YeqMh No.50185 Reply
This so hard. interestingly enough, there's some allegation that Trajan wanted his own Alexander style "Fuck you everyone here's some civil war to kill all this civilization we've built" death but his wife picked up on Hadrian and averted that whole shitstorm. Although, since it mirrors the mythological ascension of King Servius Tullius I have doubts.
Fuck Clopperville - Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:40:37 EST Dv4EQMVh No.50187 Reply
Would his satraps have even respected his wishes though? They each stood to gain so much and they were at each other's throats the second he died. I mean, they assassinated his son and everything.

Kind of off topic but I sometimes wonder what kind of attitude the diadochi had towards each other after working on the same team for so long. Did they despise each other, or was there a mutual respect and the rivalry was simply business? It's a pity that ptolemy's memoirs were lost.
William Bossleham - Thu, 25 Jul 2013 02:30:24 EST oUaUIEDt No.50241 Reply
I'd guess that they mostly saw it as simply business. There was a lot of bloody disputes between them, but they were willing to quell alliances with even their most hated enemies if it benefited themselves.
Emma Gummlecocke - Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:21:53 EST RMasROcN No.50248 Reply
I recall reading that at the time "the Great" came about, it meant something closer to "powerful" than what we would think of great.
Beatrice Niggerbury - Fri, 26 Jul 2013 13:49:30 EST Wc8+TlAq No.50264 Reply
The Baktrians and Indo-Greeks were cool enough for me to let any of the man's downfalls slide.
Hedda Demblelet - Tue, 30 Jul 2013 17:16:24 EST 7QKL2JHJ No.50305 Reply
Ethically speaking, Alexander the Great likely killed (or ordered the deaths of) thousands of people. You revere a mass murderer. How do you feel about yourself?
Nigger Brellyham - Wed, 31 Jul 2013 10:05:24 EST Dv4EQMVh No.50318 Reply
as was par the course back then. kill all men of military age and sell every woman and child into slavery. standard. id be more concerned about the way he flew into furious tantrums and executed people for criticizing him, or how he massacred unarmed settlements that surrendered to him without resistance.
Beatrice Millydale - Thu, 24 Oct 2013 10:15:40 EST i3L8WbBx No.51173 Reply
Your assuming all mass murder is wrong. Now, rationally + realistically speaking it is... but it is possible to kill thousands of evil people. just ask good ol' dexter
Alice Fommletune - Thu, 24 Oct 2013 22:33:24 EST RN5Hsf1j No.51181 Reply
kill one man, you are a murderer
kill a thousand, you are a general
kill every man, you are a god
Graham Niggerworth - Thu, 24 Oct 2013 22:36:55 EST RPRwOqZ/ No.51182 Reply
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>but it is possible to kill thousands of evil people
Theoretically possible I suppose, but no, not probable. Alexander was the evil in the world at that time. And don't start with the Emperor Darius was evil-er defense. Same argument with Bush offing Saddam.
Jack Fockleture - Fri, 25 Oct 2013 16:08:10 EST 0gLDqnBD No.51191 Reply
Sharp guy. I can't recall anyone with more flexibility in their strategy, or anyone who had accomplished so much in their time.
Phyllis Chemmlewill - Fri, 25 Oct 2013 18:13:58 EST H/1vvdE7 No.51192 Reply
>kill every man, you are a god
and in rather high demand among the ladies...
Charles Fogglesin - Sat, 26 Oct 2013 01:53:16 EST RPRwOqZ/ No.51195 Reply
Well if you adjust what you consider accomplishments and I bet you could imagine quite a few people.
Eliza Sillyfeck - Sat, 26 Oct 2013 12:05:09 EST genr6YAU No.51218 Reply

>Alexander was the evil in the world at that time.

What makes something evil?
Caroline Sellybun - Sun, 27 Oct 2013 12:02:37 EST M5cLAJJU No.51225 Reply
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I think its more than a little naiive to discuss these topics in terms of good and evil. First of all, violence is a moot point from the start because of its omniscience: certainly nobody ever forced these men to conquer and pillage but lived in a more dangerous and fateful era than ours. Whereas the exact expression/application of militancy was an option, the refusal of it was not.
(in the Macedonian instance, these pressures were especially intense, given dynastic tensions and neighboring rivals [Epirots, Illyrians, and Celts, oh my!] see >>50172).

More generally, by modern standards most people (men) of renown from those times were truly vile and could scarcely even count on the world around them to hold them accountable. Slavery is one thing, and yes "everyone did it" but the bare fact of having the intellectual energy to disregard another's humanity arbitrarily is horrible, but similar functions exist even in contemporary American society/polity (not to mention the recent instance of plantation slavery).

Likewise, even on a domestic level these societies were mostly fucked: its a little known fact that ancient greek husbands jealously guarded, hid, and even veiled (though more to preserve pallor than modesty) their wives much as Islamic societies have to this day. Far from "evil" but definitely an imposed structure of morality and a good example if we beg the question of cultural relativism. Plus in the greek example it plays into a larger scheme of distrustful misogyny that many today WOULD consider "evil" or nasty. A French writer once speculated that Aristotle would have counted the teeth in his wife's mouth (for taxonomy) were he ever to let her open it!

ic: evil errywhere
Reuben Nollystock - Sun, 27 Oct 2013 19:44:51 EST YO4A83hs No.51227 Reply
It blows my fucking mind that Aristotle taught the wanker. People are always saying that philosophy is completely useless, but would Alexander have been the same without the schooling? Probably, but it's still interesting.

And just think about that lineage: Socrates -> Plato -> Aristotle ---> Alexander. Almost everyone in western civilization has known those names for thousands of years.

It goes: idealist/Heady---> less heady ---> More grounded --> Goddamn conqueror of their known world.
Albert Nabberfield - Sun, 27 Oct 2013 22:14:30 EST Ep6Ho3sI No.51230 Reply

I wouldn't say that. Alexander never got famous for his philosophical works and in the end he lost touch with reality and pretty much behaved like a lunatic.
SakeCult - Mon, 28 Oct 2013 05:05:23 EST fX7YeqMh No.51232 Reply
Just a very short list from antiquity.

Scipio Africanus
Philip II of Macedon
Basil Chindlestock - Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:25:15 EST XxbINX0y No.51233 Reply
Did Alexander actually have philosophical works, or was he too busy with conquering?
Phineas Senkinwadge - Mon, 28 Oct 2013 17:41:18 EST YO4A83hs No.51238 Reply
That doesn't mean he wasn't influenced. I know he wasn't a philosopher, but he had a renowned logician personally teach him. Obviously logic is useful for a military commander.

I don't know anything about Alexander's tactics, but other people are saying he was very flexible. One of philoosphy's greatest uses is helping a person remain open to new ideas.

In other words, I think philosophy's influence on Alexander is interesting. Not vice versa. Although greek philosophy wouldn't have been spread as far without him;
Hannah Dobberfuck - Mon, 28 Oct 2013 21:27:48 EST EpgP2obO No.51240 Reply
I read that it was aristotle who gave him the idea of uniting greece, and then the rest of the world.
He may have wanted to make the king a philosopher. One whose philosophical work is not a book, but an empire.
SakeCult - Tue, 29 Oct 2013 08:00:29 EST fX7YeqMh No.51246 Reply
Except he didn't actually unite Greece. His father made war on a few Greek states then became Hegemon to take out Persia. Which is what Alexander inherited from mhis father, along with his entire veteran army and the majority of the Diadochi.
Hannah Dobberfuck - Tue, 29 Oct 2013 08:17:56 EST EpgP2obO No.51247 Reply
He didn't just inherit the hegemon title and the alliegiance of the greek cities, though, he had to fight for it, then maintain it by political means.
SakeCult - Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:09:23 EST fX7YeqMh No.51248 Reply
He crushed some hastily raised competition forces, mainly from countries his father had politically depopulated through a series of complex maneuvers to prevent them from ever raising effective fighting forces that were not loyal to him, who mostly surrendered when they realized they had to actually fight somebody to get anything.
Hannah Dobberfuck - Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:58:37 EST EpgP2obO No.51249 Reply
He still had the will and the project to have a united greece.
I never heard about the depopulation thing, but uniting them by intimidation in addition to actual war is still uniting them.
Hannah Dobberfuck - Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:25:08 EST EpgP2obO No.51251 Reply
I think the league changed in nature between Philip and Alexander's time.
If Philip had their consent, Alexander had to subdue revolts and destroy Thebes.
And at the end of his life, the league was more than a military alliance, as he could impose internal policies onto the cities, like letting the banned come back.
SakeCult - Wed, 30 Oct 2013 05:22:10 EST fX7YeqMh No.51254 Reply
It really didn't. That depopulation mentioned earlier, was Philip enforcing religious and civil projects that tied down or banned large portions of military aged males from going to war. He even started doing that before the league got into gear.
George Clabbercocke - Sun, 03 Nov 2013 01:43:32 EST Ex3HPzrm No.51279 Reply
I appreciate him for spreading Hellenic art and culture so extensively.
Thomas Blipperkore - Sun, 03 Nov 2013 02:06:31 EST PJQMGztQ No.51281 Reply
What sort of depopulation was that? Sending dissidents to the colonies? They did that regularly to prevent their own over population.

>also implying the Greek city states of the peninsula could ever hope to win a war against Macedon after philip

They had one of the world's first professional armies, world first heavy cavalry tactics (that alone would have the Greeks at a severe tactical disadvantage), greater manpower reserves and of course the Sarissa.

The disadvantage is comparable to the Romans fighting with the Greek colonies of southern Italy: without outside help there's not much point in a war.
Nathaniel Ducklock - Mon, 04 Nov 2013 21:58:52 EST S9Xs//em No.51304 Reply
He's the guy that named a town after his horse right? and he's considered a hero to the western world?
Jenny Brackletadge - Mon, 11 Nov 2013 13:52:41 EST 6w8pObKE No.51339 Reply
I don't know what you're thinking, but that's a boss move.
Nigel Pebbercheck - Mon, 11 Nov 2013 23:11:45 EST TZXtdeuS No.51342 Reply
He is hands down the greatest military commander of all time. He never lost abattle even facing overwhelming odds. won most of the known world by the time he was 32. no big deal
Graham Buzzspear - Thu, 14 Nov 2013 04:05:00 EST eT7eREWG No.51369 Reply
And then it went to shit. If I work for 13 years and buy a new sports car and then go out a wreck it a week later, how much of a success was I really? He did a fantastic job of fucking everything up and not establishing infrastructure anywhere. He was amazing don't get me wrong, but his goals were unrealistic and I think he knew that. Also he was a drunk and an asshole.
Betsy Nazzlepeck - Thu, 14 Nov 2013 06:10:22 EST XxbINX0y No.51370 Reply
Thats probably why he specified _military_ commander. No-one here said that his general leading of the empire was any good.
Nathaniel Blackwill - Fri, 15 Nov 2013 23:52:14 EST hvunrng4 No.51379 Reply

You're a fool. He's not considered great for slaughtering people. Its because war with persia was a massive undertaking for Greece and Macedon, that his generalship proved instrumental again and again from strategic manoeuvres on campaign to seemingly minor actions in battle, and that he didn't take a backseat in combat either. All the while he conquered an area greater than persia which was the largest known empire at the time. Whether it survives long after that isn't really the point (and can hardly be expected- his empire was built on Graeco-Macedonian manpower which would struggle to colonise even Anatolia to enough of an extent to claim its entirety as an extension of the Graeco-Macedonian sphere- his soldiers were conquering even unknown lands, do you really think they even set out with the intent of establishing some sort of successor to the persian empire?)
James Sembletudge - Sat, 16 Nov 2013 13:53:35 EST EpgP2obO No.51382 Reply
His empire did survive. It was divided in three of four parts, but greek dynasties kept ruling the area for a long time after his death.
Chaim Danzinger - Wed, 11 Dec 2013 02:48:07 EST aaUrf9D3 No.51613 Reply
He was good to religious Jews.

Gentiles can learn alot from Alexander the great
Jack Norrystone - Sat, 26 Jul 2014 22:38:49 EST +6al4/wL No.53031 Reply

> world first heavy cavalry tactics (that alone would have the Greeks at a severe tactical disadvantage)

Well you have to consider the greeks didn't have cavalry because greek terrain is genera;;u broken and mountainous, somewhat negating cavalry.
Hamilton Surringkut - Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:54:37 EST 4U919cmM No.53033 Reply
This. The man was responsible for Hellenizing the ancient world. How fractured the east and west would have been in knowledge and culture if not for Alexander and the Diadochi. I think he single-handedly sped up the development of mankind by at least a few hundred years with his conquests, and Rome with theirs.

>inb4 Asian / barbarian butthurt
Ebenezer Lightstock - Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:52:05 EST URNu6lSZ No.53049 Reply

>Well you have to consider the greeks didn't have cavalry because greek terrain is genera;;u broken and mountainous, somewhat negating cavalry.

The Greeks did have cavalry and were well versed in the modern tactics which were light cavalry mostly armed with javelins or short spears used to harass formations, kill fleeing soldiers, fighting lightly armed foot-skirmishers and attacking engaged formations around the edges and back in a really ad hoc way.

Before heavy cavalry the chariot was the closest to their role but they were hugely expensive and extremely ineffective against hoplites/phalanx anyway

Heavy cavalry must also have been of some use in Greece because they were used to subjugate the Greek-states under Macedon from time-to-time.

And Greek terrain isn't all that much different to the hilly terrain of Macedon. Thessalian, Larrisan and Epirote cavalry (all close-north of the Greek peninsula) were legendary horse breeders and heavy cavalrymen for their day and all their lands were very hilly and mountainous.

I'd say the real reason Greece never developed heavy cavalry is because of a combination of their insular peninsula, lack of room for creating and growing significant horse breeding industry (especially for heavy cavalry) and a lack of funds for exploiting it because they were all just city states and Macedon was a kingdom. And all these combined are probably why they never experimented since usually you have an abundance of something or at least a potential for it before you start wondering if there's more you could be doing with it.

>Also Macedonians were first to create a professional army

The Greek hoplite phalanx had nothing on Macedon's pike phalanx. Sure, the spear phalanx wasn't nearly so vulnerable in a melee and was probably more adaptable, but with a pike as long as a Sarissa and the basic training to lock together and push and shove Philip/Alexander could get tens of thousands of soldiers easily, arm them, and have them perform this basic task and more effectively than the spear armed hoplites without having to ever disband the army so all the soldiers could return home for harvesting etc.
Reuben Shittingson - Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:44:14 EST NAR5czOU No.53085 Reply

Those horses were legendary in Greece, but were not the match of the better Asian horses. In a battle of attrition the Persian horse would be heavily favored to win. It was his mastery of combined arms and shock tactics that won the day. Alexander's cavalry success was a historical anomaly, the Diadochi certainly never used cavalry as effectively, and lost to mounted peoples in the end.

I always find irony that the Greco Bactrians would be taken out by the Huns of all people.
Hedda Hengerladge - Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:34:13 EST XNi68gKc No.54047 Reply
He was gay. Or bisexual with a preference for males as he was able to father children. He just clearly preferred the company of men.


I think he had a sort of father figure sexual ideation for Diogenes the Cynic but who knows. Diogenes was the only guy who openly criticized and mocked Alexander without receiving some sort of retribution from him. Considering the obvious respect Alexander had for Diogenes even when Diogenes openly mocked Alexander's own father I think it's safe to say he had more than respect for him.
Augustus Murdhood - Mon, 02 Nov 2015 08:23:21 EST QhbJyx2S No.56244 Reply

Not weird at all for his cultural surroundings.
no homer - Tue, 03 Nov 2015 04:10:05 EST t9ossodW No.56250 Reply
As if the gay lobby didn't make up that all the greeks were gay to make their gayness seem okay.

Stone statue of alexander sucking cock or it didn't happen.
Betsy Brookgold - Thu, 05 Nov 2015 23:40:29 EST pIYqIk9c No.56258 Reply
okay so I bought the aleander biography by plutarch and also the fictionalized story of his relationship with bagoas called The Persian Boy

ready 4 superior form of love

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