concise Analysis of Alexander the Great Research Paper

Pages: 14 (4731 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Theology

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[. . .] They were proud of themselves and could not submit to Alexander's ideas. To this day, people who live in that area are still proud; no wonder that the national authority is finding it difficult to maintain national authority in that part of the world.

Alexander the Great opted to relocate his troops to the northern part of the mountain as they were directed by the locals. His attempt to move the catapults in strategic places was hindered by the steep ravine. To fill the gap, an earthen was constructed so as to allow easy movement of the machines within the area. This was countered by the defenders who instead rolled large stones down the mountain so as to slow down the construction work that was taking place. However, sufficient progress to cross the impasse was made by the end of the third day. This allowed Alexander and his men to move to the summit, which allowed him to easily defeat the renegades (Bishop 2015).

India and Punjab

A formidable army from Europe invaded India. It was led by Alexander the Great. The army comprised of soldiers from Macedonia who were battle hardened. It also included Balkan fighters, the Greek Calvary and Persian allies. In total, there were about 41,000 men fighting for Alexander. One of the most memorable battles that Alexander's men fought was the Battle of (Jhelum) Hydaspes which the army battled out against Porus' army. Porus was the king of Paurava kingdom in the western part of Punjab.

There was a belief that Alexander's soldiers defeated the Indians. This belief lasted for over 25 centuries until when the Romans believed that the Indians enjoyed a courage stature that was superior to the Macedonians. A British Historian described Alexander as a hero who led the organized west against the ill prepared and disorganized East. However, it was revealed that Alexander defeated just a few minor tribes in the Indian northwest. Many people thought that India was completely conquered but the truth was that the Greeks did not even know that the subcontinent existed. As a result, it was discovered that declaring Alexander the winner would be synonymous to describing Hitler as Russia's conqueror irrespective of the fact that the Germans were able to move only to Stalingrad area (Simha 2013).

According to the Greek historian, the reason why Alexander returned to his ancestral country was that his soldiers suffered from homesickness. Conexus pleaded with him because his men were longing to go home and see their parents, their homeland, their children and wives. The soldiers were all frightened and weary, and really wanted to go home. Once they were back in the Macedonian empire the soldiers who had earlier on complained, joined the rebellion at Opis. The soldiers who had been released by Alexander so that they go back to Macedonia revolted a thing that showed they were not actually suffering from homesickness (Sanghi 2009). After the battle with Porus, the soldier learned that further from Punjab there was a land with men who were more courageous and who had a superior stature. The same land was a home of elephants because the inhabitants were people with skills in agriculture and food was in abundance. According to Plutarch, Alexander's army was informed that the kings of Paresis and Ganderites were waiting for them with over six thousand fighting elephants, eight thousand chariot, 200,000 footmen and 80,000 horsemen. (Plutarch 1919)

Sexual Orientations

The relationship between Alexander and Hephaestion was used to depict Alexander's sexual orientation. Most people used that relationship to project Alexander as a bisexual or a homosexual. As they did this, they ignored Alexander's heterosexual relations. In my view, it is wrong to transfer our sexual groupings such as bisexual, heterosexual, homosexual upon the ancient Greeks. The reason for this is that these modern groupings are alien to the world in which Alexander existed. Sexuality in the ancient Greeks had a different meaning. According to them, the fact that a human male or woman was attracted to another person did not in any way place him in any of the aforementioned sexual categorization (Polychroniou 2014).

A Close examination of Alexander's romantic inclinations reveals that he loved beauty. He is noted to have gone to bed with both pretty Asians and Greeks. Alexander had specific relation with Hephaestion. It seems there was an erotic aspect to the relationship. However, eroticism was not the central issue in my view. Alexander had known his friend Hephaestion since boyhood. They had grown to become close friends with trusted ties between them. Fighting in combat together must have cemented the bond. If it's true that Alexander and Hephaestion were lovers, it must then be an expression of Greek culture that few cared to pay attention to. There are hardly comments about the romantic element in the sources available. If the two were lovers, it didn't seem to attract much attention (Polychroniou 2014).

Alexander avoided marrying in the first 10 years of his rein, and he did it successfully, Most of the Royal beautiful women in the Persian territory were within his control after Issus. Alexander is said to have revered his queen mother Sisygambis as if she was his own mother. He pledged to pay dowry for Darius' daughters. He considered his relation with Darius as father and a son and proceeded to lay his strong claim to be the genuine Asian King. He only stopped short of marrying. He was content with Barsine, th next falling in line with Artaxerxes II genealogy and daughter to Artabazus. He bore a son with Barsin after a protracted relationship. Heracles was the product of the relationship but the issue of marriage never came to the fore until the latter days of Alexander's conquests in Sogdiana. He later met Rhoxane who he almost married immediately (Worthington, 2002).

In what way did the people view Alexander the Great as King?

Although Alexander is credited with major victories in combat and conquests of territories, he had little impact on the lives of the people he ruled. Alexander is noted to have had intentions of unifying the Greeks and the Barbarians but he failed to translate such a vision into governance strategy that would help him achieve such a feat. Asia was largely governed by Alexander's generals who he had appointed as regional governors. This was tailored in the same fashion as the Persian system that he had earlier destroyed. The problem with the generals is that, with their inherent belief in the use of force and military defiance, they had little patience with the eastern cultural inclinations. They largely worked to keep Alexander's supply lines open. It should not be lost on analyst's mind that the Persian locals also had a sophisticated culture that could have been older than the one for Greeks. They had no reason to convince them to surrender. Despite the great ideas that Alexander the Great had, he had little impact on peoples of the east. Alexander's leadership style must have contributed to his lack of influence on the lives and culture of the people. Although the Persian territory was under Macedonian rule in terms of the ruler and the regional governors, in civilian terms, the Persian system continued to be the norm. Thus, it can be argued that the Persian way of doing things was left intact. The locals continued to pay taxes as they had under Persian rulers. They were also inducted to the army in times of war; the Persian leadership had done the same. The only difference was that the orders came from people with non-Persian origin and with non-Persian names (James 2011).

The spread of Greek culture and Hellenism

The victories by Alexander in conquests had far-reaching effects on the peoples of the east and west in terms of culture. Hellenism (Greek-influenced culture) took root all the way from the Mediterranean Sea to Asia. His armies passed through the mountains of modern day Afghanistan and the Tibetan territories helped to establish formidable trade routes between Asia and Europe. The routes facilitated trade; and with it plenty of religious and cultural interactions between the west and the east. It is observed that Hellenistic and related Roman art may even have influenced the portrayal of Buddha. At the onset, the Buddha is reported to only have been a symbolic mental image. It had not been captured in practical human image. The anthropomorphic representation of the Buddha that came to the fore could have been crafted to aspects of his teachings and life in general (Clark 2012).

The expansion and spread of the Greek language is a hallmark of the culture of the Hellenists. Greek acquired a prestigious status because it became the preferred language of trade. It benefited people from across the region because it was commonly used. People could interact and easily comprehend what the other was saying despite the differences in culture and ethnic languages. Art is reported to have benefited… [END OF PREVIEW]

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