Assess The Achievements Of Alexander The Great As King, Commander And Statesman.

2894 words - 12 pages

It was once said by Alexander the Great that "there is nothing left to conquer". For many this quote can sum the career of Alexander as a magnificent King, commander and statesman. He achieved what no other had done in his time, but one must see both the positives and negatives of Alexander the Great as King, commander and statesman. As commander, Alexander without a doubt conquered territories on a superhuman scale and in doing so he fought many battles and defeated kings to achieve this. Though his achievements led to a stressed relationship between himself and his fellow Macedones and created a love-hate relationship between the two. This love-hate relationship followed into the aspect of Alexander being king. Alexander's decisions and achievements as commander affected his relationship as king with the Macedones. As King, he loved his Macedones no matter what stage their campaign, but as time went on he also showed his paranoia towards them, in which Badian argues by the end of his life Alexander showed the ultimate "loneliness of supreme power". As statesman, Alexander methods of liberating Greece and Persia under his rule clearly worked, but did create problems. His decisions and achievements as commander, statesman and king will be assessed below on specific events which occurred in Alexander's life.After taking the position of King of Macedon in 336BC, Alexander continued his fathers plan on to invade Persia. The first battle Alexander encountered as head commander was at the Granicus River. He was met by some 40,000 Persian infantry plus cavalry. In a surprise attack, Alexander commanded his men to cross the river at dawn and attack the Persians which led to their defeat. Alexander fought in the front line and "when Alexander learned of the concentration of the Persian forces, he advanced rapidly and encamped opposite the enemy so that the Granicus flowed between the encampments" . In this particular battle we see Alexander's decision as commander result in victory for the Greeks and also the respect of his men as he fought in the battle in which he almost lost his life twice . Green questions the reliability of the ancient sources as he argues that Alexander's men had to retreat due to the Persian strength, and concludes that it was Parmenio who convinced his king to cross at dawn. Green concludes his theory differs from the ancient sources because Alexander attempted to cover up his initial failure. As For Arrian, his writings on Alexander are based on the histories on Ptolemy and Aristobulus and he clearly states "Ptolemy and Aristobulus are the most trustworthy writers on this subject". Though Arian's accounts are useful, they do take into account the bias from Alexander's two close friends Ptolemy and Aristobulus . "He sent to Athens three hundred Persian panoplies to be set up to Athena in the acropolis; he ordered this inscription to be attached: Alexander son of Philip and the Hellenes, except the Lacedaemonians, set up these...

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