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How Did Alexander Win The Loyalty Of Those He Conquered And Was This Important To Him?

1096 words - 4 pages

Alexander the Great was undoubtedly one of the greatest leaders of all time. A man whose conquests were unimaginable at the time and unmatchable to this day. By taking his army from the insignificant country of Macedon to huge campaigns across half a continent, Alexander proved that his skills as a leader far surpassed any other of the day. Certainly he had a solid foundation to work from, laid down by his father Phillip II, but crafting the Macedonian army into the fearsome force of the ancient world was no small accomplishment. He led his troops by example, getting the greatest amount of zeal and effort from them and rallying them in the face of defeat. Alexander was "...more bent upon action and glory than...upon pleasure or riches." (Plutarch) and thus he was always seeking to build something that would last. This meant that the loyalty of those that he conquered was very important to him, without that, the empire he sought to build would crumble. He obtained this loyalty in several ways, including force and subtle manipulation, and from several different peoples, ranging form the Greek poleis to cities in Asia Minor.Alexander was born circa 20th of July, 356 BC. Phillip II, his father the king of Macedon and ruler of Greece, was murdered in the year of 336 BC, and Alexander immediately attempted to secure the throne. He was "...but 20 years old when his father was murdered" (Plutarch) and 'took the reins' of a kingdom "...beset on all sides with great dangers and rancorous enemies."(Plutarch) The poleis of Greece were tired of their subjugation under the 'barbaric' rulers from the north and talked of rebellion. From his first day as sovereign, Alexander had to deal with this problem. When asked how he would control and win the loyalty of the Greeks, he replied "By putting off nothing that ought to be done today until tomorrow." Immediately Alexander gathered his troops and marched swiftly through the north of the land to Delphi, where he confirmed his leadership of Greece. His main opposition, Athens and Thebes, still remained to be dealt with. These he put back in their place with a frightful show of power. Thebes was sacked and razed while the Athenians were terrorised. "Alexander's hope was that so severe an example might terrify the rest of Greece into obedience". Alexander's first act as a king was to secure the loyalty of the Greeks. This seems to point towards him placing great importance on loyalty. In this situation he went about ensuring it through force, but this was not always the case.After winning over the Greeks, Alexander moved on to Asia Minor, crossing the Dardanelles and stopping to visit the sites featured in the writings of Homer. By paying homage to these Greek heroes and linking himself closely to them, Alexander greatly increased his stature amongst Greeks form all round. He swept through Asia Minor taking many Greek poleis from the Persians. These poleis, which had once been Greek colonies were overjoyed by...

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