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Q Does Alexander The Great Deserve To Be Called 'the Great'?

1594 words - 7 pages

The greatness of Alexander III, as he was originally, has been disputed in the past. His legend has survived for thousands of years, and his name is well-known, but just how great was he? In answering this question it is necessary to define the terms 'deserve' and 'great'. For these purposes, to deserve will mean to be worthy of. Great has many meanings, and will be defined as: important; grand; distinguished; remarkable in ability or character; competent; or above what is normal, with implied admiration. Alexander, son of Philip, the king of the Macedonians, was more than most men. His achievements were admirable, and his success brilliant. His accomplishments were grand, momentous and ...view middle of the document...

The size of Darius' army is unknown, but Alexander had only 50,000 men. Again, Alexander was superior, and won a tough battle. With Darius fleeing, almost the entire Persian world was Alexander's. Soon he became the Persian King, and led campaigns further east into today's Pakistan. Spreading Greek culture to the ends of the known Earth, Alexander became ruler of a great empire. He had achieved a huge amount, all within no more than fourteen years. On top of this, Alexander constructed cities and trade routes and improved the economy and government. It is true that Alexander did level many towns, killing civilians including the sick, elderly, woman and children; but certainly he had made great achievements. An unknown source says "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."Other meanings of great include important and grand - and Alexander did not fail in these areas. For someone to go down in history as great, they must have left their mark. Achieving so much certainly was something special, but Alexander did more than that. With his momentous actions he changed history, and left his stamp throughout the land. He turned the tides from the east to the west in terms of the major world powers. Before him had been Persians and Babylonians, but now Greeks and Romans would be the centre of attention. Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the known world, making a major impact on many civilizations. His vast conquering pushed the boundaries of the known Earth, and his construction of cities like Alexandria shifted the light of learning. Although many people dismiss him for not actually constructing many cities, but rather renaming them, he did have an impact on the cities, and often improved things like trade. H. Bengston suggested that: "Neither the Roman Empire...the triumphant route of Christianity...the Byzantine Empire nor the Arabian civilization would have been created without Alexander...and his cosmogony works." Alexander must be grouped with people like Napoleon in being a pivotal individual that shaped the world. What he did was important, grand and distinguished - and great.Alexander had remarkable ability, and so was great in many different ways. On top of doing great things, Alexander was a great leader, and a political and military genius. His goal to conquer Persia was one that he would let nothing stand in the way of. As leader of his troops, he suffered their same wounds, being one of the last great leaders to personally take the risk of death in battle. Alexander listened to every man he had, and so became very close to his men. Some argue his ability in motivating and inspiring his men was in fact the greatest ever seen, half-defeating the opposition in nerves before a battle began. He was also remarkable with military tactics, employing strategies still used today. As the Encarta Encyclopedia put it: "Alexander was one of the greatest generals of all time, noted for his...

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