Jeremiah Green Professor Green Lit 201 December 30, 2012 Dear Prof. Green: In my reading of the Greek stories I was intrigued by the heroes known as Odysseus and Aeneas. These two men were great figures in the shaping of history and the teachings that these men give that have shaped the culture that we have today. These men have had their stories retold countless times throughout history in order to inspire and teach young men and women of adventure. These stories have also taught myself the basic fundamentals of being clever, and the power of my words. These men, embark on an epic journey that prove them worthy of the title hero.
With special reference to the battles of Issus and Gaugamela, to what extent does Alexander’s generalship deserve the praise which Arrian gives? Alexander III of Macedonia is one of the most celebrated military commanders to have ever lived, conquering most of the known world despite the fact he only ruled for twelve years and eight months. Arrian, a man who produced what is widely considered to be the fullest account of Alexander’s campaigns (although not without fault in the minds of some historians) known as the ‘Campaigns of Alexander’ or ‘Anabasis’, over 400 years after his death, writes: ‘In arming and equipping troops and in his military dispositions he was always masterly. Noble indeed was his power of inspiring men…..and…of sweeping away their fear by the spectacle of his own fearlessness….his ability to seize the moment for a swift blow, before his enemy had any suspicion of what was coming, was beyond praise.’ (Arrian, 7, 29) Arrian is certainly well placed to deal with Alexander’s military achievements and abilities having himself been a member of the Roman army, while he also had access to the first hand accounts of two of Alexander’s leading officers, Aristoboulus and Ptolemy. Alexander, most commonly known as ‘Alexander the Great’, such were the extent of his conquests, was also something of a mythical figure, with many people believing him to be of a divine nature (including Arrian and Alexander himself) – could this have clouded Arrian’s judgement with regards to the extent of the praise he bestows upon the subject of his study?
During Alexander’s reign as the King of Macedon he reformed much of his fathers military techniques and refined them to make them more effective. Before the age of mechanical force armies had to rely on the force that people could exert to push forward through the enemy lines. Alexander’s army used an adapted version of the phalanx that the Athenians were famous for years prior to Alexander’s time. Alexander, like many leaders of the time used the Phalanx as a way of smashing through the enemy front lines. An example of the strength of Alexander’s army occurred at the Battle of Issus, ‘A disciplined mass of, thirty thousand armed and armored men running in tight formation would have hit the Persian line with a force equivalent to twenty-five tons moving at 15
He had conquered territories that were unlikely for his time. He did this without modern technology or weaponry, troop movements were made largely on foot and communications were done face to face. At twenty years old, he already inherited an empire of Macedon after his father, Philip’s assassination. In thirteen short years, his empire stretched for three thousand miles. Alexander was a philosophical idealist who strived to create unity in attempting to integrate Persians and Orientals into his administration and army.
But, he also was unsuccessful in defeating the foreign rulers and he too died in battle. A remarkable inscription relating to Kamose battle on the south has recently been revealed in the tomb of Sobeknakht. The second son of Tao II, Ahmose I, continued these campaigns. To counter Hyksos military dominance, he copied their tactics and weapons, and the use of Nubian troops. His army was equipped with bronze daggers and shields, the composite bow and the war chariot.
Alexander came to be ruler not by vote, but by the assassination of his father, King Philip II, who had been bringing Greece under his control little by little. Alexander the great was born in the ancient capital of Macedonia, Pella, in 356 B.C. Alexander was born into royalty, his father was King Philip II, while his mother was Olympias, the princess of Epirus. During his childhood he was surrounded by military training and battle. He watched his dad battle and win, victory after victory throughout the Balkans.
With Alexander the Great’s birth into royalty, he was bound to take a leadership role in the near future (Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography). When Alexander was an adolescent, he had many unique experiences that would later set him apart from the rest of the people in his time. Alexander the Great had an excellent education when he was young. The famed Aristotle was Alexander’s tutor. He was taught in religion, logic, art, medicine, and philosophy.
Throughout Plutarch’s Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives, Plutarch elaborately writes about some of the most influential people in Greek history. All of these individuals at one or another during their lives, and after, were and will be remembered as innovators and testimonial examples of people who fought for what was right, beneficial to their people, and honorable till their very last breathe. The Greek heroes that I found to be of the highest view in regards to their societal influence are Thesues, Solon, and Themistocles. In my opinion these men possessed true attributes of leaders and true patriots that support the Great Person Theory, that these individuals, like many other Greek heroes, undoubtedly exerted a decisive impact of
Christian Mejia 7/10/2013 300 In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the mountain pass of Thermopylae. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history. Persian King Xerxes lead a Army of well over 100,000 (Persian king Xerxes before war has about 170,000 army) men to Greece and was confronted by 300 Spartans, and several hundred Arcadians. Xerxes waited for 10 days for King Leonidas to surrender or withdraw left with no options he moved. The battle lasted for about 3 days and after which all 300 Spartans were killed.
Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great I have chosen to write on the legendary historical leader and military tactician, Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great was the son of the King Philip II, who was the ruler of the Macedonian Empire around 359-336 B.C. Philip II was assassinated by the captain of his own body guards during a party at his palace. Alexander was the heir to the throne, and was proclaimed King by the Macedon nobles and the Army. This marks the beginning of the reign of Alexander the Great, and the expansion of his empire.