Alexander the Great

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  • Created by: Kate
  • Created on: 31-05-13 15:44


Strengths of Arrian

  • He used contemporary sources
  • Consciously tried to select only the most reliable sources - eyewitnesses like Ptolemy
  • Had personal military experience
  • Was dedicated/motivated - said the Anabasis was 'his life's work.'
  • Had experience as a ruler of government - was a consul of Rome
  • Knew Greek heritage even though he was a Roman
  • Wrote in his 60s - reflective and experienced

Weaknesses of Arrian

  • Arrogant and over confident
  • Writing 400 years after the events - not contemporary
  • Bosworth said that he didn't really understand ancient Greek culture and society
  • Ptolemy was found to be an unreliable source
  • He used wrong criteria to judge a source as he believed that kings did not lie
  • Accused of hagiogrphy/eulogy - idolised Alexaner (biased)

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Strengths of Plutarch

  • Lived in the town of Chaeronea
  • Trained as a philosopher
  • Was an ambassdor - experience with ruling
  • Was a priest at the oracle of Delphi
  • Used a wide variety of sources - court journals, letters from Alexander
  • Acknowledged that some of his sources were unreliable in his work
  • Had a biographical technique  - would weigh up the good and bad
  • Had an active interest in Alexander and his life

Weaknesses of Plutarch

  • Manipulated his material to fit his view of the world as a battle between good and evil
  • Manipulated his material to force parallels between Alexander and Caesar
  • Tweaked quotes
  • Focussed on characters and not events so unclear what was actually happening
  • Biased in favour of the Greeks
  • Pioneered heroic history with focussing on achievements of indiviuals
  • Is not contemporary - lived 400 years after
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Greek Background

1200 BC - The Trojan War. Greek epedition to Asia Minor

490 BC - Battle of Marathon. Darius I lead the Persians into battle against the Greeks. They lose.

480 BC - Battle of Thermopylae. Xerxes invades Greece but Persia lose again.

431 - 404 BC - Athenian and Spartan war. The Persians helped Sparta to win.

387 BC - The King's Peace. Greek states had to abide by a peace treaty under threat of Persian war.

371 BC - Battle of Leuctra between Sparta and Thebes. Sparta won as they tricked the Thebans by switching the side where the stronger men were so instead of it being Spartan's best men against Thebes' best men, it was Spartan's best men against Thebes' weaker men. The peace treaty was no longer in place as Greece was fighting each other, so they were weak. Macedonia took this opportunity to invade.

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Macedonian Background

The nature of the Macedonian government was voilent and dangerous. It was in a mess as every king in th 4th century was assassinated apart from two. As a result, the Greeks viewed them as barbaric for the ruthless killings and foreign as they were not geographically close by. This violent nature turned Alexander into a ruthless warrior as it is what he grew up with and would most likely have the same attitude.

Macedonia was not advancing as a state as the kings of Macedonia found it hard to conquer any new land. They could not trust each other due to the killing and no one was ever king long enough to get anywhere.

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Philip in Macedonia

Philip made Macedonia more stable by eliminating any competition for the throne he had. He also reformed the government to be centered around the King. He gave important titles and high pay to the noblemen so they would be satisified and not try to be king and kill him. He gave gifts to Greek cities to make the peace and threw a party in Thebes as he knew that they loved to party. He also destroyed any threats from the Illyrians, Athenians, and Thracians by conquering them.

Philip developed the Macedonian army by introducing the sarissa which were lighter, longer and easier to grip than the original Greek spear. Armour was now lighter and more manouverable. The phalanx formation was now stronger as he placed men at the sides and the back as previously, this was where the weak spots were. 

He also gave them better training as they were trained in all weathers and terrains so that they were prepared for anything. He made being a soldier as full time job so they could have more training and not have to worry about another job. He promoted on skill rather than birth unlike Greece who promoted on class. He also had engineers on hand during battle incase weapons got destroyed and needed being replaced.

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The Battle of Chaeronea

This battle happened in 338 BC, near the city of Boeotia. Philip wanted to advance into central Greece. It was fought between Macedonia and an alliance of Greek states including Athens and Thebes. 

Diodorus's account of the battle tells us that Philip's army had an advantage as they had a lot more soldiers and a lot of experience. On the Athenian side, a lot of their commanders were dead. 

Philip gave Alexander command over a large amount of troops because he recognised his bravery and swiftness. Alexander was the first to break down enemy lines as he was eager to impress his father.

The Battle of Chaeronea resulted in all resistance to Philip being destroyed. Philip and Alexander's relationship became competitive. Philip created the League of Corinth where all Greek states were allied under Philip. The League of Cornith also allowed his to invade Persia.

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Alexander's Birth

Olympias and Philip had two children together - Cleopatra and Alexander. Philip married another woman after, called Cleopatra. Olympias went into voluntary exile with Alexander. Olympias ordered the murder of Philip's new son by Cleopatra to be killed so that Alexander was the heir to the throne.

The night before they would first sleep together, a peal of thunderbolt fell on Olympias' womb. This symbolises that Zeus was Alexander's father. Alexander came from divine origin as he was also descended from Heracles and Achilles.Philip dreamt that he put a lion's seal on Olympias' womb which meant to symbolise that he would be courageous, bold and a 'lion-like nature.'

A snake lay sleeping next to Olympias. This scared Philip and he stopped loving her because he feared that spells and enchantments would be used against him and that she was the partner of a superior being. 

Olympias liked superstitious ceremonies and associated herself with the Orphic rites and the god Dionysus. She also experienced possession by divine spirits.This influenced Alexander as he grew to be a superstitious person who believed he had a divine origin. 

The temple of Artemis was burned down on the day of his birth as the gods were too busy delivering him. Some saw this as a curse. He was also born at the time of 3 victories - unconquerable.

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Alexander's Youth

Alexander was not interested in personal or sexual relationships as 'the pleasures of the body moved him little.' He had a love of honour, self restraint and was not interested in fame or wealth unlike his father was. He would only compete with kings or people he saw as better than himself at the Olympics which may symbolise how he was only interested in big victories and being remembered. 

Alexander was always planning for his military career. When Persian ambassadors came over, he inquired about the roads, the journey over to Macedonia, what sort of warrior the king was and what the people of Persia were like. He demonstrated good social skills, impressed them to get them on his side and learnt the skill of compromise. They thought he was eager to impress and show his enthusiasm.

Alexander was easily convinced to do the right thing so Philip used persuasion instead of ordering him around as he didn't like to be forced to do things. He was stubborn. He didn't let people push him around and only did something if he thought that it was the right thing to do; had his own morals.

Philip made sure that Alexander had the best tutor; Aristotle. He studied his secret doctrines and got annoyed when he published them as he wanted the upperhand. Alexander got a love of healing from Aristotle. He liked to help his friends when they were ill. He naturally liked learning and reading. He kept a copy of the Iliad and a dagger under his pillow. 

Alexander was left in charge of Macedonia when he was 16. He overcame the Maedi and renamed the city Alexandrapolis. He led the charge against the Sacred Band of Thebans.

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Alexander and Philip

Alexander grew distressed when nobody could tame the horse, Boucephalas. He blamed their lack of patience and skill. Philip's reply was 'Do you find fault with your elders because you know more than they do or are better able to handle a horse?' Philip thinks that Alexander is conceited. Alexander was confident in being able to handle him more than anyone else and bet the price of the horse on it. He saw that it was scared of its own shadow so he turned it towards the sun and easily mounted it. Philip was proud of his son and said 'My child, you must seek a kingdom equal to yourself; Macedonia is not big enough for you.' 

Philip had many affairs which annoyed Alexander and they argued about it a lot. Attalus didn't think of Alexander as a legitimate heir which annoyed Alexander and he said 'Do I appear to be a *******, you fool?' Philip defended Attalus over Alexander whic annoyed Alexander even more. 

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Parental Influence

Olympias influenced Alexander by telling him that he was born of divine origin and is descended from great historical figures like Achilles and Heracles who was also a demi-god.

Alexander was given big responsibilities at a young age, preparing him for when he would take over the throne and lead his own expeditions. 

Philip gave Alexander a good education by Aristotle.

Philip influenced Alexander by conquering a lot of land. The competitiveness in their relationship made Alexander strive to be the best and achieve the most, making him work harder.

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The Assassination of Philip

Pausanias got jealous that Philip was getting closer to another guy called Pausanias. The second Pausanias then killed himself. As a result, Attalus spiked the first Pausanias' drink to make him drunk and disorderly so he would get arrested. Philip did not punish Attalus for this because Attalus was going to marry his daughter and he couldn't afford to get rid of him. 

Hemocrates gave Pausanias the idea to kill Philip so that he would be remembered with him. Philip went to the theatre without bodyguards to show that he trusted the good will of the Greek people. This gave Pausanias an easy opportunity to stab him. The bodyguards chased after him and managed to kill him when his foot got stuck in a vine.

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Alexander taking over as King

Alexander had to deal with potential threats to the throne. He had to kill Attalus, Cleopatra (Philip's new wife) and her baby to ensure he would be king.

Alexander had to make an expedition through central Greece to secure his position as leader of the League of Corinth. He was now the leader of the expedition against Persia.

Alexander had to campaign against the tribes in Illyria and Thrace. This fought off threats to Macedonia and showed that he knew what he was doing being in command of an army and reinforced his position in the army.

Whilst Alexander was dealing with the Illyrians and Thracians, the Athenians tried to build a coalition against him thinking he'd be distracted at the time. However, Alexander beat them quickly and ordered the city to be destroyed. This undermined any chance of unity amongst the Greeks, who swiftly returned to obedience.

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Alexander's Reasons for the Persian Expedition

Alexander wanted to conquer somewhere that Philip had not.

He wanted to be remembered for doing something big and great.

He wanted to prove himself Greek by conquering its enemy.

He wanted to copy heroes like when Achilles defeated the Trojans.

He wanted a Macedonian empire.

Philip had already got him permission to do so.

At first,  Alexander wanted to free Greek cities in Asia Minor from Persian control like Philip did. He visited the Delphic oracle for approval before setting out on the expedition. He dragged her by the hair until she gave him an answer as it was her day off. He visited Troy to honour Greek achievements and to visit the grave of Achilles.

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The Battle of Granicus

Alexander marched to the Hellespont. He left Antipater in charge of Greece and Macedonia. He led the infantry of 30,000. When Alexander went fom Elaeus to the Achaen harbour, he steered the admiral's ship. He sacrificed to Poseidon. Alexander placed a crown on Achilles' tomb whist Hephaestion placed a crown on Patroclus' tomb.

Arrian claims that a lot of Alexander's achievements were not pubicly known and that he was not celebrated enough at the beginning. 

The army was in phalanx formation. Parmenio warned Alexander that it would be better to set up camp than to cross the Granicus river as it is too deep and the banks are too high. Alexander replies by belittling the Granicus river by calling it a 'little stream.' He thought it was best to attack straight away as otherwise it would not be worth the glory of the Macedonians.

Parmenio then took control of the left wing, whilst Alexander took the right. He delegated responsibility. The 20,000 Persians stood on the banks of the river. Alexander stood out due to the splendor of the armour. Both sides stood in a 'profound' silence. Alexander then led the charge, chanting to the god of battle. The Persians threw javelins from the banks down to the Macedonians. The Macedonians were struggling as they were outnumbered. They began to be able to cross the river easier even though the Persians were forcing them backward.

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The Battle of Granicus 2

Alexander's spear broke. One of his companions gave him their spear. Alexander saw the son-in-law of Darius  and struck him in his face. Meanwhile, Rhoesaces struck Alexander in the head but his helmet saved him. He hit him back but Spithridates raised his sword to strike Alexander from behind. Cleitus managed to cut off Spithridates' arm and saved his life. 

The Persians were now losing greatly as they were being hit in the face from all angles.  Alexander thrust himself into the centre of the front line and Alexander led the phalanx against the Persians and there a massacre. 2000 were taken prisoner and 1000 perished.

25 Macedonian companions died - this could be an exaggeration from Arrian. There are bronze statues of these men at Dium built by Alexander's instruction. 60 cavalary and 30 infantry died aswell. Alexander buried these with their weapons and equipment. He gave their parents/children a remission of land tax. He visited all those who were wounded to see how they got them and give them an opportunity to boast about what they had achieved. He also buried the Persians. He sent the captured to work as slaves in Macedonia. 

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The Gordian Knot

The legend of the Gordian Knot. Goridus, an ancient Phrygian had two yokes of oxen; one for ploughing and one for the wagon.One time, an eagle settled on the yoke until it was time to free the oxen from the yoke. He told a young girl about this and she told him to sacrifice to Zeus at the spot it happened. He then married this girl and they had a child called Midas. 

The Phrygians had civil disagreements between themselves and were given an oracle which told them that a wagon would bring them a king and they would end their disagreements. They interpreted it too mean that Midas should be king and so they made him. He did bring an end to their strife. 

There was another story where whoever undid the knot of the yoke of the wagon would be destined to ruler over Asia. Alexander wanted to untie it so everyone would believe that he was the true ruler of Asia and to stop anyone else from untying it.  He did not know how to untie it so he cut it with his sword and claimed it was undone. Others say that Alexander took the peg from the pole and drew the yoke of the pole. He returned from Gordium as if the oracle had been fulfilled. 

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The Battle of Issus

Alexander attacked their weak point instead of going for the strong challenge which is unlike him. He observed the situation and noticed that there was a weak untrained infantry hiding behind the archers. 

He captured Darius' family and gave them everything they were used to. He had a love of honour and respects royalty. This is also apparent in Plutarch 4.

Alexander is only fighting Darius to get the Asian empire and not because of a personal dislike for Darius. 

The mosaic from Pompeii shows Alexander in the middle of the battle. The fighters are in phalanx formation. Darius is in a chariot - isolated from the rest of the army. He gets others to fight for him.

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Siege at Tyre - Plutarch

Alexander wanted to conquer Tyre as the whole of Phoencia had surrended to him but Tyre. The Tyrians had a dream that Apollowas leaving them for Alexander as they had displeased him. Alexander dreamt that Hercules outstretched his hand and beckoned Alexander to the wall around Tyre. He also dreamed that a satyrmocked Alexander and didn't let him catch him but he eventually was able to catch him. 

He besieged Tyre for 7 months with moles, engines of war and 200 tiremes by sea.He rested his army often but took it in turns so he still led some so the enemy could not rest. He captured the city in a day after breaking down the walls around Tyre as he wanted to fulfill a prophecy. 

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Siege at Tyre - Arrian

Alexander dreamed that Heracles stretched out his hand which he took as an omen and convinced him to attack Tyre. Aristander thought that it meant that Tyre would be captured with great effort. Alexander decided to build a mole to Tyre. The Macedonians were eager to work and Alexander was directing every step. He encouraged them by giving those who worked extra hard, gifts. When they neared the city, missiles were thrown at them from the walls. The Tyrians had control of the sea still. The Macedonians erected two towers on the mole. 

The Tyrians filled a ship with wood and sulphur and set it sail in the direction of the mole. The fire destroyed the towers and the mole. They also fired arrows at the fire so no one could approach it and put it out. Alexander ordered that they build a new wider mole and build replacement engines. 

King of Aradus and Enylus of Byblus came to help Alexander and brought 80 ships with them. Alexander organised his fleet and led the right wing. The Tyrians refused the sea battle when they saw just how many ships they had. The Tyrians blocked the entrances to make sure that they didn't use their harbours. Alexander then sailed against the city. He ordered them to blockade the city.

The Tyrians cut the anchor ropes on Alexander's ships making it impossible to anchor by the city. The Macedonians then attached chain anchors rather than rope ones. 

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Siege at Tyre - Arrian 2

Alexander ordered his ships to prevent the Tyrian ships from leaving. The Tyrians tried to warn their fleet about Alexander's attack but they could not be heard. A few made it away but most were made unsailable. The Macedonians brought their engines right up to the wall. He sent them to the south to test the fortification. The wall was battered and partly destroyed. 

Alexander brought up the engines to the city by ships. He destroyed more of the wall. He ordered his fleet to sail around the island so that the Tyrians would be under attack from every side. Alexander 'took energetic part in the action.' He also watched to see any outstanding displays of courage by his army. The wall wast first captured where Alexander was. The Tyrians were easily thrust back as the Macedonians were on a secure foundation. Admetus was the first over the wall but was struck with a spear and died. 

The Phoencians carried on the sea battle and wrecked the ships at the harbour. The Cyprians easily sailed into Tyre as there was nothing blocking the entrances anymore. Alexander fought the Tyrians and there was a great massacre. 8000 Tyrians died and 400 Macedonians died. 

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Alexander in Egypt

Alexander visited the oracle of Ammon and declared himself to be the son of Ammon. He denies Philip as his father which annoys the Macedonians as he denies his Macedonian roots and heritage.

He adopts Persian dress which shows that he had respect for other cultures. It also shows that he had conquered Egypt and was accepted by the Egyptian people as their pharaoh. This also annoys the Macedonians as he is beocming less Macedonian and not being loyal to his home country.

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The Battle of Gaugamela - Plutarch

Before the battle, the camp had divided into two groups; one Darius' army and one Alexander's. They had a mock fight. When Alexander heard, he told them to fight in single combat and gave armour to the leaders. They thought that the result would give an indication of the real result. The 'Alexander' won. 

Darius kept his forces ready for an attack at night while the Macedonian army where just resting and Alexander was offering sacrifices to the gods. Alexander was advised to attack at night as it would be an  easier vistory for them but he replied 'I do not steal my victory.' He did not want to give Darius any confidence that if it weren't for the fact that is was night, they could have won. Alexander slept soundly the night before which worried Parmenio about why he was so calm. Alexander is calm because as they are freed from chasing after Darius. 

Alexander was confident in the calculations he made during the battle. Parmenio had the left wing but was struggling. The people protecting the Macedonian baggage and camp were attacked and they lost their stuff. Alexander told Parmenio not to worry as when they win, they will gain whatever the enemy had. 

Alexander wore fancy armour. He led the attack on Boucephalas. 

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The Battle of Gaugamela - Plutarch 2

Alexander appealed to the gods in prayer to protect the Greeks if he really was the son of Zeus. An eagle hovered above Alexander's head and then flew straight to the enemy. This was seen as a good sign. 

The infantry phalanx 'rolled forward like a wave.' Darius was in a high chariot, being protected by soldiers. Most of them scattered when they saw Alexander as they were scared of him. The ones who stayed were killed. Darius escaped on a horse as the chariot was blocked with dead bodies. Plutarch thinks that he would not have been able to escape if some of Parmenio's calvary had not asked for some of Alexander's soldiers. Parmenio was slated for being 'ineffectual' in this battle. He was depressed and jealous of Alexander's power. 

Alexander recalled his forces as he wanted to stop the slaughtering. He heard that the enemy had fled the battle.

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The Battle of Gaugamela - Arrian

Alexander gave his army time to rest and left behind those who were not fit for combat. He led out the rest at dawn in battle formation. The armies could not see each other yet as there were hills infront of them. Alexander wasn't sure whether to follow Parmenio's advice and set up camp where they were and check out their surroundings or press on towards Darius. 

Alexander gave brief words of encouragement. Parmenio advised Alexander to attack at night as they would not be expecting it. Alexander replied that he didn't want to steal the victory. This showed confidence rather than arrogance Arrian thought. He didn't want Darius to blame the night and unfamiliar surroundings on his failure. Darius was however anticipating a night attack on was on guard the whole night.

Alexander led his forces to the right so the Persians would mirror them. Darius ordered some of his men to block the Macedonians from going any further right as if he did, Darius' chariot would not be able to take the terrain. A lot of Macedonians were dying as there was a lot of enemy troops. They still managed to break the Persian formation. The Persians sent chariots towards Alexander to disrupt his phalanx formation. They did not succeed as javelins were thrown at them and they were pulled out of their chariots and killed. 

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The Battle of Gaugamela - Arrian 2

Alexander continued leading his troops to the right and sent some of his cavalry to attack the Persians who were trying to stop him going further right. They broke through the frontline. Alexander charged directly at Darius with a battle cry. There was hand to hand fighting. Darius was the first to flee which resulted in more Persians deserting as their leader had. The Macedonians slaughtered those who were trying to run. The formation of the Macedonian left wing cavalry was broken and Persians got through the gap. When the Macedonians realised what was happening and killed them all.

Parmenio sent a message to Alexander saying that he was struggling and needed assistance. Alexander stopped his pursuit of Darius and with the cavalry, turned around to help Parmenio. 60 of Alexander's companions fell and Hephaestion was wounded. More Persians fled and Alexander started to pursue Darius again. Parmenio captured the Persian camp with their baggage and animals. After resting the night, Alexander went into Arbela to capture Darius but he had kept running the whole night. Alexander did steal his treasure and equipemnt though. 

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Changes to Alexander's court

After Gaugamela, Babylon, Susa and Persepolis surrender. Parmenio and his son are killed because Alexander thinks that they were conspiring to kill him. Darius was killed by his servant Bessus who was then killed by Alexander. Alexander is now the legitimate ruler of Persia.

Once he was ruler of Persia, Alexander installed chamberlains of Asiatic race, had Persian guards, wore Persian dress, dressed his horses in Persian harnesses and had personal prostitutes.

These changes were unpopular with the Macedonians as he was acting like a Persian who was still the enemy of the Macedonians. 

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Death of Cleitus - Plutarch

Plutarch calls Cleitus an 'evil genius.' Alexander had some fruit from the Greek coast and wished to show Cleitus. He stopped mid sacrifice to go to him. This was seen as a bad sign and sacrifices were made on Cleitus' behalf. Alexander had a dream that Cleitus was sitting with the sons of Parmenio, dressed in black and all dead. They were all drinking heavily. Some songs were sung which ridiculed some generals who were defeated. Cleitus became angry that the Macedonians were being insulted in the presence of their enemies and Alexander was just enjoying the singer. Alexander claimed that Cleitus was making excuses for himself and called him a coward. Cleitus had a go at Alexander back saying that he saved his life previously and that he is only powerful through the Macedonian army and their accomplishments and deaths. Cleitus is annoyed aswell by Alexander claiming to be the son of Ammon. 

Cletius also complained about having to ask Persians to able to see the king as he had Persian bodyguards now. Cleitus said he had free speech and if that was a problem, Alexander should only invite men who performed obeisance. Alexander picked up an apple and threw it at Cleitus and took a spear from one of the guards and stabbed him. He regretted it immediately and tried to slit his own throat.

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Death of Cleitus - Arrian

Alexander sacrificed to Dionysus one day a year, followed by a lot of drinking. Cleitus had been annoyed by Alexander for awhile by the way he was acting like a Persian. He said to Alexander that what he had achieved wasn't as great as he thought it was and it was the Macedonians as a whole not just him. Cleitus got even more angry when one of Alexander's flatterers belittled Philip's achievements. Cleitus reminds Alexander of the time where he saved his life. Alexander could not deal with Cleitus' insolentness and killed him with the sword from one of his guards. Alexander claims that he only has title of king left and no friends. 

Arrian fully blames Cleitus for his own death and pities Alexander. Arrian praised Alexander for accepting that he had done something terrible straight away. Some say that he tried to kill himself afterwards (same as Plutarch). Others say that he stayed in his bed and mourned. He called himself the killer of his friends. He did not eat or drink for 3 days. 

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Relationships in the Court

Anaxarchus thought that Alexander would be better considered a god than Dionysus and Heracles because he is Macedonian and they are not. They knew that when Alexander died that they would honour him as a god so why not honour him like one when he was still alive.

Most Macedonians were annoyed by this. Callisthenes responded saying that this would be degrading to the gods and it would make Alexander more important than he is. He argues that not even Heracles was offered divine honours when he was alive. He asks Alexander if he would make the Greeks who are the most free of men perform obeisance or is it just for the Macedonians. He calls obeisance a 'disgrace.'

Alexander, noticing that most people agreed with Callisthenes, told them not to worry about performing obeisance on him. Then a Persian stood up and offered him obeisance. Another story goes that Alexander sent round a golden cup and they would drink from it and then kiss Alexander. 

Alexander married the noblest of Persian daughters to all of his companions. He wanted his new kingdom to be multi cultural and see each other as allies and not enemies. He wanted to make a family with his commanders. He wanted Hephaestion's children to be cousins to his own children so Hephaestion married Alexander's wife sister.

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Final Campaign in the Indus Valley

Alexander made his troops walk through the Gedrosian desert to conquer a few small villages along the way to the Indus Valley. Alexander didn't want to leave known land unconquered and was power mad. 

The Indians attacked the Macedonians on elephants which they were not expecting. 

After the campaign at the Indus Valley, Alexander returned home. People thought that he was dead and they had been away for so long. He became paranoid that people were trying to kill him as people had started to take over jobs he had, thinking he was dead. He was quick to execute anyone he thought was plotting against him or said something bad about him.

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Death of Hephaestion

Alexander held a banquet as the Macedonians thought that they were being replaced by Persians when Alexander sent unfit veterans home. Here, Hephaestion fell ill from drinking too much. Alexander left his athletic contest to go to Hephaestion when he heard that he was in a bad way. 

Some accounts say that Alexander flung himself down by Hephaestion's body and did not want to be separated from him. He lay beside him all night. Others say that Alexander blamed the doctor Glaucias because he had given him the wrong drug or because he allowed Hephaestion to continue to drink heavily. 

Alexander cut his hair over the body of Hephaestion. He wanted to emulate Achilles and Patroclus. He also ordered the temple of Asclepius to be destroyed. Alexander also ordered that Hephaestion should receive rites appropriate for a hero and he asked the gods whether Hephaestion could receive sacrifices as a god, but it was not allowed. 

Alexander did not eat or take care of his body for 2 days after Hephaestion's death. He ordered a funeral which cost 10,000 talents. There was public mourning throughout the land. Some of Alexander's companions dedicated their weapons to him. Alexander did not appoint anyone else in charge of Hephaestion's cavalary so his name would always be attached to it. 

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Alexander's Legacy

Greek culture was spread through the areas that he conquered.

Alexander founded many cities and called them Alexander.

He created new borders or countries and changed the map, mixing up cultures and populations.

The kingdom was split up when he died:

Ptolemy became the Pharaoh of Egypt

Antipater was in charge of Macedonia

Perdiccas, Alexander's brain damaged half brother was left in power of Babylon.

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Death of Alexander - Plutarch

When Alexander went to Babylone, he saw ravens flying around, hitting each other and falling at his feet. Alexander was annoyed that he did not follow Nearchus' advice to not go to Babylon as he saw this as a bad sign. Other omens included: a tame *** being set against a lion and kicked it to death; he saw a man sitting on his throne, wearing his crown and told them that he had been sent from Babylon by the god Serapis. 

Alexander now had little expectation of divine support and grew suspicious of his friends. Alexander was furious when C***ander saw some Greeks performing obeisance and laughed at them. Alexander grabbed his hair and banged his head against the wall. People had told accused Aristander of not being loyal to Alexander and C***ander said they were false, but Alexander wouldn't listen. 

Alexander viewed everything unusual as a portent or omen. Everyone was sacrificing at the royal palace. He went drinking with Medius and began to suffer from a fever. On the days leading up to his death, he bathed and sacrificed. His companions would come visit him and he would listen but rarely replied as he was that ill. He died on the 30th of the month Daesius.

5 years later, there was suspicion of Alexander being poisoned. It was claimed that Aristotle advised Antipater to arrange Alexander's death. Most historians discredit this theory.

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Death of Alexander - Arrian

A portent to Alexander's death was that someone unimportant came and sat on his throne and the Persians didn't do anything. Alexander ordered this person to be tortured on the rack. Alexander then sacrificed and held a banquet. 

Alexander partied and darnk with Medius. He got a fever a few days later. He was sleeping, bathing and sacrificing all day, every day. He gave orders to his commanders about the journey and to get ready as they were leaving in 3 days. He always checked to make sure that they were prepared even though he was dying. 

Some of his soldiers went to go and see Alexander. He was unable to speak but could make eye contact with them. He had no plans of who would take over after he died and when asked just replied 'the best man.'

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