Notability of the great "Alexander of Macedonia"
- Inherited his father's (Phillip II) kingdom 336 B.C.E
- Tutored by Aristotle at a young age
- Famous for never losing a battle
- Defeated the Persian Empire
Alexander was known to be ruthless to those who opposed him and even within his ranks. To many he an inspiring leader and a brave soldier. He demanded courage and was fair to those who displayed it. The mind Alexander possessed and his military genius helped him shape his legacy.
Darius III was a minor member of the royal family in Persia who gained the throne (same year as Alexander) after a coup. Alexander was able to defeat the larger army possibly because the Persian underestimated his army. Darius disgraced himself by deserting his army and his family. Alexander actually treated them all with great respect, this would contribute to the mixing of some of the Greek and Eastern cultures. During the conquest of Western Asia, Alexander adopted a policy of offering amnesty to cities that would submit peacefully but merciless against those who would not surrender.
Alexander in Egypt
Alexander in Egypt
Alexander was welcomed into Egypt as a liberator. Egypt was governed as a Persian satrapy (province). Egypt was under Persian control for 200 years and their new liberator would become hailed as an Egyptian Pharaoh in both the North and South. Alexander would be told that he was the "son of Ammon", the name the Greeks gave to the Egyptian God "Amun-Ra". The new Pharoah would move the capital of his new empire to the city of "Alexenderia". After Alexanders death the Kingdom would be divided into three notable kingdoms, there would be a fourth later (Pergamum).
Divisions of Alexander's Kindom
The Hellenistic Kingdoms
There was much confusion after the death of Alexander. No one knew who should take lead of the empire. There was confusion over who was the established leader for two generations until about 275 B.C.E where three divisions among military and political power can be seen. This period is referred to as "Hellenistic" meaning "Greek like". The Hellenistic world was very prosperous with commerce and culture.
Ptolemaic Egypt- the most stable of the divided empire under Ptolemy's leadership. Ptolemy did not want to contest for the larger empire, instead he specifically asked for Egypt as his satrapy. Culture within this state would revert and show expressions of Ancient Egyptian culture. Some examples of this would be the Ptolemies marrying their own sisters.
Selucid Asia- largest part of the land that Alexander had conquered within the Persian Empire that was led by Selucid. This empire was so different in culture that it was difficult to manage; which is why Selucid ceding the Indus Valley Chandragupta. This empire was a more fractured one because of the makeup in culture and disorganized bureaucracy.
Anitgonid Macedonia and Greece- the original Macedonian homeland did not enjoy the same wealth as the rest of the Hellenistic Kingdoms until Antinuigonus established his own dynasty. Antigonus viewed kingship as a form of noble servitude, to be endured rather than enjoyed. It was part of their policy not to get involved with the fighting of the other two kingdoms. The earliest forms of federalism with division of power among the government; the Aetolian League and the Achaean League were a departure from one political organization. Each represented a real political federation comprised of citizens of the city-states that participated in councils of state dealing with foreign policy and military affairs.