Alexander the Great’s actions and decisions have significantly impacted upon the world during his time, ultimately leaving behind a legacy that can be affiliated with the westernization of the globe. He helped bring the western civilization, which included the scientific and liberal thinking of the Greeks to much of the rest of the world. He introduced a study of science for science’s sake to the nations and he is also considered as one of the most successful military commanders in history, for by the time of his death he had conquered most of the world known as Ancient Greece.
However, his greatest achievement – which is to this day debated by scholars all over the globe – is his role in cultural diffusion. Contemporary scholars have viewed Alexander as a philosophical idealist, striving to create unity of man-kind by his so-called fusion of the races policy. He uplifted the status of ordinary human beings, or as Plato and Aristotle called them – barbarians, to the members of a polis –citizens as opposed to as just subjects. Alexander introduced tolerance to the Greeks and Macedonians.
Through his liberal thinking he demonstrated that a Persian or any other race could be the equal of a Greek or Macedonian and participate equally in a mature government. It is clear that before such a revolution of thought, most Greeks and Macedonians followed the thoughts of Aristotle, who as previously mentioned, believe that Barbarians (who were particularly easterners and Persians) were menial, vile, treacherous and degenerate human beings fit to be only slaves of the Greeks.
When Alexander passed away there was, by a combination of integration, his own authority and stats, the intermarriage with Asians and the appointment of Asians of offices. Thus it can be said that Alexander revolutionized the thinking of the Hellenistic world, which in conjunction with his vast conquests, expansions and education of his empire, not to mention being responsible for the physical and cultural formation of the Hellenistic kingdom, Alexander did indeed leave behind a significant legacy, which is to this day commended and acknowledged around the globe.
Many scholars generalize that Alexander had a vision for the world, a vision of equality and cooperation. He believed in giving mankind the benefits of an advanced and enlightened civilization. He taught this world to look upon itself, encouraged humanity to cooperate and started the concept of a one-world government and the unity of human kind.
This is particularly evident in the argument presented by Tarn whom believes that Alexander did “aspire to be the harmonizer and reconciler of the world – that part of the world in which his arms reached…he was the pioneer of one the supreme revolutions in the world’s outlook, the first man known to us who contemplated the brotherhood of man or the unity of mankind” Alexander the Great also left behind a great military legacy, a legacy that every general seeked to emulate.
From the ages of antiquity and to the present, Alexander is described as a military genius. His accomplishments in the art of war were and still are astounding. Alexander was a clever strategist when it came to war – the extension of the boarder between Macedon into India demonstrates this. Hannibal, Caesar, Frederick, and Napoleon studied his military methods thoroughly and all admitted that without the knowledge they gained from Alexander the Great they would have never been able to accomplish what they did.
From one great leader, Napoleon, we hear, “Make offensive war like Alexander … read and re-read the history of their campaigns. Model yourself on them … that is the only way to become a great captain. ” Invariable were his countless successes, whether he fought against disciplined, highly trained troops or guerilla bands of wild hill tribes, on plains or on mountains, deserts, ravines, marshes or rivers, winter snow or burning sun; weather and darkness were not obstacles. Alexander never wasted time. He always arrived before his enemies expected.
His men followed him for more than 21,000 miles because they believed he had their best interests in mind. They always counted on him to lead them to victory after victory and he never failed. On the basis of military conquest, contemporary historians and especially those writing in Roman times who measured success by the number of human bodies left on the battlefield deemed him ‘great’. Professor Wright explains, “In the history of our European civilization four names stand out from all other: Alexander, Julius Caesar, Charles the Great, Napoleon.
All four were so superior to the ordinary level of human capacity that they can hardly be judged by common standards. … Alexander, both in his works and in his character, is entitled to the first place. … He was the fine flower of Greek civilization … the effects of his conquests in widening the horizon of men’s minds can only be compared with the discovery of America. ” Before Alexander the world was a mesh of comparatively isolated and insular empires. After him, empires were no longer isolated and insular, they worked together more than before.
It can be argued that the world encountered a transformation after Alexander’s reign – more people could communicated with and trade with more people, there was a diplomatic intercourse between nations and many came to share a common worldview that enabled ideas about the dignity of man to flourish and ultimately change the face of the world. Conclusively, Alexander the Great left behind a legacy, a legacy that will remain as his actions and forward thinking left a great impact on history and thus left much of the world was transformed.
Courtney from Study Moose
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