Why did Alexander hate the Persians

Alexander the Great

in history, written by Johanna G.

  • Alexander's path to greatness
  • Phillip, II., Father of Alexander.
  • Alexander's path to the Macedonian throne and hegemon of Greece.
  • Alexander's victory over Darius III. and Persia.
  • India train.
  • Mass wedding of Susa, the amalgamation of peoples and death in Babylon.
  • Who was alexander?
Alexander's path to greatness undoubtedly began with his father, who provided him with the basis for his conquests.
Philip II, father Alexander was born in 359 BC. Elected king by the Macedonian army assembly. Phillip strove to reunite the divided Macedonia into one kingdom and defeated isolated regional princes. He made Macedonia the leading state in Greece. His starting point, the shattered Macedonia, which not long ago had been Persian territory, was not necessarily the best. Pella, the capital of Macedonia, was a small, uncultivated nest. At least the position of the hegemonic state was free, because the traditionally leading Greek cities Sparta, Athens and Thebes, which had fought each other in alternating and bloody wars, were in decline. Macedonia, however, was generally considered primitive.
Phillip began reorganizing his rundown army. The aristocratic riding, also called Hetaires (= Companions), he put in Ilen on, and became the elite force of his army. He organized the foot fighters in Phalanxes as rigid, disciplined attack troops, equipped with long spears (called Sarissen ). Cities that Phillip besieged were no longer starved, but destroyed by siege engines. In the only open field battle against the great Greek cities, the Battle of Charoneia in 338, he applied the new "crooked order of battle", which should also help Alexander to his victories. In general, he profited greatly from his father's reforms.
In 358, Phillip was able to add nearby Paionien to his empire, and thanks to the gold mining there, it was now easier for him to finance his war policy. From 356 to 346 he waged a war against the Phocians. Phillip won the war despite initial setbacks, thanks to his tenacity and skillful diplomacy, which led Athens and Sparta to refuse support to the Phokers. In 343/42 Phillip conquered Thrace and gained Epeiros as an ally. With his advance into Byzantium, the Greek cities finally gave up their wait-and-see neutrality and moved in the Hellenic League (340) against Phillip. Phillip won at Charoneia (338) against the Athenian and Theban troops. The victorious cavalry was led by Alexander and his hetaires. These defeated Greek cities had to agree to the formation of the Corinthian League (337), which only excluded Sparta. The allies recognized the Macedonian king as hegemon and federal general and decided to take revenge against Persia. Phillip had achieved his goal, but was murdered by Pausanias shortly before he left for the Persian campaign (336). There is the theory that Phillips' wife Pausanias instigated the assassination attempt because she hated her husband, who in addition to her married several women as part of his alliance policy. She also wanted to see her son Alexander safely on the Macedonian throne, for which she allegedly had Alexander's older half-brother Arrhidaios poisoned at an early age.
However, it could also be that Alexander himself ordered the murder of his father, since the marriage of Cleopatra (Macedonian!) Endangered his succession to the throne.
began in 356 when he was born the son of Phillips and Olympias, an Epeirotic princess. His childhood may not have been particularly happy, as his father was on constant campaigns and he was therefore in the care of his mother Olympias. This woman was animated with a strong will and lust for domination and tried to make Alexander her creature. She, as a Dionysian bacchante (priestess), perhaps inspired Alexander with his conviction of his own divinity.
In 343 the thirteen-year-old Alexander was sent by his father to Mieza, where he and his classmates, his future hetaires, were taught by Aristotle, Plato's pupil. We can only guess what exactly the great phillosoph taught the Macedonian prince, but it is certain that Aristotle had a decisive influence on the young Alexander and opened his eyes to Greek culture. In the following years, for example, Alexander was an admirer of Homer, was able to recite from the Iliad by heart, and always carried a copy with him. In general, Alexander proved to be a great admirer of Greek culture and philosophy. Aristotle taught him everything worth knowing of his time, be it about geography, medicine or warfare. We do not know whether the phillosoph planted in him the infinite longing for the boundaries of the world, or whether he initiated the dream of the merging of peoples in him, but the assumption is certainly obvious. The influence of Aristotle on Alexander should at least not be underestimated.
340 makes Phillip Alexander city holder for the first time. From the fact that we learn so little about his tenure in office, one can judge how well and successfully Alexander did his job.
In 338 the prince of Macedonia led his cavalry successfully against the Greek troops in the battle of Charoneia and thus gave his father a brilliant victory.
After the murder of his father in 336 he was named Alexander III by the Macedonian army assembly. proclaimed king, making him a Greek hegemon at the same time.
Alexander began his reign with rigorous measures. He sent servants to murder possible heir to the throne. The speed with which Alexander began to stamp out potential competitors for the throne may indicate that he was at least informed about Pausanias' attempt to murder his father.
Even if Alexander's actions appear barbaric to us shortly after his accession to the throne, we must not make the mistake of applying our standards to a time more than 2,000 years ago. This would be fundamentally wrong, because it must be stated that Alexander acted in this way out of pure self-preservation instinct had to. The customs were harsh at the time and surely others would have used every opportunity to murder the young king in order to gain power themselves. Only Alexander's weak-minded brother Arrhidaios remained alive and would later become king.
Freed from the hard hand of Phillip, the Greeks and barbarian tribes believed they could throw off the Macedonian yoke. With a speed that none of his opponents would have expected, the young king advanced against the rebellious barbarians. He organized his troops excellently and made every effort to pacify the rebel areas. He subjugated Illyrians, Triballians, Getes, Celts and Thracians in a lightning campaign. In 335 he moved against the revolting Thebes, conquered it and had it dragged as an example for the other Greek cities; the residents were sold as slaves. After he had ensured that there was peace and quiet, nothing stood in the way of his Persia journey.
Alexander's victory over Darius III. and Persia was ushered in by Alexander's crossing of the Hellespont with about 35,000 men. In May the Persian satraps (= governors) of Asia Minor presented him with a hurried army on the river Granikos. Alexander personally led his cavalry against the poorly positioned Persians to a quick victory and had the Greek mercenaries in the Persian army massacred as a deterrent. From a military point of view, Alexander's approach to Granikos was bold and thoughtless; only the stupidity of the Persians, who relied more on their aristocratic riding than on the disciplined Greek mercenaries, brought victory to the impetuous Alexander. But the resistance of the satrapies of Asia Minor (= Persian provinces) was broken, the Ionian cities of Greek origin fell to him. In Phrygia's capital, Gordion, he untied the famous knot, either with the sword or by simply untying the cart that was attached to the knot. The one who untied the knot was prophesied of the conquest of Persia, and Alexander set about fulfilling the prophecy. First, however, he had to accept setbacks, triggered by the perhaps somewhat premature dissolution of the Greek-Ionian fleet that supported his army. The Persian fleet under the Greek mercenary leader Memnon now had every freedom to operate and conquered Chios and Mytilene. After the murder of Memnon (by Alexander?), However, the fleet disintegrated. From Alexander's point of view, the dissolution of the fleet was a perfectly logical step, as he had to pay for the maintenance and wages of the unreliable Greek ships. Nevertheless, he cut off his own path of retreat and from then on played all or nothing.
After moving into Tarsos and taking a bath in an ice-cold river, he fell seriously ill for eight weeks, but recovered early enough to be able to go to meet Darius, the king of Persia. Alexander's army numbered about 40,000 men, the Persian army at Issus was certainly larger, but could hardly have been more than 50,000 - 60,000 men. Great King Darius probably did not consider Alexander a serious threat at this point. In November 333 the battle of Issus broke out. While the foot troops of Alexander, led by Parmenion, were closer to defeat than victory, Alexander led his hetaires riding against Darius' cavalry and attacked Darius personally. Alexander was no match for this and fled. Deprived of leadership, the Persian army collapsed and followed the king in disorderly retreat. Dareios withdrew to the Persian heartland and began to raise a large army.
In 332, after seven months of siege, Alexander took the Phoenician city of Tire, which had refused to surrender to him. He turned down an offer of peace by Darius and submitted 331 Syria and Egypt. His move to the Siwa oasis gives rise to various speculations. In the sanctuary of Zeus-Ammon, Alexander was proclaimed the son of God. Whether he was really convinced of his divinity or whether he began to become megalomaniac can no longer be clarified. In general, however, it is more obvious that he performed this symbolic act in order to consolidate the loyalty of his Macedonians, but above all of the Greeks. We must not forget that the belief in gods, oracles and priests was deeply rooted in the common people. So if Alexander deified himself, he could lose nothing in his position towards the unbelievers and bind the believers even more tightly to himself. At this time he also founded the city in Egypt, Alexandria, which still exists today.
The year 331 brought about another enormously important event, to which history usually as little importance as Alexander himself. The Antipater, which he left behind as regent in Macedonia, defeated the rebellious Spartans at Megalopolis. Alexander spoke of a "mouse war", apparently completely forgetting that Antipater had preserved his Macedonian homeland and his hegemonic position over Greece. Even the urgently needed supplies of soldiers and material from Macedonia could continue to flow. If Antipater were defeated, Alexander would certainly not have been able to celebrate his great victory at Gaugamela, but would have had to return to Greece to subdue the Greek cities, which would certainly have completely joined a victorious Sparta, again.
But so he moved to Persia, crossed the Tigris and met the Persian army at Gaugamela in October 331.
Alexander's army numbered only about 50,000 men, and the Persian army was 100,000-150,000 men strong, which is why it is still a mystery to military historians how Alexander won this battle. This time Darius had chosen the plain of Gaugamela for the battle, in which his chariots and his cavalry, which alone should have been as numerous as Alexander's army, could best unfold. The “crooked order of battle” seems to have been a key to Alexander's success, in which the individual wings with their impenetrable phalanxes shifted diagonally in order to fragment the opposing formations. Again Alexander and his hetaires attacked Darius. This in turn did not withstand and fled from the more assertive and strong-willed Alexander into the depths of Iran.
Overall, one must clearly state that Darius, through his personal failure, made it possible for Alexander to conquer his vast empire and that the Persian combat units lacked morality, discipline and training. Despite their overwhelming superiority, they were no match for Alexander and his disciplined Macedonians. Alexander moved unhindered to the Persian capital Babylon, which opened its gates without a fight and surrendered the Persian state treasure, the enormous sum of 50,000 talents in gold. Alexander was proclaimed the new great king of Persia in Babylon and Susa.
The old cultural city of Persepolis was released for plundering at the atonement of the Persian destruction of Athens (480) (Alexander had avoided this in the cities conquered so far, which led to great resentment in his master). There were all the horrors of a city looting and at the end of the night Persepolis went up in flames.
With the end of the campaign of vengeance against Persia, Alexander could get his, the so-called Alexander train, start. He released the Greek troops and sent back the invalid Macedonian soldiers. Alexander minted the gold treasure he found and thus caused enormous inflation in Hellas (Greece).
In the year 328 Alexander carried out an army reform and from then on accepted Persians as equals in the army. After heavy fighting against the Scythians in the Sogdiane, the Macedonians advanced as far as Bactria. In 327 he subjugated the eastern Sogdiane and married the Bactrian princess Roxane. His attempt to introduce the Persian court ceremony with footfall (Proskynesis) failed due to the resistance of the Macedonians and Greeks.
In India (326) Alexander defeated the mountain tribes of the Swat highlands and advanced across the Indus. On the Hydaspes there was a battle with the Indian prince Poros, whom he was able to defeat with great effort. The exhausted army demanded an end to the advance and Alexander was forced to return to the Indus. In the fight against the Mallers he was so badly wounded that the Greeks, who were forcibly settled by him in the Sogdiane and Bactria, heard of his death and moved back home. 325 reached the Macedonian pattala.
From here the army was divided into three parts:
Nearchus was supposed to bring a fleet through the Persian Gulf to the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates, while Krateros led part of the army through Arachosia and the Drangiane. Alexander, however, set out with the bulk of his army through the Drosian desert towards the Persian heartland. The army, which had already suffered from the murderous conditions of the Indian jungle, suffered terrible losses in the poorly organized desert march. Above all, the huge entourage that accompanied Alexander's army, and in which there were traders, actors, prostitutes and their children, was badly affected.
In 324 Alexander finally returned to Persia and it took place. His plan was to merge the Persians and Macedonians into a new class of rulers. In general, Persian customs and traditions were not suppressed, on the contrary: they were even adopted. 89 of his followers and around 10,000 soldiers married Persian women. Alexander himself married Stateira, a daughter of Darius. The increasing equality of the Persians led to a renewed mutiny in Opis (as in India), which Alexander put an end to by personally reassuring the soldiers. At the end of the year he sent 10,000 veterans back to Macedonia.
Alexander's dream of the amalgamation of the peoples was never to come true, because in 323 he died in Babylon. Shortly before the beginning of summer he ordered the mobilization of the army, with which he planned to subdue the largely unexplored Arabian peninsula and then move through Libya (our present-day Africa) and attack Karthargo.
After various drinking bouts, Alexander fell ill in May and died two weeks later, on June 13, 323, at the age of thirty-three, in Babylon.
The Macedonian army assembly elected both his weak-minded brother Arrhidaios and his one-year-old son of the Bactrian princess Roxane to be Alexander's successors. Alexander's generals and hetaires received provinces and competed against each other in the so-called "Diadoch Wars". Alexander's empire fell apart, and some of the diadochi were able to establish monarchies in partial areas, for example Ptolomaios in Egypt (the rule of the Ptolomaians extends until 30 BC). In 320 the Macedonians were driven out of India.
Alexander's empire was tailor-made for him, and none of his hetaires, generals, or relatives had the stature or skills necessary to hold the vast empire together.
In view of his bad deeds, the many murders he had committed to secure his rule, but on the other hand also his many good traits, for example he turned his soldiers into rich men, everyone has to imagine for himself whether Alexander is really that great was as its name suggests.