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The Effect Of Alexander The Great On Europe

1830 words - 8 pages

Alexander the Great's relation to triumph is obvious, he created an army which took over most of the known world. But what is not known widely is how tragic his life was. I cannot do full justice to his life but I will do my best to describe it.
When Alexander was a child his parents were constantly fighting and his father was usually away on campaigns, so he rarely saw him when he was young. He therefore was usually under his mother's influence.
When he was a young man his father was killed and he had to take over an entire country by himself which was in very bad shape. As he grew he had to deal with disputes, revolts and cruel neighboring rivals.
When he was a grown man he killed ...view middle of the document...

These results differed in many regions of the empire; for various reasons the successors of Alexander had not been able to follow all his visions.
Greece and the Greek language were forgotten during the Dark Ages, but with the Renaissance their natural supremacy was recognized and became the basis of European culture. Hellenic culture continues to influence the world to this day. In Bacteria, it left an indelible mark which extended to northern India and parts of the Far East; two large volumes, beautifully illustrated, describe this information: L'Art Greco-Bouddique du Gandhara, by A. Foucher. Comparatively recent discoveries by archaeologists show how the technique of Hellenic art was adapted to Indian buildings and statues. Brief as was the transit of the Macedonian march from the Cophen Valley to the Delta of the Indus, the refining influence of Greek art can be traced all along Alexander's path from the Hindu-Kush, Peshawar and Taxila to the mouth of the Indus. Even in Turkestan and China, where Alexander never penetrated, the Buddha statues are modified by the gracious style of Greece.
Alexander had started out as a crusader, to avenge the invasion and the destruction of the precious buildings of Greece, but later had as his goal the extension of Hellenic ways of life throughout his empire. In this he succeeded. Greek democratic liberty-freedom to think and to speak, and the duty of the individual to take his share in the government of his city was instituted wherever he became master.
After the surrender of the robbers and semi-savage tribes of the mountainous regions of Persia, who had for centuries been a persistent menace to life on the plains, Alexander founded new towns and improved communications. The so-called "Foundation cities" were built at the junction of important roads, in positions specially chosen to assist the transit of merchandise and to command the valleys-a precaution necessary for adequate military supervision. The towns were planned on the Greek pattern, with a market square, school, offices, shops, temple, theater, gymnasium, and often a fountain. The young were given instructions in military methods and in Hellenic culture with its ideals of chivalrous courage.
Some records speak of seventy cities having been founded, but only sixteen are certain; those hastily built with mud walls soon crumbled into dust. Six remain to this day: in Egypt was Alexandria; in Aria was Herat (in modern day Afghanistan); in Arachosia was Ghazni (also in modern day Afghanistan); in Margiane was Merv; on the Oxus River was Termez (on the modern day Amudarja River in Uzbekistan); and on the Jaxartes was Chodjend. Seven endured a considerable time: among these seven were Susiana, Prophthasia, Alexandria-ad-Caucasum, and Bucephala. The new cities were placed near enough already existing villages to permit association with the native population, yet so far apart that the Macedonian and Greek settlers could maintain their own...

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