Was Alexander the Great really great?

Topics: Chandragupta Maurya, Alexander the Great, Philip II of Macedon Pages: 2 (906 words) Published: May 5, 2014
Was Alexander the Great really ‘Great’?

Alexander of Macedon was perceived as ‘great’ by his contemporaries. His achievements in early life indicated that he had every chance of becoming ‘great’. To consider how ‘great’ he really was one must define greatness.

Firstly, let us consider military innovation. The aim of military innovation is to improve military effectiveness. This uses lots of ideas to try and produce the best army using the best tactics. Alexander’s main tactic was the phalanx. This was created by his father but when he took over he used it well and this alone defeated most of the opposing army. Alexander’s tactics were created based on what he expected the enemy to. The enemy, of course, didn’t always do this so it was a problem when this happened. Alexander was left to think on the spot with no tactics to go by. Usually, Alexander managed to pull back but when he didn’t he had let his army down. Overall, Alexander’s military innovation techniques are very good considering the fact that the enemy quite often does as expected.

Next, popularity. Was Alexander the Great popular? Well… yes and no! His people, the Macedonians, loved him. He was conquering many lands and bringing back the precious Persian gold. He was conquering many lands and not many of his people were getting killed. What more could you want from a leader? Well, that was what all the Macedonians were asking but all the other people that he had defeated were definitely not agreeing with this statement. He marched into their land, defeated their army and now was ruler of all of them. He wanted to be popular with them but it never worked due to the fact that he had killed many of their friends and family. All in all, due to popularity alone he was definitely not great. His people liked him but all those he had taken over hated him.

Speed of conquests was also a big thing that made you great. Alexander was extremely quick but was that good? He had conquered most of the world...
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