ALEXANDER THE GREAT: THE GREEK CIVILIZER OF THE WORLD

Alexander the Great:
The Greek Civilizer of the World
[1]

by
Dr. John N. Kallianiotis
University of Scranton

«Ἀνδρίζεσθε, καί κραταιούσθω ἡ καρδία ὑμῶν,
πάντες οἱ ἐλπίζοντες ἐπί Κύριον.»
Ψαλμός λ΄(30) 

Ι. Prologue

“Totum Graecorum est.” (Everything comes from the Greeks).
“Ὅλα εἶναι Ἑλληνικά, ὅλα προέρχονται ἀπό τούς Ἕλληνες.” (Marcus Tullius Cicero; 106 B.C.-43 B.C.)

Thucydides (Θουκυδίδης) views life exclusively as political life, and history in terms of political history. The social policy of a true leader is the maximization of his citizens welfare (εὐημερία). The economic policy of a leader or of a government covers the systems for setting levels of taxation (φόροι), government revenue (πόροι) and expenditures (δαπάναι), government budgets, and other functions. The philosophy (science) of Oeconomicos (misspelled Economics) and economic policy were developed by Xenophon (Ξενοφών) in Ancient Greece. Alexander the Great (Μέγας Ἀλέξανδρος) was living a little later in the 4th century B.C. and we know him as a great Greek (Hellen) general, leader, and civilizer. But, he was at the same time, an excellent oeconomologos (economist) because he had to manage the economy of his wars, his enormous campaign from North Greece (Macedonia) to India (Hindus River). He had also to exercise an efficient and effective public policy (revenue and spending) for his vast Empire and to satisfy all its citizens as a Hellenic civilizer and not as a conqueror.

Historians were saying that “he desired not pleasure or wealth, but only excellence and glory”, which was the moral and ethical Greek philosophy of his time. At a point, Alexander said that “…I am grateful to gods that I was borne Hellen…” and had all these Hellenic values, which made him one of the most important person in human history. Of course, as a student of the greatest of philosophers Aristotle (Ἀριστοτέλης), he has shown outstanding management capabilities (although military budgets contained more or less what budgets of states comprised). His efficiencies with rates of salaries, health and welfare, building projects, supplies, transports, reforms of the tax system, indirect taxes and donations, loans, minting of coins (currency); even his dealing with financial scandals and other actions are information useful for our policy makers, today, and they were all excellent. His contribution to the world as the greatest civilizer and preparer of the ground for the expected “Unknown God” is unique in human history.

His Empire’s budgets (revenues and spending) are measured by using the weights of gold and silver coins and values can be determined and prices can be compared by taking this information from different historians of his time. Alexander economic policy is very useful for our current leaders and scholars. Also, the history and the role of this extraordinary man and of the Greek language in God’s plan, for His revolted and deluded creation and humanity to be in a position to understand and accept His revelation, which Greeks were expecting His coming since 5th century B.C. (the Golden Century of Athens), are very important for us. Finally, the current politics of the region are covered, in a book by the author, so they can give to the reader a better idea of the true history of the glorious past and the dishonorable conflicts of the present. Many useful information on numismatics (currency, coins, and their value) from that Ancient Greek period are given in the book, so we can compare prices, wages, and exchange rates with respect of the U.S. dollar and the Greek drachma.

ΙΙ. Alexander’s Contribution to the World

“Πᾶς ὁ ὁρῶν αὐτούς, ἐπιγνώσεται αὐτούς, ὅτι οὗτοι εἰσι σπέρμα εὐλογημένον ὑπό Θεοῦ.” (Ἡσ.. ξα΄ 9)

Hellenism’s contribution to the world is known to everyone, but one of its greatest offers was with its offspring Alexander the Great (Μέγας Ἀλέξανδρος). Alexander III Macedon (July 20, 356-June 11, 323 B.C.) earned the epithet, “the Great”, due to his unparalleled success as a king, a military commander, and a civilizer of the known world at that time.[2] He never lost a battle, despite typically being outnumbered. This was due to use of terrain, phalanx (φάλαγξ) and cavalry tactics, bold strategy, and the fierce loyalty of his troops. He always was personally involved in battles, in the manner of a Macedonian king. Greek biographer Plutarch (Πλούταρχος; c. 45–120 A.D.) describes Alexander’s appearance as a model,[3] as we can see from his statues. Greek historian Arrian (Lucius Flavius Arrianus ‘Xenophon’, Ἀρριανός, c. 86–160 A.D.) described Alexander as: “[T]he strong, handsome commander with one eye dark as the night and one blue as the sky”[4] and also with other heroic adjectives. The semi-legendary Alexander Romance[5]also suggests that Alexander suffered from heterochromia iridum: that one eye was dark and the other light.[6] Ancient authors recorded that Alexander was so pleased with portraits of himself created by Lysippos (Λύσιππος)[7] that he forbade other sculptors from crafting his image. Alexander the Great is the most admired leader in human history.[8] Lysippos’ sculpture, famous for its naturalism, as opposed to a stiffer, more static pose, is thought to be the most faithful depiction.

Of course, some of Alexander’s strongest personality traits formed in response to his parents.[9] His mother had huge ambitions, and encouraged him to believe it was his destiny to conquer the Persian Empire.[10] Olympias’ influence instilled a sense of destiny in him; of course, without preventing God’s Providence. Plutarch tells us that his ambition “kept his spirit serious and lofty in advance of his years”.[11] However, his father Philip II (382-336 B.C.) was Alexander’s most immediate and influential role model, as the young Alexander watched him campaign practically every year, winning victory after victory while ignoring severe wounds.[12] Alexander’s relationship with his father forged the competitive side of his personality; he had a need to out-do his father,[13] illustrated by his reckless behavior in battle. While Alexander worried that his father would leave him “no great or brilliant achievement to be displayed to the world”,[14] he proved that there were greater than his father’s achievements, with his unique campaign as far as to India. Alexander married twice. First, Roxana (Ρωξάνη), daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes (’Οξυάρτης) and Stateira II (Στάτειρα Β΄),[15] the Persian princess and daughter of Darius III of Persia (Δαρεῖος Γ΄ τῆς Περσίας ἤ Δαρεῖος ὁ Κοδομανός). He apparently had two sons, Alexander IV of Macedon (Ἀλέξανδρος Δ΄ Μακεδών) of Roxana and Heracles of Macedon (Ἡρακλῆς ὁ Μακεδών)[16] from his mistress Barsine (Βαρσίνη). He lost another child when Roxana miscarried at Babylon. Apart from wives, Alexander had many more female companions.[17] Nevertheless, Plutarch described how Alexander was infatuated by the pretty Roxana.

Alexander’s economic abilities were also excellent. He managed the economy of his wars; an enormous campaign from Greece to India with success and very efficiently and also, the economic policy of his huge empire was very effective. His public policies [revenue, (πόροι, poroe) and expenditures (δαπάναι, dapanae)] were very effective, too, not only balancing his budget, but generated a surplus (πλεόνασμα), a portion of which was sent back to Macedonia. The cost (δαπάναι) of Alexander’s expedition from 336 B.C. to 323 B.C. was 2,562,018,650 Drs, which was 391,614,286.3 ozs of silver ($6,833,669,296 in today’s silver price). The revenue (πόροι) from different sources was 8,413,850,769 Drs, which was 1,286,089,063 ozs of silver ($22,442,254,150). Then, his surplus was 8,413,850,769 – 2,562,018,650 Drs = 5,851,832,119 Drs or 894,474,776.4 ozs or $15,608,584,854. (Tables 3b, 3c and 4a, 4b).[18] Currencies, coins, salaries and wages are given in Appendix A (Tables 1, 2, and 3a) and in Appendix B and Figure 6.[19] From the economic point of view, this is a good lesson for our politicians, today, who have generated an unsustainable national debt that they rollover to the next generations and the countries are facing bankruptcies. Our current social policies are very insignificant and anti-social and the workers are extremely exploited by businesses and the unregulated markets and banks[20] that make enormous profits, create inflation, redistribute the wealth without generating new one, and avoid paying taxes, too. Then, we need to learn from the past history.

Actually, Alexander the Great was a civilizer (Hellenizer). With the word Hellenization we denote the spread of Greek language, culture, and population into the former Persian Empire after Alexander’s conquest. That this export of Greek civilization took place is undoubted, and can be seen in the great Hellenistic cities of, for instance, Alexandria, Antioch, Seleucia (south of Baghdad), and many others. Alexander sought to insert Greek elements into Persian culture and attempted to hybridize Greek and Persian culture. This culminated in his aspiration to civilize and homogenize the populations of Asia and Europe. Thus, Hellenization occurred throughout this vast region.[21] The core of this Hellenistic culture was essentially Athenian (from the “golden age” of the City); the moral and ethical teaching of its philosophers. The close association of men from across Greece in Alexander’s army directly led to the emergence of the largely Attic-based “koine” (κοινή), or “common” or Hellenistic (Ἑλληνιστική) Greek dialect[22] or the language of the New Testament (Ἑλληνική τῆς Καινῆς Διαθήκης).[23] Koine spread throughout the Hellenistic world, becoming the lingua franca[24] of Hellenistic lands and eventually the ancestor of Modern Greek. Furthermore, town planning, education, local government, and art current in the Hellenistic period were all based on Classical Greek ideals, evolving into distinct new forms commonly grouped as Hellenistic. Aspects of Hellenistic culture were evident in the traditions of the Byzantine (Medieval Greek) Empire up in the mid-15th century and they are still present even in today’s Greece. The entire of long duration Greek culture is based on tradition (Παράδοσις), which is preserved and is transferred from one generation to the other. This tradition cannot be interrupted because the losses will be infinite not only for Greece, but for the entire world.

In addition, Alexander the Great was a gifted man by God (God’s Providence is in control of His entire creation). His role in history is unique and he had all these talents to pursue this historic objective, the preparation of the known world to accept the Revealed Truth, the Messiah, the Son of God, “the Unknown God” of Socrates and of the other Greek philosophers. Actually, Alexander was “the social forerunner”. The divine plan was successful in only twelve (12) years (335-323 B.C.) and was preserved with Alexander’s successors and hopefully with today’s Greeks. Alexander’s short life for only 33 years (356-323 B.C.) was enough to accomplish God’s plan for humans’ salvation.[25] He was successful in all his tasks and of course, in his economic policy and triumphant in his social, foreign, and global policies. It is obvious that if a leader has God’s Grace and Providence because he labors for God’s work, he will be very successful for his people and the world. The problem, today, is that our leaders do not receive and do not accept God’s Providence because they do not believe in the True God and their people are paying the cost.

            As my beloved friend, Professor Argyrios Varonides has said, “If the Skopje regime really seeks recognition and respect as a democratic state, it needs first to learn how to respect history and not to adopt old faded political arguments of past and collapsed regimes. Do they really want to be Macedonians? Then, they are welcomed with open arms to the Greek culture, which after all has been known, thanks to the Thessalonian brothers Methodios (Μεθόδιος) and Kyrillos (Κύριλλος). Otherwise, they ridicule themselves and become irritating.” Consequently, for someone to become Macedonian, he has, first, to become Greek because the true Macedonians were, are, and will be only Greeks (Hellenes of North Greece).

Large sections of countries that dream the non-existent historically “Aegean Macedonia” were historically under Greek control for thousands of years and those countries that transgress against Greece today are “inhospitable of the history”, conquerors. Greeks will never cease, as the Greek race to claim their lost national lands. It is their national duty to state matters concerning Greek Macedonia and many other regions, both inside and outside of Greece, exactly as they are to restore the historical truth that expediency, politics, and misguided and calculating interest continue to counterfeit and distort. It is necessary for the preservation of their unique Greek Orthodox Culture that everyone be in good conscience and that Greece permanently “guard Thermopylae”.[26] This duty must not be the subject of a transient alert or mobilization, but the constant care of the current and future citizens of the historic country, Hellas (Ἑλλάς) because the enemies (from East, North, and West) are becoming more aggressive with the passing of time.

III. Conclusion

«Ἔστιν μέν οὖν Ἑλλάς καί ἡ Μακεδονία.» (“Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece”) [Στράβων (Strabo)]

In conclusion, the fact that the ancient Macedonians belong to the world of Greeks, is very difficult to be disputed any longer from any prudent man.[27] The new archeological treasures in connection with linguistic analyses and the findings of a great number of new inscriptions –all Greek– with rich samples of Greek names prove that there is no discontinuation of either cultural or linguistic of the unity of the Macedonians with the rest of the Greeks.[28] Also, the spreading of the Greek language and the Greek civilization and culture to the entire known world from the Greek Macedonians of the Alexander the Great constitutes the most categorical confirmation of this event.[29] This event is confirmed every year by the new archeological findings that are coming to light either at the large excavations of Pella (Πέλλα), Vergina (Βεργίνα), Dion (Δίων), and Sindos (Σίνδος), or in dozens less known, like in areas of Voion (Βόϊον), Aeani (Αἰανή), Kozani (Κοζάνη), Kastoria (Καστοριά), Florina (Φλώρινα), Edessa (Ἔδεσσα), Aridaea (Ἄριδαία), Kilkis (Κιλκίς), Kavala (Καβάλα), and of course, Thessaloniki (Θεσσαλονίκη), Amphipolis (Ἀμφίπολις)[30] and Chalkidiki (Χαλκιδική) [Petralona, (Πετράλωνα)][31] and others.

Thus, the role of Hellenism is historic and humanistic –and as time passes the vast majority of people will realize it- because it was able many times in the past to re-orientate humanity. Hellenism is a global movement of ancient moral philosophy combined with the revealed truth of Christianity, the Holy Orthodoxy. Its advantage exists in the adoption of the moderation, the spiritual, the eternal, and the truthful, and at the same time in the rejection of the exaggeration, the materialistic, the transitory, and above all the bold lie. How many today understand this unique culture, which is called the Hellenic Orthodox Culture (Ἑλληνορθόδοξος Παιδεία, Hellinorthodoxos Paideia)? The race, which possesses this culture, has the unique ability to reach the highest accomplishments and surpass the pathless degeneration of the human civilization left behind in every historic period. The universal ideas of Hellenism constitute an inexhaustible source of alternating everlasting values.[32] The principles of Hellenism that have changed the intellectual trends of humanity throughout history, have been born to this small geographical region, which for three thousand years obstinately resists the undermining efforts of the controlled “civilized” world of the West and the hordes of barbarians from Asia. One representative of this race is Alexander the Great, the Macedonian Greek commander of the army who civilized the world and refined and united Hellenism.

 

———————-

[1] From the book: John N. Kallianiotis, Political History and Economic Policy of the Greek Civilizer Alexander the Great, Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, July 2020, ISBN: 978-1-53618-072-5. novapublishers.com/shop/political-history-and-economic-policy-of-the-greek-civilizer-alexander-the-great/

[2] Roisman, Joseph and Ian Worthington (2010). A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons.

[3] See, Plutarch (Plutarch) (1919), Perrin, Bernadotte, ed. Plutarch, Alexander. Perseus Project. Also,  Plutarch (1936). Babbitt, Frank Cole, ed. On the Fortune of Alexander IV. Loeb Classical Library. pp. 379–487.

[4] See, “Alexander the Great”. Mithec.

[5] See, Alexander Romance .

[6] See, Grafton, Anthony, Glenn W. Most, and Salvatore Settis (2010), eds. The Classical Tradition, Harvard University Press.

[7] Lysippos (Λύσιππος) was a Greek sculptor of the 4th century B.C. Together with Scopas (Σκόπας) and Praxiteles (Πραξιτέλης), he is considered one of the three greatest sculptors of the Classic Greek era, bringing transition into the Hellenistic period.

[8] This is the reason that many non-Greek people, even foreign nations (like, the Slavic Skopje), claim that they are Macedonians, descendants of Alexander the Great. (sic). But, this is not true, so it is unacceptable by academics.

[9] See, Green, Peter (2007), Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age. London: Phoenix.

[10] Greeks are saying, even today, that “behind a saint, there is always a holy mother”.

[11] See, Plutarch (1919). Perrin, Bernadotte, ed. Plutarch, Alexander. Perseus Project. Retrieved 6 December 2011.

[12] See, Roisman and Worthington (2010).

[13] From what was the belief of young people in Ancient Sparta: «ἄμμες δέ γ’ ἐσόμεθα πολλῷ κάρρονες» [we shall become better (than you)].

[14] Plutarch (1919).

[15] Stateira II (Στάτειρα Β΄; died 323 B.C.), was the daughter of Stateira I and Darius III of Persia. After her father’s defeat at the Battle of Issus (Μάχη τῆς Ἰσσοῦ, November 333 B.C.), Stateira and her sisters became captives of Alexander of Macedon. They were treated well, and she became Alexander’s second wife and her sister, Drypteis or Drypetis, to Hephaestion (Ἡφαιστίων) at the Susa weddings in 324 B.C. After Alexander’s death in 323 B.C., Stateira was killed by Roxana, his first wife.

[16] Heracles of Macedon (327–309 B.C.) was a reputed illegitimate son of Alexander the Great by Barsine (Βαρσίνη), daughter of Satrap Artabazus (Ἀρτάβαζος) of Phrygia.

[17] As we see, Alexander had been married twice and had many other women companions, which shows his relationships with women. Of course, no ancient sources stated that Alexander had homosexual relationships and we do not see this perversion anywhere in ancient Greece. One Greek virtue was the “shame” (ἡ ἐντροπή). This was a big lie by some contemporary homosexuals to justify their anomaly (their deadly sin). The vice of homosexuality existed in Sodom and Gomorrah and God burnt them with fire and brimstone.

[18] See, John N. Kallianiotis, Political History and Economic Policy of the Greek Civilizer Alexander the Great, Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, July 2020, ISBN: 978-1-53618-072-5.

novapublishers.com/shop/political-history-and-economic-policy-of-the-greek-civilizer-alexander-the-great/

[19] See, Kallianiotis, Political History and Economic Policy… , July 2020.

[20] See, Kallianiotis, John N. (2019c), “Monetary Policy: Is the Dual Mandate of the Fed Maximizing the Social Welfare?”, International Journal of Economics and Financial Research, Vol. 5, No. 6, June 2019, pp. 112-142. arpgweb.com/journal/5/archive/06-2019/6/5 , arpgweb.com/pdf-files/ijefr5(6)112-142.pdf

[21] Because “What the mind and the heart is for a human being, Greece is for humanity.” Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 B.C. – 8 B.C.) [Ρωμαῑος λυρικός ποιητής]. (= Ὅτι τό μυαλό καί ἡ καρδιά εἶναι γιά τό ἀνθρώπινο σῶμα, εἶναι ἡ Ἑλλάς γιά τήν ἀνθρωπότητα). Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) [Γερμανός συγγραφεύς].

[22] Because “Deorum lingua est lingua Graecorum.” (= Ἡ γλῶσσα τῶν θεῶν εἶναι ἡ Ἑλληνική γλὼσσα).

[23] Koine Greek displayed a wide spectrum of different styles, ranging from more conservative literary forms to the spoken vernaculars of the time. As the dominant language of the Byzantine Empire (τό κράτος τῶν Ρωμαίων, Romania, Ρωμανία, Ρωμηοί), it developed further into Medieval Greek, the main ancestor of Modern Greek. Literary Koine was the medium of much of post-classical Greek literary and scholarly writing, such as the works of Plutarch and Polybius. Koine is also the language of the Christian New Testament, of the Septuagint (the 3rd-century B.C. Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, “Old Testament”), and of most early Christian theological writing by the Church Fathers. (St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory the Theologian studied in Athens in the 4th century A.D.). In this context, Koine Greek is also known as “Biblical”, “New Testament”, “Ecclesiastical” or “Patristic” Greek (and as a good American friend is saying, “this is the language that is spoken in Paradise”). It also continues to be used as the liturgical language of services in the Greek Orthodox Church. This holy language is under persecution the last forty years by the enemies of the Hellenic-Orthodox paideia, as it is also anything valuable and eternal in human civilization.

[24] A lingua franca (plural: lingue franche or lingua francas), also known as a bridge language, trade language or vehicular language, is a language systematically (as opposed to occasionally, or casually) used to make communication possible between persons not sharing a native language, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both native languages, as it is the English language, today.

[25] Also, 33 years was the earthy life of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

[26] As Leonidas (Λεωνίδας) did in 480 B.C. at Thermopylae. See, http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/leonidas

[27] See, Nikolaos Martis, Macedonia, http://www.hri.org/Martis/contents/main3.html

[28] There are series of hundreds of articles by the author examining the Macedonian question from these perspectives.

[29] The interested reader can find details in the following book of the author, John N. Kallianiotis, Political History and Economic Policy of the Greek Civilizer Alexander the Great, Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, July 2020, ISBN: 978-1-53618-072-5.

novapublishers.com/shop/political-history-and-economic-policy-of-the-greek-civilizer-alexander-the-great/

Table of Contents

Preface

Chapter 1 Α΄. Introduction

Chapter 2 Β΄. Alexander’s Expedition and its Expenditures

Chapter 3 Γ΄. Alexander’s Empire: Revenue, Taxes, and Budget

Chapter 4 Δ΄. The Unexpected Death of Alexander and his Succession

Chapter 5 Ε΄. Historic Lessons from the Hellenic Studies for Today’s Economy and Society

Chapter 6 ΣΤ΄. The Hellenic Historical Journey

Chapter 7 Ζ΄. The Current Inflicted Delusion

Chapter 8 Η΄. Conclusion: The Didactic Historical Inferences

References

Appendix Α΄

Appendix Β΄

Appendix Γ΄

Appendix Δ΄

About the Author

[30] See, Amphipolis. http://www.ancient.eu/Amphipolis/ . See also, http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/HellenicMacedonia/en/C1.8.html

[31] See, The Cave of Petralona, http://www.chalkidiki.com/petralona/ . See also, New Information on the Petralona Skull Controversy,www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology-opinion-guest-authors/new-information-petralona-skull-controversy-001380 . In addition, see, http://www.visit-halkidiki.gr/portfolio-view/petralona-cave/

[32] “Nihil Graeciae humanum, nihil sanctum.” (= Τίποτε δέν εἶναι πιό ἀνθρώπινο, πιό ἱερό ἀπό τήν Ἑλλάδα).

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