Alexander the Great

How good is Alexander the Great on a scale of 1-10?


  • Total voters
    78

IronDuke

Ancient Mariner
'alexander The Great'

Excellent post, Perun!

I'm gratified to see there is more than one enthusiast of the Classical world that is a fan of Maiden!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
'alexander The Great'

Thanks guys [!--emo&:)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/smile.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'smile.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
I owe you one, LooseCannon
 

gor

Ancient Mariner
'alexander The Great'

The Illyrians were Indoeuropeans and used to live in nowadays Albania and the western-northwestern part of the Republic of Skopje. They were not a greek tribe. Nowadays Albanians can be considered descendants of the ancient Illyrians although many other people lived in Illyria in various times (such as Greeks, Latins, Germans, Slavs, and Turks).

The modern albanian language seems to have greek elements but these elements were most probably introduced in the older illyrian language during the hellenistic and roman periods and later, in the byzantine times, when Illyrians appeared to be speaking Greek.
Various authors have supported the thesis that Illyrians and Macedonians belonged to the same (non-greek) tribe and spoke the same (non-greek) language. Given that it has been proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the language
spoken by ancient Macedonians was a greek dialect such claims are not true.

An ancient writer Polyvios (XXVII 8,9) wrote that Macedonians were using translators in their contacts with the Illyrians, which implies that they were not speaking the same language.


Illyrians used to live up to the hellenistic and roman years a primitive life raiding neighboring areas. Raids by Illyrians, whenever they were able to cross the mountain passes, in Macedonia and Epeiros were frequent [See also Question 5]. In the
early 4th century BC, when the succession to the Macedonian throne was problematic Illyrians invaded Macedonia and occupied most of the lands of the Macedonian State. They were driven out of the State only with the combined efforts of Macedonians,
Epeirotians, Thessalians and the settlers of Chalcidici.


Aeschylus (Iketidai, 250) and Herodotus (V 22) believed that Macedonians were Dorian Greeks. Herodotos claimed that the Macedonians (called at that time Makednoi) who moved to Peloponnesos from Doris were later called Dorians.
[The English translation of the works by Herodotus we use is due to A. D. Godley and published by Harvard University Press in the US, and Willian Heineman Ltd in Great Britain as part of the Loeb Classical Library]


In Herodotus Book I, 56 (page 53) it is mentioned "These races, Ionian and Dorian, were the foremost in ancient time, the first a Pelasgian and the second an Hellenic people. The Pelasgian stock has never yet left its habitation, the Hellenic has wandered often and afar. For in the days of king Deucalion it inhabited the land of Phthia, then in the time of Dorus son of Hellen the country called Histiaean, under Ossa and Olympus; driven by the Cadmeans from this Histiaean country it settled about Pindus in the parts
called Macednian; thence again it migrated to Dryopia, and at last came from Dryopia to Peloponnesos, where it took the name of Dorian".


Elsewhere, VIII-43 (referring to the naval battle in Salamis) Herodotos wrote:
"The Peloponnesians that were with the fleet were, firstly, the Lacedaemonians, with sixteen ships, and the Corinthians with the same number of ships as at Atemisium; the Sicyonians furnished fifteen, the Epidaurians ten, the Troezinians five, the people
of Hermione three; all these, except the people of Hermione were of Dorian and Macedonian stock, and had last come from Erineus and Pindus and the Dryopian region. The people of Hermione are Dryopians, driven by Heracles and the Malians from the country now called Doris.".In another passage Herodotos described how the Macedonian state had been founded (VIII,136-138).


There is one passage in Thucydides that describees the Molossians and other Epeirotian tribes among the 'barbarians'. It was proved following the excavations in Epeiros in 1950-1960 that the Molossians and other Epeirotian tribes were Greek, speaking Greek, and writing in Greek well before Thucydides' time. Thus Thucydides was wrong for these tribes. He was also wrong if he claimed, as some translators allege, that Macedonians had not been a greek tribe. Thucydides had also accused the Eurytanes, another Greek tribe, of being barbarians for their bad and improper use of the greek language and their aboriginal customs. The misinterpreted passage of Thucydides is given below.

In Thucydides IV,124,1 (Loeb edition by C.F. Smith) the following passage appeared.
"The total hellenic force was about three thousand; the cavalry that went with them, Macedonians and Chalcidians, were all told a little less than one thousand, and there was besides a great multitude of barbarians".
[In Gk: "MAKEDONVN JYN XALKIDEYSIN OLIGVN ES XILIOYS, KAI ALLOS
OMILOS TVN BARBARVN POLYS"]
This passage is sometimes misinterpreted so that Macedonians and Chalcidians for that matter appear to be considered barbarians by Thucydides. That this is not so can follow from an analysis of this passage. First, no one ever considered the Chalcidians, whose number is added to that of Macedonians, barbarians. Second, Thucydides distinguishes Macedonians and Chalcidians on the one hand and barbarians on the other by using the adjective few (Gk: OLIGVN) for the former and many for the latter (Gk:pOLY).
These two adjective clearly indicate a contradistinction.


Euripides lived many years and died in Macedonia. Many of his tragedies were written and played while he was in Macedonia. This would have been impossible, had the Macedonians been 'barbarians' (non-Greek). This is because in one of these tragedies, 'Iphigeneia in Aulis', the Greek superiority over the barbarians is emphasized. The following epigram in memory of Euripides which is attributed by some authors to Thucydides may give us more light to the actual beliefs of the people of that
time (and possibly Thucydides)
"MNHMA MEN ELLAS APAS' EYRIPIDOU, OSTEA D' ISXEI GH MAKEDVN, H GAR DEJATO TERMA BIOU".


In brief, Macedonia, the land that holds the bones of Euripides is considered part of Greece.
Polyvios (VII 11,4, V 103,9, XVIII, XXXiV 7,13 , VII 9,1 IX 37,7) clearly stated his belief that Macedonia was greek, part of Greece, and considered Achaeans and Macedonians of the same race. The same beliefs were shared by Strabo as well as Titus Livius,
to name a few other writers. It is also interesting to note that Polyvios describing the Balkan Peninsula he says that it includes Greece, Illyria and Thrace. One can thus deduce that he includes Macedonia in Greece. Had he not done so, he could have listed her separately.


Plutarchos(Flam. XI) describes Titus Contus Flamininus during the Isthmia celebrations claimed that Macedonia prevented barbarian barbarian attacks against Southern Greece. Arrhianos' work is full of references to "Macedonia and the other
Greece".




Perun is misinformed so is everyone who believes in the slightest that Macedonians weren't Greeks.

[a href=\'http://www.greece.org/themis/macedonia/historengl.htm\' target=\'_blank\']must read 1[/a]
[a href=\'http://www.greece.org/themis/macedonia/factseng.htm\' target=\'_blank\']must read 2[/a]
[a href=\'http://www.greece.org/themis/macedonia/faq.htm\' target=\'_blank\']must read 3[/a]
 
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Anonymous

Guest
'alexander The Great'

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]An ancient writer Polyvios (XXVII 8,9) wrote that Macedonians were using translators in their contacts with the Illyrians, which implies that they were not speaking the same language.[/quote]

Polyvios/Polybios/Polybius lived ca. 200-118 BC, he was born 123 years after Alexanders the Great's (whom I will now refer to as Alexander III) death and long, long after Alexander I, the one who introduced Hellenic culture in Macedonia. Alexander I introduced the Greek language in Macedonia, and a language can die out in 250 years. Besides, I never claimed the Macedonians spoke Illyrian; I only claimed that they were related to the Illyrians like the Norwegians are related to the Germans.

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Illyrians used to live up to the hellenistic and roman years a primitive life raiding neighboring areas. Raids by Illyrians, whenever they were able to cross the mountain passes, in Macedonia and Epeiros were frequent [See also Question 5]. In the
early 4th century BC, when the succession to the Macedonian throne was problematic Illyrians invaded Macedonia and occupied most of the lands of the Macedonian State. They were driven out of the State only with the combined efforts of Macedonians,
Epeirotians, Thessalians and the settlers of Chalcidici.[/quote]

Same argument, the Norwegians raided Germany despite their common ancestry.

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Aeschylus (Iketidai, 250) and Herodotus (V 22) believed that Macedonians were Dorian Greeks. Herodotos claimed that the Macedonians (called at that time Makednoi) who moved to Peloponnesos from Doris were later called Dorians.[/quote]

Aeschylus believed the Magians were an Iranian people, whereas they were in reality a caste of priests. He was a poet, not a historian.
Herodotus knew that the Macedonians were Greek*, but in this very passage he also described that the majority of Greeks believed the Macedonians to be Barbarians (i.e. non-Greeks), a belief that lasted well into Roman times.

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Euripides lived many years and died in Macedonia. Many of his tragedies were written and played while he was in Macedonia. This would have been impossible, had the Macedonians been 'barbarians' (non-Greek). This is because in one of these tragedies, 'Iphigeneia in Aulis', the Greek superiority over the barbarians is emphasized. The following epigram in memory of Euripides which is attributed by some authors to Thucydides may give us more light to the actual beliefs of the people of that
time (and possibly Thucydides)[/quote]

As I said, the Macedonians tried to put themselves into the Greek world, culturally and politically, and writers like Euripides may have accepted them as part of the Greek world whereas the bulk of the Greek population didn't.


*Yes, I'll admit that I'm not an expert on the ancient Macedonians and I'm ready to accept that they were Greeks, ethnologically; I changed that passage in my post. However, this doesn't change the fact that most Greeks at that time didn't accept the Macedonians for being Greeks, and it was the most common argument for resistance against Macedonian hegemony in Greece.
 

Uwe

Trooper
'alexander The Great'

Wow, there's been some serious discussion about this song, which is great to see. Musically, this song has to get five stars for its complexity, if they had written better lyrics it would have been five stars overall.
 

gor

Ancient Mariner
'alexander The Great'

Update... The first decision the Bush Regime announced after Bush's reelection was the official acknowledgment of FYROM with the name "Macedonia". This is a sad event in history, for which a 50 year old Greek incompetence in politics is to blame. The time for this was chosen right after the American elections (so as not to lose 2 million votes from Greek-Americans and right before a voting in FYROM that would decide weather or not the Albanian 25% will be granted more rights so as to help the USA-friendly FYROM government keep the country together. If FYROM was to be divided, the Albanian territories would go to Albania, which is something the USA doesn't want. The USA (with great Western Europe support) have a very clear strategy of creating many small and powerless nations in the Balkans because that way the control of the territory is much easier (and the weapon trade much more profitable!). Already, alban, Croat, Skopje, Bulgarian and Romanian troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The USA has created bases in Albania, Kosov, Bosnia and Bulgarian and Romanian bases are on the works. And of course, all these Little nations want in the EU...

Keeping FYROM together helps maintaining the Balkans fragmented because if FYROM is divided, Albania and Yugoslavia not only strengthen but will also start pondering about further expansion (each Balkan country believes it should be twice the size it is now). Accepting FYROM as "Macedonia" (and this by the guy who thought we were called "Grecians") helps that cause and that's the reason it happened. The grounds for sth like that however have been set the last 60 years by Tito's propaganda and the great alteration of history, which is sadly a global phenomenon because our friends in FYROM were very very active while we were dormant. It is enough to say that in a library in Washington (can't remember the name, I saw it on the news, out of 527 books on Macedonia, 500 were of Skopje interests). The world has been purposely fed with false history for the last 60 years on this matter, and most of the books that you have read have monstrously raped history in a direction dictated by modern interests. Most of the links inside the page that the commentary suggests are just that: PROPAGANDA.

[span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\']If anyone wants to find out what REALLY is true about Ancient Macedonia, the only writers you can trust are Herodotus, Plutarch, Stravon and all other Greeks historians of the time.[/span]

How the planet can be persuaded in 60 years that the Macedonians, who are as clearly a Greek tribe as the Athenians are a separate nation and their only modern inheritors are Slavs who came in the territory 10 centuries after Alexander is a testimony to modern propaganda and to just how much you can trust what you read in "history".
 
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Anonymous

Guest
'alexander The Great'

[!--QuoteBegin-gor+Nov 14 2004, 08:04 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(gor @ Nov 14 2004, 08:04 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Most of the links inside the page that the commentary suggests are just that: PROPAGANDA.
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Is that true? [!--emo&:blink:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/blink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'blink.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

At least, the map on the commentary places Macedonia where it should be. And that's not FYROM [!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 
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Anonymous

Guest
'alexander The Great'

Gor, I agree with your post, but I cannot say that Herodotus or Plutarch are credible writers. They may be right about Macedonia, but they are still not credible writers in the rest of their works.
Just wanted to point that out.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
'alexander The Great'

BTW, gor, you will HAVE to admit that, even though the ancient Macedonians WERE Greek, they were disregarded by other Greek tribes because of their geographically special spot and the fact that they were also culturally isolated. It took a lot of work from the Macedonian kings to convince their neighbours that they were also Greek, and Philippos and Alexandros were despised by the other Greeks because they did not consider them purely Greek. That is a fact, as sorry as I am about it. Just keep in mind that I don't mean to make the ancient Macedonians any less Greek.
 

gor

Ancient Mariner
'alexander The Great'

[!--QuoteBegin-Perun+Nov 14 2004, 08:27 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Perun @ Nov 14 2004, 08:27 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]BTW, gor, you will HAVE to admit that, even though the ancient Macedonians WERE Greek, they were disregarded by other Greek tribes because of their geographically special spot and the fact that they were also culturally isolated. It took a lot of work from the Macedonian kings to convince their neighbours that they were also Greek, and Philippos and Alexandros were despised by the other Greeks because they did not consider them purely Greek. That is a fact, as sorry as I am about it. Just keep in mind that I don't mean to make the ancient Macedonians any less Greek.
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I wouldn't disagree with this, but this is entirely different than what you see here:

[a href=\'http://www.popovashapka.com/macedoniainfo/history.html\' target=\'_blank\']http://www.popovashapka.com/macedoniainfo/history.html[/a]

which is so altered that its ridiculus

[!--QuoteBegin-Maverick+Nov 14 2004, 07:12 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Maverick @ Nov 14 2004, 07:12 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Is that true?   [!--emo&:blink:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/blink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'blink.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

At least, the map on the commentary places Macedonia where it should be. And that's not FYROM   [!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
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it wasn't pointed torwards you! keep on the great work!

[!--QuoteBegin-Perun+Nov 14 2004, 08:14 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Perun @ Nov 14 2004, 08:14 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Gor, I agree with your post, but I cannot say that Herodotus or Plutarch are credible writers. They may be right about Macedonia, but they are still not credible writers in the rest of their works.
Just wanted to point that out.
[snapback]91630[/snapback]​
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sometimes that's true... but whenever they refer to the macedonians as "Greeks" they do it casually, while trying to prove other points... because no such dispute existed back then! If someone starts talking about New Yorkers right now, he won't go in great depth trying to explain why they are American!
 

Cosmiceddie

Back From The Edge
'alexander The Great'

This song has become a legend itself for lots of Maiden fans including myself and to this day we still hope that the band plays it live one of these f**king days!The problem with a band like Maiden is that they have so much great songs and I understand that it may be difficult for the band to choose their setlists and with any new album the number of 'must be played live' songs increases and so there's always a danger of 'forgetting' masterpieces like 'Alexander the Great'...

...all the same if there's one song to be causing some serious riot in a show it surely will be 'Alex' I bet!So let's keep dreaming the dream.
 
'alexander The Great'

welll since pretty much every one of these posts is a history lesson/questions about artistic license..lets actually focus on the song itself [!--emo&:)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/smile.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'smile.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

great riffs & instrumentals from beginning to end...love the solos! this is a maiden classic i think.

my only gripe is the lyrics...yes bruce kind of does sound like he is reading them out of a history textbook. but it doesnt affect my liking of the song very much at all, his singing is still in top form.

although yes the question about artistic license does come to mind when i am listening to end of the song, where it goes "they wouldnt follow him to india"...even though alexander went well into northern india during his conquest, but o well.

4.5 stars
 

national acrobat

Ancient Mariner
'alexander The Great'

[!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--] Herodotus must be the most unreliable historian in the entire history of history. Although the novelty of his undertaking as historian recounting the Persian Wars led to him being referred to as the 'Father of History', from antiquity he's been accused of lying; Cicero claimed he told fabulae. So, Herodotus is not to be taken all too seriously.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
'alexander The Great'

national acrobat, Herodotus can actually be trusted from time to time. Much (though definitely not all) of what he wrote about Persia, for example, is backed up by archaeological finds.
If you want a really unreliable historian, let me introduce you to Ctesias of Cnidus:

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]"'there is an animal found, which he calls the mantichora; it has a triple row of teeth, which fit into each other like those of a comb, the face and ears of a man, and azure eyes, is of the color of blood, has the body of the lion, and a tail ending in a sting, like that of the scorpion. Its voice resembles the union of the sound of the flute and the trumpet; it is of excessive swiftness, and is particularly fond of human flesh.'[/quote]

Some historians think that this was his idea of a tiger [!--emo&:lol:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/lol[1].gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'lol[1].gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

national acrobat

Ancient Mariner
'alexander The Great'

Reminds me of a couple of stories in Herodotus, especially about the ants that dig for gold, and are of a size bigger than foxes but smaller than dogs. There's also the tribe of one-eyed men. [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 
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Anonymous

Guest
'alexander The Great'

[!--QuoteBegin-national acrobat+Oct 5 2005, 01:11 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(national acrobat @ Oct 5 2005, 01:11 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Reminds me of a couple of stories in Herodotus, especially about the ants that dig for gold, and are of a size bigger than foxes but smaller than dogs. There's also the tribe of one-eyed men. [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
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That's usually the part I bring up when I want to discredit him [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
'alexander The Great'

I have to say that I don't like this song, it is good musically but the lyrics sound more like a shopping list than a poem.... horrible.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: 'alexander The Great'

Someone up there said Alexander lost battles.  I am not sure about that.  As to my knowledge Alexander may well be one of the only generals who never lost a battle.  Am I not correct?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: 'alexander The Great'

Mr. St-Cyr said:
Someone up there said Alexander lost battles.  I am not sure about that.  As to my knowledge Alexander may well be one of the only generals who never lost a battle.  Am I not correct?

Depends on how you see it. In Central Asia, the Macedonians went through a number of skirmishes that could technically described as defeats.
 
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