Alexander the Merely Mediocre

Discussion in 'History' started by S.A.M., Mar 19, 2008.

  1. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    ********? X-factor is *******>>>????
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  3. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    You apparently have no appreciation for certain aspects of the human life and psyche!
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  5. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

    Alex deserves the tiltle not for the reasons you listed above. They suit Chenghizkhan as well. Alex did not enslave the people he conquered but mixed with the local culture and took them in administration and army. There was no sustainable bitter feelings among the conquered. He was the first cosmopolitan conquerer. As for the 'indian savages', yeah, luckily lot of 'savages' like Porus (the great) were there in the rich and civilized gangiatic plains.
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  7. desi Valued Senior Member

    What Alexander did before he died cements his greatness. Most educated people can't argue intelligently about that. The problem is the same with many great leaders like Napoleon and Hitler. They just don't know when to quit. I suspect Alexander was like them. He was over extended leading a bunch of homesick men who were tired and ready to go home and enjoy the good life from all the plunder they took.

    Dirty Harry once said, "A man's got to know his limitations." So true.
  8. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Savageness of Indians? You are perhaps the only one to say that.

    Alexander turned back, period. He was forced to turn back due to mutiny in his army. Defeated armies have been known to mutiny, never the victorius ones.

    Why did he not withdraw by the route he had taken? Clear. It was a retreat. It was a messy affair. Every inch he had to fight small kingdoms and tribes, and in one battle he was seriously wounded.

    Why did not Porus escort him? Why should he?
  9. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Did he wipe the floor with India? Man, he could only puncture the perpheral areas. First serious battle, with Puru, evaporated all the fighting in his troops. If this was a boerse battle, what waited further in the unknown east?
  10. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Did Pearl Harbour attack mean Japs had practically conquered whole of USA?
  11. flakeyairportchunks Registered Senior Member

    Not analogous at all.
  12. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    There is a 3rd option, it was either a draw or a Pyrrhic victory. Either way, it was just not cost effective to continue.
    Everything in life is a risk/reward thingy. Is it worthy to steal that wallet? How about cheating on my significant other? Should I continue and try to conquer India or let's call it quit? Does the possible reward justifiy the taken risk???

    He probably did the calculation and decided that there is such a thing as too big of an empire. It is really hard to run a giant empire, specially without internet and emails.... Kind of hard to communicate...
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Did Alexander ever actually administer his empire? I notice - for sheer size - his empire comes way down on the list. I think he was probably a better soldier than he was an administrator
  14. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Why not? Pearl Harbour was, is part of USA. Of course not the whole of USA. Same way, Alexander had conquered some some border states, but not WHOLE of India, which still extends 2000 miles to east and south of the scene of his battle with Puru.
  15. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    It became a very costly affair. On his messy retreat, Alexandar nearly paid with his life. That was the PRICE. Indus is a large and wide river, so his flotilla could float down it relatively safely. Puru, supposedly a vassal, never moved his little finger in helping the retreat or even obtaining a safe passage for Alexanander. Given Indian ethos, he could have done it. A pledge of peaceful passage was all that was required of Alexandar.

    Moment his back was turned, Puru started his conquests and became the most powerful king in that region.

    Rest is history, as they say. And what a fate of Greeks in India. Lost their identity, culture and language. Adopted Buddhism and were finally absorbed by Hindus. All within 2-3 centuries.
  16. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    Well for one I like the idea Alexander was a " Loser" and killing Harry the Kings son was not a great thing either. Yeah I like the new version
  17. kameshaiyer Registered Member

    Alexander the Merely Whatever

    Hi All,
    I am the original writer of the article that SAM extracted the first post from.

    Thanks for conducting an energetic discussion -- I would have been happy to get a tickler when it was happening!

    I have found that Europeans (and Americans of European descent) react particularly violently to the title and the narrative. This despite Alexander's decision to become a Persian style monarch and abandon his Macedonian roots and not be a tyrant -- his father was a "mere" Greek-style tyrant who suppressed rampant republicanism whenever he encountered it.

    The Indo-Gangetic plain, which was pretty much completely settled by the time of Alexander has a populated area greater than all the populated areas of the Middle East, from Persia to Egypt to Etruscan Rome. The Roman empire at its greatest extent was about the same order as the Indo-Gangetic plain. At the time of Alexander it is estimated that this plain produced one-third of the world's GDP.

    Why does this size not show through on maps? Because of the Mercator projection, Europeans have an exaggerated sense of their importance to the world. In 1750, China and India produced 60% of the world's GDP, with Europe including England being about 30% (of which a substantial fraction was produced by African slaves in South and North America). You should read "Guns, Germs, and Steel" to see one explanation of why this changed in the next 200 years.

    The important thing to note is that Alexander the Great, is a mythic person and not real. We know very little about the real Alexander. The mythic Alexander was constructed to explain or satisfy various constituencies and you can see this played out in later years by Romans and Arabs.

    Calling him "Merely Mediocre" is cute but has a ring that "Merely Mythical" or the "the re-told" or "re-discovered" do not.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  18. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Enforce power over sataraps. The moment his back was turned, Porus conquered the kingdom of Ambhi and became strong enough to expel the Greeks. A few greek chieftains survived, but their military and political influence was ZERO. Later Chandragupta soundly defeated Seleucus and wrested Afghanistan. So much for military and political legacy of Alex in India. Very soon, Greeks as a race to were absorbed into Hindu masses.

    What a denoument!!!

    Greats leave great legacies, but even his name was soon lost. But accounts of Porus and Chandragupta do survive. Finally, even his empire disintegrated after his death.

    Compared to him, Chandragupta was really great. He started from scratch and found the great Maurayan empire which not only survived his death but left a glorius legacy too.
  19. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Whereas those of us not of Indian descent find that Indians, in particular, tend to react very violently to the notion that they could ever have actually been beaten, even if only temporarily.

    And look at you now. A backward culture desperately attempting to remain relevant in the modern world by adopting the very values and institutions of those you purport to despise.
    Right down to the blind nationalistic pride the west is slowly extracting itself from.

    The West, at the moment, is a bloc attempting to address it's deficiencies; India, on the other hand, gives the outward impression of embracing them.
  20. madethesame Banned Banned

    india was world power at that time.
    the fact that billion dollar gold found at minor temples in kerela is proof. more than 50% of india's wealth has been stolen by foreign forces in past 800 hundred years.
    the british royal family have stolen Kohinoor diamond. almost all ancient vedas are in europe in museums.
    india has elephants.
    in those times elephants were specially bred to fight, in thousands of numbers.
    could alexander's army ever match elephants wrath ? what was the strength of Alexander's army ?
    alexadere fought a minor king porus who defeated him
    how could he enter through terrible hindukush mountains and not get killed ?
    indian history is written by east india company's goons.
  21. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    If we give back the Kohinoor and the Elgin marbles and the antiquities of Egypt we'll have hardly any loot left.
  22. madethesame Banned Banned

    their is still lots of gold, diamonds stolen.
    the european people never looted india, the perverts came in the mask of british army.
    india was not ruled by british crown but by a multinational company called East India company. they looted almost every thing.
  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Queen Victoria got the Kohinoor.
    I doubt that she paid for it.

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