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Headword: *)ale/candros
Adler number: alpha,1121
Translated headword: Alexander, Alexandros
Vetting Status: high
The son of Philip and Olympias, who was king of the Macedonians from age 18 and died at 33 years of age.[1]
This man was "very beautiful in body and very devoted to hard work and very acute, very courageous in judgement and very ambitious and very adventurous and very concerned for the divine; also very restrained as regards the pleasures of the body, but very keen on what judgement commended; very clever at discerning what was necessary, even when it was yet unclear, very successful in inferring from observations what was likely to follow, and very skilled at marshalling and equipping an army."[2]
"And he was very suited for every good. In addition he was moderate and god-fearing. For once, after he had become so angry with the Thebans that he enslaved the inhabitants and razed the city [itself] to its foundations, he did not make light of reverence to the gods concerning the capture of the city; no, he took especial care that there should not be an involuntary sin concerning the shrines and the [religious] precincts as a whole."[3]
"The grandiloquence of Alexander did not seem more like a kind of arrogance than confidence in danger."[4]
Alexander fell in love with Roxane, the daughter of Oxyartos the Bactrian, "whom those serving with Alexander say was the most beautiful of the Asian women after the wife of Dareios. And [they say that] when he had seen her Alexander fell in love with her; and [that] although he was in love with her he did want to violate her as if she were a war captive, but did not think her unworthy to take in marriage. And I myself rather approve this action of Alexander and do not censure it. And then this wife of Dareios, who was called the most beautiful of the women in Asia, either he did make an amorous approach to her or he controlled himself, although he was young and at the very height of good fortune, when men do outrageous things. He respected her and spared her, showing much restraint, and at the same time ambition for good repute which was not misplaced. And there is a story going around, that Dareios' eunuch who guarded his wife ran back to him. And Dareios, when he saw him, first asked whether his daughters were alive and his sons and his wife and his mother. He learned they were alive, and that they were called queens, and about the care being taken of them and how his wife was behaving sensibly. At these things Dareios raised his hands to heaven and prayed thus: 'O Zeus, king, to whom it was given to order the affairs of kings among men, guard my rule over the Persians and the Medes as you see fit. But if I myself cannot be king of Asia any more, then give my rule to no one but Alexander'. Thus even enemies are not indifferent to virtuous deeds." Thus says Arrian.[5]
"Nearchos says that [Alexander] was pained by some of his friends, who were carrying him while he was ill, for running a personal risk in advance of his army; for these things were not for a general, but for a soldier. And it seems to me that Alexander was irritated with these words, because he knew they were true and that he had laid himself open to censure. And yet his eagerness in battle and love of glory made him like men overcome by any other form of pleasure, and he was not strong enough to keep away from dangers."[6]
"Alexander the Macedonian lived a marvelous life. His handling of conflicts lent a guaranteed trustworthiness to what he said. For you cannot find a man in this whole orb of the world having the advantage in such great achievements. For he spent time with the best men, and in written accounts is found not inferior to those who are praised to the skies; and in matters of war he accomplished things that were more marvelous than believable. And having gone to war against Dareios, he prevailed victorious over him. And that man begged him to come to a reconciliation, and even gave him his daughter Roxane in a covenant of marriage. Having subdued all races he lost his mind and succumbed to the pleasures of the body, putting on Persian dress and being attended by myriad youths, and using 300 concubines, so that he changed the entire Macedonian royal way of life into Persian ways and annulled those of his own people. Later, arriving in India, he was caught by queen Kandake in the clothes of a private individual and she said to him: 'Alexander, king: you took the world and you are overcome by a woman?' And he made peace with her and kept her country from harm."[7]
"The same [Alexander] encountered men who had been captured long ago by the Persians in Greece and had had their hands cut off, and he showed them kindness with great gifts and cheered them. Arriving at the lake in Alexandria he threw away his diadem, and with so much water crashing down only scarcely swam safe across to land. And he was given poison by his own general Cas[s]ander and was convulsed; and thus, at [a time of] such great successes, ended his life."[8]
Greek Original:
*)ale/candros, o( *fili/ppou kai\ *)olumpia/dos, basileu/sas *makedo/nwn a)po\ e)niautw=n ih#, teleuth/sas de\ e)tw=n lg#. ou(=tos h)=n to/ te sw=ma ka/llistos kai\ filoponw/tatos kai\ o)cu/tatos, th\n gnw/mhn a)ndreio/tatos kai\ filotimo/tatos kai\ filokinduno/tatos kai\ tou= qei/ou e)pimele/statos, h(donw=n te tw=n me\n tou= sw/matos e)gkrate/statos, tw=n de\ th=s gnw/mhs e)painoume/nwn a(plou/statos: cunidei=n de\ to\ de/on, e)/ti e)n tw=| a)fanei= o)/n, deino/tatos kai\ e)k tw=n fainome/nwn to\ ei)ko\s cumbalei=n e)pituxe/statos kai\ ta/cai stratia\n kai\ o(pli/sai dahmone/statos. kai\ pro\s pa=n kalo\n e)pithdeio/tatos. pro\s tou/tois h)=n e)pieikh\s kai\ qeosebh/s. o)rgisqei\s ga/r pote *qhbai/ois e)pi\ tosou=ton, w(/ste tou\s me\n oi)kh/toras e)candrapodi/sasqai, th\n de\ po/lin e)s e)/dafos kataska/yai, th=s ge pro\s tou\s qeou\s eu)sebei/as ou)k w)ligw/rhse peri\ th\n kata/lhyin th=s po/lews: a)lla\ plei/sthn e)poih/sato pro/noian u(pe\r tou= mh\ d' a)kou/sion a(ma/rthma gene/sqai peri\ ta\ i(era\ kai\ kaqo/lou ta\ teme/nh. o(/ti to\ megalh/goron tou= *)aleca/ndrou ou)x u(pe/rogkon ma=llo/n ti h)\ eu)qarse\s e)n toi=s kindu/nois e)fai/neto. *(rwca/nhs de\ h)ra/sqh o( *)ale/candros th=s *)ocua/rtou tou= *baktrianou=, h(\n dh\ kalli/sthn tw=n *)asianw=n gunaikw=n le/gousin o)fqh=nai oi( cu\n *)aleca/ndrw| strateu/santes meta/ ge th\n *darei/ou gunai=ka. kai\ tau/thn i)do/nta *)ale/candron ei)s e)/rwta e)lqei=n au)th=s: e)rasqe/nta de\ ou)k e)qelh=sai u(bri/sai kaqa/per ai)xma/lwton, a)lla\ gh=mai ga\r ou)k a)paciw=sai. kai\ tou=to e)gw\ *)aleca/ndrou e)painw= ma=llo/n ti h)\ me/mfomai. kai/toi th=s ge *darei/ou gunaiko/s, h(\ kalli/sth dh\ e)le/geto tw=n e)n th=| *)asi/a| gunaikw=n, h)\ ou)k h)=lqen e)s e)piqumi/an h)\ kartero\s au(tou= e)ge/neto, ne/os te w)\n kai\ ta\ ma/lista e)n a)kmh=| th=s eu)tuxi/as, o(po/te u(bri/zousin a)/nqrwpoi. o( de\ kath|de/sqh te kai\ e)fei/sato swfrosu/nh| te pollh=| diaxrw/menos, kai\ do/chs a(/ma a)gaqh=s ou)k a)to/pw| e)fe/sei. kai\ toi/nun kai\ lo/gos kate/xei, a)podra/nta e)lqei=n para\ *darei=on to\n eu)nou=xon to\n fu/laka au)tw=| th=s gunaiko/s. kai\ tou=ton w(s ei)=den o( *darei=os, prw=ta me\n puqe/sqai, ei) zw=sin au)tw=| ai( pai=des kai\ oi( ui(oi\ kai\ h( gunh\ kai\ h( mh/thr. w(s de\ zw/sas te e)pu/qeto, kai\ basi/lissai o(/ti kalou=ntai, kai\ peri\ th=s qerapei/as, kai\ w(s swfronei= h( gunh\ au)tou=: e)pi\ tou/tois a)natei=nai to\n *darei=on e)s to\n ou)rano\n ta\s xei=ras kai\ eu)/casqai w(=de: a)ll' w)= *zeu= basileu=, o(/tw| e)pite/traptai ta\ basile/wn pra/gmata ne/mein e)n a)nqrw/pois, su\ nu=n ma/lista me\n e)moi\ fu/lacon *persw=n te kai\ *mh/dwn th\n a)rxh/n, w(/sper ou)=n kai\ e)/dwkas: ei) de\ dh\ e)gw\ ou)k e)/ti soi basileu\s th=s *)asi/as, su\ de\ mhdeni\ a)/llw| o(/ti mh\ *)aleca/ndrw| paradou=nai to\ e)mo\n kra/tos. ou(/tws ou)de\ pro\s tw=n polemi/wn a)/ra a)melei=tai o(/sa sw/frona e)/rga. ou(/tw fhsi\n *)arriano/s. *ne/arxos de/ fhsin, o(/ti xalepoi\ au)tw=| tw=n fi/lwn e)ge/nonto, o(/soi e)ko/mizon au)to\n a)rrwstou=nta, o(/ti au)to\s pro\ th=s stratia=s kinduneu/oi: ou) ga\r strathgou= tau=ta, a)lla\ stratiw/tou ei)=nai. kai/ moi dokei= a)/xqesqai *)ale/candros toi=sde toi=s lo/gois, o(/ti a)lhqei=s te o)/ntas e)gi/nwske kai\ au(to\n u(pai/tion th=| e)pitimh/sei. kai\ o(/mws u(po\ me/nous te tou= e)n tai=s ma/xais kai\ tou= e)/rwtos th=s do/chs, kaqa/per oi( a)/llhs tino\s h(donh=s e)chttw/menoi, ou) kartero\s h)=n a)pe/xesqai tw=n kindu/nwn. o(/ti *)ale/candros o( *makedw\n qaumasto\n bi/on e)bi/wse: pi/stin de\ toi=s ei)rhme/nois e)xe/gguon h( tw=n a)gw/nwn pare/sxe pra=cis. ou)de\ ga/r e)stin eu(rei=n e)n panti\ tw=| tou= ko/smou ku/klw| e(/na a)/ndra, tosou/tois katorqw/masi pleonektou=nta. toi=s te ga\r a)ri/stois sumfoith/sas a)ndra/sin, ei)/s te lo/gous ou) mei/wn tw=n ei)s a)/kron e)painoume/nwn eu(re/qh: pro/s te ta\ pole/mia dielqw/n, qaumasta\ ma=llon h)\ peiqou=s a)/cia diepra/cato. kai\ pro\s *darei=on to\n *persw=n basile/a suna/yas po/lemon, tou=ton katakra/tos nika=|. ka)kei=nos ai)tei=tai ei)s diallaga\s e)lqei=n, kai\ dou=nai au)tw=| kai\ th\n qugate/ra *(rwca/nhn pro\s ga/mou koinwni/an. o( au)to\s pa/nta ta\ e)/qnh katastreya/menos diefqa/rh to\n nou=n kai\ pro\s ta\s tou= sw/matos h(dona\s diwli/sqhse, *persikh/n te stolh\n e)ndusa/menos, muri/ois de\ ne/ois doruforou/menos, t# te pallakai=s xrw/menos, w(s th\n *makedonikh\n pa=san tw=n basile/wn sunh/qeian ei)s *pe/rsas metaruqmi/sai, kai\ tw=n i)di/wn tina\s diablhqe/ntas a)nelei=n. u(/steron de\ ei)s *)indi/an a)fiko/menos u(po\ *kanda/khs th=s basili/sshs sunelh/fqh e)n i)diw/tou sxh/mati. kai\ ei)=pen au)tw=|, *)ale/candre basileu=, to\n ko/smon pare/labes kai\ u(po\ gunaiko\s sunesxe/qhs; kai\ ei)rh/nhn pro\s au)th\n e)poih/sato kai\ th\n xw/ran au)th=s a)blabh= diefu/lacen. o(/ti o( au)to\s a)ndra/sin e)ne/tuxen u(po\ *persw=n pa/lai e)n *(ella/di lhfqei=sin, h)krwthriasme/nois ta\s xei=ras, ou(\s mega/lais dwreai=s e)filofronh/sato kai\ paremuqh/sato. ei)s de\ th\n li/mnhn th\n e)n *)alecandrei/a| a)fiko/menos to\ dia/dhma a)pe/balen, o)/mbrou pollou= katarrage/ntos kai\ mo/lis e)pi\ th\n gh=n dienh/cato. kai\ u(po\ *kasa/ndrou tou= i)di/ou strathgou= fa/rmakon deca/menos e)spara/xqh: kai\ ou(/tws e)pi\ tosou/tois katorqw/masi to\n bi/on meth/llacen.
Alexander III ("the Great") of Macedon, reigned 336-323 BCE. See also alpha 1122, alpha 1123, and generally Brian Bosworth in OCD(4) pp.56-58. The present entry on him, after the introductory statement, brings together extracts from Arrian and other sources.
[1] A rounded-up version of the 32 years and 8 months given by Arrian, Anabasis 7.28.1 (from Aristoboulos).
[2] Arrian, Anabasis 7.28.1-2.
[3] Quotation (on this celebrated episode of 335 BCE) unidentifiable.
[4] Arrian, Anabasis 3.10.2.
[5] Arrian, Anabasis 4.19.5-20.3. Dr Nick Nicholas reports: The Rime of Alexander (AD 1519), a vernacular Greek version of the Alexander Romance, cites this anecdote directly from the Suda (epilogue, vv. 27-55): "that's what I've read; for I have seen it written in a fine book, in the historian Souidas" (vv. 31-32).
[6] Arrian, Anabasis 6.13.4.
[7] John of Antioch fr. 41 FHG (4.555), now 74 Roberto; cf. delta 74.
[8] John of Antioch fr. 42 FHG (4.555), now 77 Roberto.
Keywords: biography; chronology; clothing; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; medicine; military affairs; religion; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 8 May 2000@11:22:51.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation and notes; added bibliography and keywords; cosmetics) on 27 January 2001@10:02:16.
David Whitehead (added note) on 27 January 2001@10:08:57.
David Whitehead (added keyword) on 12 June 2002@05:25:09.
Catharine Roth (addition to note 5 from Nick Nicholas; another keyword) on 15 October 2008@12:02:22.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 17 October 2008@00:39:55.
David Whitehead (added primary note and more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 3 February 2012@06:48:15.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 30 July 2014@04:13:46.
David Whitehead (updated 2 more refs; x-ref) on 29 January 2015@03:05:42.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks) on 29 May 2015@11:13:20.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 30 March 2019@23:52:16.


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