Heroic Dictator and Science Enthusiast

July 22, 2017
By , Farmington, CT

356 BCE- One of the biggest temples in the ancient world, in Ephesus, Persia, enemy of Macedonia burned down.

That was the same time Alexander the Great was born as the Prince of Macedonia.

This 16-year-old prince ruled Macedonia for a month when his father left for business.  When you are 16, you will likely not control a warring kingdom single-handedly.  Barbarians from Thrace saw this as a chance to subjugate Macedonia.  Unfortunately for them, the prince easily defeated them.

When Alexander the Great was just seven years old, he tricked Persian ambassadors into revealing key military information to him.  By his death at age 32, he was king of the known world.  Student of Leonidas, the toughest meanest teacher in the toughest meanest city-state Sparta in all of Greece, Alexander called breakfast “A long march” and dinner “A light breakfast”.  And he was only 7  years old!  At 13, is teacher was the philosopher Aristotle.  Using the knowledge Aristotle taught him, Alexander healed every injured man from nearly every battle before he healed himself.  Once, he did this with a giant gash on the back of his head bleeding.  In his entire 13-year career, he never lost a single battle.  He even survived an arrow directly to the lung and the surgery of getting it removed with no modern tools or anesthesia.  In fact, he invented many war strategies and perfected his father’s invention of a full-time military.  Alexander was the last Westerner ever to conquer Afghanistan, a feat even the United States has not yet accomplished.

Alexander was not merely a bloodthirsty, power-hungry dictator.  His loyalty to his friends was unwavering.  His respect of other cultures, ideas, and women was revolutionary.  When the King of Persia, Alexander’s greatest enemy, was defeated, he fled leaving his family behind.  Alexander found them abandoned, and vowed to protect them to his death, and he did.  He also incorporated Persians into his inner circle of Greek advisers, and spread the idea of democracy that Aristotle taught him.

When Alexander freed the Egyptians from Persian rule, he restored their culture.  When building Alexandria, his city had Egyptian temples lining the streets.  After Alexander spread ideas of cultural, sexual, and religious respect, and unified the Ancient World, he was and is still honored in: Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  Historians split history into Before Alexander and After Alexander, because the differences he made were so notable.  For example, his ideas of universal education and science resulted in Hagnodice becoming the first female doctor, Euclid developing geometry, Archimedes developing physics and integral calculus, etc.

There is proof that without Alexander, democracy would have died, science and education would be insignificant, and tolerance would be nonexistent.  The truth is, under his rule, women and different groups had much more freedom in the Middle East during the Hellenistic age Alexander launched than they do today.  This tolerant, loyal, and brilliant leader changed history forever.

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