ALEXANDER THE GREAT Relationship with Macedonians
The Policy of Fusion Alexander knew that if he was to rule the Persian Empire, he would need to gain the support of the Persians. This seems to have been his main motivation behind his ‘Policy of Fusion’, the name given to his attempts to bring Greeks and Persians together. • Some features of the Policy of Fusion: • Appointment of Persians to leadership positions (First example – Mazaeus was reappointed satrap of Babylon) • Adoption of Persian dress by Alexander. • Adoption of some Persian customs (eg. proskynesis).
Key Events • Burning of Persepolis 330BC • Death of Philotas and Parmenio 330BC • Death of Cleitus 328BC • Callisthenes and proskynesis 327BC • Royal Pages Conspiracy 327BC • Mutiny on the Hyphasis 326BC • Journey through Gedrosia 325 BC • Execution of Generals of Medea 325BC • Flight of Harpalus 325BC • Mutiny at Opis 324BC • The Susa Weddings 324BC
The Burning of the Palace at Persepolis Arrian’s version: “Alexander wished to punish the Persians for their invasion of Greece; his present act was retribution for the destruction of Athens, the burning of the temples, and all the other crimes they had committed against the Greeks. My own view is that this was bad policy.” • Read Diodorus’s account of the burning of the palace (booklet), then Plutarch’s (Artus p.63) • What is the most likely cause of the fire? • What do we learn about Alexander? • What do we learn about the Greek / Macedonian troops?
The Conspiracy of Philotas Philotas and Parmenio Conspiring against Alexander?
The Conspiracy of Philotas Philotas Boyhoodfriend of Alexander Commander of Companion Cavalry • Why get rid of him? • He was an egomaniac who often boasted of his achievements and belittled Alexander’s • Others had reported his disloyalty to Alex. • He and his father represented the older Macedonians who had served under Philip and did not support the Policy of Fusion. • He could be a potential rival to Alex - conspirators against Alex would look to him for help • Alex was becoming increasingly paranoid • If he made an example of Philotas, other ‘conspirators’ would be discouraged.
The Conspiracy of Philotas Parmenio was executed as well … the reason for (his) execution may have been that Alexander could not believe that he had no share in his son’s conspiracy; on the other hand, even granting his innocence, his living on after his son’s execution was already in fact a danger; for he was a man of immense prestige: he had great influence not only with Alexander but also with the army – and not only the Macedonian units, but also with the mercenary soldiers. - Arrian Parmenio Murdered at Ecbatana By officers acting under Alex’s orders In 330BC
The Murder of Cleitus Use the text from Plutarch to complete the notes on the murder of Cleitus To discuss: What do the sections of the text marked with margin lines tell us about the character of Alexander? Cleitus General in army Had served under Philip Saved Alex’s life at Granicus Killed at Maracanda
Callisthenes and Proskynesis Complete the notes on this, using Hamilton (top p105-top p107) and Artus p.95 Persians: “This is showing respect to someone of greater social rank. And who is greater than the Great King?” Greeks: “We only bow down before the gods. No way should this be done before a mortal man – it is hubris.”
The Two Mutinies at the River Beas/Hyphasis (India) 326BC • Watch the clip and note down what happens. • Read up on the Mutinies and complete notes. • Watch the clip again – which bit is which? at Opis (Central Persia) 324BC
The Gedrosian Desert 325BC The Gedrosian Desert
The Harpalus Affair Harpalus was one of Alexander’s boyhood friends, who had been left with the job of looking after Alexander’s Treasury at Babylon in 331. Six years later, upon hearing that Alexander was returning to Babylon, Harpalus panicked and fled with 5000 talents and 6000 men. Where to and Why? Athens. Harpalus had become corrupt and misspent Alexander’s money. Alex had executed a number of his officials. H feared he was next. H had been made Athenian citizen. What happened? H tried to stir up a rebellion against Alexander. Athens refused H. entry to city, because of his army. Took his forces to Taenarum and left them there. This time, Athens put him under open arrest and took his 700 remaining talents.
Callisthenes and Proskynesis • The Necessary Knowledge: • Who was Callisthenes? • How and why did he object to performing proskynesis? • What does “Very well then – I shall go away poorer by a kiss” mean? • How did Alexander get back at Callisthenes?
The Pages Conspiracy • The Necessary Knowledge: • Why did the Pages get upset with Alexander? • What did they plan to do about it? • Why did the plot fail? • How was Callisthenes involved?
The Mutiny at the River Beas (Hyphasis) • The Necessary Knowledge: • List the reasons why Alexander’s men refused to go any further than the river Beas. • How did Alexander react to the mutiny? • Why did he decide to take an alternative route back?
The Gedrosian Desert 325BC • 1. Read Artus’ account of the crossing of the desert (pg.69). List the difficulties faced by the Macedonians in this crossing. • 2. Read the accounts of the crossing of the Gedrosian Desert by Arrian (Artus pages 70-71). • Why did Alexander want to cross the Desert? • What action does Arrian call “one of Alexander’s noblest”? The Gedrosian Desert Pic: www.livius.org
The Susa Weddings 324BC The Mutiny at Opis 324BC • What We Need to Know: • What caused this mutiny of Alexander’s oldest soldiers? • How did Alexander deal with it? Hamilton pp.142-143 • What We Need to Know: • Briefly describe how the Susa Weddings were staged. • How and why did Alexander acknowledge existing relationships between Greeks and Persians? Hamilton pp.133-134
The Macedonian Generals of Media Hamilton 128-130, Artus p.72 1. Which Macedonians were involved in the abuse of power? How many? 2. What were the charges? 3. How did Alexander react? 4. Why did Alexander punish them so severely? Result: Fear spread throughout the empire and even Harpalus fled in fear.
The Conspiracy of Philotas • The Necessary Knowledge: • Who was Philotas? • What was the nature of the plot against Alexander? • How was Philotas involved? • What action did Alexander take? • What happened to Parmenio and why? • The Question That Remains: • Was there really a ‘Conspiracy of Philotas’?