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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 - Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Greece

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Adriana Brook

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CLA160 Lecture 8JULY20/2011
Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Greece
Late 4th century and beyond
Philip II groomed his son, Alexander
Was put in charge of administrative duties asked by his father to govern
Macedonia while hes away
Participated in military campaigns
Participated in the Battle of Chaeronea
Brought up with Greek education (i.e. Hesiod and Homers texts) tutor: Aristotle
Lots of exposure to Greek ideas from a very young age
Alexander tries to portray himself as Achilles (tries to be equal to Achilles)
Alex wanted to secure all regions his father consolidated before his assassination
Since his father died, change of authority is needed, so he forced all the
cities/regions to swear to him to ensure their support
Alex began to expand the Macedonian empire, and was away from Macedonia and Greece
for a long time.
Rumours were circulated that he was dead
Athens and Thebes then, revolted against the League of Corinth, thinking it their
opportunity because hes gone
Alex returns and this resulted in the destruction of Thebes in 335 BCE
He then dared Athens to revolt if they want, but Athens didnt want to anymore,
seeing what happened to Thebes
Greece was now in Macedonian ruling
Alexander then crosses the Hellespont
People along the coast (Ionians/Greeks?) saw him as a liberator
Satraps/Persian rulers were not happy that Alex was in Persia
Persian satraps were impatient and decided not to send for the king and confronted
Alex themselves
This was called the Battle of Granicus, 334 BCE
Persian satraps lost to Alex
Alex would conquer the area, replacing the Persian satraps with Macedonian governors
and were left to govern themselves
Tribute that was paid to Persia were then paid to Alex instead
Went to Miletus, then to Gordium
The Gordian Knot: legend that whomever untangles the knot, rules Persia
Alex cuts the knot with his sword and untangles the knots
Symbolically justifies his conquering of Persia
Rather than heading inlands, Alex thought to head south to destroy Persian naval bases
(towards Syria and Phoenicia)
If the strong navy of Persia is left alone, Alex feels uneasy/threatened trying to
coerce them to join them
King of Persia, Darius III, leads the Persian army realizing the threat that is Alexander
Alex used the narrow tactic the Greeks used in Thermopylae and Salamis against
It was called the Battle of Issus, 333 BCE
Alexander was victorious: captured large Persian treasury, royal family including
the heir as prisoners
Darius III ran away in shame
Alex asked for a truce with Darius III
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