Alexander III of Macedon (aka Alexander the Great) is most famous for conquering the Achaemenid Persian empire and carving out an empire of his own that stretched from eastern Europe and north Africa to central Asia and north India. But Alexander was also a complex figure whose conquests ushered in a complicated era.
So far in this course, we have contemplated the issue of how we define the ancient “west” and many of the difficulties inherent in doing so. Based on your reading of Plutarch’s Alexander, do you think that Alexander’s conquests represents the triumph of the traditions of the “west” over those of the “east” and the salvation of a Greece long beset by the Persian menace since the invasions of Darius and Xerxes (490 and 490 BCE)? Or do you think that in this instance the dichotomy of “west” and “east” is inaccurate and anachronistic and that Alexander and his successors governed extremely cosmopolitan empires in which “western” and “eastern” practices were inextricably interwoven?
Your response should reflect consideration of the following issues:
a. Transitions in the Greek polis and citizen values
b. The significance of culture and cultural difference for social or ethnic identities c. Alexander’s personal conduct and the extent to which it resembles or is distinct from that of Herodotus’ Croesus and Xerxes.
Formatting: 1--1.5 pages, New Times Roman, double--spaced, normal margins
First Paragraph: Thesis and 2 Solid Supporting Arguments Second Paragraph: Supporting Argument 1
Third Paragraph: Supporting Argument 2
Citations: Provide specific citation of relevant passages of Plutarch’s Alexander in your text, either as part of a sentence [“According to Plutarch’s Alexander 49…”] or as a parenthetical insert [“…then Alexander did the following… (Plutarch, Alexander 49)”]
Sections: Alexander 49 refers to section 49)
Plutarch: Life of Alexander