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Alexander “the Great” was known for many feats, such as conquering most of the known world and more. Through these actions, it is easy to say that Alexander certainly deserves the title “great”. Alexander, son of Philip the II of Macedon, inherited his father’s throne at the young age of 20. Within the ten year time period of his rule, Alexander expanded the Macedonian empire to nearly two million square miles of the world. He observed the Greeks’ battle technique, Alexander built on their strategy and made it even better, showing how knowledgeable he is. His great achievements and diffusion of culture have easily proved to inspire future generations. The question of “does Alexander really deserve the title great?” has been thoroughly debated as everyone has a different definition of great. For one to be considered, “great” one must show courage, have knowledge and positively influence others. Alexander the Great deserves the title “great” as he definitely satisfies having all three traits that allows one to be considered “great”.
Alexander is truly someone who is “great” as he was definitely courageous when he constantly took risks conquering most of the known world. In Document E, “Alexander’s Legacy”, it states that the “size of Alexander’s empire at his death (sq. miles): 2,000,000” and that the number of “years that it took Alexander to build his empire: 11”. Within 11 years, Alexander expanded the Macedonian empire to nearly two million square miles. Alexander was only in his twenties when he conquered so many city states. Most people at the age of twenty do not have the Alexander’s valor to push on for ten years to fight and conquer lands. Alexander’s bravery in performing such a feat at such a young age makes him stand out from others. In Document C, “the Destruction of Tyre”, shows how Alexander and his troops “held out for seven months and Tyrian counterattacks caused Alexander to lose many men. In the end, however, the causeway was completed and Alexander’s army smashed into the city”. Alexander held siege on a city for 7 months. Many other generals in this situation would have surrendered or given up, as observed in other battles throughout history. Alexander, again proving how brave he was, decided to hold out for that long period of time even though a win was not guaranteed. His bravery in this situation distinguishes him from others. Through Alexander’s courageous choices, it can easily be determined that Alexander was someone that deserves the title “great”.
Alexander was also knowledgeable, as he was a good strategist in battle, shown in the battle of Tyre and Porus. In Document C, “the Destruction of Tyre”, Alexander and his troops beat an area that “believed their city was unconquerable because it was built on an island and protected by high walls”. Tyre, the city that Alexander was trying to conquer, had 150 foot tall walls surrounding the city. No one before Alexander had been able to figure out how to penetrate walls. Alexander, using his knowledge of Greek weaponry and expanding on it, was able to create a weapon that could drill through the mighty walls and then attack the city. Alexander was extremely brilliant as he pioneered a great tool that was never used before yet undoubtedly successful. In Document B, “Alexander’s Battle Against Porus”, “Porus would actually parallel his movements on the other side, leading his elephants toward the shouting, and Alexander got him into the habit of making these corresponding movements. This actually went on for quite a long time [until] Porus no longer reacted”. Alexander shows how he is good at strategy as he swiftly devised a never been seen before strategy. He was quickly able to recognize Porus’ weakness and used it to his advantage. Alexander’s strategy was not one that was known before he used it, driving his enemy to the point of confusion where they no longer reacted. His ability to think of such a genius ideas and strategy under pressure shows that Alexander truly is an intelligent person.
Alexander easily proves to be inspiring as even after his death, he still continues to inspire the future generations. In Document F, Kasi Khushnawaz, a native of northern Pakistan, writes how Alexander “conquered the world, and was a very great man, brave and dauntless and generous to his followers”. Khushnawaz, a descendant of the Hindu Kush, talks about how Alexander is an inspiring individual. He sees many traits in Alexander that are ones that would make one great. Khushnawaz finds that Alexander spreading Greek culture all the way to India is an amazing accomplishment, and one that definitely inspired him. In the Background Essay and Timeline, it describes the “Roman military commander named Julius Caesar … he encounters a statue of Alexander and is said to have wept, overcome by the thought that Alexander had achieved so much at such a young age”. Julius Caesar was amazed by Alexander’s great accomplishments and was definitely inspired by Alexander’s actions as it drove him to the point of tears thinking about Alexander’s achievements. Since Caesar was so moved when he saw Alexander’s statue, it can be assumed that decisions he makes are influenced and inspired by Alexander’s. Through quotes from ancestors on Alexander’s empire and from Julius Caesar, it can clearly be seen that Alexander continued to inspire future generations, hundreds of years after his death.
Alexander was a very heroic, quick-witted and influential figure in history. Everything he has done are all very significant and had a huge positive impact on the world. Alexander, at the very young age of 20, had the valor to face the world head on and conquer most of the known world. His bravery and quick thinking in war demonstrated how astute he is. Alexander possessed the great ability to think of successful strategies in war under pressure, deeper proving how brilliant he is. Finally, Alexander was also an inspirational figure throughout the history of the world as his many notable accomplishments left a huge impact on future generations. All in all, Alexander is definitely someone that deserves the title “great” as he possessed traits of greatness; having courage, intelligence and is someone who inspires others.
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