Ancient writers about Macedonia – Plutarch




Plutarch – Moralia, “On the Fortune of Alexander”

“Alexander lived many hundred years ago. He was king of Macedon, one of the states of Greece. His life was spent in war. He first conquered the other Grecian states, and then Persia, and India, and other countries one by one, till the whole known world was conquered by him. It is said that he wept, because there were no more worlds for him to conquer. He died, at the age of thirty-three, from drinking too much wine. In consequence of his great success in war, he was called Alexander the Great.”
(Plutarchos, Moralia, On the Fortune of Alexander, I, 328D, 329A [Loeb, F.C. Babbitt])

“But he said, `If I were not Alexandros, I should be Diogenes’; that is to say: `If it were not my purpose to combine barbarian things with things Hellenic, to traverse and civilize every every continent, to search out the uttermost parts of land and sea, to push the bounds of Macedonia to the farthest Ocean, and to diseminate and shower the blessings of the Hellenic justice and peace over every nation, I should not be content to sit quietly in the luxury of idle power, but I should emulate the frugality of Diogenes. But as things are, forgive me Diogenes, that I imitate Herakles, and emulate Perseus, and follow in the footsteps of Dionysos, the divine author and progenitor of my family, and desire that victorius Hellenes should dance again in India and revive the memory of the Bacchic revels among the savage mountain tribes beyond the Kaukasos…’ “
(Plutarchos, On the Fortune of Alexander, 332 a-b)

Yet through Alexander, Bactria and the Caucasus learned to revere the gods of the Hellenes Alexander established more than seventy cities among savage tribes, and showed all Asia with Hellenic magistracies … Egypt would not have its Alexandria, nor Mesopotamia its Seleucia, nor Sogdiana its Prophthasia, nor India its Bucephalia, nor the Caucasus a Hellenic city, for by the founding of cities in these places savagery was extinguished and the worse element, gaining familiarity with the better, changed under its influence.’
(Plutarchos Moralia. On the Fortune of Alexander, I, 328D, 329A)

When he (Alexander the Great) arrived at Ilion he sacrificed to Athena and offered libations to the Heroes.”
(Plutarchos, Alexander 15)

It is agreed on by all hands, that on the father’s side, Alexander descended from Hercules by Caranus, and from Aeacus by Neoptolemus on the mother’s side
(Plutarch, The Life of Alexander)