Modern Historians about Macedonia – William Woodthorpe Tarn

William Woodthorpe Tarn – Alexander the Great, Vol. 1

Through both his parents claimed Greek descend..”

                                                  <pp. 1>

 “The primary reason why Alexander invaded Persia  was,  no doubt,  that he  never  thought of not  doing it; it was his inheritance.  Doubtless,  too,  adventure attracted him;  and weight must also  be  given  to the official reason. For officially,  as  is  shown  by  the  political  manifesto  which  he  afterwards sent to Darius  from Marathus (p.36), the invasion was that Pan-hellenic  war of revenge which Isocrates had preached;  and  Alexander  did set out with pan-hellenic ideas:  he was the champion of Hellas. It seems quite certain  that  he had read,  and was influenced by, Isocrates’ `Philippus’.”

  “Generally speaking, the  League infantry was used  mainly  for garrisons and communications;  but  the  Cretan archers,  who  were not League  troops, were as indispensable as the Agrianians  themselves,  and  their loss of five commanders successively shows how heavily they were engaged.”                                


  “Besides the Staff,  Alexander  had  about him a body of men of high position  to whom  the name Companions properly belongs, number unknown,…    They included his personal friends… Nearchus;  …and a few Greeks  like  Demaratus,  Stasanor  and Laomedon,…”                  


  “Besides his Macedonian generals, Alexander  had with him a number of Greek technicians, of whom  too little is known.   …the Thessalian Diades    …,   architects  like  Deinocrates,…    the  historian Aristobulus, architect and geographer. …Eumenes of Cardia,…   Callistenes of Olynthus,… Anaxarxhus…  Onesicritus, seaman,…”

  “That Asia was not more hellenise  than  it  was arose simply from there not being enough Greeks in the world.  They  had  to  be collected into  comparatively few towns;…”


  “Most  of  what we know about Alexander’s  towns relates to Alexandria by Egypt, and there it is  impossible to distinguish  what is original and  what not; but the type was doubtless due to Alexander,  for  Ptolemy I’s foundation  Ptolemais was an autonomous Greek city.”        


  “What  Alexander  did  achieve  was  again  done through the cities,  both  his  own  and  those  which he inspired Seleucus to found, and it was a great enough achievement; the cities radiated Greek culture throughout Asia  till  ultimately the bulk of the upper classes over considerable districts became partially hellenised, and Demetrius of Bactria  led Greeks  for a second time  beyond the Hindu Kush,  to succeed for a moment    where Alexander had failed  and  rule  northern  India for a few years from Pataliputra to Kathiawar.”                              


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