References from Ancient Sources to the Panhellenic character of Alexander’s campaign

[1] Quote:

It has been reported to me that it was the rhetorician Isocrates who was responsible for the servitude that the Macedonian imposed on the Persians. For the fame of the speech Panegyricus, which Isocrates delivered to the Greeks, spread to Macedonia, And it was this that first stirred Philip’s animosity towards Asia. When Philip died, the speech provided the incentive for his son Alexander, heir to his father’s estate, to keep up Philip’s momentum.

Aelian, Varia Historia 13.11

[2] Quote:

Alexander sent to Athens three hundred full suits of Persian armour as a votive offering to Athena on the Acropolis, with orders for the following inscription to accompany them:”An offering from Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks, apart from the Spartans, taken from the barbarians who live in Asia.”

Arrian I.16.7

[3] Quote:

When he went up to Ilium, Menoetius the pilot crowned him with golden crown; after him Chares the Athenian, coming from Sigeum, as well as certain others, both Greeks and natives, did the same.

Arrian I 12.1

[4] Quote:

And indeed, there is no other single individual among Greeks or barbarians who achieved exploits so great or important either in regard to number or magnitude as he did.

Arrian I 12.2

[5] Quote:

To make the Greeks partners in his victory, Alexander sent the Athenians a special gift of three hundred shields taken from the enemy, and, for the Greeks in general, had a very proud inscription carved on the other spoils: An offering from Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks, apart from the Spartans, taken from the barbarians who live in Asia.

Plutarch, Alexander 16.17-18

[6] Quote:

Alexander wanted lo reinvigorate his men, it now being wintertime, and remained there at Persepolis for four months. It is said that, when the king first seated himself on the royal throne under the golden awning, the Corinthian Demaratus - a kindly man who had been a friend of Alexander’s father - burst into tears, as old men do. Those Greeks had been deprived of a very pleasurable experience, he reportedly said, who had died before seeing Alexander seated on Darius’ throne.

Plutarch, Alexander 37.6-7

[7] Quote:

For, personally, I am not in agreement with the Corinthian Demaratus who claimed that the Greeks missed a very pleasurable experience in not seeing Alexander seated on Darius’ throne. Actually, I think they might have had more reason to shed tears at the realizalion that the men who left this honour to Alexander were those who sacrificed the armies of the Greeks at Leuctra, Coronea, and Corinth and in Arcadia.

Plutarch, Agesilaus 15.4

[8] Quote:

In the circumustances you must forgive me Diogenes, for imitating Heracles and emulating Heracles. Forgive me for following the footsteps of Dionysus, divine founder and forefather of my live, and wishing to have Greeks dance in victory again in India and remind those mountain-men and savages beyond the Caucasus of the revels of Bacchus

Plutarch Moralia

[9] Letter to Chians


From king Alexander to the people of Chios, written in the Prytany of Deisitheos; All those exiled from Chios are to return, and the constitution on Chios is to be democratic. Drafters of legislation are to be selected to write and emend the laws so as to ensure that there be no impediment to a democratic constitution and the return of the exiles. Anything already emended or drafted is to be referred to Alexander. The people of Chios are to supply twenty triremes, with crews, at their own expense, and these are to sail as long as the rest of the Greek naval force accompanies us at sea. With respect lo those men who betrayed the city to the barbarians, all those who escaped are to be exiled from all the cities that share the peace, and to be liable to seizure under the decree of the Greeks. Those who have been caught are to be brought back and tried in the Council of the Greeks, In the event ol disagreement between those who have returned and those in the city, in that matter they are to be judged by us. Until a reconciliation is reached among the people of Chios, they are to have in their midst a garrison of appropriate strength installed by King Alexander The people of Chios are to maintain the garrison.

[10] Quote:

….at the congress of the Lakedaimonian allies and the rest of the Hellenes, in which Amyntas, the father of Philip, being entitled to a seat,
was represented by a delegate whose vote was absolutely under his control, he joined the rest of the Hellenes in voting…”

(Aeschines, On the Embassy 32)

[11] Quote:

“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 sowed 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)

[12] Quote:

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

(Plutarchos, Alexander 15)

[13] Quote:

“Such was the end of Philip (II, king of Macedonia) …He had ruled 24 years. He is known to fame as one who with but the slenderest resources to
support his claim to a throne won for himself the greatest empire AMONG the Hellenes, while the growth of his position was not due so much to his prowess in arms as to his adroitness and cordiality in diplomacy.”

(Diodoros of Sicily 16.95.1-2)

[14] Quote:

Alexander (the Great)… after talking to the Thessalians and the other Hellenes,… grabbed his spear with his left hand, shifted his right
hand to pray to the gods, as Kallisthenes reports, wishing, if he is indeed a SON of ZEUS that they SUPPORT the HELLENES. Aristandros, the priest…”

(Plutarchos, Alexander 33)

[15] Quote:

“After this Alexandros left Dareios’s mother, his daughters, and his son in Susa, providing them with persons to teach them the HELLENIC DIALECT,…

(Diodoros of Sicily 17.67.1)

[15] Quote:

“Alexandros observed that his soldiers were exhausted with their constant campaigns. …The hooves of the horses had been worn thin by steady marching. The arms and armour were wearing out, and the HELLENIC CLOTHING was quite gone. They had to clothe themselves in materials of the barbarians,…”

(Diodoros of Sicily 17.94.1-2)

[16] Quote:

“…so said the military leaders to the camps: `We have made enough war in Persia and conquered Dareios who claimed taxes from the Hellenes, but what are we accomplishing by marching against the Indians, in scary lands and doing things IMPROPER FROM HELLAS? If Alexandros has become full of himself and wishes to be a warrior, and subjugate barbarian peoples why do we follow him? Let him move on alone and engage in wars. Having heard these Alexander separated the Persian host from the MACEDONIANS AND THE OTHER HELLENES and addressed them…”

(`Pseudo-Kallisthenes’ 3.1.2-4)

[17] Arrian, “The Indica”


“…There a man appeared to them, wearing a Greek cloak, and dressed otherwise in the Greek fashion, and speaking Greek also. Those who first sighted him said that they burst into tears, so strange did it seem after all these miseries to see a Greek, and to hear Greek spoken. They asked whence he came, who he was; and he said that he had become separated from Alexander’s camp, and that the camp, and Alexander himself, were not very far distant. Shouting aloud and clapping their hands they brought this man to Nearchus…”




“…The Greeks moved on thence, from the sacred island, and were already coasting along Persian territory…”




“…Thence they sailed eight hundred stades, anchoring at Troea; there were small and poverty-stricken villages on the coast. The inhabitants deserted their huts and the Greeks found there a small quantity of corn, and dates from the palms…”


[20] Quote:

“But if thanks are due to the Aetolians for this single service, how highly should we honour the Macedonians, who for the greater part of their lives never cease from fighting with the barbarians for the sake of the security of Greece? For who is not aware that Greece would have constantly stood in the greatest danger, had we not been fenced by the Macedonians and the honourable ambition of their kings?”

Polybius, Book IX, 35, 2

[21] Quote:

“…he (Alexander) inflicted punishment on the Persians for their outrages on all the Greeks, and how he delivered us all from the greatest evils by enslaving the barbarians and depriving them of the resources they used for the destruction of the Greeks, pitting now the Athenians and now the Thebans against the ancestors of these Spartans, how in a word he made Asia subject to Greece.”

Polybius, Book IX, 34, 3

[22] Quote:

he spoke to them in moderate terms and had them pass a resolution appointing him general plenipotentiary of the Greeks and undertaking themselves to join in an expedition against Persia seeking satisfaction for the offences which the Persians had committed against Greece

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.9]

[23] Quote:

He set the Persian palace on fire, even though parmenio urged him to save it, arguing that it was not right to destroy his own property, and that the Asians would not thus devote themselves to him, if he seemed determined not to rule Asia, but only to pass through as a conqueror.but Alexander replied that he intended to punish the persians for their invasion of Greece, the destruction of Athens, the burning of the temples, and all manner of terrible things done to the Greeks: because of these things, he was exacting revenge.
but Alexander does not seem to me to have acted prudently, nor can it be regarded as any kind of punishment upon Persians of long ago.

[Arrian Anab. 3. 18. 11-12].

[24] Quote:

But if you consider the effects of Alexander’s instruction, you will see that he educated the Hyrcanians to contract marriages, taught the Arachosians to till the soil, and persuaded rhe Sogdians to support their parents, not to kill them, and the Persians to respect their mothers, not to marry them. Most admirable philosophy which induced the Indians to worship Greek gods and the Scythians to bury their dead and not to eat them! We admire the power of Carncades, who caused Clitomachus formerly called Hasdrubal and a Carthaginian by birth, to adopt Greek ways . We admire the character of Zeno, who persuaded Diogenes the Babylonian to turn to philosophy. Yet when Alexander was taming Asia. Homer became widely read, and the children of the Persians, of the Susianians and the Cedrosians sang the tragedies of Euripides and Sophocles. And Socrates was condemned by the sycophants in Athens for introducing new deities, while thanks to Alexander Bactria and the Caucasus worshipped the gods of the Greeks. Plato drew up in writing one ideal constitution but amid not persuade anyone to adopt it because of its severity, while Alexander founded over 70 cities among barbarian tribes*” sprinkled Greek institutions all over Asia, and so overcame its wild and savage manner of living- Few of us read Plato’s Laws but the laws of Alexander have been and are still used by millions of men. Those who were subdued by Alexander are more fortunate than those who escaped him, for the latter had no one to rescue them from their wretched life, while rhe victorious Alexander compelled the former to enjoy a better existence. |. […] Alexanders victims would not have been civilised if they had not been defeated. Egypt would not have had its Alexandria, nor Mesopotamia its Selcucia, nor Sogdiana its Prophthasia, nor India its Bucephalia, nor the Caucasus (the Hindu Kush) a Greek city nearby; (329) their foundation extinguished barbarism, and custom changed the worse into better. If, therefore, philosophers take the greatest pride in taming and correcting the fierce and untutored elements of men’s character, and if Alexander has been shown to have changed the brutish customs of countless nations then it would be justifiable to regard him as a very great philosopher.
Furthermore the much-admired Republic of Zeno, the founder of the Stoic school, is built around one guiding principle: we should not live in separate cities and demes each using its own rules of justice, but we should consider all men to be fellow demesmen and citizens, with one common life and order for all, like a Hock feeding together in a common pasture. This Zeno wrote, conjuring up as it were a dream or an image of a well-ordered and philosophic constitution, but it was Alexander who turned this idea into reality, for he did not follow the advice of Aristotle and treat the Greeks as a leader would but the barbarians as a master* nor did he show care for the Greeks as friends and kinsmen, while treating the others as animals or plants; this would have filled his realm with many wars and exiles and festering unrest. Rather believing that he had come as a god-sent governor and mediator of the whole world he overcame by arms those he could not bring over by persuasion and brought men together from all over the world mixing together, as it were in a loving-cup their lives customs, marriages and ways of living. He instructed all men to consider the inhabited world to be their native land, and his camp to be their acropolis and their defence, while they should regard as kinsmen all good men, and the wicked as strangers. The difference between Greeks and barbarians was not a matter of cloak or shield, or of a scimitar or Median dress. What distinguished Greekness was excellence, while wickedness was the mark of the barbarian; clothing, food, marriage and way of life rhey should all regard as common, being blended together by ties of blood and the bearing of children.

Plutarch, DeAlexandri Magni Fortuna aut Virtute. I 328C-329H

[25] Quote:

When he came to Elaeus he offered sacrifice to Protesilaus upon the tomb of that hero, both for other reasons and because Protesilaus seemed to have been the first of the Greeks who took part with Agamemnon in the expedition to Ilium to disembark in Asia. The design of this sacrifice was that disembarking in Asia might be more fortunate to himself than that it had been to Protesilaus.

Arrian 1a11

[26] Quote:

But as many of them as he took prisoners he bound in fetters and sent them away to Macedonia to till the soil, because, though they were Greeks, they were fighting AGAINST GREECE on behalf of the foreigners in opposition to the decrees which the Greeks had made in their federal council.

Arrian 1a16

[27] Quote:

For Alexander did not think it safe, while the war against the Persian was still going on, to relax in the slightest degree the terror with which he inspired the Greeks, who did not deem it unbecoming for them to serve as soldiers on behalf of the foreigners against Greece.

Arrian 1b29

[28] Quote:

Having sailed into the harbour of Tenedus which is called Bor??us, they sent a message to the inhabitants, commanding them to demolish the pillars on which the treaty made by them with Alexander AND the Greeks was inscribed, and to observe in regard to Darius the terms of the peace which they had ratified with the king of Persia at the advice of Antalcidas.The Tenedians preferred to be on terms of amity with Alexander AND the Greeks ; but in the present crisis it seemed impossible to save themselves except by yielding to the Persians,

Arrian 2a2

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sokratis sorolopis says:

hello;,… i have the opinion that some of those quotes are translated wrong, for example the second one,,, can you check the original text again thank you , generally good work, thank you 🙂