Modern Historians about Macedonia - William Woodthorpe Tarn

William Woodthorpe Tarn - Alexander the Great, Vol. 1

Through both his parents claimed Greek descend..”

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“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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