In the light of

Download 22 Kb.
Date conversion29.04.2016
Size22 Kb.
Heredity and environment. What effect did these two factors have on Alexander’s character and

career? What other influences may have been at work?   (Character)
To what extent was Alexander a genuine military genius? Was he, perhaps, just a lucky commander?  (Military)
Using your own knowledge and the resource material below, discuss Alexander’s destruction of Thebes

in the light of:

his character and subsequent actions; and

its effect on his relationship with the other Greek states.          (Character/Greeks)

A B Bosworth describes Alexander’s military career as “a continuing saga of heroic self-exposure”. Is this a fair assessment of Alexander as a general and as a man?             (Character/Propaganda)

Discuss the tensions that arose among the high command of the Macedonian army in the years following the battle of Gaugamela. What caused these tensions, and how successful was Alexander in resolving them?    (Character/Macedonians)
What do the two passages below reveal about Alexander’s character and motivation as he prepared for, then launched, his Asian expedition? What other personality traits were evident in the newly acclaimed king of Macedonia?


Next (335 BC) he visited Delphi, because he wished to consult the oracle of Apollo about the

wanted no other prophecy, but had obtained from her the oracle he was seeking.

Plutarch, The Age of Alexander


It is generally believed that Alexander sailed from Elaeus to the Achaean harbour, himself at the helm

Homer to proclaim his deeds and preserve his memory.

Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander

Quintus Curtius Rufus sees Alexander’s adoption of Persian dress and practices as symptomatic of his degeneration into “arrogance and dissipation”. Is this a fair assessment?     (Character/Fusion )


How important were the Companion Cavalry in securing Macedonian victory in the great set battles at the Granicus river, Issus and Gaugamela?                                                       (Military)

The two passages from Arrian show Alexander in communication with the gods.

What aspects of Alexander’s attitude to religion does Arrian emphasise in his account of these two episodes? And in what sense did these two events foreshadow the religious beliefs that Alexander subsequently practised and promoted?   (Character/Religion)
Alexander’s second and final great set battle against Darius, at Gaugamela (September/October


331 BC), took place almost two years after the first, at Issus (November 333 BC). What did Alexander achieve in the interim, and what explanations might be given for his delayed pursuit of the Persian king?    (Military)

To what extent is it fair to see Alexander as an autocratic terrorist in the years after the battle of Gaugamela (331 BC)? Were his achievements tarnished by a marked tendency to violence, paranoia, and megalomania? (Character)

What conclusions might be drawn about the relationship between Alexander and his father, Philip II, from the following passages taken from Plutarch? What else might be said about this father-son relationship? (Character/Daddy Issues)

The word ‘pothos’ is generally explained as “an irrational yearning for the unknown and mysterious”. To what extent did this feeling influence Alexander’s life and career?    (Character)

Was the battle at the Hydaspes River Alexander’s greatest military achievement, or is his prowess as a general better demonstrated in one or more of his other major battles?    (Military)

Using the passages about the appointment of the Epigoni (the “Successors”) as a starting point, discuss the ways in which Alexander tried to incorporate Persians into his army and the administration of his empire, and the effects these policies had on his relations with the Macedonians.  (Fusion/Persians)
Darius was always ready to believe what he found it most agreeable to believe … First one [of his courtiers], then another of them blew up the bladder of his conceit by saying that the Persian cavalry would ride over the Macedonian army and trample it to pieces.”

Arrian, 2.6, on Darius’ arrogance before the battle of Issus

What evidence is there that Darius underestimated his opposition, not only at Issus, but again and again, from the time Alexander crossed the Hellespont until Darius’ own death?                   (Darius)
The extent of Alexander’s belief in his own divinity is one of the most controversial aspects of his reign. Analyse the evolution and significance of Alexander’s thinking about his relationship to heroes and gods.         (Character/Religion)
In his account of Alexander’s reign, Arrian writes with admiration of the king’s “genius for leadership”. What do the episodes described in the passages on the following page reveal about the nature of this genius? What other aspects of Alexander’s leadership might have inspired the Macedonians to follow him across the known world?    (Character)
Carl von Clausewitz defined strategy as “the employment of battle to gain the end in war … [it] forms the plan of the war, and to this end it links together the series of acts which are to lead to the final decision.”

Is it fair to argue that Alexander had no grand plan, and that he paid scant attention to the strategy of his invasion of the Persian Empire, preferring to race ahead to the next battle and the next opportunity for personal glory?                (Character/Military)

The king, in accordance with the decree of the council, destroyed the city [Thebes], and so presented possible rebels among the Greeks with a terrible warning.”   Diodorus Siculus
Discuss the circumstances of the destruction of Thebes in 335 BCE and the extent to which Alexander’s “terrible warning” determined his relations with Greece in the years that followed.              (Greeks)
The passages on the following page are drawn from ancient sources about the death of Parmenion (Parmenio). Compare the three accounts, suggesting reasons for their differences, then discuss in detail the relationship that Alexander had with Parmenion and his son, Philotas. (Character/Macedonians/Source Bias)

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page