Alexanders Relationship with Macedonians

April 16, 2017 Religion

Alexander The Great of Macedonia lived 356-323BC.He was an respected by his Macedonians and he cared for them. Throught his life as king these attitudes continued some what.He did however become suspecious of their actions during his reign.The policy of fusion and other actions of Alexander were important factors of his disintagratingrelationship with the Macedonians

The Macedonians admired Alexander and thought of him as a leader we know this as it was their decision to appoint him as king.Alexander became king in 336BC and became the hegemon but also took on the system of being first among equels,this meant the people of Macedonia respected their king but were not subservant to him.They were able to speak freely and Alexander would in theroy ask their opinion about issues. Alexander throughout his life as king recognised his army of Macedonians.In the begining he would often hold celebrations after being successful. These celebrations involved games being held, they would have drama, games followed by meals and drinking.The Macedonians appriciated Alexanders gestures and thought of him as looking after them. At Halicarnassus Alexander ordered home those Macedonians who had married just before the start of the campaign.Arrian states that “no act of Alexanders ever made him better loved by his Macedonians.”He knew that small gestures would go a long way to get loyalty and respect, showing his leadership. We see a mutual respect between Alexander and the Macedonians.

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During the spring of 333BC in Tarsus Alexander developed a fever.His frriend Philip the Acarnian prepared medicine and brought it to Alexander.He was warned not to take the medicine as there had been rumours that the medicine had been poisoned.Alexander ignored this comments, took the medicine and was cured proving the great trust he placed in his macedonians.

The first change in the attitude of the Macedonians towards Alexander took place during 332 in Memphis.Alexander was officially welcomed in Memphis and enthroned as the Pharoah. The people of memphis recognised Alexander as a god and the son of the sun-god Ammon-Ra, he treated there native religion with tolerance. The Macedonians became angered by his tolerance and believed Alexander should see foreign religions as inferior. They objected to Alexanders new position as “son of Ammon.”

However in 330 Alexander joined his companions at a party, and they forgot about Alexanders unloyalty to them. After much drinking and an inspiring speech from Thais, Alexander set fire to the palace of Xerxes. The Macedonians were overjoyed with Alexanders decision. They believed that this indicated that he was thinking of home and didnt want to settle among foreigners. Also in this year we see Alexander becoming susspious of even his closest Macedonian companions. Parmenio was Alexanders chief of staff and second in command. He was sent to Ecbatang to keep an eye on that part of empire.Alexander did so he could carry on the policy of fusion without Parmenios negitivities. Parmenios son, Philotas, was interrogated on his plot to have Alexander killed. We see that Alexander is becoming suspious and untrusting of his men in contrast to the earlier event of Philp bring himmedicine.

As Alexander continued to invade areas of Persia he inforced his policy of fusion. He himself began to dress as a Persian and adopt some of their customs.He held weeding in Susa to marry his Macedonians to Persian woman. The Persian custom of proskynesis was unsucessfully introduced to the Macedonians in 327Bc.They believed they shold only prostrate before a god. They didnt consider Alexander a god. One Macedonian, Callisthenes refused to prostrate arousing Alexanders anger leading in Callisthenes death.Alexander had also accused him in being involved in the Pages, Conspiracy.Alexander was now growing more suspecious of his Macedonians and their possible plans to get rid of him. As for the Macedonians, they believed they were superior to the Persians and did not want to be treated as individuals. The Macedonian soldiers loved Alexander and were jealous of the attetion the Persians were recieving.one Macedonian, Cleitus stood up to Alexander saying, “It was the blood of the Macedonians and these wounds that made you grand enough to disown Philip and claim Ammon as your father.”

Finally at the mutiny at Opis the men expressed their feelings towards Alexanders Persian successors. Callines spoke,”My king, what grieves the Macedonians is that you have made some of the Persians your kinsmen…and are allowed to kiss you;but no Macedonian has yet enjoyed this privilege.”Alexander considered their opinions but did not change his policy.Alexander prayed a blessing that “Persians and Macedonians might exercise a joint rule in harmony”,his influence was so great that they joined together to sing the same victory song.

Alexanders relationship with the Macedonians could be described as one that had its weak moments. The relationship was greatly straind by Alexanders sepecions and his inforcements of Persianisation.I dont think Alexander intentionly made the Macedonians feel left out he just did as he saw best for his empire.Although the Macedonians did not agree with all of Alexanders ideas they still had greatrespect and loyalty to him.Also Alexander valued his men and took care to treat them with respect and tryed not to offend them.

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