In The Footsteps of Alexander the Great
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In The Footsteps of Alexander the Great

1998, History  -   80 Comments
Ratings: 7.58/10 from 52 users.

In The Footsteps of Alexander the GreatIn the footsteps of Alexander the Great In this award winning adventure Micheal Wood embarks on a 2000 mile journey in the foot steps of Alexander's triumphal march from Greece to India. Traveling with Lebanese traders, Iranian pilgrims and Afghan guerrillas, by jeep, train, boat, camel and on foot, he interweaves the momentous events of the past with present day reality and brings us new insights into a man whose myth and achievements still resonate down the centuries.

He was one of the most successful military commanders in history, and was undefeated in battle. By the time of his death, he had conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks. Following the unification of the multiple city-states of ancient Greece under the rule of his father, Philip II of Macedon (a labour Alexander had to repeat because the southern Greeks rebelled after Philip's death), Alexander conquered the Persian Empire, including Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, Gaza, Egypt, Bactria and Mesopotamia and extended the boundaries of his own empire as far as the borders of Punjab.

Before his death, Alexander had already made plans to also turn west and conquer Europe. He also wanted to continue his march eastwards in order to find the end of the world, since his boyhood tutor Aristotle had told him tales about where the land ends and the Great Outer Sea begins. Alexander integrated foreigners into his army, leading some scholars to credit him with a "policy of fusion." He encouraged marriage between his army and foreigners, and practiced it himself. After twelve years of constant military campaigning, Alexander died, possibly of malaria, West Nile virus, typhoid, viral encephalitis or the consequences of heavy drinking.

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80 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Ed

    I learned in the first episode that Alexander was a member of the ancient LGBT community.

  2. Gunboatdiplomat

    Great documentary ! Michael Wood at his very best ! I also enjoyed his series on Troy. It's a bit dated ( circa 81-82 ) I wish he would consider redoing the project. There is much more information available now.

  3. Alan Kida

    so many experts, people have trouble figuring out their ex's and are experts on someone who lived thousands of years ago. remarkable

  4. Nikola

    Darius was a little b*tch who got slaughtered by the King Of Macedon!

    1. Alexander III from macedonia

      Well problem is that the Slavic state of macedon has little to no real historical or genetic connection to the Macedonia of 2000 years ago. Go back to the economical and political disaster of a country you call a home. And call your dead grandmother a b*tch you Slavic turc coward.

  5. Audrey

    Lmao at this documentary. He was a thief like the rest of them. Came straight into Egypt (Africa) and tried to conquer; Even blew the Afro nose off of the Great Sphinx b/c he was so jealous of the advancements of Egyptians. He's certainly not Great to anyone, the Moors are Great

    1. 1989

      U do sound ignorant..oh n btw 1 of your moore's Muslim people had three nose of the sphinx taken off bc people were idolizing the structure.. Learn facts n stop blurting out random bs that u think The way things should be

  6. Fraser007

    Stumbled across this site and I realize that some of the comments are as much as 10 moths old and as old as 3 years.
    I am a retired military museum curator, have a large home library of military history which includes over 75 volumes on Alexander the Great. Just a couple of points that people overlook. Alexander the Great embarked on a war of revenge and encountered "Victory Disease", which means he went far above what he expected.
    His attempts at merging of the Persian armies and Macedonian armies had to happen as his army was only about 40,000 at the time and worn out from over 21,000 miles of marching and he was outnumbered by millions of Persian and other racial groups.
    Bessus, who was one of Darius's generals and who later killed Darius and who was in turn killed by Alexander was in my opinion a national resistance hero of the Persians! Remember he was hauling around the weak and cowardly Darius who lost all of the battles against Alexander. He ran away in two of those battles. Darius was like hauling around Richard Nixon! Bessus was the last nationalistic resistance leadership left.
    I think he has gotten a "bad rap". Just my thoughts.
    Please watch Michael Woods documentary show and read the early sources and many of the modern books.

  7. Bill Rogers

    Alexander the Great was not one of the greatest military generals of all time; he was by far THE one greatest in all of recorded history. If you know your western civilisation chronology; choosing anyone else is simply silly. Certainly he learned from his father and from Aristotle and many anyone with a mind would want to do. However, he became king at the age of 19. He never carried more than 50 thousand troops on the ground at one time and his initial first test he soundly defeated Persia, the greatest empire in all the world at that time. He did this, by the way, in 3 days against upwards of a million troops. Following that, he lead from the front, engaged in 157 major battles, never lost once and ended up conquering the entire known world. All of his military tactics are taught at West Point to this day. There isn't enough room...but please don't say otherwise out loud; it won't help your reputation as an expert on the topic.

  8. dks2012 in a way sometimes i think he just stood on the shoulders of those before him (i.e. phillips army, cyrus's empire, etc.) and too much credit is given him. saying all that i do admire him greatly, and do think he was the greatest general ever. oh yeah, cool doco's as well!

  9. dks2012

    im so tired of listening to greeks and maceo's argue about the same old thing, (i live in melbourne) leave politics to the polititions! Let it go! Nobody else cares anymore.

    i think it was the size and greatness of the persian empire that alex conquered that helped him become known as the great. alex was a great general, but Cyrus and Darius I were the great empire builders.

  10. john kay

    im reply to hawks2012, i belive his father was macedonian and his mother was from epirus (nowaday albania) therfore he would not be greek but I could be wrong...either way Macedon was a kingdon before greece even existed (they were still city- states, if that).That said I think hostorians have categorized macedonians as greek whereas it should be the opposite, especially when you consider alexander created a macedonian empire not greek empire
    in reply to history lives on...what were we arguing about i forgot. Which book do you suggest?
    i find comments more entertainig dont you

  11. Hawks_2012

    Great documentary.. Each year I make my new students watch this documentary so they can really appreciate what a great warrior Alexander was. But what's with all the politics guys? This certainly doesn't belong here. This is history documentary.
    Incidentally, all politics aside, he was unequivocally and irrefutably Greek..This is a historic fact..I'm a history lecturer and teach Roman and Greek history so I would know. So everyone please, stop with all the silliness.

    1. 1989

      But u don't unequivocally know he was Greek.. Actually history points to the contrary..demosthethes, or however u spell his name, said Philip was not Greek at all, nor Greek pretty sure someone from that exact specific time period would know..

  12. Real_history_lives_on

    Sorry to burst your bubble dude but your wrong on all accounts! prob older than you..judging by the "lol' on your previous msg im guessing your the young one right? you guys just crack me up! Anyway...Im certain your being fed that rubbish by your dad and other Slavs your whole life...i know this because my dad fed it to me my entire life!! Yep...I speak your language but consider myself half Bulgar which is likely what you are(not some fake ethnicity you call Macedonian)..and it's not a Greek website I offered, its universal..scholars all over the world support it..but you know more that they do right? give me a break..please..And what are your sources? Some pseudo history-maco antiquisation website full of c*** and propaganda? Probobly..anyway enough wasting my time with amateurish rubbish..keep wasting your time though in your fake fight..if spread your garbage on the web long enough you may one day find some ignorant m*ron who believes you..

  13. griproller1

    hmm be your typing you sound british or australian, and by the "hahaha' and offering a greek website for 'proof', I'm going to say that you're just a teenager from the diaspora who is repeating what his father has taught him. I don't blame you, I have seen what greek parents can do to their kids. I think you should be more concerned with the state of greece right now rather than the history of Macedonia. I don't think your country will have any more money to pollute the world with it's 'proof' that everything in the world is greek. Sorry to burst your bubble!

  14. Real_history_lives_on

    Trpkovski you are either deluded, being brainwashed by FYROM propagandist or damn bloody ignorant...i think it may be a bit of all..Do you realize that Pella or ????? is a prefecture in Greece? Louuttt Chovack! Hate to break it to you bud but the only "clean" Macedonians are the Greeks..your kind are frauds and i think the term you were looking for is steal not "steel"...something your country is very familiar with given your trying to steal Greek history and every other nations as we speak.. Absolutely disgraceful

    1. john kay

      100% magre, bodal, e dervo

    2. Real_history_lives_on

      @ John Kay...the only log, donkey is you Tikva....110% a book.. you might actually learn something one day

    3. griproller1

      'the only clean Macedonians are greeks'

      Ok, so according to your logic, we can say "the only clean Germans are chinese" right? lol!

      Don't spread that crap about 'pella is a prefecture in greece'. Well big surprise, over 2,000 years, a border in the BALKANS has changed! If you think that is 'proof' of anything, you are high!

      It's evident in all the world's history textbooks that during the balkan wars Macedonia was split 3 ways - serbia, bulgaria, greece. The part that remains in greece today consists of many of the parts of Ancient Macedonia. That gives you no right to claim the history of our land. It's bad enough you deported 50,000 children in 1948 just because they were Macedonian, now you want to pretend they never existed!! Too bad for you they are still alive, and there are still hundreds of thousands of Macedonians in greek-occupied Macedonia to tell the truth about the horrors committed by the greek government!!

  15. Sean Finn

    Its amazing how long propaganda lasts - I am studying Alexander III at the moment. What a despicable man - slaughtered anyone who stood in his way, and sacrificed his father's army in his youth so as to make a name for himself. He nearly lost a battle to the tiny joint army of Thebes and Athens (in 335 BCE at Thebes.) You know how he won that battle? He initially had his Father's army attack in a relay formation, (instead of Philip's usual staggered phalanx attack) which exposed the men to attacks on both flanks. He didn't care how many men he lost though; he ordered them to continue attacking in relay formation, until it became apparent he would lose the battle if he continued such tactics. (The Thebans were defending their city ferociously) So Alex sent his last contingent of forces to search for unlocked city gates. They found one, poured through, and started murdering women and children. Naturally, the Theban/Athenian line retreated inside the city so as to save their families. Alexander (The Great?!) then had 30,000 women and children enslaved, he crucified 3,000 Theban prisoners, and refused the dead Thebans the rights to an honourable burial. (In fact, the fee for an Athenian honourable burial had to be paid for directly to Alexander. Thebans were refused the chance to pay for one.)
    The title "Great" is laughable. Nowadays, I see the US and UN doing tsimilar deeds, and we applaud them because their actions are so "Great"

    1. 1989

      Yep. All this in your own mind..

  16. griproller1

    Forget the propaganda, Alexandar the Great called himself, was regarded as, and was a Macedonian. Macedonians are not greeks. If Macedonians were greeks, then the greeks would have called themselves Macedonians, and not greeks. It's very simple, not as complicated as the greeks would like you to think it is. The truth is that greeks today flat out deny the existence of a large minority in what is today their country, and they continue to deny rights to the Macedonians living there. These are people who have lived there since ancient times, whose families remained there even after the great balkan wars that made parts of Macedonia become greek territory. A so-called "democratic" country such as greece should really have no problem giving rights to, or at least acknowledging, a large minority of people in their northern region that self-identify as Macedonians. Grow up!

    1. Dragan Trpkovski

      Alexander the great si born in pella no on some mountain like yours imaginary zeus or hercules and his father is philip second who is clean macedonia. Pella is only macedonian place not greeks and greeks are only greeks or helens or something else i`dont know every day they are samothing else that like to be. greeks were only some complex people and same today only to make problems and steel history from other nations, greeks are only one big lie who make the biggest evil on this planet. Message for the greek nation.

  17. Zoltan Makes

    mounixos read this and learn the real truth for once.....!!!

  18. mounixos

    at teh

    what do you mean it was partly greek?
    also have you read my comments?
    please identified me the Geographical limits of ?????????( MACEDONIA and no makedonija, makedonija is serb or something like that) do you have any evidence to to support your comment or you just wrote something senseless.
    Also the The Sun of Vergina and no the land of the sunshine as you wrote which the have put on their Flag does not proves something, if i put at my Lada the label of Ferrari it does not change my car, but make me silly.

    Sorry again for the poor use of English!!!!

  19. mounixos

    at teh

    what do you mean it was partly greek?
    also have you read my comments?
    please identified me the Geographical limits of ?????????( MACEDONIA and no makedonija, makedonija is serb or something like that) do you have any evidence to to support your comment or you just wrote something senseless.
    Also the The Sun of Vergina and no the land of the sunshine as you wrote which the have put on their Flag does not proves something, if i put at my Lada the label of Ferrari it does not change my car, but make me silly.

    Sorry again for the poor use of English!!!!

  20. wizkit

    it is incomplete

  21. wizkit

    it is incomplete

  22. teh

    at munixos
    alexandar is macedonian, and though it was partly greek back then, it is the former yugoslav republic -makedonija -land of the sunshine (see the flag)

  23. Pyrrhus

    Alexander the Ignominious may have been an unwitting victim of a gods-superstition, but then we are all of us victims (and perpetrators!). Alexander the Ignominious' plight as victim weighed against his role as the perpetrator of unspeakable horrors is clear: that 'thing' was as close to pure, unadulterated 'evil' as can be imagined.

    Despite our obvious nature as a species to define our social identities in relation to the number of people an alpha-male might successfully murder in order to victimize survivors, turning the rest of us into slaves, each of us harbors within ourselves a less celebrated yet equally powerful dimension of our species' nature: the power to invent writing, science, art, and medicine; the power to discover logic, mathematics and all attending philosophical plausibilities; the power to do all this, and much more, in spite of pigs like Alexander and DickCheney and Obama. Also inherent to our nature resides within each of us the ability to reflect and to judge. According to the playwright Peter Weiss, during the French Revolution an ex-priest, Jacques Roux, wrote (ca. 1790), the following:

    "We demand that everyone do all he can
    "To put and end to war, this DAMNED war
    "Which is run for the benefit of profiteers
    "And leads only to MORE war."

    "We demand that those who started the war
    "Be made to pay the cost of it!
    "The idea of the glorious army fighting the glorious cause
    "Must be WIPED OUT!"

    "NEITHER side is glorious; on either side
    "They are just frightened men, messing their pants,
    "And they all want the same thing: not to lie under the earth,
    "But to walk upon it -- WITHOUT CRUTCHES!"

  24. Pyrrhus

    Alexander the Ignominious, be damned
    I've viewed the entire documentary now
    and this is what I think:

  25. Pyrrhus

    I am writing this BEFORE I view this documentary and will do a follow-up AFTER watching the piece, in its entirety. That having been said:

    I hate it when we teach our children that if you kill enough people (and get away with it) then you are somehow 'Great'.

    What rubbish!

    He should be labeled 'Alexander the Ignominious! And the title of this documentary should read:

    "In The Footsteps of a Megalomaniac Sociopath."

  26. ravi

    I don't know how Alexander couldn't conquer India? It is even said that his army got scared of the Indian soldiers!(Propaganda probably!) Obviously India was not too hard to be conquered, as shown later by the Mughals & the British. I wonder why Alexander failed?

    p.s. I'm from India!

  27. trk

    and also kleopatra and mark anthony :)

  28. trk

    we can learn more of him if we can find his tomb and genghis khans with all the stuff they are buried with it wud be cool to see

  29. UsUala

    Edit: Part 2 missing.

  30. UsUala

    Not in the right order. So annoying. Ugh.

  31. admirer

    thanks for a brilliant documentary..
    history is rarely so beautiful.. fascinating..

  32. sonofzeusammon

    First thing, Aristotle was a brilliant man but he was also a racist and a bigot to every1 who wasn't Greek... inferior barbarians according to him. Macedon was not Greek and was considered moronic barbarians to the Greeks. Macedonians thought of themselves as Greeks but weren't seen as such by the real Greeks. Only after Phillip conquered Greece by force were the Macedonians accepted as 'Greek'.

    Second, what makes Alexander so great is not what you think it is. Alexander did nothing. Without his father he would be nothing. Conquering Greece , do you think Alexander could have done it?? I don't. So now the Greeks are all 'united' to fight the mighty Persians. but Alexander wants the glory so he has his father clipped off and takes over. you know when his army invaded Asia minor Alexander didn't join up with them until he went to troy and messed around. so now he has the Greeks fighting for him, Darius who was not of the bloodline of Cyrus the great, first man to be 'great', maybe thats y he fell so easy?

  33. mounixos

    At my previous post in the first line the use of the word read is obviously wrong, the correct one is wrote

  34. mounixos

    @ coyote03

    At your last post you have read ''You are regurgitating the same points I made to you when you only used wikipedia as a source'' I have agreed with you a lot of times at my previous posts that wikipedia is n't the best scientific source perhaps is the quickest source ( all the time you write that i have used wikipedia). But the information that I gave you from the wikipedia is the most acceptable possibility by the orthodox scientific society. I do not trust with my close eyes the orthodox historians perhaps they are wrong but until the evidences from every new theory are enough to change the previous opinions I can not accept them as correct.
    Also we can not say Ptolemy is the successor of Alexander the great because he takes a part from Alexander’s empire although perhaps he takes the dead body of the emperor back to Alexandria. We can assume that was the wish of Alexander to be buried in Egypt because there it was worshiped as God. I do not know if has been found any covenant to justify the above assumption of burial and succession.

  35. mounixos

    @Tom Potter

    Sorry again for the bad use of English
    ? am glad for the historical data you have studied and sets them despite the disagreements I have.
    I do not disagree with the fact of the invasion at the Empire of the Sassanids though both empires was already at war before Flavius Claudius Julianus get debts of an emperor (by whom was killed is another topic)

    I disagree with you that the death of the emperor and the defeat was the main cause for the fall of the Roman Empire. A question is when you set the previous event;
    Also I am giving a site with maps in different periods of Roman Empire which they saw us the period with maximum and minimum power of the Roman Empire. The period we are talking was not the best neither the worst, also we can see that although the defeat was at the eastern border of the Empire in next years lost territories at western border 338 BC.
    Also the transfer of capital from Rome to Byzantium (New Rome, Constantinople, Istanbul) at 330 A.D. from the emperor become for some reason, for me was an indication of dynamic reduction of Rome

    Also I want to talk about the general idea that springs from the text you wrote. If I am rightly understood you , you mean that ''who is known to history is not repeating the same mistakes '' that applies to a degree but does not apply in all cases. For example an empire falls not only from a wrong move but has a permanent decline and there is always the physical decay. As far as your example for what will happen to America after the Bush's decision is a conjecture, due to the fact that very easily someone could claim the same in 1975 with the defeat of America in Vietnam. He could predict the expected decline of America because the political leadership did not regard the defeat of French colonialism in Vietnam who had been occurred before the American troops get involved, of course nothing was happened and America was strengthened more and especially after the drop of USSR.
    Still wondering why you mention Spain. Is rationale that after losing their ships (ARMADA) the power of the empire will be lower. My question is what Spain do wrong? I understand that is logical the other states envious the power of Spain and declare war. From the other side Spain was trying to keep the power and expanded it sometime in successive wars came the defeats and decline. None empire has not remained same in time!

    I still believe that it is an enormous insult to Flavius Claudius Julianus to compare with George W. Bush!!!!

    Finally I also believe that we should know History to avoid repeating the same mistakes but that is no golden rule!

  36. mounixos

    @Tom Potter

    HI mate i am not absolutely sure but i don't think Rome was at the height of its’ power at the years that Julian was emperor. from the death of Julian the most benefited was Christianity !

  37. Tom Potter

    t is interesting to see that four great Empires were brought down by needless invasions of Iraq/Iran.

    I. The Delphi Oracle told Croseus that if he invaded Persia, that a great nation would be destroyed, and one was, Croseus' nation.

    II. Alexander the Great succeeded in conquering Persia, but with the result that Macedonia, who would have been the leaders in Europe, depleted its' leadership and power, and Rome was able to step in and easily assume the leadership of Europe.

    III. And after several hundred years, a Roman Emperor made the same mistake that Croseus and Alexander made by mounting a massive attack against Persia.

    The fall of the Roman Empire can be traced to ONE irrational action, Emperor Julian's preemptive invasion of Persia. Rome was at the height of its' power before the invasion, ( Julian had subdued Rome's enemies in Europe and stabilized the existing empire.), and soon after Julian's ill fated invasion of Persia, the Roman Empire collapsed as Rome lost the trust and respect of numerous peoples who previously had accepted Rome as the world's leader.

    "In 362, began a journey through Asia Minor to Antioch, the jumping-off point for his Persian campaign, stopping along the way to visit the various communities in the region. At these stops he often gave money, men, and materials, thus showing concrete examples of his enefaction. That winter, drought and a major earthquake struck the region. The Senate at Antioch became very angry and refused to support Julian when he did not divert resources gathered for his upcoming campaign against the Persians for relief to the disaster victims.

    The exact goals Julian had for his ill-fated Persian campaign were never clear. The Sassanid Persians, and before them the Parthians, had been a traditional enemy from the time of the Late Republic, and indeed Constantius had been conducting a war against them before Julian's accession forced the former to forge an uneasy peace. Julian, however, had no concrete reason to reopen hostilities in the east. Socrates Scholasticus attributed Julian's motives to imitation of Alexander the Great.."

    IV. George Bush made the same mistake that was made by
    Croseus, Alexander and Julian, and that is, he ordered a massive invasion of Persia (Iraq) that offered much to lose, and little (If any) to gain.

    Before Bush's invasion of Iraq, America was the acknowledged leader of the world, and almost all nations of the world respected, trusted and emulated America. By his unilateral, preemptive attack of Iraq, Bush squandered the trust and respect that the world had for America, and as Julian and Croseus and Alexander did, he set into motion, forces that are destroying his nation.

    Other nations are rearming and forming new trade and military alliances that exclude America, and America is no longer respected and trusted by most nations and most peoples. And of course, there has been dollar flight,
    loss of overseas markets, enormous budget deficits,
    not to mention the deaths and maiming of tens of thousands of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

    It is interesting to see that the "Insurgents" in Iraq used the same tactic that was used by the Persians to defeat Julian, and that is they did not allow Bush to "live off the land". Whereas the Persians poisoned wells, destroyed fodder and food stocks, etc., the Iraqi "Insurgents" denied Bush profits from their oil wells, and made it costly for
    Bush to maintain troops in the country.

  38. coyote03

    I made it quite clear in my post that I got all my info from that book, as well as this documentary and an 'Engineering and Empire' episode on Alexander and Alexandria. You are regurgitating the same points I made to you when you only used wikipedia as a source. Succession is generally hereditary, but Macedonian kings, as many others, were cut down in battle or simply before their time. The info I got about burying the king, and Ptolemy I bringing Alexander's body back to Alexandria is from the book I already cited as well as the 'Engineering an Empire' episode. The whole point I was making in my previous post was that I DIDN'T have a lot of info on him, I only had access to those limited sources. I also conceded that the idea of Alexander conceiving the idea of the library was possibly speculative as I've only used one source which backed that idea up. I have enjoyed learning a bit about Alexander and Hellenistic culture :)

  39. mounixos

    @ coyote03

    You wrote''In Macedonian culture, whomever buries the king has the right of succession'' where you read This information? When you trying to support a theory with arguments which are not true or absolutely correct you lose your right and it is difficult to convince the reader or listener who is trying to follow your reasoning!
    Also you wrote that the information you know for the life and work of Alexander the Great come from three sources of knowledge you should have more validity if you collect information from other sources, also you will be able to avoid misinformation.
    But as a Greek myself I am glad that you are interested to learn about Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic ideals, just do it with the right way!

  40. coyote03

    Firstly, reading over some of my posts I come off as an ass, sorry about that haha great use of English :)

    Yeah, Alexander died suddenly and several of his generals ultimately split up the Empire. In Macedonian culture, whomever buries the king has the right of succession, Ptolemy basically hi-jacked Alexander's body and took him to Alexandria where he'd be buried. Egypt was the bread-basket of the Mediterranean at that point, that's why Ptolemy wanted it (along with other reasons I'm sure). At least that's what I've read.

    I'm going to concede to the notion that Alexander having the idea for the Library is just speculative, I was originally just trying to reconcile the mistake I made in my earlier post when I attributed it to him. I'm not sure if the information in the book I read is historically accurate or just speculative as well, it only mentions it in a few sentences. I've only gathered my info from that one book, this documentary and an Engineering An Empire episode about Alexander the Great and Alexandria :(

    The whole point I was defending in the beginning was just that Alexander the Great was more then just a conqueror. He brought Hellenistic ideals to much of the Mediterranean and Asia. He is obviously best known for his warring ways, but there was certainly more to him then that.

  41. mounixos

    @ Adan

    I totally agree with your comment and I'm glad there are people who condemn the violence since all generals and soldiers regardless of their nationality or religion are thugs!!

  42. mounixos

    @ coyote03

    I've already mentioned and agree that Wikipedia is not the best source for documentation.

    The book you mention as a source I had n't the pleasure to read it. The question is whether is historical event (minor) the instigation of Alexander the Great to Ptolemy to construct the library of Alexandria, or is a guess. Universities examined theories and from the facts that support them they come to a conclusion, this process is not based on speculation. I do not know if exists a historical document which referred that Alexander the Great proposed to Ptolemy the construction of Alexandrias library which certifying your opinion which derived from the book you have read. If the book provides such information do not count the below information and I am sorry that I doubted for your historical knowledge!

    As Alexander the Great died in 323 BC he has n't give his throne to anyone, the real successor was his son Alexander IV of the marriage by Roxanne. Alexander IV was born after his father's death and for this reason he get the guardianship of Perdiccas and later Antipater, but after the death of Antipater he suffered with his mother Roxanne many adventures. Eventually killed by order of Cassander with his mother in 311 BC at age 12 in Amphipolis.
    Alexander IV was born after the generals of Alexander the Great at the meeting under the chairmanship of Perdiccas, they distribute the enormous empire between them.
    So the areas taken by any general does not seem to stimulate acquired from Alexander the Great but each arrangement. So the fact that Ptolemaios take the area of Egypt maybe is simple coincidence.

    Also the historical events which are summarized below do not seem that Ptolemaios find the Demetrius Falirefes but Demetrius found Ptolemaios.
    Demetrius Falirefes gained political influence from the time that Athens came under the jurisdiction of Cassander. Then Dimitrios was elected trustee of the city and ruled Athens for ten years as an officer in the face of Cassander (317-308). The political career of Dimitrios ended in 307 BC when Demetrius besieger did disembark in Piraeus. Although he held the Mounixia and had a significant military power, the Phalereus Demetrius fled to Thebes, and from there fled to Egypt or Dimitrios had no alternative but to surrender, and then exiled to the Thebes and from there he went at Egypt. Demetrius at Egypt was hosted by King Ptolemy I Soter. When Ptolemy Philadelphus went to the throne, Demetrius lost his royal favor.

    1) "H Hellenistic Athens" by Christian Habicht.
    2) "History of Ancient Greece", Hermman Bengston.
    3) History of the Hellenic Nation, Volumes D ', E' (Hellenistic period).

    Sorry for the bad use of English!

  43. coyote03

    it's at the bottom of my original post :) Of course I'm going to post my source after adding a comment like that :P It says those lines quite clearly in the book, I guess the book itself could be wrong though.

    Wikipedia is NEVER the best source, it IS almost always the most convenient however! You cannot use wikipedia as a source in any respectable University!

  44. mounixos

    @ coyote03

    I agree that Wikipedia isn’t always the best source!
    But i think it is only a guess the information that ''just a bit of research I found that it is believed Alexander in fact left instructions for Ptolemy I to find Demetrius of Phaleron to assemble the works for the library''
    It will be very interesting if you wrote the sources you have found to prove your theory!

  45. coyote03

    My bad, I've really only seen this documentary and maybe one other on Alexander. Yeah the library was built during one of their reigns because Alexander never made it back to Alexandria after his conquests, I should have known that one haha I do know he was ruler just before Ptolemy I, and after just a bit of research I found that it is believed Alexander in fact left instructions for Ptolemy I to find Demetrius of Phaleron (a former student of Aristotle as well) to assemble the works for the library. Meaning Alexander in fact had conceived of the library himself wooohoooo haha Aristotle would've definitely impressed upon Alexander the importance of a place for knowledge to be spread :D I checked the wikipedia page you got your info from, it talks about it briefly, sorta (mentions Demetrius' name). Wikipedia isn't always the best source! :P

    Ray MacLeod. The Library of Alexandria: Centre of Learning in the Ancient World. 2004.

  46. mounixos

    @ coyote03

    Hi mate, i think perhaps you make a mistake about the library of Alexandria! Alexander the Great establish only ths city.

    The Royal Library of Alexandria, or Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was the largest and most significant great library of the ancient world. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the third century B.C.E. The library was conceived and opened either during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter (323-283 BCE ) or during the reign of his son Ptolemy II (283-246 BCE).

  47. StatingtheObvious

    Though Alexander led a campaign of conquest throughout most of the Near East and left thousands dead in his wake, doesn't mean it wasn't an important event. Cultures mixed and flourished because of it. The spread of Arabic and Persian cultures into the Hellenic world and Hellenic culture into the East was a good thing in the long term I think. Alexandria was a huge achievement, though no one credits the workers or lowly advisors for any of it (names lost to history). I think the human legacy is mixing of cultures and trade, while Alexander's legacy is only to the man himself.

    I personally wouldn't say he is a great man, but he did accomplish world changing things, though they were brought in the form of an elite Hellenic army in the tens of thousands (not to mention the hundreds of thousands dead) in the short term and the melding of worlds in the long term.

  48. ez2b12

    @ The coyote

    You don't mind if I take the liberty of calling you "the coyote" do you? It satisfies my silliness so to speak. I agree that Aristotle probably had a great influence on Alexander. Especially since he reveared the Greeks so much and fought Persia just to avenge them. Aristotle was considered the pennacle of knowledge in the Greek culture. The fact he reveared the culture as much as he did says a lot, it was mainly based on pointless philosophy and conjecture but was the only type of true education in this time. I agree that he mainly concentrated on conquering but their where as you said many glimpses of something more in his character. The fact that he tried to mix cultures and extend rights to all he conquered says a lot for him as well.

    People like Locke and Voltair later pointed out the Greek perpencity toward wild conjecture and useless hypothesis that did not lead to objective truths that advanced man kind. They decided scientific philosophy should be more pragmatic and useful. They pointed out all the inconsistencies between the Greek philosophers and the fantastical language used in their writings. The result was the scientific revolution just after the enlightenment, or really part of it, tried to reach consensus and assert a true method with which to discover truth. They put away useless questions like, "What is the nature of man soul?" by saying these things where beyond experimentation and therefore beyond scince. Besides in the words of Voltair himself, "Does the actual substance of the soul (what it is made of) decide its fate?" Of course not, therefore it is a mute question.

    Well i suppose I have strayed off topic again. See why I have to be so silly and farcical, my mind strays and goes into pointless rambling if i don't give it some escape every once and awhile. I agree about the narrator, he is nuts but very interesting. I have never had the pleasure of seeing anything else he has done.

  49. Adan

    More historically accurate title for him is Alexendar The Thug!

  50. coyote03

    I haven't seen much more on Alexander besides this documentary, but I'd say Aristotle's influence was most likely a major contributor to him building the library, the city and other sites. I think he believed that the one with the most knowledge is also the most powerful; a Philosopher King. I wouldn't say he was one, because his actions clearly show he was mainly a conqueror, but it appears as though there were glimpses of greatness, possibly overshadowed by his eccentricity and passion for conquest. I've never been interested in Alexander, but the presenter, Michael Wood, does an amazing job, he really kept me enthusiastic about watching the whole thing! :)

  51. roland gopel

    what a fascinating docco!!! i like the fact that this docco has been as unbiased and impartial as it has.

    not sure why but i ended up having to get piece no# 2 direct off youtube. i still thoroughly enjoyed though.
    makes me wanna make the trek myself just to see all the sights and meet all the cultures.

  52. ez2b12

    @ Cliff

    All is forgiven, of course man. I'm glad you came back.Join in you sound like an intelligent fellow.I am learning tons about Alexander i didn't know. Coyote has apparently studied the guy pretty closely.

    @ Coyote

    Yeah, when they where trying to catch up to these camels they had trouble getting around themselves. I guess it hasn't gotten any easier to cross the Gobi, isn't that right? The gobi desert? Man I can't remember this stuff at all. i love western civs but I studied it in a more general fashion- we didn't center in on Alexander really.

    We spent more time studying Greece and Rome, for obviouse reasons. I assumed because thats where our alphabet comes from Greek, and several other influences it turns out, and our legal and political system is loosely centered on Rome's.If you can't tell i am from the US, no dont throw rocks just yet.I swear i am not the typical guy- a little off to say the least.Sometimes I confuse myself while trying not to confuse others, huh? I'm so paranoid sometimes i think the guy in front of me is following me, the long way around.My Dad told me once that my cheese had fallen off my cracker, but I don't like crackers and I have always thought my dad worked for the cia. So i try not to let that keep me up night, crack works better any way. (insert drum roll cue audience applause)Thankyou really, you where great.(and music where out.)

    You seeem to have really gotten into Alexander though, good for you. Tell me this, what do you think his motivation for building Alexandria and his library? I would like to think he saw the moral and intellectual value that he could make available to the world by creating this city and library made for learning and sharing information. It is entirely possible though that he built it out of sheer vanity and then wonderful men moved in and made good use of it. I wonder which the coyote feels is the truth? you should do that man, reffer to your self in the third person I mean, The Coyote. That is cool mate.

  53. coyote03

    Alex the fool, that sounds about right :P

  54. Alex

    There was no way to hold and govern too big territory. Alexander could easily see this. The biggest to get Persia and trade with all other countries. This could save many lives. So he is rather Alexander the Fool.

  55. Achems Razor


    No problem at harm no foul!

  56. coyote03

    I know how you feel! I taught English in Japan last year and sometimes sites like this that allow you to communicate and talk with similar minded people are really a great outlet, especially if you're in a foreign country with not many native English speakers. We all get a little angry/frustrated sometimes, no worries :D I think this site is amazing because it opens up an international forum for discussion and obviously provides us with INCREDIBLE documentaries for free!!! I feel privileged just to be discussing all these ideas with all of you :)

  57. Cliff


    My apologies. I think it was just your first sentence that threw me off. Like many of the people that post on here, I commented without viewing the entire thing. :)

    @Achems Razor:

    I'm not a troll but I understand how my comment came off like one.


    Even though my father and brother share your name, it doesn't make you any less of a douche. Yes I am American...however I feel you may be more obsessed with the USA than a majority of its citizens. I think if you're commenting of the size of my "American brain" it might be wise to spell correctly while doing it.


    I think there were two or three errors but my comment wasn't needed. I understand that.

    yes I'm an American. I've been living in Korea for the past year and a half and this is by far my favorite website to watch media.

  58. coyote03

    haha you know me, I like the more light-hearted conversations but the fangs do come out sometimes. I can only imagine that's where the camel's are from :) In the deep sand horses and donkeys would sink, while camels are able to stand on top of the sand because of the shape of their feet, Alexander found that out the hard way. Alexander was determined to go routes that others had deemed impossible for armies to travel on, it's one of the reasons he lost so many soldiers on his long treks, but also one of the things that made his journey all the more impressive and crazy!

  59. ez2b12

    @ Coyote

    Is bactria where the Bactrian camel lives? I saw them on a wildlife doc I watched one time, very hard to get a look at. They can smell and hear so well that you can't get within a mile of them before they start leaving. Nothing but desert that place, i couldn't stand to live thier. A cold desert it was, winds ripping through a dry and barren atmosphere. I would go buggers in no time flat but, these men live out thier and somehow scratch out an existance. I can't remember what they called the people, but thier where no Coyotes thats for sure. You'd never make it thier mate. Well I dont know, catch a camel maybe find a spring. Sniff out those people I was talking about and have a go out them. You might do well after all. (just having fun with you man.)

  60. coyote03

    Again, if you watch the entire documentary, I thought it was quite clear to see how Alexander affected the culture of all the different areas he visited, from rituals to stories, his presence is still felt. If you didn't bother watching the entire thing then don't even respond please, there's really no use.

  61. coyote03

    Here's an example to refute your point using one of your own assertions. Islamic leaders of the day, Calliphates, set out to occupy much of what we know as Spain and Portugal, they conquered the local peoples in their way. We generally refer to the Islamic peoples of this area as the Moors, their scientific, cultural, and architectural contributions are incredibly numerous. Even though at first glance they haven't left much trace behind, this presumption is 100% false. The Christians came in and erased much of the footprint left by Islam, but its influence is still felt. This is 1500 years more recent then Alexander the Great, so despite a lot of his foot-print being erased, his influence is surely still felt. There's many documentaries on the Moors as well as the influence of Islamic culture and sciences on the west right here on TDF :)

  62. coyote03

    Yes, he did occupy 'Afghanistan', he built an extensive palace and city there that stood for hundreds of years. Bessus, the man who killed Darius, was the lord of an area known as Bactria (located in modern day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan). Once Alexander killed him, he controlled his land and built cities there. Alexander even married a woman from Bactria. There were some small tribes, but that's what it was like everywhere, there was certainly no Taliban as Islam wouldn't be around for 1000 years still! Comparing it to modern day Afghanistan doesn't actually make much sense. If you watch the documentary you'll see Hellenistic influences left behind by the time Alexander and his soldiers spent in many places.

    Alexander conquered Persia in retaliation for what the Persians had done to the Greeks, that was his mind-set. He slaughtered the ancestors of peoples who had once assisted the Persians. All conquerors did the same thing and are all therefore evil, Greeks, Persians to Islamic conquerors and Christian rulers, most throughout history who have taken over a new land, do a lot of killing. It's hardly proper to compare the level of evilness of men from modern to ancient times. Again, if you watch the documentary, the host, Michael Wood actually comments on this very topic.

    OK, they called him the great because he was a brilliant tactician who took on the world and pretty much won. He spread Hellenistic ideals and culture all over the Mediterranean, Northern Africa and Asia, much of those traces can still be found, so to suggest he left no legacy is just wrong.

    I don't mean to be an ass but please WATCH THE ENTIRE DOCUMENTARY!

  63. Greywall

    @Coyote 03
    "Alexander built a new city (called Alexandria, as he named all his cities) located by the modern city of Kabul."
    Do you really think that he conquered Afghanistan?? Never.. staying at milestone on the way for some weeks or months doesn't mean occupancy. And BTW don't you take 'Kabul' as Afghanistan. Right now US and Nato occupy Kabul but more than 75% area is still under the occupation of Chieftains and Taliban of Mullah Omar...
    You also mentioned that he was brutal to those who encountered him... In the comments on "Most Evil Men of History" we already read that most of the evil men did what they did in the name of their people... Now, what on earth was done by all those people who were killd by Alexander? Shouldn't Alexander also be called one of the most EVIL men of the history?
    He was called 'the Great' because there was no warrior like him at that time... And also, most of the people think Alexander conquered the world... but I think that he was like a flood... he advanced and then returned... no legacy was left behind except for some monuments scattered all over the path he chose... No Greek empire was established like Moghuls of India or the Caliphate of Islamic world...
    Alexander was really just like a flood of soldiers which couldn't sustain forever... Now we see him just in the pages of history like the lighthouse of Alexandria..

  64. coyote03

    Noticing quite a theme on this site, people commenting without actually watching the documentaries. If you post without watching, your biases are incredibly evident. Watch the video, then post.

    @ Greywall - Alexander built a new city (called Alexandria, as he named all his cities) located by the modern city of Kabul. It was full of cultural items from all over the conquered world, including Greek style Buddha's and glass from Egypt. Much of this was later destroyed by future inhabitants of the area. Alexander pushed through Afghanistan through the Hindu Kush to modern day Uzbekistan. He captured Bessus, the man who took control after Darius (Bessus actually killed Darius when Darius fled from Alexander), and continued on his quest to conquer the world, moving back down to Afghanistan and preparing to conquer India. Uzbekistan was believed to be the farthest North-East corner of the world which is why he moved back down towards India in an attempt to conquer it. Ultimately he stopped when he couldn't conquer India, he then turned back and headed home, a journey in which he was particularly brutal to those he encountered, ultimately dying in Babylon.

    @ Joe - To suggest Alexander the Great did nothing 'Great' simply means you did not watch this documentary in its entirety and/or have an incredibly biased view. Many Greek cities along the Mediterranean saw him as a liberator, as Persians had sacked Greek cities and temples 150 years earlier, he brought back Greek ideals to those places. He was also seen as a liberator in Egypt, where Persians had limited religious freedom. Alexandria was the GREATest port in the ancient world and the library of Alexandria was one of the ancient wonders of the world as was the light-house. There are also many more examples in this documentary of him bringing together different cultures and peoples, watch it!

    That being said, both sides are true as stated in the documentary, he was a Jekyll and Hyde type character who brutally slaughtered not only innocent women and children, but even his best friend. I don't stand by what he did, but it is no different then any other conqueror/leader throughout history. "He conquered the world...but lost his soul."

    @ Cliff - Only word spelled wrong in that post by ez2b12 is the word 'their' which was spelled 'thier'. It is as or more grammatically correct then the first post and anyone who can read would certainly agree. Not sure why you're hatin'.

    Michael Wood, the presenter of this documentary is an amazing historian and presenter, some of his other documentaries 'In the Search of Myths and Heroes' and 'The Story of India' are just as amazingly done. He goes so in depth it's really just astounding!!!

    Sorry for any mistakes in my post, this is really an AMAZING documentary, "the relaxed pace is a virtue, as Woods and the people he meets along the way, from local storytellers to noted historians, pass along an amazing array of historical knowledge. Lovers of history will find this documentary to be a joy and may well find themselves savoring every mile of Alexander's great journey." Enjoy! :)

  65. Dave

    Cliff09/04/2010 at 22:43

    R u an American!!
    Okay, Even if you can read, you understand anything with your stupid little american brain, so don't bother....

  66. ez2b12

    @ achem

    Yep i think you might be on to something their. I know I make mistakes but it is "ez-nuff 2 get d-drift uhwota meen." I bet you even caught that, as redneck as it was.

    @ Joe

    I agree that he was a very violent and power hungry man, but he was a great general you will have to admit. He conquered a larger area than anyone had up to his time, I think ever.I know western civs but I can't remember if someone else eventually had a bigger empire or not- maybe Rome beat him I am not sure. At one time he had all of the middle and some of the near not to mention eventually the far as well- east I mean.(now that was complicated and hard to follow)Besides he conquered Darius of Persia, something everyone had wanted to do or tried, but couldn't.

    He did all of this from little old Macedonia, sort of the horse in the rear at the time. Well, I dont mean he stayed in macedonia but thats where he started and no one was looking for him when he came. He was also more civil and courteous than most kings that went on "let's go get what the nieghbor made" trips. He even tried to make his people mix with those he conquered and attempted to segregate less. From the stories about the Persian women you hear, i bet this was something he didn't have to tell his soldiers he wanted but once, ever watched a belly dancer? It'll make your stecker pick up.

  67. joe

    with every thing he conqured what did he leave behind or contribute only a trail of death and distruction,why is he call alexander the great he did nothing great,you only take something away to replace it with something better he did not do that,he was just another full of himself,just another villian glorified,for his brutality.

  68. Achems Razor


    ez2b12 reads fine to me. (Troll anyone)

  69. Cliff


    Sorry but your spelling and grammatical errors made it impossible to read your comment.

  70. ez2b12

    @ Greywall

    I dont think the US ever learns anything, and I am a US citizen.In my opinion thier objective, if they where to be honest about it, is to secure a safe passge for a pipeline from Kazakhstan to the Arabian sea.But this is just something I heard on some documentary or news show or something, i can't remember. It just sounds like it would be true though, our primary motivation in the US is always more money and power.

    Of course we do need all the energy we can get so I guess I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss securing another energy source, but is it worth seeming to be a tyrant to the whole world for the US to get another pipeline?I just do not know what to think sometimes, no easy answers out thier. I wish we would try and make the move to renewables but I am no expert and have no idea how we would accomplish this nor what it might entale.

  71. Greywall

    But perhaps US didn't learn anything from the history and couldn't realize that when Alexander, the Greatest conquerer of the world couldn't conquer Afghanistan... how could they??