Talk:Alexander the Great/Archive 17

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hellenistic Period.

This period is known as the Hellenistic period, which featured a combination of Greek, Middle Eastern and Indian culture. should say This period is known as the Hellenistic period, which featured a combination of Greek, Middle Eastern, African and Indian culture. or This period is known as the Hellenistic period, which featured a combination of Greek, Middle Eastern, Egyptian and Indian culture. Both are as accurate as the original and more inclusive; are there preferences? Nitpyck (talk) 22:58, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I prefer the last version. Wandalstouring (talk) 15:02, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Alexander In India

No one expects Alexander’s history to be smooth and cogent but this account is particularly devoid of circumspection. The term India is used very carelessly ignoring the possibility that during Alexander’s time it could have been a far wider territory. In the section on the Invasion of India we read “East of Porus' kingdom, near the Ganges river was the powerful Nanda Empire of Magadha and Gangaridai Empire of Bengal.” This can indeed be inferred from the fuzzy Greek and Roman reports, but we do not have any archaeological trace of the Nandas anywhere in modern India, not only at Patna. This must be due to the geographical confusion created by the identification of Palibothra at Patna, The Mauryas also do not have any imprint at Patna. Chandragupta is mentioned in only one section but Sisicottus or Sashigupta is totally ignored. Since ‘Sashi’ in Sanskrit has the same meaning as “Chandra” there is no reason why Sashigupta should not be identified with Chandragupta. The relation with Orontobates who married Ada II is also treated in a very shallow manner. Moeris could have been Maurya Chandragupta but he is also deliberately omitted. This is poor scholarship.

Mejda (talk) 14:33, 23 August 2009 (UTC) Mejda, Aug. 23, 2009.

West nile virus didn't exist back then.

There's sort of a strange bit in the article talking about how ATG might have died of West Nile. This is weird because WNV only showed up as a species around 1000 years ago - ie, over 1300 years too late to kill ATG. Someone who can edit the article should remove this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.173.75.76 (talk) 23:11, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

You claim that. Please provide verifiable sources for that claim. Wandalstouring (talk) 09:36, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Ianmilligan (talk) 13:10, 2 May 2009 (UTC)Can someone who speaks good English please correct the NUMEROUS grammatical errors in the article? I can't, as it is semi-protected and I don't have 10 edits to my name.

Simple spelling errors

In the table of contents, it says:

   * 2.1 Balkan Campgain

...instead of "campaign." I was going to fix it, but this article is protected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.251.205.134 (talk) 00:02, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Also, "Following some strong resistance, Alexander managed to route the Theban" should read "Following some strong resistance, Alexander managed to rout the Theban". "Route" means to plan or follow a course, "Rout" means to turn in battle. Regularfry (talk) 08:51, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
"attacked Athenian centre at the same time as Alexander making it break a flee." should end "break and flee." Regularfry (talk) 08:55, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
   * 1.2 Battle of Chaeronea

"Persia Empire" should read "Persian Empire." Mwpalmer (talk) 04:21, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Please correct language

In return for teaching Alexander, Aristole's payment was that Philip rebuild Aristotle's hometown of Stageira, which Philip had razed, and that he repopulating it by buy back the citizens that were slaves or in exile.

... by buying and freeing the citizens who were slaves or pardoning those who were in exile. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.107.0.112 (talk) 21:08, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Corrected. Kyriakos (talk) 22:00, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Alexander III Macedonian/Albanian

No matter how stupid it may sound, I think that it would be good to have at least a tiny section in the article saying that Alexander the Great is considered a Macedonian in the Republic of Macedonia (since the Republic of Macedonia believes it is entitled to the history and all of the historic persons of Ancient Macedonia, much like Greece, but Greece believes it's entitled exclusively to the history of Ancient Macedonia, and not that the whole region has the right to celebrate these historic people (regardless of what their "ethnicity" might be), and also add that the Albanians consider him an Albanian and believe that the Illyrians were his successors (who in fact the Albanians believe to be their direct predecessors).

Now don't get all worked up (this goes for Greeks) that that is stupid shit "bla bla yadda yadda", for a reader from Japan or Suriname these "fringe theories", or "beliefs" to be more precise, are totally unknown. After all, there are two other nations that believe (I'm glad I'm not a part of them though) he's a part of their people and are entitled to his legacy. What if Japan decides it thinks Alexander was Japanese, we don't claim it's true, we just have to let readers know that there is a nation that thinks it's entitled to Alexander's legacy. Definition of Free Cultural Works logo notext.svg guitardemon I'm learning Japanese! (user talk) Free stuff! 11:24, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

If you have the proper sources, why not. We have the same for Samuel of Bulgaria. But you really have to provide sources other than Yugoslav/R of Macedonian to make it work. Otherwise I feel the text will take the shape of: "Nationalists in the Republic of Macedonia consider him .... etc etc". I've seen this formula around such articles. But then again I remember reading somewhere about the issue on google books so it might as well work. (P.S. Please don't try the same at "Cleopatra". I've seen MacedonianBoy add the Macedonian name there, but, trust me, it'd look beyond ridiculous). --Laveol T 21:33, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Guitardemon666, ethnically, the current Macedonians who are descendants of slavic immigrants in the 5th and 6th century are in no relation with ancient Macedonians. So why are you trying to insert such fantasy to the encyclopedia?. --Caspian blue 21:49, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, once more: What if Japan decides they think Alexander was Japanese? We here on Wikipedia don't claim it's true, we just have to let readers know that there is a nation that thinks it's entitled to Alexander's legacy. Is there anything confusing you? I've lived in Macedonia, and almost every stupid fuck thinks he's related to Alexander. Isn't that worth stating in this article? No one ever said he actually is or was Macedonian (of the present), but I know that 1.500.000 (Macedonian) people around the world believe this, and 4.000.000 other Albanians believe he was Albanian. And laveol, halva and baklava are considered Greek in Greece too, it's ok mate, you'll get over it eventually.  guitardemon(user talk)  12:52, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd say Turkish, if I had to guess. If this was a personal attack (which it was) I'd really like you to know that no person in Bulgaria thinks these are products originating in Bulgaria. I have to say that sarcasm is not your strong side :D . Oh, and if Japan "decides they think Alexander was Japanese" (how could a country think?) Alexander was Japanese, everybody'd just have a laugh. It's not necessary to include every fringe theory in here. I already told you how to incorporate this into the article, but you chose to play it funny. --Laveol T 13:09, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually there are theories about Greek populations colonizing China, Japan and S. America. With the proper "scientific", "NPOV" wording, I guess they could be proposed ... shouldn't they? There are also theories about the Greeks having colonies on (or deep inside) the moon (maybe on the dark side, so this is why we don't see them with commercial telescopes), as Lucian is hinting at having a Greek ship landing on a moon where another Greek is reigning... Sometime in the future some ArbCom will have to decide just how fringe fringe is. Until then, we will continuously debate on how we can add more fantasy fiction and academically hilarious theories to every article in Wiki... As for genetic researches in RoM, I have not come across even one such study and I would be very interested to see one. As for IGENEA (if you are hintaing at it), after a request to provide the bibliography on which their "assessments" are based, they provided a list with about 120 sources which after investigation proved totally irrelevant (NOT EVEN ONE RELEVANT SOURCE!!!) and then another list of 20-30 links to a very respectable site, from which the most relevant study was about a MOUSE species!!!! I know you will find my sayings strange, but you could go to their site, ask them for their bibliography (since they admit that they have done no original research on the matter) and then investigate their sources... And of course I hope you are not referring to the Madrid study...GK1973 (talk) 14:50, 30 May 2009 (UTC)


Just to give a more color to the discussion with this modest source..i know then bla bla bla by some maybe greek will be first but this is wiki and different views must be kept present ....Thanks

  • Two symbols were associated with Dodona .First was the Eagle. In the excavation of dodona conducted in 1975, Karapanos found carved on the stone of the temple a two headed eagle which the ancients used to represent the messenger of Zeus. For the Iliads represented Zeus again and again sending an eagle as a divine sign to the pelasgians combatants (Iliad 8:97;12:155).Homer also likened those brave warriors to a swift eagle ….Queen Olimpia of Epirus later took this symbol with her to Macedonia , and her son Alexander the great made it known throughout the ancient world ..Little wonder too that this people should afterwards call themselves not Albanians , but Shqipetar ,eagle –people , or sons of the Eagle .General history . The Albanians By Edwin E. Jacques —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.60.28.243 (talk) 22:28, 8 June 2009 (UTC)


Would agree with Guitardemon, a brilliant way to expand the article, the user above me seems to have found a source for it too. (Interestedinfairness (talk) 11:16, 13 June 2009 (UTC)).


Ok... again..

No link between Illyrians and Pelasgians has or can be made. Pelasgians were an ancient people, which seems to predate all major tribes of the times you are interested in. Herodot says they were not Greeks, and gives as an example the Athenians, which as barbarian Pelasgians became Greeks when the Macedonians taught them Greek, before being renamed into Dorians. Other ancient writers claim that the Pelasgians were Greeks before the use of the collective name of "Hellenes". It does not really matter, because at the time of Alexander, Pelasgians were more or less extinct, having been assimilated by Greeks as well as by Illyrians or Thracians. Symbol arguments are of course not to be taken seriously, as the Eagle is a common symbol of many cultures, as is the case for many other symbols (the lion, the bull, do you know that the Star of Vergina is actually first attested to have been in major use in Athens, long before Philip's death?). Do you also believe that the use of the double headed Eagle symbol by the Byzantines also meant that the Byzantine Empire was Albanian?? Btw, the Molossians were a Greek tribe, so Olympias was Greek (also attested many times by Greeks and Romans) and Pyrrhus, the king of the Molossians and the Macedonians was by any standard a Greek (for quick references look up the article).

Guys, please, lay off peculiar theories and uncertain deductions. Would you like to start an article as to the symbolism of the Eagle, then all this might be relevantGK1973 (talk) 14:05, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

User:Hectorian..?!

Anyway not necessarily things are as you describe …:

  • Professor J. B. Bury, exploring the Greek language, in an inscription that was found in Crete, the written letters with the Greek alphabet today, he claims that writing is marked with gamma, but a written not understand.

Consult once was a Greek, who read the writing on Miracle; later face was red, that always, somewhere on throw away the truth, that the Albanian never existed, because there has been no alphabet. Most took wings,.. "do not understand." Sometime later learned the so-called Greek alphabet, which I embrace with great Albanian world. Later, during decoding, enigma chosen, went on a liquid Albanian language.Pierre Cabanes: Ilirian is spoken and written in the language of sovereign"- interview

  • Who is Pierre Cabanes? Professeur émérite de l’université Paris X Nanterre.Fondateur de la mission archéologique et épigraphique française en Albanie —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.60.24.27 (talk) 10:48, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, dear IP (or is it Hectorian?), I can make no sense of what you write. Have you used some online translator? GK1973 (talk) 12:06, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok you might understand those:

  • The official history inherited from the communist period states that modern Albanians descend

from the Illyrians, an ancient population living in Western Balkans, north of the Greek world. A large part of the historians’ and anthropologists’ task was to demonstrate the continuity from Illyrians to modern Albanians and also to assert the specificity of Illyrians – different from the Greeks – and the existence of a clear boundary between the two populations (Cabanes 1987; 2004)

  • It seems that the Illyrians as official ancestors of modern Albanians are challenged

nowadays by more ancient and prestigious (although less known) ancestors, the Pelasgians. The Pelasgians are known by ancient Greek historians as the first inhabitants of Greece who were later replaced by Hellenes. In the 19th century, a theory appeared, stating that Albanians were descending from the Pelasgians and were, as such, the most ancient and most autochthonous population living in Europe. It first appeared outside Albania, among Austrian scholars and Italo-Albanian communities of southern Italy and was inspired by the romantic conception of the nation which was common all over Europe at the time (Clayer 2007). A later variation of these theories stated that both Albanians and Greeks (together with other populations in the Balkans and Asia Minor) were descendants of the Pelasgians (Sigalas 2001). http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/34/34/36/PDF/de_Rapper_2008_-_Looking_for_Europe_on_the_margins_of_Alba_.pdf —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.60.24.27 (talk) 09:57, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me you have to read this too. As the writer makes it absolutely clear, the theory that the Albanians are "direct descendants" of the Pelasgian populations is a theory maintained by "many" "amateur historians". This is the definition of an academically unsupported theory. Please understand that the Pelasgians were a people we have all to little information about, so it is very difficult to speculate about them. All information we have about them comes from ancient Greek sources and should one conclude anything about them from their texts, it cannot but be that they (at least their southern branch) were a people which through process of assimilation or just evolution formed what we call Hellenes. It may be that in the north they were assimilated-formed other peoples like Illyrians and Thracians, but the formation of a bold theory which suggests that modern day Albanians are their direct descendants is somewhat fringe. Maybe if you have any ancient Illyrian or Pelasgian texts and not some song from some village in the 20th century, you could make such claims. Anyways, this is of course irrelevant to the topic of Alexander and you should occupy with these theories in more appropriate articles. GK1973 (talk) 10:09, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok, now let's see what science says: http://www.igenea.com/index.php?content=132&st=278 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Apetrovmk (talkcontribs) 17:51, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

igenea does not look scientist to me.. what is the genetic difference between Hellene, Ilirians , Thracians , Macedonian etc ...??

Here some more and says that the issue has made progress in academic people :

The Pelasgians are nonetheless coming back today. Lots of publications by amateur historians are revitalising the Pelasgic theory. Books popularising these ideas are widely read and commented, not only among scholars and specialists. It is interesting to note that some of these books rely on works published outside Albania, such as Robert d’Angely’s books published in France at the beginning of the ‘90s and partly translated in Albanian in 1998 (d'Angely 1998), or Mathieu Aref’s books (Aref 2003), translated in 2007). 1 Pre-war studies on the Pelasgic origin of the Albanians are also known through a small number of studies conducted during socialist Albania which are rediscovered today. Such is for instance Spiro Konda’s book on “The Albanians and the Pelasgic issue”, published in 1962, at a time when these theories were already not in favour (Konda 1962). It is said that the book was eventually published, but without the imprimatur of the Academy of sciences (Bitraku 2008). Another study was written during these years (between 1948 and 1983) but published only recently, in 2005, under the suggestive title of “The Pelasgians, our denied origin” (Pilika 2005). Finally, these ideas are also making their way into academic work. Arsim Spahiu’s book on “Pelasgians and Illyrians in Ancient Greece” is thus the publication of his doctoral thesis defended in France in 2005 (Spahiu 2006). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.60.25.106 (talk) 18:15, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

You keep citing the same texts, which talk about amateur historians to revitalize (bring back from the dead) a theory... Again this has nothing to do with this article, so you should present these in the discussion of the appropriate article. GK1973 (talk) 18:54, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

While you are trying to deviate the subject as you wrote ."Ok... again.. No link between Illyrians and Pelasgians has or can be made. Pelasgians were an ancient people, which seems to predate all major tribes of the times you are interested in. Herodot says they were not Greeks, and gives as an example the Athenians, which as barbarian Pelasgians became Greeks when the Macedonians taught them Greek, before being renamed into Dorians.." to opposse this post "Queen Olimpia of Epirus later took this symbol with her to Macedonia , and her son Alexander the great made it known throughout the ancient world ..Little wonder too that this people should afterwards call themselves not Albanians , but Shqipetar ,eagle –people , or sons of the Eagle .General history . The Albanians By Edwin E. Jacques " is all right if you do not want to mention the connection of Albanians with their national hero Alexander the Great or Leka as common people of albania call him..becuase you will not be the first or the last ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.60.25.106 (talk) 10:18, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Again again... this is not a forum about the Pelasgians. This is the discussion page of Alexander the Great. Olympias was not Pelasgian nor was Alexander, so your comments remain irrelevant. Should you like to establish a connection between Albanians and Pelasgians you can do it at the relevant page and I will also write you my opinion there. GK1973 (talk) 11:11, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Missing apostrophe-s

{{editsemiprotected}} In the paragraph "Exile and Return", there is a missing apostrophe-s: "Alexander position as heir to the throne" should read "Alexander's position as heir to the throne". R L Lacchin (Gloucester, UK) (talk) 08:08, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, thanks — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:09, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

not real familiar with this method here......however,

Alexancer was not "one of the" anything. He was and is considered to this day to have been the greatest military general in all of history by quite a wide margin. He was also voted by current historians to be the one most esteemed individual in all of history relating to changing the entire world from what is surely would have been to what it is now. No one in all of history had a greater impact on this planet than did Alexander the Great.


Jown Galway, Ph.D. Behavior Research Institute —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.102.166.32 (talk) 07:53, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


Genghis Khan had a larger impact on the world. You're just stuck in a eurocentric mindset due to cultural chauvanism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 144.173.5.197 (talk) 17:41, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Alexander DID NOT GO TO india/ Alexander Vs. Porus - Who won?

The article incorrectly states that Alexander empire stretched east to panjab, india, this not factually correct. Even the Greek government does not recognize this in lieu of ancient accounts and evidence presented archeologically. Alexander established his easternmost outpost in Sialkot (Sagala) in the portion of Panjab now located in Pakistan. Fortunately we have accounts and maps from the era which also clearly show that Alexander did not cross the two eastern rivers of Panjab and therefore, he did NOT ENTER india, but rather sailed down the indus river of Pakistan and left the region from near Bhimbore near the modern city of Karachi. Please correct this error in the article. Many thanks :))

Ahem.....When many individuals state India, they obviously mean the greater area of India (or south Asia) before modern political borders. Most people general know this. India before 1948 generally means anywhere from Afghanistan across to Burma.
  • Sorry to interrupt, I am ignorant too of what it is you discuss, but I can however point out at least that in order to resolve your dilemma, you must account for two things. What is the term used in the original writings where you say 'India'? Secondly, the term 'India' means 'the Indus River region'; 'Asia', like 'The Orient', means "those places in the direction of sunrise". Both fairly vague, descriptive terms... -- 60.240.129.13 (talk) 14:38, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree this should be corrected and we should use modern place names instead of falling to the bogus and erroneous logic mentioned in reply. By the way, historic India has NEVER included Afghanistan!
You are not correct. The king of Gandhar (modern Afghanistan)was the uncle of Duryodhana, the king of Kurus, and participated in the battle of Mahabharata with his force on the side of Kauravas. Culturally, ethnically and politically Afghanistan has been a part of India many times in history. Kabul's old name is Kapisa and was ruled by Hindu and Buddhist kings before the Islam arrive in the subcontinent. The mountain range of Hindukush reminds of the Hindu/Indian predominance of the region once. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.142.25.83 (talk) 17:00, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Ahem.....Not many people in the western world know that Pakistan and Bangladesh were ever a part of India before independence. So when you mention India, 99% of the people who read it think it is present day India and the remaining 1% will be confused as to which part of the vast ancient India he conquered. The area known as 'Ancient India' stretched from Afghanistan to Indonesia. In this case if you mention just India it is equivalent to etc. which they say is used by a person who wants people to believe that he/she knows more than what he/she actually know. In this case you are trying to make people believe that Alexander captured more than what he actually captured. When you can clearly state that he is supposed to have captured a part of Punjab which is a part of Pakistan, which was a part of India.

This certainly has to be corrected, especially when we consider that all the evidence points to the fact the Alexander never even defeated Porus, even Arrian, the latin source referenced by many, mentions that there are many versions of the battle of the Hydaspes which mention that Alexander was defeated by Porus's son when he tried to cross Jhelum river and his horse was killed there, but he, Arrian, agrees with Ptolemy's version that Alexander killed Porus's son and unfortunately the whole western world implicitly agrees with him by accepting his account.


If you read Arrian's account you will find a lot of glaring discrepancies like,

- when Alexander wins there is a detailed description of the territory/palace/fort/city of the loser and details of the celebration and partying and sharing of the spoilts, women & wealth, but in porus's case Alexander seems to have decided to return immediately after winning. In other cases he seems to have partied for couple of years before the next expedition.

- While describing India Arrian mentions that nothing is known to the east of Jhelum river, which in other words means that none of the Greek including Ptolemy entered the eastern side of Jhelum river. so does that mean that Alexander won the war and returned straight away from the battle field.

- After taking Gaza, Alexander "was infuriated at Batis's refusal to kneel" so "a rope was forced through Batis's ankles, probably between the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon, and Batis was dragged alive by chariot beneath the walls of the city," and many similar cases everywhere when people fought bravely or showed some pride but when Porus refused to kneel and wanted to be treated as a king Alexander pardoned and rewarded him.

- And how, probably for the first and last time in history a king, Porus, who lost a war, had not only his kingdom returned but also got some territories of the winner, Alexander, and also the territories of the winners Indian ally. I'm not sure why the Indian king, who supported Alexander so that he can defeat his enemy Porus, agree to this pardon and worse he also gave up his own territory when ideally he should have got Porus's territory for supporting Alexander.


Another major contradiction is that of he being "the most successful military commanders of all time and is presumed undefeated in battle. By the time of his death, he had conquered most of the world as known to the ancient Greeks". Here the first part is from the world point of view but while specifying his achievement it is from the Greek point of view, "world known to them". The problem is, he was not the first to capture a vast territory, Most of the territories he captured were already held by the Persians. So the Persians were the first great military commanders from that area. Even today the ancient part of India is 2/5 of the world in population while what Alexander captured is around 3/20 of the world and there were many in India who had captured more than Alexander. So calling Alexander the greatest is not right. It would be more appropriate to call him the greatest known to Greek or Europeans or "the most successful GREEK/EUROPEAN military commander..."


FYI Alexander and Porus are virtually unknown in India. This is for 2 reasons. One, Alexander never really entered India. Two, Porus was a very small king ruling a small kingdom in the northwest boundary of India not the greatest king of India as mentioned in western sources.

Even in British India Alexander was unknown in South India. But was known in north India as Sikander, his name in persian, while the name in Sanskrit is different but not used in India. The reason the Persian name is used not the sanskrit is, his name and his expedition story came to India along with the muslim Invaders from Persia and Afghanistan, before that the Indians apart from a passing reference in an ancient text, never knew of anybody called Alexander. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.128.134.68 (talk) 18:35, 16 March 2009 (UTC) Lakx72 (talk) 20:18, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I really do not understand all this fuss... According to the ancient sources, Alexander entered India and of course he was forced by the unwillingness of his army to return after some victories he enjoyed, like against Porus, which by all accounts was an Indian prince and more Indian tribes, like the Malli etc. That Porus was retained to his position was of course nothing peculiar for Alexander. He did this lots of times in the past and there is no account of him losing any battle while in India. As far as the exact borders of nowadays India are concerned, this is irrelevant in this article. Porus was an Indian Prince, he ruled over an old Indian kingdom, so, by definition, this place was India too, as far as archaeology is concerned, unless you have some sources which explicitly state that to the people of this age India was something completely different. To support the probability of such an argument, I can state many examples from Greek history, like the Persian occupation of the Ionian Greek cities. THese cities were Greek as well, but the land they were in was not called Greece. Greece Proper was a geographical term also, and thus, many Greek lands were excluded from it as far as geography is concerned. Magna Graecia for example in Italy and Siciliy was also not Grece (but Great Greece) and many Greek cities of the region were occupied either by the Romans or the Carthaginians. Someetimes, even Macedonia seems to be excluded from the geographical region of Greece, although in other instances it is clearly included. Anyways, Greece was also a geographical term used by the Greeks of the time and not just a term to denote anything Greek (although metaphorically it was used in this way too)... So, if the Indians of the time did not consider the kingdom under Porus to be Inida, then please provide your sources. On the other hand, regardless what the ancient Indian's opinion might be, Alexander clearly thought that he had indeed entered India, so this is an argument that can also stand in a debate... And if someone compares a map of Alexander's exploits to a map of modern India, one can see that Alexander is thought to have entered current Indian territory northwest of modernday New Delhi.

To conclude there are many aspects one has to consider to clearly say whether Alexander entered India.

1. Did he enter and conquer at least one Indian region? Yes 2. Was this region a part of what was then called by the Indians India? I cannot say. 3. Was this region a part of what was by the Westerners called India? Yes 4. Was this region a part of current Indian territory? Yes, northwest of New Delhi. ( http://www.worldreligions.psu.edu/maps-alexander.htm )

As to whether he was the most successful conqueror of all times or not...there are also many things to consider. According to the ancient peoples of the West he was. According to most historians nowadays he was. Did he conauer the largest empire ever? No. Genghis Khan conquered a vaster area, but most of this area was steppes. Did he conquer the most populous empire? Of course not.... Even if it was the or one of the most populous at the time, nowadays it is nothing, shouls such an argumenr be of any value... Was he the greatest general? According to the ancient Westerners he was, according to me... I find Hannibal was better when reviewing battle tactics, but he certainly was among the best. Did he have to fight against many and different opponents? Yes, he did. Although none of the opponent could match the martial prowess of the Romans, he had to adopt to multiple situations, rarely met in history in other general's histories... Was he able to establish his rulership? Yes. Of course there were many rebellions in different parts of his empire, but the sheer fact, that his empire did not crumble to dust after his untimely death, shows how remarkably a job he had done in organizing his Empire and gaining the various peoples' acceptance, even if it was split among his Diadochi. Such arguments could just go on and on and never reaching a conclusion. A definite answer to such a question is sadly almost impossible to make but it can be safely said, that by most historians and military theorists he is considered the most successful conqueror of all times.

As for the presumption that he was undefeated in battle, I have to mention that I have alrady offered an extract by Poluaenus, implying that he was part of at least one lost battle, although the battle is not described. But there is no other mentioning of him ever losing a battle. Anyways, the word "presumed" leaves a margin of doubt, so there should be no problem there, too.

GK1973 (talk) 14:51, 27 March 2009 (UTC)


You seem to have misunderstood me. I never denied the fact that Porus was not Indian. But I was just pointing to the fact that he was an unknown king ruling a very small kingdom in an insignificant region of India. I'm against making Porus the great king of India just to make Alexander great. Some people mention him as the most powerful king of India. Most of the tribes Alexander defeated are "the most ferocious and most war-like tribes" of India. Tribes never ruled India in known history. We are talking of a region which is not known for powerful kingdoms in India. Excluding a small strip around Indus, rest of the area are dry and sand filled waste lands.

You mentioned "That Porus was retained to his position was of course nothing peculiar for Alexander. He did this lots of times in the past."

Please quote your references where has he given his territory and his Ally's territory to his enemy after defeating him.

On the contrary I can provide thousands of instances where the victor has taken apart of the loser's territory and that of his allies.

I will try and explain each of your question.

1. Did he enter and conquer at least one Indian region? No, he never entered modern day India, He reached midway of Pakistan. If you look at a terrain map of Pakistan you will see that Pakistan is divided vertically into a very green right part and a dry brown left part which continues up to Egypt. The river which divided Pakistan is the river Indus, Hydaspes is a tributary of the Indus River, where Alexander fought Puros. According to all ancient stories(sources) he returned from here down river Indus. Further proof of this all existing ancient stories(sources) were written a minimum of 500 years after Alexanders death and still they had no knowledge of India beyond Hydaspes, as Alexander never went beyond Hydaspes.

2. Was this region a part of what was then called by the Indians India? No. Even today Indians call India Hindustan or Bharath. Persians called all people living beyond river Sindhu as Sindhu, they cannot pronounce Sindhu, so it became Shindu and than Hindu. The Greek could not pronounce Hindu so it became indu and they have a habit of adding an 's' so the river is Indus. From Indus we get India. So Even Ancient India is technically the land beyond Indus river. The land between Indus and Hydaspes is Takshashila or Taxila, ruled by the King who aided Alexander so that he can defeat his enemy Porus. So even this land never belonged to Alexander. Thus Alexander never captured anything even in Ancient India. Even if he defeated Porus he never captured the land. The proof is there is no mention in any sources of him entering Porus's kingdom and celebrating his victory. There is no discription of Porus kingdom in any sources. That is, even after 500 years Greeks and Romans had no knowledge of India beyond Hydaspes where you find Porus' kingdom.

3. Was this region a part of what was by the Westerners called India? No, Please refer to the answer to question 2. Westerners are a new Phenomenon. In ancient time they knew nothing beyond Mediterranean region. Alexander was the only western ruler to reach the boundaries of India. All his knowledge about India was from the Persians. So the question is, was this region a part of what was by the Persians called India? And the answer No. It is explained in the answer to question 2. Up to the 16th century all the western knowledge about India was from the Persians and Muslims. This is the reason the Indian numerals are called Arabic numerals by westerner even today.

Even if westerners called some land India you can not accept it as India. We are discussing world history, not western world history. A westerner called America as India, so you do not say that European origin people rule India. There is a difference between fact and myth. It does not matter if the myth was considered as fact some time. Or you might say was the earth considered by the westerners as flat? Answer is YES, So the earth is flat. The westerners were ignorant so you can not force the whole world to be ignorant.

4. Was this region a part of current Indian territory? No, Alexander never went beyond Hydaspes, Please refer to the answers above.

Greek, Roman and Hannibal. You are just discussing western history, which is basically the history of the regions around Mediterranean. Ancient India and present day India are far bigger than ancient Europe and present day Europe in terms of people, area and the number of regions. India was always a country of many powerful kingdoms. The Persians attacked ancient Greece many time but never dared to attack small kingdoms like Taxila and that of Porus. You forget the fact that Persians were the super power in the Mediterranean region even though their main territory was further east. Alexander defeated them but Greeks did not rule it for a long period. Until the 18-19th century no European country was really the superpower of the world.

I have my own questions 1. Does any of the ancient western sources mention Alexander's defeat? Yes. Arrian mentions it. He actually states that there are many sources which mention it(describes a scenario where he was defeated) but he agrees with Ptolemy's version. Probably he was a better story teller and people like winners so his version remains but strangely even Historians seem to ignore this fact that there is a mention of defeat. This is the reason the movie 'Alexander' does not show a victory.

2. Does any Indian sources mention Alexander's expedition? NO

3. Does any Indian sources mention Porus defeat? NO

4. Does any Indian source mention Alexander. Just one source. But it is just a one line reference to a king named Alikachander. Maybe him or maybe not.

5. Was Alexander known to people in ancient India? NO

6. Was Alexander Known to modern Indians before the British Raj? NO Some Muslim territories knew of a person called Sikander who is supposed to be Alexander according to Persians and the Muslims introduced that name in the last few centuries.

7. Do most Historians consider him the most successful conqueror of all times? NO Almost all the western Historians consider him the most successful conqueror because he belongs to their world. But rest of the world does nt. Each region considers a person from their own region as the greatest conqueror of all times and some might be true. For e.g. The south Indians consider Raja Raja Chola and Rajendra Chola the greatest conquerors. They captured all the major kingdoms of India and conquered the whole of Bangladesh, Mynmar(Burma), Thailand, Malaysia and most of Indonesia. Actually much bigger territory than that of Alexander both in terms of area and people. And no controversy here as they have left thousands of inscriptions.

But the fact that every territory which he defeated has stories about him and the lack of even basic information about Alexander in India clearly point to the fact that he never entered India.

Lakx72 (talk) 21:26, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


Again, I fail to understand your points. You claim that Porus was Indian, although his kingdom seems to have lain entirely in nowadays Pakistan and yet strongly deny that Alexander ever set foot on Indian soil... According to the ancient Greeks (and this comes from someone who really has no idea about any historical or territorial problems you might have with the Pakistani), called these lands INDIA. Arrian, who you try to refer to, clearly does so and has written a whole book called “On Indian Matters” (Indiki). As I have already said, Alexander, by conquering Porus, he entered Indian territory (acknowledging the fact that Porus was an Indian prince), so where is your problem? Noone says that Porus was the most powerful king of India, but he was a powerful king indeed with the ability to field 50.000 or more troops, as for the ferocity of the Mallians, yes, this is excelled by Arrian, whatever your personal opinion might be. Whether he was wrong or not, it falls to you to prove and not to the ancient authors. Why don;t you present your sources? I really would find any sources you could provide about India of the 4th century BC very interesting to study.

You want references on when Alexander allowed the conquered to rule over their lands. Good enough, although you should also provide references when claiming things. So (and again I am just quoting Arrian alone, although it would be as easy to quote from other ancient sources too):

III.25.7, a Persian general, Arsakis, is appointed as Satrap of the Aryans. He was not the warlord of the enemy, but still a conquered foe.

III.27.4-5, he allowed the Ariaspians to rule themselves

III.28.2, here we learn that Phrataphernis was appointed Satrap of the Parthians by Alexander.

VI. 15.3-4 Oxyartes the Bactrian, father of his wife Roxanne becomes the satrap of the Paramissadeans, after removing Tiryaspsis, another barbarian. He also appoints him satrap over some Indian lands.

VI.15.6-7 Mousikanos surrenders himself and his lands and Alexander appoints him regent over his own people (and visits his dominions)

VI 16.2-3 Sambos has been appointed regent of the Mountainous India, rebels, after he learns that Mousikanos earned the favor of Alexander but his relatives again surrendered to Alexander

V.4.3 Alexander crosses the Indus

VI.17.2 The regent of Patalla surrenders to Alexander. Alexander allows him to retain his kingdom.

VI.18.5 Alexander sends troops clearly into the Indian lands on the eastern side of Indus.

In his speech in VII.10.5 Alexander states himself that he has crossed the Indus.

Other barbarians appointed satraps by Alexander : Phrasaortis, satrap of Persia, Orxinis, satrap of Persia (he actually took over after Phrasaortis’ death), Atropat, satrap of Media and manymore...just read the books!

Are these enough? The problem is, why did I have to bring these into your attention? Haven’t you read Arrian? I thought you would have, since you refer to him on several occasions.

Now to your answers :

1. Again, Porus’s kingdom, the Malli and all other Indians Alexander faced lived in India as it was THEN perceived. You yourself admit that they were Indians. You don’t claim that they were Pakistani. So, India then did not have the same borders as it has today. For the Greeks and the Persians, present day Pakistan was called India (at least east of the Indus). I don’t know what India was to the various Indian tribes and kingdoms of the time, maybe you could clarify that for me. (This is why I told you about Magna Graecia and the Ionian Coast). Now, according to Greek mythology (actually history, as far as the ancient Greeks were concerned), Alexander was not the first Greek to reach India. Arrian talks about Dionysus' and Hercules’ expeditions into India. And of course, the Greeks had knowledge of the lands beyond Hydaspes. Arrian mentions many Grek geographers who wrote about India beyond Hydaspes like Ktesias the Knidian (Indici.3.6.), Megasthenes (Indici 3.7.). they knew details about Ganges and much more than you give them credit for. You should read Indici. It clearly shows that the Greeks knew much more about India (although many things will be erroneous or difficult to interpret today). And of course don’t forget that Alexander stopped before Hyphasis, NOT Hydaspis. Now, Hyphasis has been interpreted as River Beas and last time I checked, it lies well within current Indian borders. And of course he gave the lands up to Hyphasis to Porus to govern.

2. Taxilis was a king subjugated to Alexander, Porus, also and his lands were incorporated in Alexander's Empire, even though he retained him as regent. He went to Taxila (Arrian, V.8.3,VII.2.2), where he organizaed games and saw the naked Indian sophistai. And of course Alexander crossed the Hydaspes, the Indus and actually s’opped before Hyphasis (Beas River), well beyond the Indus, some 400 kms north of New Delhi. Again, many Greeks had knowledge of the lands beyond Hydaspes evrn to and beyond Ganges, even before Alexander. References that Alexander landed beyond the Indus is easy. Arrian, for example, even tries to give a description of the mechanics Alexander used to bridge the Indus. So.. the question stands : If India is, according to the Indians of the time the lands beyond the Indus, then Alexander crossed the river in several occasions. But, were the lands of Taxiles, the lands of Porus and the lands before Beas India?

By the way.. why is it so difficult to accept that Taxiles was conquered as well as Porus in Hydaspes? Do you have any evidence as to the contrary, or is it just your own opinion?

3. When I talk of Westerners I talk about the people of the Mediterranean of course. So, Greeks, of course knew about India, in their mythology (which they perceived as history NOT to confuse with legends and fairy tales), they had expedited to India twice already under Dionysus and a Hercules, they had information about the lands up to Ganges and they had fought Indians before (as mercenaries of the Persians). So what if there is no description of Porus’s kingdom? All sources are clear that he won in Hydaspes. As to whether this is a good argument to say that Alexander set foot in India, it is of course a factor, but certainly not the decisive one, I agree. And again, the Greeks had knowledge of the Indian territory and the Indian people, albeit limited.

4. Alexander marched beyond Hydaspes, he beat Porus, he built a city (Nicaea) to commemorate this victory (on the eastern part of the Hydaspes), he went on over Akesines and even reached to Hyphasis (some 400 kms north of New Delhi).

What does that have to do with anything? Noone wants to minimize your history, Chinese history or any other. If you think, that some Indian warlord employed more efficient tactics on the battlefield than those men, you are free to name him and give information on his tactics, exploits, etc. Disgracing the Mediterranean history will not get you anywhere. If you think that Ashoka was a more competent commander, you can explain why and we could make a comparison. But disgracing Hannibal or Alexander, telling bold stories about how the Persians were scared to do battle against the Indians preferring to go against the Greeks does not do the job. You also forget that the persians had also subjugated Indian states, but it seems that you would only accept the worth of someone to subjugate the whole Indian peninsula... But, to reverse your arguments... why didn’t the all powerful Indians conquer the Persians and subjugate the Greeks, even the Ionian cities?

Ancient Indians considered anything West of Gandhara (modern Afghanistan or Up-gana-sthan) to be the land of barbarians or mlechhas. Brahmins were even forbidden to go into those lands lest they become polluted with non-Vedic culture. There are explicit injunctions against visiting non-Vedic lands in the ancient Hindu texts. They had no interest in conquering those areas which would have led to non-Vedic influences coming into Aryavrata (land of Aryans). The world Arya is used here in cultural connotation not its twisted racial one popularized by Nazis. The other reason was that India of that era was a very prosperous society and had no economic or cultural interest outside India. It is the others who sought to come to India and enrich themselves culturally and economically. I don't have the reference handy but I have read from very reliable source (Michael Woods- Story of India) that India's GDP comprised 30% of Global GDP until the advent of the British. A country that prosperous and culturally exclusive would have had little interest in looking elsewhere for gold and wisdom and had every interest in staying insulated from what they considered 'corrupting' influences of mlecchas (a derogotary term used in Indian literature for non-Vedics). This is no where more evident in the writing of Pseudo-Callisthenes where Porus treats Alexander's proposals before the battle with utter contempt expressing how superior his land was to anything he had to offer (check EMS Budge) --Internet Scholar (talk) 23:27, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

??? Although I find your comments about Indian history very interesting I fail to see any contribution to the specific question of "whether Alexander conquered ANY part of India"... Of course I find your source of choice very interesting... I bet you do understand that all sources are not deemed the same... Pseudo-Callisthenes' "Life of Alexander" is a romantic prose and not a historical text. Of course it bears its value in terms of glossology and folklore but I hope you understand that his "letters" and narrations are clearly fictional. Of course even he does not claim that Alexander lost in India, but quoting him to prove the aloofness of the Indians (as were the Greeks) is not exactly the best argument. BTW, are you the same person I have been debating here or not (a sincere question, since he left his comments unsigned)? GK1973 (talk) 01:25, 6 April 2009 (UTC)


Let’s see your questions :

1. I already said that there is ONLY ONE mention of Alexander being defeated in battle and even it is not explicit. It comes from Polyaenus, a Macedonian tactician. Where does Arrian mention any defeat of Alexander? He only states of one incident, where a detachment of Greeks was eliminated on some island in a river, where Alexander was not present... Is this what you mean? You ask for references, yet you provide none... by the way, have you read Arrian? Again, discrediting Arrian does not make your assumptions credible. And of course that has nothing to do with any victory shown or not shown in the movie of Oliver Stone.

2. So what? Are there any Chinese books, Mayan? Alexander just reached India’s door. He remained there for a very short amount of time and left. Why should there be more sources on him? How many sources do you have on Ashoka? Most are from 500 years after his reign!! Yet, you have edicts of him in Greek...don’t you? Just ignoring any record, just because you don’t like it is not the answer...

2+3+4+5... How extensive is Indian ancient literature on the exploits of all the Indian kingdoms? If you can’t find any Indian record of Puru or Porus existence, how can you expect to find any indication that he won or lost a battle???? If you know of Indian texts that describe the era, then by all means, give me the sources, epecially if they contain any reference to battles, for this is my main interest.

6.? So what? India is a huge country and in the past it was even larger...

7. ? Again you do the mistake of juxtaposing India to the rest of the world... you clearly state how different regions in India consider their heroes to be the greatest generals and then how the whole Western (and not only) Western World considers Alexander the Great to be it. You can blame Hollywood if you like, but actually the whole world (apart maybe from India and China) DOES think that Alexander is the most successful conqueror of all times.... You are talking of two warlords who lived in 1000+ AD and their empire, although large was not larger than Alexander’s. If you want to talk in terms of area, you should bring forward the Roman Empire, Genghis Khan, the Soviet Union, the British Empire, all of which were larger than Alexander’s state. But, area is not the only thing that matters. There are more things to consider when deciding on such a subjective question.

Anyways... all of this has nothing to do with the verification or not of ALL sources, which explicitly state that Alexander the Great conquered Indian princes and reached the Hyphasis, well within modern India. You may have you own theories but these are not enough to upset accepted history. Should you discover any evidence that Alexander was indeed beaten in India or in nowadays Pakistan by Indian princes, then I will be more than happy to reconsider. Until then, the sources are many and explicit.

If the sources were as many and as explicit as you have the others believe, Alexander's 'conquest' of India would not be considered a theory but a fact. I am glad you mentioned that it is only a theory whose origin entirely lies in embellished hagiographical and self-contradictory accounts of Greek bards and court historians whose neutrality and sources remain suspect. Some of the same sources also say that Alexander was a god...some objectivity, eh! Arrian , most accepted 'historian' in this regard is atleast 450 years removed from the era he is testifying about. So let us drop this spurious argument of 'evidence'. It is merely of many opinions and only as good as those going against it pointing out very obvious contradictions inherent in it as pointed out by other editors. The myth of Alexander's conquest of India serves the 'west superior' metanarrative of Western/Colonial histriography. If it is being challenged , it is being done so on very good grounds of correcting a cultural bias of Western historical narrative in which Genghiz Khan was a barbarian and equally, perhaps even more, brutal Macedonian warlord was the great conquerer!--Internet Scholar (talk) 00:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

What???? Who considers Alexander's victories over Porus, Taxilis or the Malli a theory? Of course they are considered a fact.. And why are you diminishing the value of the Graeco-Roman historians like that? The fun part is that you then dare quote one to prove some point (which by the way is of no value to the conversation). Are you one of those who believe that no text of the past has any historical value if it is not published with a DVD with video footages from the given period? Who speaks of a Greek conquest of India???? Conquering some kingdoms and tribes of Western India can hardly be called "Conquest of India"!!! Do Greeks doubt that the Persians did reign over the Greek states of Ionia and Macedonia for a time? Did anyone doubt that Genghis Khan set foot on Europe? Did I or anyone diminish the value of the Indian civilization at the time of Alexander? Did anyone call the Vedic texts "useless narrations of religious bigots and UFO seeing romantics"? "Internet Scholar"... I hope that next time you write something it will be in a scholarly way, worthy of your nick... I really do not know why you people are so defensive... Did anyone ever claim that your history or culture is a worthless myth of savagery?

GK1973 (talk) 04:14, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Try to find your sources, so we can check them. Wandalstouring (talk) 06:33, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I have stated sources, was this a question towards Internet Scholar? GK1973 (talk) 11:35, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, unsigned comments are very confusing. Ghenghis Khan(Temujin) is a hero for some people, so is Alexander, and for some people they are devils. Where's the problem? That the Indus valley isn't part of the Indian subcontinent is a totally new experience for me. How did you (@Internet scholar) derive at this groundbreaking conclusion? Wandalstouring (talk) 17:38, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
For the record , I am not that unsigned user. I also did not write Indus valley not being part of greater India of history which inluded half of present day Afghanistan. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 16:49, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
unsigned comment ≠ unsigned user
Greater India included half of Afghanistan? Not any more? The article is refering to India as a geographic unit and yes, the Indus valley is part of it. This isn't about the British Raj or whatever political unit you randomly chose. Please feel free to remember that today's Indians are rather proud of the intellectual achievements of the Indo-Greeks. Wandalstouring (talk) 17:32, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I meant culturally Afghanistan was part of Indian civilization. The political boundary of India has changed many times. Politically Afghanistan (Up Gana Sthan in Sanskrit)has been in and out of India many times. Most of the present day Pashtuns are a mix of Rajputs and Greeks. I have no disprespect for Indo-Greeks.I am Greecophile myself and have taken pains to go all over Greece being enchanted with their past civilization. But Alexander's victory over Porus theory is based on very fragile textual material and is being questioned on very good grounds as it defies logic. Why would a victorious army retreat all of sudden when Alexander had not only Greek soldiers but also had large Persian contingents who had no battle fatigue? And is battle fatigue and refusal to fight on not a sign of defeat? The fantastic nature of primary and secondary sources is even questioned by Arrian 450 years after the incidents. The haste of Western scholars to declare Alexander victor based on total lack of primary sources and reliable secondary sources only reek of the rampant orientalism that was the hallmark of European histriography. In its most exaggerated form it can at best be compared with Napoleon's Russian campaign which was a complete disaster and ultimately led to his downfall. In Alexander's case, as is suggested by even the embellished Greek hagiographies, he was effectively repulsed by Punjabi armies from making any further advances in India--Internet Scholar (talk) 18:39, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

All the writers who wrote about Alexander had access to primary sources, such as Callisthenes and the Royal ephimeris. Polybius is even very critical of Callisthenes regarding the details of certain descriptions of Alexander's battles (regarding his account of certain formation details). Furthermore, Polybius wrote some 150 years after Alexander and Plutarch about 200, actually very close to the said era.

Some closeness, even if it was as close as 200 years it would be tantamount to you and me writing about Napoleon purely based on legend and hearsay, with no primary or secondary texts being available. The accounts prior to Arrian are so fanstastic that Arrian could not help commenting on the idiocy implied in them. Therefore, he chose to reconstruct the story 450 years after fully knowing none of the texts written prior to his work could withstand any serious academic scrutiny. BTW, where is this fictitious town of Nieaea located in Punjab supposedly beyond the river Jhelum (Hydaspes)? I have never heard of this town in Punjab or any other town having even a remote connection with Alexander. The use of the word hagiography also speaks to a point. Alexander projected himself as a divine being and most works preceding Arrian were written hagiographic mode deifying him as god. In the later Islamic work, he is actually a prophet.

From what I am reading, I get the picture that you have never read Arrian or any other Graeco-Roman source on Alexander. You keep discrediting everyone and everything without any academic argument. I guess you judge things from your experience on Vedic texts talking about flying machines, demons and Gods accepting curses from mortals... (How does it sound?) If you are to use Arrian as a source, do it correctly. Produce the texts, from which you have reached those absurd conclusions about how he laughed at the older historians' idiocy... There is no point debating anymore, since your modus operandi is based on pure fiction, denial and self deduced assumptions. Please, read the sources first and then comment on them. As for Nicaea, a simple look up will answer all your questions, but then you will again start commenting about how Buddhist texts are lacking credibility, how the archaeologists that concluded on its position are delusional amateurs etc etc etc etc. As for your error in mistakingly using a Greek term, you're just making it worse by your explanation. As I have ALREADY explained, NO Graeco Roman writer EVER presented Alexander as God.

Really? Does screaming in Bold letter really help an arugment? Here is excerpt from a doctoral thesis: "In Greco-Roman culture Alexander the Great, among other heroic figures and emperors, was regarded as son of God. " Source: Historicization of myth : the metaphor "Jesus - child of God" and its Hellenistic-Semitic and Greco-Roman background , Van Aarde, Andries Gideon , University of Pretoria 2000. There are number of other sources which state after returning to from East Alexander wanted to worshipped as a god like those Persian emperors. For any less passionate editor who wants to debate this we can get into those sources. The foregoing is only one source among many about deification of Alexander in Greeco-Roman world.


The only Nicaea that shows up in my searches is the one in Turkey where the the Nicean creed was formed. I could not find any town by the name of Nieaea across Jhelum. BTW, I know that area inside out having grown up there. I would be interested in seeing the Punjabi Nieaea. Can you quote some reliable sources?--Internet Scholar (talk) 15:31, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
As for the Islamic texts, I hope that you understand that these are written centuries after Arrian and have nothing to do with the Graeco Roman tradition... Please... stop this absurdity and, should you really wish to further this conversation, PLEASE PRESENT ANY EVIDENCE apart from the personal opinion of someone who has NECER read the texts he is criticizing.
See above it has been provided.--Internet Scholar (talk) 15:31, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I am not pushing in any new theories but merely point to the fact that the established view is being questioned and being done so on very good grounds. Indians are not the only ones doing it. The script writer of Stone's movie did it too and keep in mind Stone's movie script was written in consultation with historians. Oliver Stone rarely makes movies withot proper research. So these theories are gaining currency because the contradictions implied in the existing theories about Alezander (that he beat Porus) are too obvious and glaring to be ignored.--Internet Scholar (talk) 00:38, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

You are ONLY pushing new theories, fringe theories which have nothing to do with history. You just state an opinion based on NO FACTS, NO SOURCES, just wishful thinking and a total ignorance on what you are refuting. Especially your referring to Oliver Stone was a highlight worthy of serious historical debate... No matter how probable you consider this theory to be, it still remains a far fetched interpretation of events based solely on the total discrediting of such illustrious personnas of the past, as the likes of Polybius, Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus and so many others who maintained what you are simply rejecting.

Here is what the Plutarch , who cannot be held above having bias in favor of the Greec-Roman hero, writes. It only suggests that Alexander's did not acheive what he was meant to achieve in India and was forced to retreat:


"As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. —Plutarch, Vita Alexandri, 62."

We are under no compulsion to keep holding theories propouded by 19th century colonial historians notorious for orientialist bias as sacrosanct and above questioning. However, since you have elevated this debate to proving academic sources here is the opinion of a renowned post-colonial Indian historian (secondary source reference has been clearly provided as per Wiki rules):

"Historian Buddha Prakash has analysed the inconsistencies between the accounts given by Juslin, Plutarch, Diodoros, Curtius and Arrian. He has observed, "The accounts of the Greek writers about the end of the battle are full of confusion and contradictions. What is clear from these accounts is that Alexander and Porus made peace and became friends. From the unanimous remarks of these authors that Porus was reinstated in his state and the territories conquered by Alexander in India [That is territories other than those ruled by Porus] were added to his dominion. (Buddha Prakash, Political and Social Movements in Ancient Punjab (1976) 171, 310)......The author further points out that it is evident from Arrian’s narrative that Alexander took the initiative in opening talk with Porus, who was reluctant to have any talks with Alexander he rebuffed his envoys and emissaries many times. But Alexander showed so much perseverance that ultimately, through the instrumentality of an old friend, Porus agreed to meet him. He zealously preserved his dignity and status in his talk with Alexander. The outcome of the peace parleys was an enlargement of the kingdom of Porus by the surrender of a large chunk of territory by Alexander". (Buddha Prakash, Porus 678)."

So it not just the Hollywood questioning it. There is a very serious academic opinion that has developed in last few decades which points out the illogic of the theory that Alexander could have beaten Porus and after which Porus ended up with more land than he had before his 'defeat'. Some defeat that was in which loser not only preserves his land but also gets the lands of also those kings who were allied against him in battle! And further the 'victorious' army is so crestfallen that it wants to retreat back to the motherland! Does this abusrdity of all this not hit anyone? Anybody with a shred of neutrality will atleast be forced consider it cursorily and will be forced to atleast explain away the contradictions implied. Given the passion and ad hominem tone you have displayed in your past responses. I do not expect you to do it but it will be more than obvious to any other neutral editor that the Alexander's India Conquest theories have gaping holes which are being questioned by the current deconstructionists in a very serious academic framework.

--Internet Scholar (talk) 15:31, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


It is your right to do so, but on such argumentation no serious conversation can be held. Just refusing everything, because according to your logic, these people wrote lies, fairytales and cheap "hierographical" stories allows for no real debate. I only hope that you follow the exact methodology towards Indian history... I hope that you will be as critical to the texts on Ashoka and all the other Indian heroes as you are on those that have to do with the totallity of the Western history. By the way... since I have found no Indian military treatise on mass combat tactics, I guess I can safely (following your teachings) assume that the Indians fought in an irregular, barbaric way, with no order or grasp of military tactics... So, how could they ever face Alexander?

You know what... I am actually amused that your argument and facility with fact could deteriorate to such level. So you could not discover anything...it means it does not exist? That Alexander learnt how to use phalanx strategically means other civilzations were deficient in battle craft?
The battle formation which are discussed in Indian military manuals perhaps have few parallels in world literature. They were called 'Vyuhas'. There are atleast 16 distinct battle formations discussed in Mahabharata and other military texts, all of which precede Greek sources. A quick search on wikipedia would yielded the following results about various battle formations mentioned in Indian literature:

# Krauncha vyuha (heron formation)

  1. Makara vyuha (crocodile formation)
  2. Kurma vyuha (tortoise or turtle formation)
  3. Trishula vyuha (the trident formation)
  4. Chakra vyuha (wheel or discus formation)
  5. Kamala vyuha or Padma vyuha (lotus formation)
  6. Garud vyuha (Eagle formation)
  7. Oormi vyuha (Ocean formation)
  8. Mandala vyuha (Galactic formation)
  9. Vajra vyuha (diamond/ thunderbolt formation)
  10. Shakata vyuha (Box/Cart formation)
  11. Asura vyuha (Demon formation)
  12. Deva vyuha (Divine formation)
  13. Soochi vyuha (Needle formation)
  14. Sringataka vyuha (Horned formation)
  15. Chandrakala vyuha (Crescent/ Curved Blade formation)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakravyuha

Secondly, Indians were perhaps the first civilization to have formal warrior code. They fought according to strict rules of chivalry and treatment of a surrendered enemy in their culture was perhaps not paralleled in world history till the Geneva Convention. In fact Greeks were perhaps known for not respecting any rules of war. The way Alexander plundered and massacred in Persepolis, it showed a clear barbaric streak in him. No wonder the word 'Yavana' , originating from Greek 'Ionia', is almost synonymous with barbarians in Sanskrit. Conquering Indian armies were required by their warrior code not to massacre unarmed civilians and to forgive a surrendered enemy. Those who failed to observe this code were excommunicated from warrior communities. Here is more on the subject (see Dharmayuddha) --Internet Scholar (talk) 17:27, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


And of course, since there is no Indian source on Porus, then I can safely deduce that Porus was not an Indian, so I really wonder why all this fuss... Isn't it peculiar that the best description of Indians fighting a regular battle comes from Graeco Roman sources? As you understand, this source devalueing logic brings nothing... We have to be critical on sources but what you do is total denial. There is no logic in that. Finally, you did not answer the most important question... Is your theory what Indian universities and schools teach? GK1973 (talk) 03:02, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Additionally the very fact that Alexander founded Nicaea beyond the Hydaspes clearly shows he had control over the region. The victory of Alexander over Porus is well documented and undisputed by Western as well as Eastern historians. Are the theories you advocate supported by the majority of Indian scholars? Certainly not bu scholars in other non-Western countries... Of course, there was no retreat after the battle. Alexander pushed further on and even reached Hyphasis, long beyond Porus's lands. As for the "mystery" of the deciion of his army to demand return, this is also not something peculiar for Greeks. What could be viewed as insubordination to other cultures, in Greece was considered a right. Why do you use the word "hagiography"? Do you know what it means? In Greek it means "picturing the life of a saint", which has nothing to do with any work about Alexander's exploits. As a term, it sounds deeply disgracing for grand historical personalities, such as Arrian, Diodorus, Plutarch, Polybius, Rufus etc.You are mistaken when you claim that the Greeks thought he was a God. Although they and the Romans admired him, they were very critical of his decision to proclaim himself a God, although such deifications in Greek history are really different in nature than what you think. You still bring up theories but no hint as to your claims. As for Alexander conquering ANY part of India, I hope that after your last entry, it is agreed upon? Had Alexander lost in the Punjab, it would have been recorded. There were as many admirers of Alexander as enemies. There is no way, that a military defeat would escape the pens of the historians of the time. What sudden retreat are you talking about? A beaten Alexander would not have kept marching, conquering and building cities for thousands of miles before returning west. A spent army would not equip a grand fleet such as Nearch's to do an admirable exploit as the periplus of the Arabian peninsula, a spent army would lack the required provisions and manpower. And of course, all victorious generals stopped sometime even without experiencing defeat. Was Ghengis Khan defeated? Was Stalin defeated? Were your heroic war princes defeated? Was Julius Caesar? A victorious army does not just keep on conquering lands and kingdoms... it needs regrouping, reallocation of manpower... The sources are clear and the arguments you are advocating have nothing to do with this case. No matter how many Persians Alexander had, his tactics depended on the Greeks. Without them, he would not be able to stand on a battlefield. This is why he had commenced training Persians in the Greek manner of combat. So... had he descend into India proper, he might have lost... the thing is he did not, so we don't know... Maybe he would have conquered India just to lose to the Chinese... GK1973 (talk) 23:10, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I am too tired of this pointless conversation... I really don't want to lower the level of this "debate", but following your steps is the only way to show you how absurd you sound in your allegations. Of course I respect texts like Mahabharata, but if I should follow your teachings, I really shouldn't, should I?

1. Really? Does screaming in Bold letter really help an arugment? Here is excerpt from a doctoral thesis: "In Greco-Roman culture Alexander the Great, among other heroic figures and emperors, was regarded as son of God. " Source: Historicization of myth : the metaphor "Jesus - child of God" and its Hellenistic-Semitic and Greco-Roman background , Van Aarde, Andries Gideon , University of Pretoria 2000. There are number of other sources which state after returning to from East Alexander wanted to worshipped as a god like those Persian emperors. For any less passionate editor who wants to debate this we can get into those sources. The foregoing is only one source among many about deification of Alexander in Greeco-Roman world.

My question was clear.... HAVE YOU READ THESE PEOPLE'S WORKS? Among others, I have read a thesis about how Ulysses reached Scandinavia and another one on how he reached Latin America... So, quoting a doctoral thesis is not an answer to my question. I don't treat any treatise or thesis as God given wisdom and neither should you. If you can support that all these writers treated Alexander as a God, you are welcome to do it, but you cannot, and these people cannot, because it just isn't so. It is one thing to find a shrine dedicated to Alexander, Hercules or Dionysus and another to boldly criticize things you obviously know nothing about. Alexander was worshipped as a God, although this is something very different from what you think but NO Graeco Roman historian ever treated him as a God. In contrast, they criticized him, although some wrote that he deserved it (since Greeks used to honor their heroes as Gods, call them Gods, sacrifice to them, celebrate them as such in multiple instances, yet, their religious Alexander (or any other deified hero) was NEVER equalized with the main Gods).

2. The only Nicaea that shows up in my searches is the one in Turkey where the the Nicean creed was formed. I could not find any town by the name of Nieaea across Jhelum. BTW, I know that area inside out having grown up there. I would be interested in seeing the Punjabi Nieaea. Can you quote some reliable sources?

I could quote you many references as to historians who have (according to their research) pinpointed Nicaea, as well as Bucephala, Alexandria on the Hyphasis (even more to the east) etc. But you didn't really search the net (or any other source), so first give it a try...

3. "As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. —Plutarch, Vita Alexandri, 62."

So... where is ANY hint that Alexander LOST that or ANY battle there????? The "repulsed" word? All sources agree that the battle of Hydaspes was the bloodiest battle Alexander gave...but still, Plutarch CLEARLY says he won...

Plutarch says in Vita Alexandri (Vios Alexandrou) "For by this means both wings being broken, the enemies fell back in their retreat upon the center, and crowded in upon their elephants. There rallying, they fought a hand to hand battle, and it was the eighth hour of the day before they were entirely defeated. This description the conqueror himself has left us in his own epistles.", talking not only about Alexander;s victory, but on his sources, which even included epistles (letters) by Alexander himself.

futher on : "When Porus was taken prisoner; and Alexander asked him how he expected to be used, he answered, "As a king." For that expression, he said, when the same question was put to him a second time, comprehended everything."

This is what I call misquoting a source.... you see Plutarch is very clear as to the outcome of this battle, yet you choose to bring forward only what might assist your hypothesis.

I know what Plutarch position is. He is obviously not fully neutral and trustworthy source. The point I was making that even acknowledges that the battle wth Porus broke Alexander's morale and forced him to retreat. We obviously have to take whatever else he says with a gran of salt because he being a Greek will not easily admit that the greatest Greek hero may have lost the battle and escape the consequences. --Internet Scholar (talk) 23:51, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
4. We are under no compulsion to keep holding theories propouded by 19th century colonial historians notorious for orientialist bias as sacrosanct and above questioning. However, since you have elevated this debate to proving academic sources here is the opinion of a renowned post-colonial Indian historian (secondary source reference has been clearly provided as per Wiki rules):
"Historian Buddha Prakash has analysed the inconsistencies between the accounts given by Juslin, Plutarch, Diodoros, Curtius and Arrian. He has observed, "The accounts of the Greek writers about the end of the battle are full of confusion and contradictions. What is clear from these accounts is that Alexander and Porus made peace and became friends. From the unanimous remarks of these authors that Porus was reinstated in his state and the territories conquered by Alexander in India [That is territories other than those ruled by Porus] were added to his dominion. (Buddha Prakash, Political and Social Movements in Ancient Punjab (1976) 171, 310)......The author further points out that it is evident from Arrian’s narrative that Alexander took the initiative in opening talk with Porus, who was reluctant to have any talks with Alexander he rebuffed his envoys and emissaries many times. But Alexander showed so much perseverance that ultimately, through the instrumentality of an old friend, Porus agreed to meet him. He zealously preserved his dignity and status in his talk with Alexander. The outcome of the peace parleys was an enlargement of the kingdom of Porus by the surrender of a large chunk of territory by Alexander". (Buddha Prakash, Porus 678)."

Very good... again you do not answer my clear question which was "Is your theory what Indian universities and schools teach?" What a certain historian claims is not an answer. NONE of these sources even hints at a defeat of Alexander, as I have shown you Plutarch did not, regardless your selective quotation. Just read what you posted... "... it is evident from Arrian's narrative (the same Arrian who in detail describes Alexander's victory over Porus's army), that Alexander took the initiative in opening talk with Porus..." This is just NOT MAKING SENSE! You are bringing forward a theory from the 1960's or 70's, roughly based on a Persian text of the 11th century AD, which,in reality, IS BUT A FRINGE THEORY and nothing more.

The weakness and arbitrariness of your logic betrays itself no where more than it does here. Who are you to decide what is a fringe theory? One culture's fringe is another group's mainstream. What is fringe is also called subaltern these days which as a field of study has full recognition in the mainstream. Buddha Prakash's work is totally peer-reviewed academic grade work. He points out the inconsistencies of the colonial discourse on Alexander and his arguments are very persuasive. Taking your approach whatever you quote as mainstream, the narrative of colonial Western scholars, can be dismissed as Orientalism which Edward Said critiqued so well. So lets keep these loaded statements out because they can cut both ways. You are no one to judge what is fringe. To speak to your other point, yes Alexander's victory over Porus ***theory*** is no longer being accepted a view free of colonial bias and is being increasingly questioned in media based on the implied contradictions in textual sources and slowly but surely making its way into academia. Buddha Prakash was an established and reputed scholar of history...he was no kook from some nationalist radio show. All of his work was peer-reviewed and published in Western and Indian history journals.--Internet Scholar (talk) 23:51, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
5. You know what... I am actually amused that your argument and facility with fact could deteriorate to such level. So you could not discover anything...it means it does not exist? That Alexander learnt how to use phalanx strategically means other civilzations were deficient in battle craft?
The battle formation which are discussed in Indian military manuals perhaps have few parallels in world literature. They were called 'Vyuhas'. There are atleast 16 distinct battle formations discussed in Mahabharata and other military texts, all of which precede Greek sources. A quick search on wikipedia would yielded the following results about various battle formations mentioned in Indian literature:

I just used your methodology as I have perfectly well explained. I KNOW that the Indians used tactical battle formations. They are described by the very sources you laugh at. Yet, you bring forwars a text, which is NOT a military treatise, which refers to battle formations, yet does not desribe them, which is clearly a religious mythological text (I liked the parts about Gods battling among humans as well as the "flowery" descriptions of some engagements, a parallel to Homer's Illias). If you want to see what an ancient military textbook looks like, why don't you see the works of Arrian, Asclepiodotus, Aeneas, Onassander, Xenophon, Aelian, Polyaenus... You refute Graeco-Roman sources, written in a scientific, non-religious manner and yet you dare glorify a text (and I do not refute its value. It is you who do this, by discarding texts much more scientific than that, as idiotic, biased, "hierographies"...), which has ALL THE CHARACTERISTICS you hate...

Secondly, Indians were perhaps the first civilization to have formal warrior code. They fought according to strict rules of chivalry and treatment of a surrendered enemy in their culture was perhaps not paralleled in world history till the Geneva Convention. In fact Greeks were perhaps known for not respecting any rules of war. The way Alexander plundered and massacred in Persepolis, it showed a clear barbaric streak in him. No wonder the word 'Yavana' , originating from Greek 'Ionia', is almost synonymous with barbarians in Sanskrit. Conquering Indian armies were required by their warrior code not to massacre unarmed civilians and to forgive a surrendered enemy. Those who failed to observe this code were excommunicated from warrior communities. Here is more on the subject (see Dharmayuddha) --Internet Scholar (talk) 17:27, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Maybe they were... but again you are jumping to slandering conclusions... The Greeks considered any breaking of the rules of war a "sin" as did the Indians. Sometimes they broke them, as did the Indians, and their historians scolded the perpetrators for that. Plutarch scolds Alexander for butcering an army of Indians after he had promised them safe conduct. On the other hand, so does your Mahabharata regarding the near extinction of the Nagas (or were they real snakes?). As for Dharmayuddha, i especially liked the part about not using any celestial weapons against common soldiery and the part about how elephants and chariots should not attack infantry (which is what they did at Hydaspes, unless you think that since the historians did not get the story right, they can't have done such an atrocity...) Fun aside, such rules of conduct is not uncommon in warrior cultures. Such rules are attested to be in effect in Mycenean Greece, in classical Greece (if you study the Greek hoplite warfare you will find too many similarities. Just read Herodot to see the scorn of Mardonius regarding the honorable system of Greek warfare...), even in european medieval warfre. Of course, this does not mean that these rules were always followed, as of course was the case in India too. But then... how do you know all what you are supporting about India is true? I don't even dare to imagine that you would ever give value on such an exorbitantly mythical text... (take away all your literary sources and you are left with what?)

I will leave you the final word. I really think that there is no point arguing about a fringe theory, no matter how possible you deem it. Should you unearth any historical evidence, apart from scattered opinions of certain historians, I will be happy to review them.

GK1973 (talk) 22:19, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I take objection and offence for what you said in brackets in the following sentence of yours "As for Dharmayuddha, i especially liked the part about not using any celestial weapons against common soldiery and the part about how elephants and chariots should not attack infantry (which is what they did at Hydaspes, unless you think that since the historians did not get the story right, they can't have done such an atrocity...)". Please note that the rules of war were set forth by meeting each other. So the rule that elephants and chariots should not attack infantry was made during and for Dharmayuddha when the opposing sides (Pandavas and Kauravas) met each other before the war. But no such rule was made during Hydapses. So please be careful when you put your points across. It was not a general or universal rule - so keep your scathing remaks to yourself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 61.246.57.2 (talk) 03:40, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

The above remark / comment was added by Dhananjay G on 26th Oct 2009.. sorry for not signing it in the first go. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 61.246.57.2 (talk) 03:44, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

My final word is regarding Mahabharata. You have shown excessive haste in dismissing it as mythological. It is infact quasi-mythological only. It contains a lot of secular information only and it continued to evolve till the Kushan age (roughly about 500 AD). Most of the places and events mentioned it have been verified including the submerged city of Dwaraka which disapeared in sea about 3000 years ago. I recommend you read Michael Wood's 'Story of India'. Indians preserved and transmitted their secular and practical knowlege through mythological devices using figurative language and parables. These mythological texts are regarded by all Indologists , including Westerners, as bonafide sources of history. G'Bye.--Internet Scholar (talk) 23:51, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

My God... Haven't you yet understood that I DO NOT DISMISS MAHABHARATA!!!! I just showed you how easy it is to dismiss sources just because you choose to! I just wanted to show you that you apply different criteria to what sources you are accepting and what you are not! If you are so adpotive of this book, how can you so easily dismiss the works of so many others, whose writings are much less mythological? History is based on the interpretation of these sources. Archaeology (fortunately or unfortunately) comes second only to sometimes prove or disporve them. But the world;s history is basically based on literary sources... And of coure, fringe theory is any theory not supported by an able body of historians. Please answer me whether in Indian and Pakistani universities are prevalent the theories of B.P or those based on the Graeco Roman historians...?? This would answer to the question whether this is a fringe theory in the Indian subcontinent as it is in the rest of the Western or Eastern world.

Sorry for the new questions but please do answer me. I really want to know how dominant this theory is in this part of the world.

GK1973 (talk) 00:37, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

: The merits and context Mahabharata as a source of the ancient Indian military treatises on battle formations is entirely different from the embeliished accounts of Alezander's 'victory' over Porus from Greek sources which are not traceable to any contemporary primary and secondary sources of Alexander's era. In fact now Western scholars are themeselves question the authenticity of even Arrian's claim that he reconstructed Alexander's sources from Ptolemy who was far away from India when the war with Porus took place. Further they are even hinting that Ptolemy's own works which Arrian relies are of dubious academic value. We could get into those arguments later provided there is sincere inquisitieness about the subject. But to keep it short , with regard to your question as to what Indian and Pakistani univeristy scholars are saying on the subject, I leave you with two articles. One of them is from The Tribune which is a highly reputed mainstream Indian newspaper. The article gives the drift of Indan and Pakistani evaluations of the colonial theories about Porus. Indian universities are fast evolving toward a postion which do not regard Alexander as the victor in the battle with Porus. Indian universities are far more conservative about accepting new theories but this revision of colonial evaluations on the subject is being treated with growing respect and acceptance as would be obvious from the Tribune article:

http://indus.usask.ca/~jamali/sindh/story/node7.html http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090329/spectrum/main5.htm

Again you and I are no one judge what is fringe. If a theory , or critques thereof , have made it to a peer-reviewed work, it is as mainstream and acceptable as any other theory.

--Internet Scholar (talk) 01:50, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

..so... they still teach that Alexander conquered Porus at Hydaspes, but in the future they might change their views... OK, question answered. GK1973 (talk) 11:54, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

No this is what I said or meant. It is something you would love to conclude but it is not the case. The consensus position in the university departments is that the colonial theory of Alexander victory over Porus has obvious flaws and is based on contradictory textual material/primary sources. Intead of dismissing the old theory out of hand, both theories are taught and discussed, which is the way it should be on wikipedia too. But the media and popular discourse has already accepted that Alexander had in fact lost to Porus because the latter came out of war more than what he had before the war and Macedonian army was forced to retreat because they had never witnessed bravery like this before in battlefields (FYI: UNESCO recognizes the battle of Saragarhi fought by just 21 Punjabis/Sikhs at par with Thermopylae in terms unparalleled feat of gallantry in world history). Questioning of old theory is also being echoed in Western universities because they have now started questioning Arrian who was long considered to be most authoritative source on Alexander. Hollywood has also done its bit already revising this colonial fallacy of Alexander's invincibility in popular mind the world over. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 13:32, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Wake me up when this discussion produces anything useful. Wandalstouring (talk) 13:08, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The useful conclusion is that both the theories should be discussed in the main article rather than giving undue weight on any single one which is the way it is now. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 13:41, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
That's giving WP:UNDUE weight to a fringe opinion. No sir. Wandalstouring (talk) 15:38, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
My mistake I took you to be a neutral editor following good faith principle. You have no authority to decide that it is a fringe theory. The fact that it has got an expression in a world wide Hollywood block buster proves that it is not fringe but a valid competing alternate theory exposed to millions the world over. It is mainstream in India/Pakistan has wide newspaper and academic coverage and fast gaining currency in West too. It atleast needs a mention. The wikipedia rules state that even 'fringe' theories can be given coverage proportionate to their coverage in notable media. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 16:09, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Wiki rule Wikipedia:Fringe theories states that : "A fringe theory can be considered notable if it has been referenced extensively, and in a serious manner, in at least one major publication, or by a notable group or individual that is independent of the theory." This is not to suggest that this theory , i.e, Porus was not defeated by Alexander, can be considered fringe anymore having received extensive coverage in Indian and Pakistani media/academia and having been exposed to millions in popular culture the world over through a very powerful and potent medium like a Hollywood blockbuster. This theory has established itsWikipedia:Notability quite convincingly for wikipedia purposes. There are also multiple Indian and Western academic books and journals citing Dr. Buddha Prakash's works as well, establishing the proponent's notability too. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 17:06, 9 April 2009 (UTC)


..Maybe it is time to rewrite the Trojan Campaign, since in the movie it is clearly stated that in reality it was Achilles who killed Agamemnon, when the Greeks broke into Troy... or maybe rewrite the history of William Wallace and how he gave battle in the plains of Stamford Bridge... The Gladiator also gave important details on the history of Rome and I think that Enemy At The Gate is a great resource on the siege of Stalingrad!!!???? IS, a movie CANNOT be considered a source... and of course I have to remind you that even in this movie it is Alexander's army who is victorious at Hydaspes, since the army of Porus is retreating... PLEASE.... if you are to produce sources, do it properly... cite some non-Hindu historians who accept this theory and establish the extent of its acceptance. Please, let's not argue over things as basic.

Why don't you quote some non-European scholars? What kind of rogue argument is this. If a scholar is peer reviewed and cited in other other peer-reviwed journals, his notability is already established. We are not talking about acceptance here but about notability. None of the theories have universal acceptance. You have been spending a lot time on non-sequiturs. I guess you are ery passionate about this issue but lets (both of us and others) not stoop to making racist and ethnic arguments.--Internet Scholar (talk) 00:12, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

By the way... Stone's historical adviser Robin Lane Fox stated in an interview :"Critics hunting for "historical errors" are hunting for the wrong category. Total "historicity" was impossible, and would leave big gaps besides. The right approach is to look for the density of historical allusion, and reference--and ask whether if gives a powerful "feel" to the drama. I think it does." A movie can never be cited as a historical source...

GK1973 (talk) 20:56, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Did you really think I would quote a movie as an academic reference? I guess you had known me better by now:-) On a serious note I think Robin Lane Fox's comment about historicity is a general comment about the unreliable and tenuous nature of Greek textual sources on Alexander which have increasingly come under serious academic suspicion even in the Western academy. Robin Lane Fox is no Hollywood junkie that Stone picked from LA's Rodeo Drive. He is a serious scholar of history at Oxford. If he chose not to show Alexander as the victor in battle with Porus, it just goes to show how the theory you are desperately trying to exclude as "fringe" has impacted the Western academy. I can show you half a dozen Western research journals and academic grade work which quote Budha Prakash's doubts about the colonial theory about Porus. Oliver Stone's movie itself may have little citable value but it does establish that Porus victory over Alexander view is no longer restricted to some dank corner of academy but has trickled down into popular culture (thus establishing the entry into the mainstream for the theory). Also, while the movie itself may not citable but Robin Lane Fox , being an Oxford history scholar, is definitely very citable.--Internet Scholar (talk) 00:28, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

...Robin Lane Fox admits that he was not the one to call the decisions... and again I have to repeat that even according to Oliver Stone, it was Alexander who won the battle... And of course let us not forget that you quoted a film as reference! Just some lines above! Now... if I quote you some non European academians who insist that Alexander conquered at Hydaspes, will you at last show us ANY other (preferably non Hindu) academic source apart from the creator of this theory?? And by tyhe way... where does the Western World begin and where does it end according to you? Do you mean non-Caucasian, non-American? Are Russians westerners? For I perfectly well know, that EVERY university around the world teaches that Alexander conquered Porus at Hydaspes. Why are you so unwilling to give any sources? If you really believe that your opinion is really a well acknowledged alternative, a globally taught version of events, then how come you do not bombard us with sources? I can quote you a hundred books on Alexander's exploits, on ancient warfare, on Greek tactics, on the Hellenistic times... can you bring forward 3-4 which propose your opinion as a real plausible alternative? I bet that even in India and Pakistan there must be a hunderd historians having written on Alexander. How many dismiss the surviving Graeco Roman descriptions as imaginary, hagiographical fairy tales? What is really funny is that in order to construct your arguments you cannot but use these men's writings!!! Even men who would have absolutely NO reason to glorify Alexander's expeditions! As for universal acceptance, if by that you mean 100%, then you are very right. Yet, if we are talking about numbers approaching more like 90%, then the dominant theory is that Alexander beat Porus.

BTW, although I would find it very unproper to cite such a weakly supported theory in this article, I, personally, would have no problem with its citing in the respective article about the battle itself, rather than here. There, you could propose it as an alternative theory, in a manner that would show that, although not the "official" version of events, it exists. Here, its significance would multiply, since few things are anyways siad about the battle itself and too much is already being suggested on why he did not pursue further into India.

GK1973 (talk) 01:10, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Disagree, again. I am not proposing anything. It is not my business as a wikipedia editor to propose any theory or provide any original research, nor is it your business to refute any so long a notable secondary source reference exists from a reliable source. It is 'weakly' supported only in a mind which cannot think outside ethnic nationalistic prejudice (Indian, Macedonian, Greek, Albanian, KKK or whatever). Otherwise, a neutral person should not feel distressed in an opposing viewpoint to be presented when it has been acknowledged , irrespective of the debate on acceptance, even by those who hold an alternate view. For the wikipedia article purpose, the theory's notability is clearly established as the theory and its proponent both are widely quoted in peer-reviewed Indian, Pakistani and Western academic journals/books. Even Robin Lane Fox's academic works reference B. Prakash. Acceptance or validity of a theory is not an issue here , it is the notability and reliablity of the secodary source. It is not your and mine business as Wiki editors to pass subjective jugements as to what constitues "weakly supported", "official", etc. You are extending your brief as Wiki editor if you think you can do it and it will be considered original research which is not permissible. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 02:38, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Let me quote the fringe theory notability criteria again for those who are able to stay neutral on this issue:

A fringe theory can be considered notable if it has been referenced extensively, and in a serious manner, in at least one major publication, or by a notable group or individual that is independent of the theory. References that debunk or disparage the fringe theory can also be adequate, as they establish the notability of the theory outside of its group of adherents.

B. Prakash's alternate view passes this creterion and hence merits inclusion in the article. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 02:51, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

...I wrote an answer but I deleted it again. I am not willing to sink further into this conversation. I know that I repeat myself, but I see no point anymore. Gbye! GK1973 (talk) 03:55, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

BTW, there is a section in the article called non-Greek/non-Latin perspectives. I know that you will refuse, but you could include B.P.'s theory there. GK1973 (talk) 04:19, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps people will not agree to it is because at some level they are aware that it involves a degree of chicanery to keep a valid altenate view , satisfying the wiki's notability criteria , out of the space where it would be most relevant and satisfy its context. Not to include this notable view at the place would only indicate a conspiracy of silence and pandering to an ingrained and partisan ethnic prejudice about a view which is openly in circulation in many countries and pop culture (including Hollywood) and also taken note of in serious Western academic journals and works. Thanks--Internet Scholar (talk) 14:05, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
No one here uses Hollywood or Bollywood as a reference for the history of Alexander the Great! Is there anything unclear about that? Wandalstouring (talk) 06:13, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi I am an Indian. Since our childhood we were thought that Alexander (Sikander in Hindi) attacked India. There was a battle between him and Porus. Alexander captured Porus and ask how should I treat you Porus replyed Treat me as one King treats other king This impressed Alexander and rest of the story is known to you. In short

  • Porus lost the battle.
  • Alexander didnt crossed Moder day Indo-Pak border. He only visited modern day pakistan.--Suyogtalk to me! 11:35, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

random section break

  • Note There is a lot of unsigned comments making it difficult for others to make any sense out of this long conversation. May i request everyone to sign the unsigned. thanks. --Like I Care 20:46, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, all the texts in italics signed by InternetScholar are interposed among mine, where the man wanted to make an argument. GK1973 (talk) 21:19, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I am no historian, but I can read English. From what I read above, Internet Scholar (talk · contribs) is attempting to insert a theory into this article which not many people knew before (including me, though it doesnt mean anything). He quotes work by Buddha Prakash and claims his work has been taken note of in various academic journals and authors. The burden is entirley upon him to prove that the theory is not just fringe, which, in my opinion, is to show us the academic journals and works where this theory has been discussed and thus give others here the oppurtunity to read and understand the theory itself and the context (recognising and embracing or dismissive) in which it is discussed. --Like I Care 22:04, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


I am surprised by the arguments given here. No where I have stated that Oliver Stone's movie is a reference. Even if Buddha Prakash's theory is discounted as a 'fringe theory' which it no longer is being so widely exposed in media , acedemia and even indirectly in Western popular culture now through Hollywood, Wikipedia guidelines referenced above do not mention that they should be excluded. I will contribute more time to this issue as and when my priorities allow them and rest assured will follow all the possible wiki guidelines for any edits. The gentleman stating that he read only one version of the theory has probably not read history beyond his high school years . Otherwise, he would have known that Buddha Prakash is quoted by all reputed scholars in reputed Indian, Paksitani and Western history journals. Even Pakistani scholars quote him with respect about the ancient history of Punjab on which he is considered to be an authority. I will of course address corroborate this and address these issues on Discussion page in coming days as I get time for this issue. Thanks for remaining constructive and civil. Regards.--Internet Scholar (talk) 15:53, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
fine, whenever you have time. you could point to the references and if we dont have access to them, you might as well quote them here and include the journal name, issue number (volume), year and page number, title of the work, name of the authors. we will go from there. --Like I Care 15:59, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I would not have quoted Buddha Prakash, if I felt that his reputablilty and notability was in doubt. I have no problem in providing the above and would not have edited the article anyways without satisfying wiki guidelines about notability and other editing issues. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 17:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Any theory or idea proposed by any researcher, from Asia, Europe or anywhere on the planet, if it contradicts current understanding of a subject, would not pass through the stringent notability criteria and therefore inclusion in wikipedia, unless the same theory is acknowledged, recognised and used to derive other theories, ideas and conclusions by people working in similar or other fields of work. That, I believe, is what is being asked of here. it is not about questioning Prakash's notability or integrity. --Like I Care 18:14, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I am intrigued by your sudden interest on subject related with history which by your admission you have never studied beyond high school. Thanks for the above opinion though. Fortunately we have wikipedia rules which are quite clear on the subject:

A fringe theory can be considered notable if it has been referenced extensively, and in a serious manner, in at least one major publication, or by a notable group or individual that is independent of the theory. References that debunk or disparage the fringe theory can also be adequate, as they establish the notability of the theory outside of its group of adherents.

Lets not exchange more messages until I have had time to post Buddha Prakash's references. I am cannot give any timeline for this. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 19:39, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Porus Defeated Alexander

Here are some excerpt from "Anabasis Alexandri" (The Campaigns of Alexander in Greek) by the Greek historian Arrian of Nicomedia.

It is generally considered the most trustworthy source(Not sure why). I think there are no trustworthy sources as none of them are original books and the supposed original itself was written many years after Alexanders death.

Chapter XIV The Battle At The Hydaspes Aristobulus says that the son of Porus arrived with about sixty chariots, before Alexander made his later passage from the large island, and that he could have hindred Alexander's crossing(for he made the passage with difficulty even when no one opposed him); if the Indians had leaped down from their chariots and assaulted those who first emerged from the water. But he passed by with the chariots and thus made the passage quite safe for Alexander; who on reaching the bank discharged his horse-archers against the Indians in the chariots, and these were easily put to rout, many of them being wounded.

Other writers say that a battle took place between the Indians who came with the son of Porus and Alexander at the head of his cavalry, that the son of Porus came with a greater force, that Alexander himself was wounded by him, and that his horse Bucephalas, of which he was exceedingly fond, was killed, being wounded like his master by the son of Porus. But Ptolemy, son of Liagus, with whom I agree, gives a different account. This author also says that Porus despatched his son, but not at the head of merely sixty chariots; nor is it indeed likely that Porus hearing from his scouts that either Alexander himself or at any rate a part of his army had effected the passage of the Hydaspes, would despatch his son against him with only sixty chariots....

Few points to note

1. Alexander was there with a part of his army. Some one had mentioned earlier that it was just a small group of soldiers and Alexander was not part of it.

2. Arrian also says other writers, not other writer, so there were many writers who wrote that Alexander was defeated there.

3. For his own version of this event, Arrian refers to just one writer. Ptolemy.

Another excerpt where Arrian clearly states the a reason for not crossing and it is the same reason why Alexander could not have won

Chapter XI Alexander's Stratagem to get across (Alexander's orders to Craterus) "But, if he(Porus) leads all his elephants with him against me , and a part of the rest of his army is left behind in the camp, then do thou cross the river with all speed. For it is the elephants alone," said he "which render it impossible for the horses to land on the other bank. The rest of the army can easily cross"

Here it is clear that the horses were scared of elephants, not just because they see them but all animals can smell them and hear their high frequency noises. It is a known fact in India that it takes a lot of training to make a horse to even stand at some distance from a elephant. Usually horses run when they sense an elephant in anyway. So it is impossible to attack an elephant using an untrained horse.

Few other facts,

1. In memory of his victory, Alexander built a city at the place where he started the crossing, not where he "won". The other city was at the place where he landed, an island on the river, where his horse was killed, again not in Porus territory 2. He gave gave Porus a kingdom larger than he ruled, most probably included Taxila as it was adjacent to Porus's kingdom and he did not capture anything to the east. But the Taxila ruler was his ally. He obviously could not have given Porus kingdom separated by Taxila.

Again some people say he has done this before. In none of the cases he allowed the ruler he defeated to continue to rule the land he captured. He may have allowed one/some of the natives to rules. That is a major difference. And he never gave any of them additional kingdom much larger than their own kingdom.

Alexander is also not known to forgive people who fought bravely. This is a law in ancient times, when you have a chance terminate all threats, competitors or enemies. This is how kings survived. If they let a brave enemy walk free, he will come back to kill you later.

Alexander's story is not based on history but stories from ancient times, which were based on history.

The section in wikipedia on Alexander is generally balanced, except for claims of his capturing the known world or he defeating Porus.

It is mentioned that "By the time of his death, he had conquered (see Wars of Alexander the Great) the Achaemenid Persian Empire, adding it to Macedon's European territories; according to some modern writers, this was most of the world as known to the ancient Greeks."

The known world to Greeks included ancient India, which extended up to Indonesia, northern africa, most of Europe. Even if Alexander defeated Porus, he just captured a small fraction of ancient India, just Egypt in Africa and part of south eastern Europe, which will be just around 20% of the known world to the ancient Greeks.

When describing the war with Porus you have to mention that there were different versions of the event and in most versions he was defeated when he landed on the island.

Lakx72 (talk) 22:38, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


Good points. The story of Alexander's victory over Porus entirely depends on the narrative of Arrian who was a secondary historian. Now Arrian's authenticity as a secondary historian is strongly a suspect because the archival material he based his authenticity on has been found to be propaganda. Refer to the following research article for more details:


Errors in Arrian, Author(s): A. B. Bosworth, Source: The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 26, No. 1 (1976), pp. 117-139, Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association

Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrian#Errors_in_Arrian:_Criticism

The weakest point in Arrian's narrative seems to be that defeated king ended up with the kingdom of an ally after his defeat! This is just not believable. And why would a vicotrious king or army not return after a revolt through the land it had already conquered and had firm control over? These are general weaknesses in Arrian's account.--130.101.152.48 (talk) 18:09, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
You're starting your WP:OR again? So what if Arrian has been erronously copied or even made some mistakes, there is no other source. Your conclusions are worthless. You're only allowed to cite material from scientific debattes and have to show that it's more than a fringe theory. Otherwise we could reference this article exclusively with Tarn and the like. Wandalstouring (talk) 15:53, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Arrian also mentions that India had gold digging ants, so since we do not have any material from scientific debates to refute it,it is a fact that India had gold digging ants.

Why is Arrian reliable? Why are the vedas not reliable when they mention thousands of years human history and mention the design for Vimana(aircraft) etc? Why is the kings lists from many centuries before Alexander mentioned in the Sangam literature not reliable? The reason kings mentioned in Sangam literature are not included in the history of India is due to the "DIFFERENT VERSIONS" of kings list. The vedas are not reliable because we do not have any archeological proof to back it.

ARRIAN IS NOT RELIABLE BECAUSE HE HIMSELF STATES THAT THERE WERE MANY VERSIONS AND THERE ARE NO ARCHEOLOGICAL PROOF OF ANY VICTORY IN INDIA. SO THE VICTORY AGAINST PORUS IS JUST A FRINGE THEORY WHICH HAS NOT BEEN BACKED BY ANY MATERIAL FROM ANY SCIENTIFIC DEBATE. AND ACCORDING TO ALL VERSIONS HE CAPTURED JUST 20% OF THE WORLD KNOWN TO THE GREEK, IF WE INCLUDE CHINA WHICH I ASSUME WAS NOT UNKNOWN THAN IT IS LESS THAN 10%. SO WHY KEEP MENTIONING THAT HE DEFEATED MOST OF THE KNOWN WORLD.

ALEXANDER WAS UNKNOWN IN INDIA UNTIL THE MUSLIM INVASION AROUND 1000 AD AND SINCE THEN IS KNOWN AS SIKANDER,AS HE WAS KNOWN IN PERSIA, IN NORTH INDIA ONLY AND EXCLUDING THE FEW ENGLISH EDUCATED HE WAS VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN IN SOUTH INDIA UNTIL THE 20TH CENTURY.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS, WE NEED PROOF TO SHOW SOMETHING HAPPENED NOT TO SHOW THAT NOTHING HAPPENED. FOR E.G. IF YOU SAY SOMEBODY BUMPED INTO YOUR CAR, YOU HAVE TO SHOW THE PROOF THAT THEY BUMPED INTO YOUR CAR, NOT THE GUY WHO SAYS HE DID NOT BUMP INTO YOUR CAR, THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO PROOF THAT HE BUMPED INTO YOUR CAR IS PROOF THAT HE DID NOT BUMP INTO THE CAR. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU SAY OR WHAT A JOURNALIST SAYS OR WHAT IS WRITTEN ANYWHERE.

SO SINCE THERE IS NO ARCHEOLOGICAL, SCIENTIFIC OR CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT ALEXANDER DEFEATED PORUS, IT IS A FACT THAT HE DID NOT DEFEAT PORUS. IF YOU STILL INSIST THAT HE DEFEATED PORUS, YOU HAVE TO PROVIDE ARCHEOLOGICAL OR SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO PROVE IT. UNTIL THEN HE NEVER DEFEATED PORUS.

Saddam Hussian was defeated less than a decade ago and if you were to write a book on the war today it will be a western version of the events and we all know it is wrong. If this can be the case in the information age than guess how reliable Arrian's version is when he had written it more than 300 years after Alexanders death. It was a time when the only way you knew what happened is if you had seen it happen, no videos, no photos etc. If we consider that a message will be corrupted with in couple of minutes when it is passed from one person to another, than 300 years is a very very very long time for a information to be reliable. So let us base Alexander's story on verifiable facts not on what Arrian has mentioned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 144.160.226.53 (talk) 21:37, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

You do understand, I hope, that history is mostly based on accounts we have from ancient/medieval etc writers... You understand, I hope, that Arrian, Polybius, Plutarch etc are writers whose words weighed and still weigh much. You understand, I hope, that all this lecture about not trusting anything that is not on video has nothing to do with history or archaeology. You understand, I hope, that we have absolutely no proof that Alexander the Great existed, exactly as we have absolutely no proof that Genghis Khan existed, Kublai Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte even Hitler himself.... who's to say that all these stories that he existed are not tales to frighten the masses and that all the footages we have of him are not doctored... Hell, I am not sure that India exists as a country, since I have never been there and you might be a pawn in a huge plot to convince the world that India exists.... What are you talking about??????? Please... these fringe, better non-existent, conspiracy theories, are better discussed in a forum as far away from Wikipedia as possible. There, you can discuss how no historical document is to be trusted, how the world's history is a product of mystic societies who wish to divert our attention from the fact that aliens have governed the world for the last 3.000 years, how we should wake up from the Matrix... GK1973 (talk) 22:11, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

As a late commentary on this long discussion (which I did not read completely), the relevant section is referenced using a secondary source on the history of ancient India, by an Indian author, based actually on a comprehensive list of early and other sources. Antipastor (talk) 03:25, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Alexander the Great and his people were ancient Macedonians. He was not an ancient Greek. They are both distinct ethnicities having separate languages.

Here are some quotes

"We have already inferred from the incident at the Olympic Games c.500 that the Macedonians themselves, as opposed to their kings, were considered not to be Greeks. Herodotus said this clearly in four words, introducing Amyntas, who was king c.500, as 'a Greek ruling over Macedonians' (5.20. 4)…" N.G.L. Hammond The Macedonian State p.141. Herodotus (7.130) speaks of the Thessalians as the first Greeks to come under Persian submission (although the Persians entered Macedonia first), and here using his own words, he clearly excludes the Macedonians from the Greeks. "Both Herodotus and Thucydides describe the Macedonians as foreigners, a distinct people living outside of the frontiers of the Greek city-states" – Eugene Borza, In the Shadow of Olympus p. 96

"Aristotle, born at Stageira on the Macedonian border and the son of a Greek doctor at the Macedonian court, classed the Macedonians and their institution of Monarchy as not Greek, as we shall see shortly. It is thus not surprising that the Macedonians considered themselves to be, and were treated by Alexander the Great as being, separate from the Greeks. They were proud to be so." "Philip and Alexander attracted many able foreigners, especially Greeks, to their service, and many of these were made Companions (e.g. Nearchus a Cretan, Eumenes a citizen of Cardia, and Sitalces a member of the Odrysian royal family). Some of them, if they served in the King's Army, were given Macedonian citizenship, which apparently was in the gift of the king." Hammond, The Macedonian State p.14

"The Greek states were to make a common peace and alliance with one another, and constitute themselves into a federal Hellenic League. Simultaneously, the league was to form a separate alliance with Macedonia, though Macedonia itself would not be a league member." Peter Green, Alexander of Macedon [p.86]

In Book XVIII, 1, Philip V from Macedon invites Flamininus (Roman commander) to explain what he, Philip, should do to have peace: "The Roman general replied that his duty dictated an answer which was both simple and clear. He demanded that Philip should withdraw from the whole of Greece, restore to each of the states the prisoners and deserters he was holding, hand over to the Romans the region of Illyria which he had seized after the treaty that had been made in Epirus, and so on...." "Philip should withdraw from the whole of Greece," Flamininus, the Roman general, clearly separates Macedonia from Greece, and demands from the Macedonian king to withdraw from Greece into his own Macedonia, a fact we again find in Polybius. Such evidence does not allow us to consider Macedonia as part of Greece.

"The Temenidae [the Greek origin] in Macedon are an invention of the Macedonians themselves, intended in part to give credence to Alexander I's claims of Hellenic ancestry, attached to and modifying some half-buried progenitor stories that had for a long time existed among the Macedonians concerning their own origins. The revised version was transmitted without criticism or comment by Herodotus. Thucydides (2-99.3; 5.80.2) acquired the Argive lineage tale from Herodotus, or from Macedonian-influenced sources, and transmitted it. His is not an independent version. [There is no hard evidence (pace Hammond, HM i: 4) that Thucydides ever visited Macedonia, but it makes no difference; Thucydides is reflecting the official version of things.] What emerged in the fifth century is a Macedonian-inspired tale of Argive origins for the Argead house, an account that can probably be traced to its source, Alexander I (for which see Chapter 5 below). The Temenidae must disappear from history, making superfluous all discussion of them as historical figures." (Borza - In the Shadow of Olympus"Why is it that no Spartan or Athenian or Argive felt constrained to prove to the others that he and his family were Helenes? But Macedonian kings seem hard put to argue in behalf of their Hellenic ancestry in the fifth century B.C., and that circumstance is telling. Even if one were to accept that all the Herodotian stories about Alexander were true, why did the Greeks, who normally were knowledgeable about matters of ethnic kinship, not already know that the Macedonian monarchy was Greek? But--following Herodotus--the stade- race competitors at Olympia thought the Macedonian was a foreigner (Hdt. 5.22: barbaros) Second, for his effort on behalf of the Greek cause against the Persians Alexander is known as "Philhellene". Now this is kind of odd to call a Greek a "friend of the Greeks". "This title", writes Borza, "is normally reserved for non-Greeks" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aleksander1978 (talkcontribs) 06:31, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

See this about the term "philhellene". It was used to emphasize someones patriotic contributions to the total of the Hellenes. Of course, your blindness doesn't let you see far from your nose. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philhellenism#Philhellenes_in_Antiquity

That link you have there says this

In antiquity, the term 'philhellene' (Greek: φιλέλλην, from φίλος - philos, "dear one, friend" + Έλλην - Hellen, "Greek"[8]) was used to describe both non-Greeks who were fond of Greek culture and Greeks who patriotically upheld their culture. The Liddell-Scott Greek-English Lexicon defines 'philhellen' as "fond of the Hellenes, mostly of foreign princes, as Amasis; of Parthian kings[...];also of Hellenic tyrants, as Jason of Pherae and generally of Hellenic (Greek) patriots[9]. Some examples: Jason of Pherae [1] Evagoras of Cyprus [2] and Philip II were both called "philhellenes" by Isocrates[3] The rulers of the Parthian Empire, merging Iranic and Greek culture described themselves as philhellenes.

It states non-greeks and greeks which the term was used for. It states that foreign princes of non-greek origin were given the title. Just like some of the kings of Macedon were called. The Macedonian Kings just appreciated the greek culture thats all.

Ernst Badian - Studies in the History of Art Vol 10: Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical Early Hellenistic Times: "As a matter of fact, there is reason to think that at least some even among Alexander I's friends and supporters had regarded the Olympic decision as political rather than factual--as a reward for services to the Hellenic cause rather than as prompted by genuine belief in the evidence he had adduced. We find him described in the lexicographers, who go back to fourth-century sources, as "Philhellene",--surely not an appellation that could be given to an actual Greek." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aleksander1978 (talkcontribs) 03:26, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


surely Alexander died at the age of 33 is the dob and dod are correct? please take a look and change it —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.5.159.217 (talk) 17:51, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Was He Great? Really?

Who designated Alexander as "The Great"? And why must we propagate this undeserved title to this day. Please go ahead and explain his "greatness" in the article. If someone did today, what Alexander did in his time, he would be regarded as one of the greatest killers and rouges of all time. He went a long way to attack, kill and lord over innocent peoples without cause of provocation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.169.201.107 (talk) 04:44, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

There is no reason to explain the reasons why he was called "the Great", although there are many. You can try to convince the world to stop using this title and then we can change it. GK1973 (talk) 13:24, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
At the top of the page, under all those notices, there is a small block saying "Recurrent topics". Click on the right side where it says "show" and you will see a few lists of topics. Search for a list called removing "the Great" . --Enric Naval (talk) 01:27, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
The title "The Great" is an indication of western bias, the East does not necessarily view alexander as "great." —Preceding unsigned comment added by ArdeshirBozorg (talkcontribs) 18:20, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Alexanders birthplace

In the article it says "Born Pella, Macedon in Greece". I think that this creates confusion as to thinking that Pella was in Greece when Alexander was born when in fact it was in Macedonia. So if it needs to be stated that the city Pella is in Greece today it should be like "Born Pella, Macedon (today Greece). —Preceding unsigned comment added by KirilV (talkcontribs) 10:45, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

This seems sensible to me Khcf6971 (talk) 15:49, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

hmm... I reverted this because when I saw it in the article it seemed a usual "challenging" comment and it awfully sounds like one. And of course you have to keep in mind that such a comment would of course draw the edits of all editors who know Strabo. Without getting into the conversation of what was Greece and what was Macedon back then, for whom and when, and because the context of this comment (Pella, Greece) is denoting the current and not the ancient location of the city anyway, I would suggest the omission of Greece and a link to Pella. Thus, no peculiar comment has to be made GK1973 (talk) 12:16, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I did it. It sounds sensible now. Other placenames are also not further discussed (like Babylon), so there is no inconsistency in the text. GK1973 (talk) 12:20, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Alexander's great friendships with women

Can someone help me find where it is hinted that Alexander had great friendships with women? Deep respect is fine with me, even admiration sometimes but friendship? I think that this argument should be deleted or reworded unless a relevant text is presented. Thanks. GK1973 (talk) 21:47, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

This claim is referenced in the text. It is made by a renowned academic. I don't really see that there is a problem with it. Why should he not have made friendships with women? MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 12:10, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that I can't find a reference that would support Green's claims (I do admit that I disagree with Green in many of his conclusions). In all my studies I have never encountered any passage that talks about Alexander being "friends" with any woman. Alexander's interraction with women was minimal due to his continuous campaigns. Ancient Greeks would rarely befriend women. Show them respect? yes. Protect and enamor them? yes. Am I sure that he had no female friends? No. But then this is not what the text says here...
It says "Alexander does seem to have formed strong friendships with women, including Ada of Caria, who adopted Alexander, and even Darius's mother Sisygambis, who supposedly died from grief when Alexander died.". So, it presents something not remotely supported by the sources (as far as my knowledge permits judgement) as something obvious. Why is it a problem? Because in my opinion it gives a false idea on how Alexaner treated women and why. He treated them with respect (obvious in many tetxts) but spending time with them, confiding in them, seeking coucil and other actions that would make a friendship probable he did not. We are told of heteres spending time with him and his men (heteres were actually not just prostitutes), but that is about the closest evidence to any woman befriending Alexander.
In my opinion, we could keep the text and just add that this is Green's opinion (apart from just referencing the text). Alexander is a very obscure figure and many academians offer many interpretations of his character, his exploits, his tactics etc. It is just logical that sometimes, even the writings of an important historian, as Green is, should not be held as universal truth, especially when not supported by the bulk of his peers who dare not even speculate on this point.
Anyways... I know it is but a detail but raise it I did to see if there are any more sources on this matter that I am not aware of. If you are aware of something more on this, please point me to it. Thanks. GK1973 (talk) 13:38, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Whilst you are of course free to disagree with Green's opinions, he is nevertheless a reliable source. Moreover, the use of Green as a source is useful in this article, because he provides some balance to the many sources who treat Alexander in very uncritical fashion. In this case, I think you are right; this passage should be ascribed directly to Green, since it is perhaps not a widespread opinion. MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 20:15, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I am fairly sure I have read somewhere that one of Alexander's female friends was the first to set fire to the palace. I'll look for a source. Kyriakos (talk) 22:21, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Here's a link : http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_t12.html . Kyriakos (talk) 22:23, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
She was an Athenean hetera and not a friend. She was present in the banquette. She is mentioned by Arrian, who does never hint at any friendship between her and Alexander. Women were of course present in Alexander's train to serve various purposes... GK1973 (talk) 12:48, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
One thing is sure, the relation between Alexander and Hephaistion was much more important than with any other woman. It's not surprising. Greeks were intellectual, they'd love to discuss mathematics, philosophy, and a lot of things that couldn't be thoroughly discussed with women since most of them were voluntarily kept away from education. Also, the women were considered as "weak" and therefore intimate relationship between men were considered as virile, unlike nowadays. The best example is the Sacred Band of Thebes made up of male couples. Each soldier would devote his life to his lover. They were defeated by Philip II of Macedon, but refused to surrender and every of them died. The reason why Green deny Alexander's homosexuality is obviously politic. Remember that in most of western countries, homosexuality remained a crime until the 1970s. I'm surprised there's no more mentions of Hephaistion in this article he had such an importance in the life of Alexander. Alexander considered him as a part of him, "one soul in two separated bodies", as Aristotle would say. taabord (talk)19:10, 13 November 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.48.149.237 (talk)

A common misconception about ancient Greeks is that they considered homosexual relations as a norm. They certainly did not have the same taboos we have today, they certainly engaged in homosexual relations sometimes accepted by their environment sometimes not. Yet, this article is not about homosexuality in Greece, a very controversial issue indeed, it is about Alexander. And there is no reference to Alexander engaging in a homosexual relation, not with Hephaisteon, not with Bagoas, nor with anyone else. This does not mean that he didn't, nor that homosexuality was not tolerated. Actually, there are many references to Alexander not engaging in homosexual activities, since according to ancient sources, Alexander repeatedly denied to accept male slaves as gifts. The fact that such gifts were offered (the passages describe the slaves as "beautiful young men", sometimes with more details...) clearly shows that the gift bearers did think of their gifts as appropriate to a Greek prince. The fact, though, remains that Alexander did not accept them and for some reason the ancient historiographers praised him for that (as if accepting the gifts would make him a less virtuous man). His relationship with Hephaisteon is never depicted as sexual. In truth, it is partly the wrong translation which adds to this overly drawn issue. "Erastis" is always translated as "lover" and this is not correct. An "Erastis" is not necessarily sexually involved with his "eromenos", so even the extract that fueled the homosexuality argument regarding the Theban Sacred Band is flawed. Again, this is not to say that homosexuality was perceived as is today, but believing that the argument that Greeks certainly engaged in regular homosexual activities is plainly wrong and unsupported by the ancient sources. In Athens (the supposed homosexual capital of Ancient Greece)there were laws against homosexuality and we have texts clearly condemning men who gave themselves sexually to other men. The fact that there were such men also shows that homosexuality did exist, but its extent is plainly unknown. In short, to take for certain that Alexander engaged in homosexual relations is totally unsupported by the ancient texts, to say that he might have engaged is a possibility, but then we should offer such suppositions in every article about male and female personas. The fact that he engaged in sexual relations with women on the other hand is certain (he did produce sons after all...). I do not know nor understand what is so important about Alexander's sexual preferences, nor why there is so much fuss about it. His relationship to Hephaisteon was very important, has to be commented, but that's about it. GK1973 (talk) 21:58, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Relations of Alexander

First of all I have to say that it was due time for someone to try and improve this and other sections in this article. It is a good thing that most disagreements are currently taking place regarding style and not content.

As general guidelines, I think that in this section we have to bring more data regarding Alexander's personal relations and stop concentrating on his sexual preferences. Of course these should be given and in my opinion the "controversy" over his bisexuality should be elaborated on (no direct proof, very possible due to certain attestations and different ethics of the time), since it has become an issue over the past decades but more should be added as to Alexander's relations to his parents, his relatives, his tutors, his friends, his enemies etc. Should we consider that Alexander's sexual orientation is so important we could dedicate a sub section to that.

As for my reverts, first I am sorry, since I believe that reverts are normally a sign of disrespect, which I truly do not hold. Now I am going to explain why I deem these last changes inappropriate.

1. the part about the "eromenos" word is very important to anybody who wishes to understand how Greeks expressed themselves and avoid quick mistakes through translation.

2. The bisexuality proposal should be clearly stated and ethically "absolved" by stressing the difference between moral values of then and now (and of course I am not judging homo- or bisexuality, but unfortunately, in our days most people do).

3. "apparently" was used because Heracles is an illegitimate child and his status as an offspring of Alexander is disputed as a political game (as is Caranus, apparently one of Philip's sons).

4. "at the Hydaspes" are the words of Ogden, the source of this info.

5. Bisexuality being a cultural norm is a very bold thing to say. We know it was practiced, we also know there were laws against pederasty and that homosexual prostitution was abhorred but we cannot say whether it was or was not the norm, whether it was only in certain parts of ancient Greece or even among certain social groups and at certain periods of time. It is one thing to accept its existence and another to present it as a social norm.

6. Ogden's conclusions regarding Alexander's "performance" as a father are correct and there is no reason for them to be excluded or differently given (the "highly comparable" part is definitely wrong, since Ogden clearly calculates Alexander's "performance" to be higher than that of Philip's. "highly comparable" actually hints at a lesser "performance", which is wrong. As for the extra info, it is given with the source, outside the flow of the text and is given to help the reader better understand what all this "calculation" is about, otherwise not totally clear.).

7. the "nowhere"/"not" part is a style difference. I think that "nowhere" is better, you think "not" is better. I could live with both, but I would advise for you to be more tolerant with other people's styles, unless you are really certain that your written word is better suited to the task. I happen to think that sometimes you are too informal, you might think otherwise, but this is details we can easily work through. In overall, I am very happy that we are set to improve this and other such articles and I think it is much easier done when you have "such" differences.

GK1973 (talk) 09:00, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I am going away for the weekend in about 10 minutes. I will be happy to discuss this further when I get back.

Regards, MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 09:45, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

GK1973, with all due respect for your efforts, it sounds funny to say, instert culture. Insert means, to put or introduce something into something, like a niddle, a paragraph, a question, and the insterted object does not fuse with the object it is inserted in. Anyway, good luck with everything. Politis (talk) 15:51, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

No problem friend... I know how it can sound but it really is used in such texts and I can quote examples. Look here at the definition of "insert" according to Merriam Webster dictionary

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insert

Actually, to "introduce" culture implies that the culture was unknown and unintroduced yet, which in this case is wrong since Greek culture had been introduced into Persia centuries ago. To "insert" culture denotes that whatever is iserted is not hybridized but introduced (as you correctly noted) in a compulsory (or semi-compulsory) way attempting to force this change on its recipients. This is what Alexander did when he gave the order to raise 30.000 Persian youths according to Greek standards, teach them the Greek language, culture and way of fighting. This is what he did by founding so many cities throughout his vast empire, cities that would be formed and administrated in a Greek way. Yes, Alexander did wish to unite the Asiatics with the Greeks (at least according to Plutarch), but he also tried to impose Greek cultural elements into the Persian (Egyptian, Indian etc) civilization. This imposition is stressed by the verb "to insert".

In the following texts you will see the phrase "insert culture" used in the same way.

Anyways... I changed it to "insert cultural elements". This cannot sound as funny, does it?

http://books.google.gr/books?id=6F8ySEym5ZkC&pg=PA64&lpg=PA64&dq=%22insert+culture%22&source=bl&ots=tfJJU6lFLk&sig=ISwCbblNFr0r6H-b7SFw1ZHE6bA&hl=el&ei=yY59SuamI4nEsAbL__T-Ag&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2#v=onepage&q=%22insert%20culture%22&f=false

http://books.google.gr/books?id=NvIjGUvQdVUC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=%22insert+culture%22&source=bl&ots=vDroY-0tAK&sig=n-iOzm1WQQ-p7CEeWGSTyg7lfbA&hl=el&ei=yY59SuamI4nEsAbL__T-Ag&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9#v=onepage&q=%22insert%20culture%22&f=false

http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-9724698_ITM

http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:qauLRULPv78J:www.readinglady.com/mosaic/tools/Critical%2520Literacy.ppt+%22insert+culture%22&cd=121&hl=el&ct=clnk&gl=gr

http://www.nation.lk/2009/03/15/eyefea4.htm

http://www.amazon.com/review/RBASIFC78G66A

I am sorry, if some are not 100% appropriate. I just fished them up on Google in a hurry.


GK1973 (talk) 14:22, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Generalship

I wish no disrespect MFBT but I could just as easily claim the same...

Look here :

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/generalship

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBR/is_2_31/ai_76496204/

http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2007/05/2635198

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/generalship

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/general/articles/generalshipandtactics.aspx

http://www.amazon.com/Generalship-Alexander-Great-Capo-Paperback/dp/0306803712

http://www.jstor.org/pss/702312

http://books.google.gr/books?id=qpb3JdwuDQIC&pg=PA306&lpg=PA306&dq=generalship+corinth+Macedonian&source=bl&ots=hByXl8kQ5_&sig=RIF3-CI100MUh2Z-KExhDUPFQnI&hl=el&ei=lYt9StffG4iunQOP8sXaAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8#v=onepage&q=generalship%20corinth%20Macedonian&f=false

http://books.google.gr/books?id=EkAZAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA472&dq=generalship+Aratus&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&num=100&as_brr=1#v=onepage&q=generalship%20Aratus&f=false

http://books.google.gr/books?id=bEk41ZjaEqQC&pg=PT658&dq=generalship+Aratus&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&num=100&as_brr=1#v=onepage&q=generalship%20Aratus&f=false

Generalship in ancient Greece meant to be elected or chosen a General (Strategeia).

I think these are enough to accept that the word exists and is used in exactly the way I did... Insulting you was never my aim but it seems that you do have overconfidence sometimes.I will not revert this edit of yours. Please, if you are satisfied that "Generalship" is indeed the correct English word to describe Alexander's election as Greece's General change it, if not, give me more reasons. GK1973 (talk) 14:30, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I can be over-confident sometimes, I admit. I apologise if I come across badly at times - it is never really my intention. It is often difficult to say exactly what you mean in a hurry, or in the short spaces Wikipedia sometimes gives you.
Anyway, I can fully accept 'Generalship' meaning the quality of a General; like leadership is the quality of a leader. However, the usual term for the position of General is Generality (compare - Captaincy, not captainship; Majorality not majorship; Lieutenancy, not lieutenantship). Generalship, although it is listed in the dictionary (as you point out; I have checked in several more as well) is not a common, idiomatic use of English. Furthermore, it is just a plain ugly word, contrived and awkward. MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 12:25, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Frend there is no need for apologizing. I just happen to be very familiar with the terminology concerning the exact matters we are discussing. "Generalship" can mean lots of things, but when used in relation with the ancient Greek "custom" to appoint Generals (in a democratic or non-democratic way) it is the correct term. Of course it is not spoken English, it is historic jargon to specificallly denote the "Strategeia" of the ancient Greeks (...during Aratus's seventeenth Generalship...). It is also used regarding various aspects of a General's work and duties but all these are irrelevant to the context of this article. As far as the sound is concerned, I can't say that I found the word "ugly" or "awkward", it is just a plain English word reserved for certain uses (as are aprentice-ship, guardian-ship, friend-ship etc)...

As for "generality"? I have never encountered this word in a military context apart from maybe (and very rarely) denoting the collective body of the generals. Please look it up again or give me an example, because I really do not think it can be a substitute for "Generalship". Of course "Generalship" is not idiomatic.. it is common English that has some jargonistic uses (as is the case in our article's context). Thanks! GK1973 (talk) 09:58, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Barbarian

barbarian is not always used in a pejorative way as you can see here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarian

(often used pejoratively). Tribal is not correct, because , among those barbarian (non Greek as is used in all historical texts concerning Rome and Greece)states are not purely tribal. The Paeonians and some Thracian and Illlyrian states were organized kingdoms comprising multiple tribes.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/barbarian

1st use.

http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861588817/barbarian.html

(sometimes considered offensive)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barbarian

http://books.google.gr/books?id=JB-3qBLoESoC&pg=PA132&lpg=PA132&dq=barbarian+neighbors+of+Macedonia&source=bl&ots=rTFPAaU23t&sig=rZgJDRaq03RMaGLscO3sBM1Dmow&hl=el&ei=BJR9SpCZNIzK_gblguHnBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#v=onepage&q=&f=false

(Carol G. Thomas uses the exact same expression)

J.R. Hamilton, ‘Alexander the Great’ Hutchinson, London, 1973

“The language spoken by the Macedonians, which Greeks of the classical period found intelligible, appears to have been a primitive north-west Greek dialect, much influenced by the languages of the neighboring barbarians.”

This is also not a pejorative use.

"Barbarian" is really used in historical texts in a non-pejorative way and a text on Alexander is by definition a historical text.

GK1973 (talk) 15:09, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree, see past discussion about the Ecumene concept. Everything outside the civilized world was considered "barbarian", and Alxander reinforced and spread that concept. Also, source mentioning how Alexander wanted to civiliza the barbarians [1] (page 130) and another saying that Alexander was the first seeing the men without making distintion between Greek and Barbarian [2] (page 447), another book explains exactly how and when the concept arised and how it was a matter of identifying the greeks by opposition to the rest of the world [3].
So, it's the correct term, and it's used in history books. --Enric Naval (talk) 18:39, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Barbarian, in plain, common English, is prejorative. It can be, and is used amongst historians in a non-prejorative way (as you have illustrated here). However, wikipedia is not written for historians, and should use words which cannot be misconstrued by an average reader. It is acceptable to use just about any term, as long as you define how you are using it. So, for instance, it would be acceptable to use the word barbarian to mean 'non-Greek', as long as you explicitly say that this is what you mean by the term. However, the WP:LEAD of an article is not the place to define terms, and the word barbarian should be avoided until it can be discussed in the proper text. MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 12:05, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

I can see that you want to keep things simple but I strongly disagree with that, when it has to do with terminology. We are supposed to contribute articles with an advanced and scientific vocabulary and structure appropriate to the topic. Although I sympathize with the need to write in a style easily understood by a native speaker I cannot agree that our terminology and style should be kept at highschool level. A topic about nuclear physics, one that I would be unable to really contribute to, should not make allowances in providing the correct terminology by substituting it with something else, just because it would be easier "understood" by those unacquainted with physics. The term "barbarian" is the default term used in historiography to denote non-Greek and non-Roman populations and cannot be substituted by anything else, which would not read funny. If this word was used to describe the crimes commited in a concntration camp, it would justly be called pejorative but in a historical text it is a fully acceptable term and could never be called thus. We are not supposed to be a children encyclopedia but we try to enhance the reader's knowledge and understanding on issues. If something reads funny to someone who is not familiar with the proper terminology, then this someone should research more. Of course I do not condone Shakespearean English used in Wikipedia but oversimplicity is also something I am strongly against.

Actually, if we are concerned that some readers would indeed misunderstand the meaning of "barbarians", we could just link it to the respective article. Would that lift your inhibitions?

I'm not suggesting that we don't use 'barbarian', just that we need to define what it means. I didn't think that this could be done in the lead, but actually, we can just insert a note, and the problem is solved. MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 20:03, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't have the time right now to criticise or reedit your newest edits in the last paragraph of the lead section but I also find many things there problematic and, personally, I still prefer the older version in many points. Some points worth considering, should you want to reedit are:

I am trying to make the last paragraph into a short, general statement of why Alexander is important/worth reading about. This is why I am trying to avoid details/contentious points. For instance; "Most of the known world" is vague, difficult to prove, and doesn't really stand up to close scrutiny; that is why I have removed it from the lead.

1. "Alexander remains one of the most well-known figures of Antiquity"

For example, in this sentence, "remains" reads funny, and "most well-known" is also not OK. "best-known" would be correct.

Well, he 'remains' because he was a well known Ancient figure in the medieval period, in the middle-ages, and so on. By contrast, some Ancient figures have fallen out of fashion, and so don't 'remain' well known. Moreover, 'most well-known' is completely standard English. 'Best-known' is a superlative (you can't be one of the best-known; you are either the best-known, or you are one of the most well-known); Alexander might be the best-known, but that statement would obviously need a reliable study showing that.

2. "Alexander's material legacy lasted 300 years"

This also is wrong. The cities Alexander built, his temples and shrines lasted much more, some still stand today! It is very unclear what you mean here.. You should specify.

You are right, this sentence needs refining.

3. "and defined an era in European history"

you mean a "new" era, but why all the rewording? What is wrong with "ushered in centuries of Greek settlement and cultural influence over distant areas of the world, defining a whole new era in world history."? The latter reads much better and is much more academic.

Firstly, no, I mean 'defined an era'. The era is no longer new, and at the time, no one claimed that a new era had started. Therefore, 'defined a new era' is not really correct. The Hellenistic kingdoms defined an era, but only in retrospect.
Secondly, the sentence that I replaced is just a repetition of information in the third paragraph of the lead. I was trying to make a more general point.

4. As for the territorial addition, I agree that this is sufficiently covered in the preceding text, although others could argue that it is important to again mention it in the epilogue. Anyways, I am with you on this one.

Good edits! GK1973 (talk) 13:08, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Macedon - Macedonia

I don't understand why all this fuss with this issue. What is incorrectly put by most proponents of the second onomatology is that "Macedonia" is correct, while "Macedonia" is a mistake. This is absolutely wrong. Both names have been used and still are in use and both are correct. As to the usability of these names "Macedonia" (of course concerning the ancient kingdom) is prevalent although "Macedon" does not lag far behind to be considered a clear winner. We have discussed this issue before and in length. I do not have any problem with both words as long as no wrong comments are being made as to both words' usability. GK1973 (talk) 14:15, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

To who it may concern: stop changing Macedon to Macedonia. The vast majority of the articles on Ancient Macedonian use 'Macedon' as a disambiguation, because it has no modern usage.
Let me make this clear: Unless you are going to change every single instance on Wikipedia of Macedon to Macedonia, don't start changing any. Otherwise you are de-linking all the articles that contain 'Macedon' in the title - e.g. Philip II of Macedon, Alexander IV of Macedon. Do you sincerely want to go around changing the titles of all these articles as well? If not, just leave the spelling as it is.
Personally, I don't give two hoots whether it's Macedon or Macedonia, but I do object to people messing up the encyclopedia for no good reason. MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 21:46, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree. All major classical institutions use as descriptive term macedon
ie
http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/cm/s/silver_tetradrachm_of_alexande.aspx
http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/cm/c/copy_of_a_gold_stater_of_phili.aspx
We should keep the articles related to ancient macedon as macedon and not twisting around. Is not about voting or mutually agreeing. Its about historical accuracy and all macedon articles start getting condaminated. 21:57, 31 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Melathron (talkcontribs)
Absolutely agree, 'Macedon' is accurate and also adds a bit of clarity. Khcf6971 (talk) 22:12, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

The majority of academic articles on ancient Macedonia is calling it "Macedonia" and NOT "Macedon". Yet, I would have no problem using "Macedon" since it disambiguates bettter with the modern country. GK1973 (talk) 16:33, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Lead

I am officially throwing my toys out of the pram. I have spent an eternity trying to write a well- written, thorough, and complete LEAD. I have tried to avoid controversy, choosing words to please everyone, whatever their view of Alexander. I have been dragged back to the TALK page repeatedly by GK1973, over every single sodding choice of word.

Yes, the lead is a little too long. But this is Alexander the Great! He is one of the most famous people in history! You cannot condense his life into a nothingness. Moreover, the lead should summarise the whole article: not just random parts of his life, with a whole paragraph on his father.

The new LEAD was simply not appropriate. Yes, there is room for improvement. But if people want to radically edit the LEAD, they can come to the TALK page, like I have been forced to do for what seems like every *&"£^! edit I have made.

Tantrum over. MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 21:46, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

That he is Alexander the Great is solid justification for having a large article on him. But the purpose of the lede is to provide the reader with a quick summary. The reader should quickly be able to read a few paragraphs and know a) if this is the article they are looking for, and b) the things that make this subject notable.
As a summary of the article, the lede will inevitably leave out much, including things that some will see as indispensable. Exactly what is dispensable or not will, of course, be subject to discussion on the talk page.
I am truly sorry for the loss you felt when reading the new lead. To not only put in all that writing, but also the compromising with others, and then to see it disappear—that must be upsetting. Please know that my edits were merely the result of a suggestion by one of our most productive editors (in terms not only of actual edits, but more importantly, in terms of FAs) that this lead was unacceptably long, combined with my own application of WP:BOLD. And while it might be a bit crude in the details in your eyes, I do believe that it meets the requirements of WP:LEAD better than the old version, and is simply more readable. If we are to return to the old version, then we are saying that the following facts are so important that they must be inserted into the opening, and cannot wait until later in the article:
  • which specific city-states rebelled against Alexander's ascension
  • all the possible causes of Alexander's death
  • the names of both of Alexander's wives
  • that his generals who came after him are called the Diadochi
The reader of the lead of the new version will know that there were Greek rebellions against Alexander's rule that were put down, and will know that Alexander died unexpectedly and at a young age, and will know that Alexander's empire was divided up amongst his generals, but the details above will come later, in the body of the article. Additionally, I felt that the paragraphs were not very cohesive. I don't know if it was in an attempt to meet the four-paragraph maximum or not, but they didn't work for me. And one more important point: The opening paragraph in the old version gave no hint whatsover that Alexander was anything different than your ordinary Greco-Macedonian leader. This is not acceptable; WP:LEDE recommends that the most notable thing about the subject be mentioned in the first sentence. The old version of this waits until the fourth and final paragraph of the lead to allude to Alexander's greatness.
Having said all this, I think you and your version raise some valid points. For example,
  • It probably is excessive to have an entire paragraph in a four paragraph lead that deals with Phillip.
  • While it is unnecessary in the lead to mention the names of Alexander's wives, it would be a good idea to touch upon how Alexander married for political/cultural reasons.
  • I also realize that I cut out some citations. If relevant to the emergent version, of course they should be restored.
I'm happy to work together on this, but I must also say that, in my experience, those with great knowledge in certain fields—especially historical knowledge—love their knowledge so much that they are just bursting to share it with the reader, and as such, often shove more in the lead than is actually necessary. I'll be open to your ideas, and trust that you will be open to mine. Cheers. Unschool 03:49, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, I'm sorry for yesterday's outburst. It sounds worse today than it did when I wrote it yesterday... It's been a frustrating two months working on this article, as you can see from the endless discussions above, and I'd had a frustrating day... no excuses though.
Secondly (putting my WP:CIVIL hat back on), I approve of your WP:BOLD move in principle (I am a usually a particularly BOLD person). However, as I have said, I have invested a lot in the old LEAD, and think we should proceed by elimination of useless information, rather than by total re-write.
Thirdly, I do basically agree with you, that the structure of the LEAD should be changed; on the other hand, there are some sentences that I am particularly happy with. I am very much open to your ideas; as you say, a fresh pair eyes always helps.
I will think about this today, and then make some proposals, incorporating both our ideas. We can then work from there, if that is ok? Thanks — your help on this is appreciated, no matter how grumpy the editors appear to be... MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 06:29, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I guess that by now MFBD must have understood that it was NOT me who changed the lead. I just (again) edited the changes done. As for being forced to discuss anything we cannot work out in our edits, this is why the discussion pages are about. How else should we decide on what should be written? By measuring our patience in edit wars about whether "Generalship" exists as a word or whether the word "barbarian" can be used in a non-pejorative way? And do not forget that you also were bold in your edits like editor Unschool was. So, yes, I am watching this and other articles and try to keep some standards as I understand them. I hope you do too. We worked through your proposals, so will we regarding Unschooled's version. I generally do not like drastic changes, but I am also not dismissive without a good reason. GK1973 (talk) 16:16, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I never thought that is was you: I would scarcely refer to you in the third person if I was addressing the comments to you. Anyway, yes of course that is what discussion pages are for. That doesn't alter the fact that it a frustrating process. And that I am frustrated by it. I don't expect it to be any different however!
I also freely admit (see above) to being WP:BOLD. However, I had been watching this page for long enough to know that no-one else was actually trying to improve the article; it seemed unlikely that I would interfere with anyone else's creative process. I am not against BOLDness in general. Anyway, I apologise to you; the comments were not directed at you, but I did mention your name in an uncivil context. Pax vobiscum. MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 18:36, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

No problem! GK1973 (talk) 08:52, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Alexander s title

Kindly allow me to stretch a point on the formal title of Alexander and the rest of argead rulers. The formal title in Greek is Basileus Mekedonon traslated in english literature as Basileus of Macedon. So although we can say Alexander was a King of Macedonia we cannot apply that to its title as its not accurate. The title is Alexander of Macedon. Melathron (talk) 06:01, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

This whole ever-returning discussion about Macedonia vs. Macedon seems to suffer from a perennial misunderstanding: the idea that the short form Macedon in English is somehow more directly related to the ancient Greek ethnonym/adjectival form of Makedon (Μακεδών), or corresponds morephologically to it, while Macedonia corresponds to Makedonia (Μακεδονία). That's not the case. The English form Macedon is just an archaic variant derived from Middle English Macedoyne or similar, from French Macedoine, which in turn of course goes back to Latin Macedonia and ultimately Greek Μακεδονία, just like English Macedonia, which is simply a later re-borrowing directly from the Latin. Both forms go back to the same Greek form. The form Μακεδών, whatever its functions were in ancient Greek, has no continuation in the later languages. Fut.Perf. 11:13, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Suggestions for the Lead

OK. Here is what I tentatively think should be in the lead:

New Paragraph 1 - Basic information; same as paragraph 1 now plus why Alexander is notable, in brief (king, general, conqueror, young death - anything else?). Some of this information is already in Paragraph 4, but as is pointed out, this should be here.

New Paragraph 2 - Life. Unschool is correct that all the irrelevant details can be trimmed out of paragraph two. This is the paragraph that I have struggled most with, and got most tangled up in.

New Paragraph 3 - Legacy; Successors, Political, Cultural and anything else. This has to be included - WP:LEAD states that "The lead section should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it can stand on its own as a concise version of the article." So this paragraph is for everything that follows his death. This is basically what I was trying to do in Paragraphs 3 and 4, but I included the reasons for notability there, when they should have been in Paragraph 1.

Does this seem a reasonable structure? MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 20:46, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I totally agree. It seems to be the best possibility for an article this size. Kyriakos (talk) 22:02, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
MFBT, I like your ideas. I like the three paragraph model; while WP:LEAD allows for four, I think three in the way you've laid it out makes sense for this article. (I wish I had thought of that.) I also agree with your basic goals for paragraph 2 and 3. The only place where I'm not sure if we're on the same page is paragraph one, though we might be, it depends on your vision. For the first paragraph, I would like to see pretty much a merger or your paragraph one with my paragraph one. Your thoughts? How 'bout everyone else? Unschool 00:42, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Give it a try! I may not have enough time at the moment to offer a proposal myself but I will sure be offering comments and suggestions. GK1973 (talk) 08:59, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Maybe we chould have two paragraphs on Alexander's life. Kyriakos (talk) 09:07, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps. But if we can make this work the way MFBT has outlined it, I'd prefer it. Let's give this a try. Maybe we'll find out it won't be enough to just do three, but we can try. Unschool 10:28, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

First draft using MFBT's suggestions

For all parties interested in the lead of this article, please take a look at this draft that I have created, attempting to incorporate the concepts and principles discussed above by MinisterForBadTimes and others. Please feel free to edit it, even though it is in my userspace. Unschool 06:27, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I edited the proposed lead and placed the outcome underneath Unschool's first draft with comments on the draft and my edits. I would suggest we do not edit over the proposals. GK1973 (talk) 12:07, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

New version of the lead section

Above, I asked other editors interested in this page to participate in a discussion on how the lead for this article should be written. Those of us who joined on this had a good experience, bridging our differences by writing fourteen different versions of the lead, with discussions every step of the way. If anyone has any questions about what we did and why, I'm fairly sure that the answers will be found at the links in the previous sentence. Cheers. Unschool 06:02, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Alexander in Bactria

I noticed all of the arguing about whether or not he was in India. Not that I wish to join in such a lengthy debate (reading part of it was enough for me), I do wonder why there is almost no mention anywhere of the ancient country of Bactria (present day Afghanistan).
Professor Frank L. Holt's book, Into the Land of Bones, discusses in great detail the seven or so years he Alexander's campaign was bogged down there before he finally turned his armies towards India. If, at the time of the conquest the land was called Bactria and seperate from India, why is there no mention of this? There should be little question he was there (I read the book while within sight of one of his ancient fortresses there). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bristus (talkcontribs) 15:04, 6 September 2009 (UTC)


Agreed that Bactria/Sogdiana are not dealt with as they should be, however, I'd like to point out that it wasn't 7 or so years. Alexander set fire to Persepolis sometime in the spring of 330 and entered India in the fall (if memory serves) of 327. That's three and a half years, or so....the first of which I really wouldn't call being "bogged down"...going from Persepolis to Ecbatana, then east (changing course when Satibarzanes rebelled to the south of his original route into Bactria). He was near the Sistan lakes in the fall of 330 and reached the Kabul Valley by the spring of 329. He certainly did get "bogged down" for 2 or 3 years, but it is important to not exaggerate the time.  :) It was seven or so years between the time he left Babylon (very late 331) and returned there shortly before his death. Gingervlad (talk) 16:34, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Nobility vs Generals

It is true that both of these words can be very tricky when applied to Greek customs. Neither is the genuine Greek word used at the time, so they are both loose translations of other concepts. In Macedon there were noble families in the hereditary sense and there were also appointed "nobles", such as all the Companions. These could be loosely described as "knights", although no one uses this word to describe the powers bestowed on the Companions. Even in the medieval sense, a noble is not always of a noble bloodline, but titles were sold or just given away.

As far as the word "General" is concerned, we all know that in English it is reserved for a commander who is in charge of a relatively big number of troops and would sound funny to use it, as the Greeks did, to denote a person in charge of say 400 men out of an army of 40.000 or more. Yet, the "strateigia" concept was exactly that. It could both describe the man in charge of the whole army or wings thereof and a man who was in charge of a certain corpse of men however small it was. So was the case with many of the Companions and other men who actively took part in the ensuing wars of the Diadochi.

More discussion can be needed, but these are the main reasons why I strongly prefer the "nobility" solution to the "Generals" one. "Commanders" could also be proposed but the sense of legitimacy was very strong in the hearts of all participants and random commanders would never have been able to take part in these events as pretenders to the thrones of the various satrapies. GK1973 (talk) 14:15, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

His Greatness

To the debate about his 'greatness'. This is how history wishes to refer to him. This is the title society gave him and is the title historians refer to him 'as'. To make an argument, Ivan the Terrible is also a title so must we take that away too? As many other 'leader' have been given. So why get rid of it and make everyone use his orignal title? Crazyhistory (talk) 01:09, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

It's his common name everybody knows. If it was Alexander the Winedrinker we would call him like that. Wandalstouring (talk) 08:09, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Alexander and Chandragupta

Alexander fought his way over the Hindu Kush (where he was known as Iskandar) -- succeeding in continuously consolodating victories over an area that no outsider had before or has since conquered -- only to turn around and go home, except that he unaccountably was poisoned in his own camp in the uninhabited desert, leaving only a confused and conflicting record of his suprising, youthful death ... and people believe this? Did you know that within three years, a young man known as Chandragupta (perhaps today this name would be broken as Chandra Gupta?), of unknown, lost, or hidden, ancestry, appears in the hisotorical records of India, who went on to unite virtually the entire subcontinent? Surely this 'coincidence' has been noticed before, it should be examined in the text of the page (and if not independently examined elsewhere, then wikipedia should mention that unfathomable fact as well, if fact it be). Alexander, ruler claiming to be out of 'Macedon', of contested ancestry .. Chandragupta, later ruler of Magadha, of contested ancestry ... -- 60.240.129.13 (talk) 13:51, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Ancient Greece vs Greeks

There is no doubt considering the sources that he was a Greek king (royal family was Greek). Therefore it is straightforward that we should link to the article [Greeks] in the lead, which is the more pertinent. This is also natural considering that repeating ancient twice in the sentence is redundant (not to mention the dates of birth and death). Repeating the word ancient and insisting on linking to Ancient Greece instead, gives the impression of a POV that ancient Greeks are not Greeks. Antipastor (talk) 01:58, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

  • As I recall reading, the people in Greek city-states of that time looked down on the Macedonians as country bumpkins. The general opinion at the time was that they were not foreigners or barbarians, but they weren't quite Greeks either. Abductive (reasoning) 02:05, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
    • This is another issue. There are ample sources that say that Alexander was Greek, 16 references are given. To clarify, this concerns the royalty, who were a Greek dynasty. Antipastor (talk) 02:12, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
      • I think piping will solve this problem. One shouldn't link to the article on modern Greeks when Alexander was interacting with what we call the Ancient Greeks. Abductive (reasoning) 03:01, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
        • Actually, I was arguing against the piping too, as Greeks covers antiquity as well. Why do we need a link that implies that ancient Greeks are something different from Greeks? Not much is gained in precision either, since Ancient Greece covers a large spectrum. In fact, Alexander's death marks the end of what is described as the classical Greek period and the beginning of the Hellenistic Greek period, so neither of these two articles are good candidates either. I am arguing for a straightforward wikilink: when an article exists in wikipedia covering exactly the term in the text, while there is no more accurate candidate, there is no need for a kind of easter egg piping. Antipastor (talk) 03:51, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
          • I guess. Ancient Greeks are about as different from modern Greeks as ancient Britons are from modern British people. There have been waves of immigration/invasion, but much of the traditions, language and DNA remain. Abductive (reasoning) 07:03, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
            • It's nothing like. Modern English is nothing like Old English, not to mention that the ancient Britons didn't even speak that to begin with.Anothroskon (talk) 11:37, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
              • Well, that was why I made the link point to his contemporaries. Abductive (reasoning) 07:43, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
                • Fair enough.09:10, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Anothroskon (talk) 09:11, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

It is a faulty argument saying that it gives the impression of a "POV that ancient Greeks are not Greeks". A link to Ancient Greece made sense because when people read about Alexander they are unlikely to be interested in reading about modern Greeks in related links. Same as in articles about the ancient Romans, links are given to Ancient Rome and not Rome. It has nothing to do with a "POV that they are not the same", but simply a question about matching the subjects. However, as the article Greeks do contain mention of ancient Greeks as well, I do not see a big problem with the change. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:30, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Yes I agree with the last statement, my argument is that Greeks is the most pertinent article, when referring to the Greek people of antiquity; clearly another article concerning modern Greeks would not be appropriate here. Antipastor (talk) 10:01, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I also agree that a wikilink to Ancient Greece is useful, I added it in the first paragraph, on Greek civilization which redirects there (avoiding redirect with piping); this is the appropriate place to insert it. Antipastor (talk) 02:11, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Let's hope consensus has been achieved. Abductive (reasoning) 07:43, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Historically in Ancient Greece for the majority of the time there were no "Greeks" Athenians did not exactly like Spartans, or Macedonians, or later day Thracians, etc, they spoke a common language with regional dialects and were of a similar heritage but were not "Greeks" there was a preference to a locality, e.g. Athenians. An example of this is the wars between Sparta and Athens, and in the end Sparta's Alliance with sworn enemies Persia in order to overthrow the spread of the Athenians empire. Either way, to say that "Macedonia" has any links to modern Macedonia save for some minor geographical technicalities is historically and factually incorrect. To say that inhabitants of Macedon were "Macedon"ians is correct but this has no link with the Slavic people who inhabit modern Macedonia, the ancient Macedonians spoke of a dialect of Greek as did every other Greek speaking city state in the region and some as far as modern day Sicily/Turkey with people such as Arciamedis from Syrakousai and Democritus from Thrace--Orestes1984 (talk) 14:36, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Alexander the Great?

- -

From the article "his closest friend and possibly lover[102] Hephaestion died of an illness, or possibly of poisoning. Alexander, distraught over the death of his longtime companion, sacked a nearby town, and put all of its inhabitants to the sword, as a 'sacrifice' to Hephaestion's ghost."

- - So this guy kills all men women and children of a town because he is "grieving" the death of his friend, and we think that he is "Great". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.193.240.57 (talk) 19:30, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

"Great" doesn't necessarily imply morally good. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.71.84.186 (talk) 23:48, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Please stop commenting on his greatness, this has been debated time before like the topic dealing with his nationality. Crazyhistory (talk) 01:26, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

"Sources"sections

There are currently two sections named "Sources", so these need to be merged or one renamed. I think there is no need to have the first section at the beginning of the article, and it could be moved to the end (even entirely skipped by providing just a link to the article Historical Alexander the Great in the final section). Moreover, there is a contradiction in the characterization of "primary sources": first saying they don't exist, and then providing a list after the references; these could be simply described as "ancient sources" or something like that. If anyone has some feedback or can make some bold edits it would be helpful. Otherwise, I will try to change that in the following days. Antipastor (talk) 15:27, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

We should use the "lost sources" introduction and add it to the "Primary Sources" section removing the specific one. GK1973 (talk) 16:34, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

For now, I just renamed the section after the references to "bibliography", and moved the "sources" section from the beginning. When saying the specific one, do you mean the section that used to be at the beginning? Antipastor (talk) 02:12, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I did summarize the sources section now, keeping the intro. Antipastor (talk) 00:58, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Too much text for Plutarch quotes and Chaeronea

Do we need to extensively rephrase the provided quotes of the two incidents (regarding the birth and Philip's wedding)? I think a very short summary of each one is enough, provided we keep the quoted text.

Also, concerning the battle of Chaeronea, although this is generally significant, it was under Philip's command, so maybe we don't need a so vast description. Antipastor (talk) 06:22, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Instead of removing content, I did a global but conservative restructuring. I think this puts things in better perspective, but any comments or attempts for improvement are always needed. Antipastor (talk) 17:36, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm still in the process of adding missing citations etc, but when finished (and given the time) I still intend to carefully trim these sections if there are no objections. I'm thinking of maybe integrating the quotations in the text, as shorter blockquotes; and for the section about Philip, keep all content in the beginning (about Alex.) and the end (league of Corinth) but omit some details in between (which are presented in other articles). Antipastor (talk) 23:04, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Problems with the WP:LEAD

1. Some unsourced content is not mentioned in the article: his future plans (Arabia), that military academies still teach about him.

2. There are repetitions: dates of birth and death and math involving them (2nd sentence, 1st and 3rd paragraphs), the same thing about his legacy is repeated in the 1st and 3rd paragraphs (both times stressing that his reign was short but cultural impact lasted centuries).

Therefore, the future plans content is a potential addition to the article. Concerning, the military academies, I am really not sure if this is true, but we could move the last sentence out of the lead or rephrase. Some repetitions can be simply avoided too, in favor maybe of new content of the (very long) article (for instance nothing is said about the section "character"). Not changing anything yet, to avoid breaking things, but I think we should try to address these problems. Antipastor (talk) 04:26, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I gave it a try after all per WP:BOLD, removing unsourced claims and repetitions, and simplifying the prose. The new lead was shorter, so I broke it up into 4 paragraphs and also added a sentence about Aristotle (now the 2nd paragraph is like a background on Alexander's early life, and the 3rd about his conquests). I did come across the previous comments and collaborations to write a new lead, so I hope this version builds on the previous concerns and efforts and the new result is ok. Antipastor (talk) 10:35, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

All of these points were addressed when the lead was compiled some months ago.

1. The future plans are mentioned by Arrian and the fact that his exploit are studied is also a fact. The problem is that it is funny to have to source every little thing in an article. For example, we also do not source the fact that he was born in 356 and died in 323, we also do not source that he formed one of the greater empires nor that he was born in Pella. This is not a source problem, yet if you for some reason deem it so important, all those things will be very easy to source.

2. The (356-323 BC) part should and is also put into words. The "maths" are also useful to give the reader a fast calculation of how many years Alexander ruled and how old he died without having to make the calculation himself. It is a lead, so we deemed it right that it should facilitate the average reader. Furthermore, the first paragraph plays the role of an introduction and thus some of its contents are repeated in the next paragraphs in a "more" elaborated way. I would advise against editing the lead, since it was very meticulously compiled and very well thought through, unless there is a really good reason. A link is provided to the process of its compilation, so you could see what points were addressed here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Unschool/Alexander_the_Great .

The section about his character is very lacking and should you like to try and improve it I could help. Right now I unfortunately do not have the necessary time to devote for a complete shape up but I can offer advice, sources and revising. GK1973 (talk) 10:42, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


I read your lead and, in my opinion, it is too telegraphic and unfit for such an article. I much prefer the older one. Four paragraphs is just too much for so few words, all the paragraphs start with "Alexander" which is very inappropriate for any text, you didn't even address the "problems" you mentioned above. Reverting is not something I find polite, especially when an editor seems to genuinely care for the improvement of an article, but I would like you to self-revert these edits and keep the older lead. Should you have any suggestions, make them here. Paste the proposed text here for discussion and we will see. GK1973 (talk) 10:50, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

In the overall I agree with most of your other edits but once you are done with the bulk of your effort I will raise some objections to a few of your changes. GK1973 (talk) 11:05, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

(ec)I did read the userpage you linked, but an additional independent opinion can always help; btw I kept 90% of this previous great effort unaltered. On the other hand, I did attempt to address the problems I mentionned as best I could.
  • The unsourced claims I removed concern: 1. the teaching in military academies (no need to say it), 2. the Byzatine empire (not very relevant to the casual reader anyway) 3. the plan for Arabia (but I did keep the future plans existence part).
  • Considering the math, I did not completely remove the info after all, just inserted it in the flow of the text later.
  • The info I added on Artistotle is quite important.
I completely agree that the future plans existed, but the problem is that this is not even mentioned in the article (unless I did not see it of course), so it is not appropriate to introduce it in the lead only (also if not in the article, the precise plan is arguably not so important in itself, I even read an older version of the lead which mentioned Europe instead).
The number of paragraphs is not so important, as the 2nd and 3rd can simply be merged. Anyway, I can move this version to my sandbox if you think it is better for discussion. Antipastor (talk) 11:12, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Proposed revision of the lead written a couple of months ago here: User:Antipastor/Sandbox. Antipastor (talk) 11:23, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
By the way I am making some new minor corrections there (with the benefit of GK's comments), in a second version, since I didnt have the time for that in mainspace with the quick response. Antipastor (talk) 11:48, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

1. The fact that his exploits and tactics are taught in military academies is important, because it states his impact as an innovator tactician. 2. His plans concerning Arabia are also important because they clearly state that Alexander was to continue his exploits if it wasn't for his untimely death. The fact that it is not mentioned in another section can be remedied by adding it. By its removal we may give the wrong idea that Alexander was content with his successes and would stop, as, you will see, many editors try to imply at times. I agree that this info (supported by Arrian in detail, he actually died days before this expedition, while everything was ready to commence the invasion) belongs to the main body as well. 3. The Byzantine Empire is the successor to the Grecoroman states of antiquity and Alexander's position in its culture is important to mention to show a continuity. 4. The number of paragraphs and the style they are written in is important, we should employ appropriate style when writing an article. Short paragraphs with telegraphic information are for dictionaries or short articles, inappropriate here, but this is of little concern to me since style can be easily remedied, it is the amount of information we deem essential to include in a lead that matters. 5. Aristotle's presence can be mentioned, I also think of it as an important part of Alexander's resume...

It seems to me you omitted 100 words (about 20-25% of the initial text) for no apparent reason. In order to shape up the text you proposed, we need to add prose anyways and the info you left out actually mainly serves this purpose. I think it is a matter of style here more than content. What don't you exactly like in this lead? If it is content you think we should add, we could incorporate it, should it be noteworthy enough and supported by appropriate rationale (as is the case, I agree with Aristotle's role in Alexander's life). If you have any objections as to content you deem inappropriate, make your proposals as you have done. But, please, do not change the style and the prose of how the lead is handled, unless you sincerely believe they are for some reason inappropriate. GK1973 (talk) 12:00, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Ok, here are the main problems I see (needless to say that this doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the previous efforts to write the lead, just that I bring my additional proposals):
  • Traditions in Byzantine empire? which traditions? no source and not in article. A poor reader will wonder... What is important is the lasting legacy of hellenistic culture (simple and concise), please check my new version.
  • still taught in military academies? source (not in article)? is it true? (I honestly don't know). We do mention his tactics, and comparison with military leaders etc. That seems enough for a summary/intro.
  • Plan for Arabia, this must be included in the article first. Anyway, since I wanted to still say that he has future plans, this is sort of secondary.
  • Aristotle and education are much more important than the precise details of all these.
To sum up, the lead should not imply things that are not written in the article. By not being written, it is understood that the details are not so important. In addressing these issues, I removed some repetitions (btw repetition in a summary that is already long? well... trimming some should be a good thing), which makes up for the lost text, but no other content was omitted. Antipastor (talk) 12:18, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


1. Again you have to understand that we do not have to source every little detail. Else, we will look for sources (as I stated above) on when he was born, when he died, whether Aristotle was his tutor. I do not know your classical or Byzantine studies background, but Byzantine historiography is full of references to Alexander, starting with most military manuals (of Leo the Wise, Maurice etc), to the works of Zonaras, Procopius, St. Chrysostom, John Cantacuzenus etc. Of course the hellenistic culture is more important, the mentioning of the Byzantine Empire just points out the fact that it lasted all through the Byzantine era (..aspects of which (hellenistic culture)...).

2. Do you really challenge that? If you just click on the image depicting the battle plan of Gaugamela further on in this article, you will see it was compiled by the Department of History of the US Military Academy. If you further explore their site you will find a lesson codenamed HI 370, which includes Alexander's campaigns. The same applies to more Military Academies throughout the world. By mentioning this fact we stress his importance as a military innovator and how his tactics can still be applied and thus deserve studying. Just mentioning that he was a great general is not enough for a lead, in which we want to point out the legacy of this man.

3. The plan to conquer Arabia does not have to be included in the article first. It has just to be included in the article. Again, its mentioning is important to understand that Alexander was an active conqueror to the day he died.

4. This is not an article about Aristotle. Alexander's classical Greek education is important but actually less relevant to the lead than all the above. And do not forget that Alexander actually defied Aristotle's teachings and did NOT abide by them when he implemented his plans to create a new, united world. As you saw, I tried to find a proper place to add this info, but in my opinion it is not as important and could do without it. What is important about Alexander is that he went against proper Greek mannerism and thinking, that he defied Greek "arrogance" and not that he was (as every Macedonian nobleman) schooled in classical Greek education by the best of tutors (among which one was Aristotle).

5. The lead does not "imply" things, nor are your objections implies. All these pieces of information are clearly achieving their purpose in a proper academic style. Saying things in a more straightforward manner would be stylistically problematic in the lead. Of course, in the main article, we can enter into more detail and be more straightforward.

Again, I find this article lacking in many things, but the lead is not one of those. Better try to improve the article and we can always come back to the lead, if serious problems arise.

GK1973 (talk) 13:00, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Anyway, I will not contest further, maybe others will voice their opinion eventually. The thing is that the current lead partly fails in its fundamental mission, which is to concisely introduce and summarize the article at hand (instead it gives a general independent intro on Alexander). If one was to read your (very interesting) analysis, maybe the goal would be achieved. But we can't expect that, so I proposed minor modifications to the previous (good, but with problems) lead at the points I listed. The result is 90% identical in content (which we could even improve further, or backtrack a little in the changes), and omits only non-essential supporting claims which are completely out of the existing article context. My only disagreement, since I enjoy the discussion with you, is about your statement that the lead does not need to change; this is a collaborative encyclopedia and of course everything can change as long as there is interest to try, we are discussing here how to make it better. Antipastor (talk) 13:46, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

First, the intro does not have to be a summary of the article but a summary of Alexander's life. It is supposed to give a fair idea of who Alexander was, what he achieved and what his legacy is. His character, his education, his relationships and many more aspects are of course to be mentioned in the main article. I still cannot understand where this lead fails its mission since you did not actually propose any content changes other than the removal of certain points I addressed (to my mind adequately), so you are talking about the lead actually being too informative. The analysis behind the rationale of the context of a text is our job. The reader does not have to read through it, but we have to apply some in order to produce an academic text. As I supported someplace else, Wikipedia is not a children encyclopedia, we have to apply some academic standards.

Of course everything can change, you changed tons of things in this article, but changing it so thoroughly to just address points and problems you think exist is not what should be done. We could just revert each other to death and no consensus would have been achieved. I think I have addressed your concerns, you of course can ask for more details if you think you are not covered, but you have to keep in mind that most of your edits will soon be counter edited by other editors, so, me, you and every concerned editor should be wary when being too bold and try to address the problems first. The lead was the outcome of a very meticulous effort by multiple concerned editors and should not be changed with a light heart. Every sentence was analyzed and debated and of course your opinion is welcome, but you seem to want to actually change too much for too little reasons. Again, we can and will talk about the lead again but the real problems of the article do not lie there. Opinions on what should be regarded as very important to be included in the lead have varied and will vary. Do not forget that I agreed in adding Aristotle into the lead, even though to my mind it is not a very important piece of information, because I understand that to many unaware readers this would sound really important. I do not know if you are a new user as your profile suggests or an older user under a new username, but this article (which is peculiarly peaceful in the last weeks, since only you seem to be heavily involved in it) has gone through and will go through many debates as to the nationality of Alexander, the language he spoke, whether he was a drunkard or a homosexual, whether he should be called Great or Murderer, whether he had female friends or just lovers, whether he lost or won at Hydaspes, whether he was too coward to advance into India etc etc etc. Most edits are being made by editors who think they know Alexander's history because they someplace read an article about his life or some battle and we should make sure that some kind of a process is followed every time, no matter how well informed the editor is. Believe you me, it is much more difficult to reach consensus with a history dabbler than with a real student of history. And of course it is really easy to find references to any one of those claims, oh the things that have been written and propagated about poor Alexander... So, keeping a balance is also something we should strive for. I have also enjoyed our conversation, feel free to address me anytime. Keep editing! In the ancients' words "Hygienai!" GK1973 (talk) 14:25, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I have a better proposal, please add all you said in the article too! (uhm, not all, you know what I mean, and when you can of course) A key word you mentionned is "unaware" reader. In more mundane language: Cheers (and beware the next time I am in a bold mood again :-p) Antipastor (talk) 14:44, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
As a side note, and to explain what I have been doing, I actually believed that the way to improve this particular article was to make it more compliant to guidelines (eg WP:SUMMARYSTYLE, WP:LEAD, WP:MOS in general, citations). These are not strict rules, but they exist for a reason, and they are useful as they point to a direction. The content issues should be easier to address after some cleaning-up (with still a lot more to do). Antipastor (talk) 16:06, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I did the beginning: added one sentence (unreferenced) for each of the 3 lead-only claims in the main body, although there was no really good section match for any. Hopefully, these will be expanded. Antipastor (talk) 03:38, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

philosoph - philosopher

Both are correct. Philosopher is much more common. We can keep whichever one we like. No problem. GK1973 (talk) 14:30, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Lost note

This was cited nowhere, I think probably lost in the process of previous attempts to write a lead. Now removed but I'm pasting its content here, so that we can re-insert it if needed:

Only Polyaenus hints at a possible defeat.[1].

Then the next kept note could be better integrated in the body of the article, if we write a sort of military achievements legacy:

For instance, Hannibal supposedly ranked Alexander as the greatest general;[2] Julius Caesar wept on seeing a statue of Alexander, since he had achieved so little by the same age;[3] Pompey consciously posed as the 'new Alexander';[4] the young Napoleon Bonaparte also encouraged comparisons with Alexander.[5]

Antipastor (talk) 03:22, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ Polyaenus, Stratagemata IV, 3.13
  2. ^ Goldsworthy, pp. 327–328.
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Plutarch.2C_Caesar.2C_11 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Holland, pp. 176–183.
  5. ^ Barnett, p. 45.