Talk:Alexander the Great/Archive 16

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Archive 15 Archive 16 Archive 17

First Image

which version looks better? earlier or latter? i like the earlier version. --CuteHappyBrute (talk) 02:42, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I like the earlier too. It's dynamic, cleaner, reflects that he has been on many battles, refers to the very important battle against Darius, pictures his horse and makes him look good. The bust just looks shabby :P --Enric Naval (talk) 06:49, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
yeap. cool, let's build a "consensus" cause some of us want the battle image back. --CuteHappyBrute (talk) 04:49, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
I also prefer the earlier one, for reasons stated above. A.Cython (talk) 14:19, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Bust, because it gives right way a more clear depiction of what Alexander most probably looked like - which is something that infobox, which gives general info of people from various fields, should have. The mosaic is historically significant, however - which is why I moved it elsewhere in the article. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 21:22, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

You have a good point here, however, we do not know the degree of faithfulness (it is after all a roman copy) of the statue with the real Alexander (not to mention that the actual photo is not the best quality). And if I remember correct this statue was made at very last years of his life, which means that the statue does not presents the qualities of the same person, such as young, energetic, ambitious, etc... the very characteristics that defined him when conquering the world. This statue shows him more as mature, tired, even drained/depressing person. It reflects only his downfall, which is only a small part of this WP article. Correct me if am wrong but the mosaic does reflects the qualities Alexander had during his campaigns and in a weird way it is a more memorable image of him.A.Cython (talk) 22:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

We know that according to Greek historian Diodorus, the Alexander sculptures by sculptor Lysippus were the most faithful when it came to Alexander's looks. There is no reason to assume that major artistic freedoms would have been taken when this particular bust was made from an existing model - and in any case, it certainly gives a more accurate depiction of Alexander's looks than the mosaic from around 100 BC. And the original statue was made around 330 BC, seven years before Alexander died. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 22:07, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, I think the mosaic is more interesting for the reader ( it even has hair colour). The statue could be included somewhere else in the article.--Michael X the White (talk) 22:10, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

i do not question the faithfulness of the bust Kurt. we all agree both pics are valuable and should be included, as they do in any version we'll finally choose, but i think the mosaic is a more "whole" description of him, fighting, bold, on his horse, in battle. i think since we have more than one image of him, the first one should be the most all-embracing. that's all. --CuteHappyBrute (talk) 08:53, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong here. I do not claim that the statue fake or anything else. What I wanted to say is that the statue is not a photograph, and some artistic deviations may exist or even minor mistakes/alterations may have happened when it was copied (roman copy remember not the original). Therefore the difference between the statue and the mosaic is not big in terms of faithfulness and accuracy. As I said above and the other WP-fellows noted, the mosaic is more "interesting", "dynamic" and reflects more accurately the personality of Alexander... apologies, if there was a misunderstanding. A.Cython (talk) 09:41, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

This is not about accuracy

Kurt, this is not about accuracy. This is about using a good-looking image on the article so it looks good, attractive, and impresses people visiting the page on just how cool and good warrior Alexander was. There are also the questions of this being a famous battle and all the arguments above, where you have only presented the argument that it's accurate. For kings that don't have faithful portraits, we use paintings that look and representative of them, and which were painted centuries after they died, like Alfonso the Battler or Petronila of Aragon.

P.D.: hum, and now the accurate bust is not on the article.... hum, where to place it? Probably under "character" or maybe "Greek and Latin sources" with a caption of how this is the most accurate image left of him? At the end I placed it on the same place where it was before, with the same caption, it's very well placed there. --Enric Naval (talk) 23:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Oh, doh, Kurt doesn't agree at all[1]. Apparently it's not enough that four editors think that the mosaic looks better and he is the only one disagreeing, in spite of there being no guideline about historical images that says anything about what the first image should be. Gonna ask for outside opinion with a RfC. --Enric Naval (talk) 23:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

RfC: which should the first image on Alexander the Great

  • bust image is the most accurate depiction of Alexander, other articles use accurate images as first image.
  • mosaic not accurate, but it looks better, reflects his warrior character and the important battle against Darius, more interesting to reader, is dynamic, bust looks shabby.

Please give opinion and reasons. --Enric Naval (talk) 23:37, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

  • mosaic because overall it is more representative and reflects better certain features of Alexander's personality and character.A.Cython (talk) 21:03, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • bust because it gives the most accurate depiction of Alexander. Even if we are to say that the mosaic "better reflects his warrior character and looks cooler", one cannot really claim that this is the purpose of infobox image. Most Wikipedia articles have the most detailed picture available of someone in infoboxes. One cannot really compare a bust, three dimensional work of art, with a mosaic, one dimensional work of art, if it is the most accurate depiction available that is sought. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kurt Leyman (talkcontribs) 17:22, 22 December 2008
  • neither Both bust and mosaic are 3-D: Bust is height, width, depth; mosaic is height, width, colour. Smolk (talk) 00:29, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  • mosaic I already gave all my reasons above. Let's say thay my definition of "cooler" is different from that of Kurt :) --Enric Naval (talk) 20:20, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Mosaic I have always been awed by the size and detail of the mosaic, and it does show his Mediterranean features. Kurt, you can see in the mosaic that his face remains pretty much the same as the bust- bulbous nose, flowing hair, hairline is the same, curved eyebrows and similar eyes. The color of his face to me is the clincher. I saw it in person, as well as several busts (including the one I own), and nothing compares. Too easy! Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs

20:17, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Mosaic The bust looks like a worker from the Rentis meat-market. Too aggresive and in your face. Not the image I want to project of Alexander.--Xenovatis (talk) 22:34, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
"The bust looks like a worker from the Rentis meat-market." Thank you very much for this academic assesment. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 03:35, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Read the title NOW and tell me what it says. Does it say request for academic assesment or request for comment? Oh it says request for comment. Which is not the same as request for academic assesment.--Xenovatis (talk) 14:51, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure that when two images are very similar in facial features, it comes down to aesthetic appeal, and so people should have every right to want an image that would have one that is attractive. The Alexander mosaic is a masterpiece, is nothing like its contemporaries in terms of detail and size combined, and is very famous. You're defense of the bust is wholly based on some sort of an attack on others who like the look of the mosaic, which makes no sense at all. I could understand it if scholars in droves questioned the mosaic based on the accuracy of the features of Alexander, but it is not this way. There is no proof that the bust is more accurate than the mosaic in facial features, and so "accuracy" isn't the main consideration here. So please, no more comments as to why supporting the mosaic based on aesthetic reasons is somehow wrong... I'm sure you can understand my logic. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs

13:59, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

An opinion was clearly given. End of story --Lawe (talk) 18:31, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Mosaic It's the most common image I've seen for a depiction of Alexander. Plus it shows Bucephalus his trusted and beloved horse. El Greco(talk) 00:22, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Mosaic I agree with the previous comments. --Lawe (talk) 18:31, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Bust. As a genuinely disinterested user, I offer no reason for my choice other than I think the bust image looks nicer to top the article. Of course, use the mosaic further down. It would seem both images are "accurate" in their own way so to me the accuracy issue is pretty much a wash. My two cents and barely worth even that. Jbarta (talk) 09:17, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Mosaic. Sexier, colorful, with motion, with attack, with horse, highly notable due to theft and stuff. Bust needs a good scrub. (Strictly academically speaking, that is...) :-) NikoSilver 00:45, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Mosaic, for whatever it's worth at this late stage. It's a much more interesting image; the bust image might be used in the Character section instead of its current location. GlassCobra 20:47, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, the RFC bot has removed the RFC tag because 30 days have passed. It appears that people like more the mosaic so I have restored it to the infobox. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:07, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

now there's a new bust up? is Alex gonna keep coming with a new look every now and then? --CuteHappyBrute (talk) 01:15, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Nationality Sourcing

The first source cited for the claim that Alexander was Greek, Pomeroy et. all, actually contradicts this claim. Either this should not be the principal source of such a contoversial claim, or the article should accurately reflect its current sources. (Lucas(CA) (talk) 22:19, 7 December 2008 (UTC))

It would be very helpful if you could read the archives first. This subject has been discussed a gazillion of times! Also, please read the book carefully, especially page 373.

An exception was made only for the members of the ruling Argead house, who claimed to be descendants of immigrants from Argos.

The Argead house includes Philip the II, and Alexander the Great, thus the source does support the claim. Unless of course you assume that the people of Argos were not a greek tribe... well in that case keep it to yourself. A.Cython (talk) 00:13, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

First, that quote from the book is taken out of context. According to this book, Alexander claimed that he was the son (direct descendant) of Ammon-Zeus, so by the same logic you used he is a god and rather than a greek. Second, this source brings up the fact that his mother was from Epirus, a different barbarian territory. Third, an most significantly this source treats Macedon and its rules as being culturally and politically distinct from "the Greeks". I'm not objecting to the article as written, but I do believe that Pomroy et. all should not be the primary source for claims of Greekness.(Lucas(CA) (talk) 04:06, 8 December 2008 (UTC))

Again, please read the source carefully. The paragraph (I am not in the mood to quote it here) talks about the differences between Macedonians and Greeks. The paragraph concludes that despite the fact there were all these differences an exception was made for the royal family. For example, due to their origin from Argos they were permitted to Olympic Games, which was for Greeks only. Also, Epirus is not a barbarian territory. Finally, I do not understand why you do not want Pomroy et al. since it plainly supports the statement. A.Cython (talk) 05:14, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Logically if he was the king of Macedonia he was a Macedonian king. Just as George I was an English king even though he was an ethnic German. Likewise Catherine the Great was not a German Czarina. To say he was a Greek King implies he was king of Greece. There was no Greece as a nation at that time. Nitpyck (talk) 23:39, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Alexander the Great Hero or.....Villain!!!!!!!

many people wonder if Alexander was...Good or bad, in my opinion he was......BAD!!!!! ok so he ruled these places and such BUT he enslaved thousands of people killed thousands. there is a story that Alexander(by the way alexander means "ruler of men")had devil horns on the top of his head but his hair was long and covered them, only his barbers knew and he always killed the ones who found out —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:04, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, this is completly rediculous. First of all Alexander means 'protector of men', not ruler. I know it because it happens to be a Greek, like Alexander. He didn't enslave anyone. All the area that he conquered was under Persian rule. He was welcomed almost everywhere. When he went to Egypt he was welcomed as a God. The Egyptians made him a Pharaoh to thank him. Some historians clame that Alexander's grave is in Egypt. After the war was over, Alexander treated the native populations equal to Greeks. He took Persians in his army, and give high positions to non-Greeks. I never heard of that story, but it's only a myth with no historic value. Kovas (talk) 11:23, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

My dear friend Kovas, this is all quite relative, of course. People who lost their families in that war did not like Alexander. Later Muslim tradition often paints him as a devil. The horns that symbolized Amon – Egyptian god whom Alexander consider to be his “father” are of course to see on almost all portraits of Alexander and many Asian people falsely thought that these were devil’s signs. Indeed, by today’s criteria, Alexander III would certainly get at least 100 years of imprisonment – if he were judged in the Hague. But… this is also not so sure. In the last 7 years probably more Iraqi people died then in the entire Asian expedition of the Macedonians under Alexander and certainly no Hague procedure is in sight to evaluate the responsibilities for these victims.Draganparis (talk) 23:05, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

This is ridiculous, as mentioned by Kovas. People like shouldn't be commenting. This is about the person. Not people's viewpoints on him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm actually gonna agree with the unnamed user above, Alexander is still viewed very negatively in many of the areas he conquered (ofcourse mostly in Iranic nations). Guys you shouldn't get offended if someone is telling you the truth. His image is negative as probably Xerexes' in Greek history, and he is put along side with Chingiz Khan, Arab army or Teimur. I understand the significance of Alexander to Greeks, but one must understand that a person who is a hero in eyes of a nation is a murdurer in eyes of the other. Ddd0dd (talk) 06:36, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


It is debated what Alexander's reply was to the question of who was going to inherit the throne. But with the earlier text saying that two days prior, he was unable to speak, how could he have replied at all by speech? The Death section is contradictory. I would not think that the story of his response to that question is very truthful. If this would be at all true, he would have written down his answer rather than spoken it. -BlueCaper (talk) 20:54, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I am curious if any bulgarian editors can tell us

What is written in the introduction to this page:mk:Александар III МакедонскиI am sure it will be most amusing.--Xenovatis (talk) 14:49, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

fed up with pov and eurocentrism

the user User:CuteHappyBrute is insisting on letting the non-neutral terms: "alexander as a liberator" and "persian-occupied egypt" as seen in this version. i am concerned about this.

  1. the term liberator is obviously a non-neutral pov.
  2. "persian-occupied egypt" as well. it demonstrates the disgusting eurocentrism and anti-persian agenda.

at first i changed to "alexander entered egypt" but the greek user, mentioned above, reverted my edit. and provided sources but without page references, hence the template {{pagenumbers}} should be added. now i revert to my last edit which is sourced as well. before reverting my edit, i would like to reach at a consensus as wikipedia works like that.--Xashaiar (talk) 02:35, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

if you are fed up with how Wikipedia works you can go make your own Iranopedia and include all your hate about Alexander the Accursed, the western civilization and how great and noble was the Persian empire and the Great Prophet.. i'm truthocentric btw. and i'm not the one claiming Alex was welcomed as a liberator in ancient Egypt. those guys do:
  • ^ Alexander the Great By David J. Lonsdale
  • ^ International dictionary of historic places By Trudy Ring, Robert M. Salkin, K. A. Berney
  • ^ Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus By Russell E. Gmirkin
  • ^ Ancient Egypt By Barry J. Kemp
  • ^ A History of the Jewish People By Margolis, Max Leopold, 1866-1932, Max Leopold Margolis, Alexander Marx
  • ^ Egypt By Virginia Maxwell, Mary Fitzpatrick, Siona Jenkins, Anthony Sattin
  • ^ History of Ancient Civilization By Albert Augustus Trever.

when you find an equivalent number of sources claiming the opposite then you can make a big deal out of this. till then, bye. --CuteHappyBrute (talk) 21:12, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

watch you language. i am fed up with eurocentrism but the solution is not to make iranopedia but rather to eliminate the spread of eurocentrism to the wikipedia more than what it is now. look at your words: western civilization, hate of alexander... these are dead concepts and have no value anymore. what you fail to understand is the notion of npov in wikipedia. and moreover: wikipedia is an encyclopaedia. this is also difficult for you to understand. the link is here have a look. the number of sources play no role here. most of western sources are anti-non-west.--Xashaiar (talk) 17:27, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually I take exception at this accusation of Eurocentrism levelled at Greeks. Greeks are not westerners so it can't really apply. You should use "Hellenocentrism" from now on. You can't demand political correctness from others and then come up with something so Iranoscentric like saying Greeks are westerners! You are employing an Orientocentric approach whereby the constructed Other is always labelled as Western with no attempt at differentiating between the various imagined communities in the promulgation of your mythomoteur. For shame!--Xenovatis (talk) 18:00, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
why aren't you realistic? why do you make up your own story? i am well aware of all these terms and can define them if you want. but let me tell you one thing: the problem with ancient greek related articles is that, they are maintained, edited, pushed and full of pov because mostly non-greeks are involved in these articles (their involvement is not the problem because of definition of wikipedia). if greek themselves were involved, one could argue with them as you rightly point out. but as i said, greeks are not the principal writers of these article. do yo get my point?--Xashaiar (talk) 18:18, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Xashaiar, if you have reliable sources that give evidence of another side of scholarly debate on this issue, then you should present them here so that they can be evaluated and included in the article if they are found to be indeed reliable. Until then, we have to go with the scholarly consensus that CuteHappyBrute has provided evidence of. Charges of "eurocentrism" are vague and original research without sources to back them up. CaveatLector Talk Contrib 05:55, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I have to say that the book used as source does not look very reliable. It has a "stirring narrative", and is written not by a historian but by a journalist (John Gunther) who is famous by other books and does not seem to have gotten any fame from writing this one, so, sorry, but it doesn't qualify as "reliable". Mind you, it's probably reliable enough to be used as source on absence of more reliable sources, which is not the case here. Also, I found an online source for being welcomed as liberator [2] --Enric Naval (talk) 14:09, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
you do not have to say anything. the fact of the matter is that "some say" he was a liberator. secondly, why do you remove the mentioning of mass murder in tyre? what makes alex looks ok is reliable and else "does not look very reliable"?--Xashaiar (talk) 14:22, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
That's not "some say", that's "several reliable sources state as a fact", attribution is done when there are biased statements, see Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Attributing_and_substantiating_biased_statements. We ought to be attributing the sources that you are providing.
I mean dude, I was complaining that the Gunther book was not written by a historian, and then you go and provide an epic poem, which looks like unbiased and exaggerating [3], he is basing his "brutal attack" statement just on that it had a high death toll for the time [4] . Sorry, but this and the other book are contradicted by more reliable sources, you need to provide better ones. I just saw "The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare", pages 396, 460, page 460 makes it clear that slaughters after sieges were "harsh, but by no means rare", that Alexander tried to avoid it on the Milletus siege, but his soldiers did it anyways, and that commanders on the antiquity couldn't prevent their soldiers from doing them. Alexander was not a specially brutal conqueror, he didn't order the massacres, and the same events happened on other sieges before and after Alexander. I'll check it out later. --Enric Naval (talk) 15:19, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
i understand that you may have problem to realize that "being liberator" is not neutral. if you want to have this, then put it in legacy section. the quote from cambridge history is original and leave it like that. if you continue i will bring even more similar stuff with over 100 sources. i am going to add a sentence or two about the mass murder of alex in india as well. so, either you recognise my point (which is so far not the case) or i add one "reflecting reality" sentence in this article for any anti-persian sentence i find. now it is time to find WP:CONS.--Xashaiar (talk) 15:28, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
if by "is original" you mean "it's original research", then you are misunderstanding what WP:OR means; what I', doing is citing a source. Please, by all means, present a few sources more (no need for 100 :) ), because that would help to solve the issue one way or other. --Enric Naval (talk) 11:19, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

It is mostly acceptable by scholars that "Alexander was welcomed as a liberator in persian-occupied Egypt". It does not look or sound strange. "Persian-occupied" refers to Egypt as being a great kingdom for a lot of time prior the persian conquest. It also was a great kingdom after the Persians left Egypt. The kingdom before had continuity with the kigdom after and so the period of persian rule is accepted here as period of "occupation" (of the great kingdom). Also, Alexander is accepted as a liberator, because then Egypt became an independant state once more.--Michael X the White (talk) 15:58, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

very good! because according to you (and your scholars): since "egypt as being a great kingdom for a lot of time prior the persian conquest" makes persian rulers occupiers, hence it make non-egyptian alexander also an occupier hence "being liberator" becomes non-sense by definition.--Xashaiar (talk) 16:25, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
The position you're pushing is STILL original research. CaveatLector Talk Contrib 17:46, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Err...Who ever mentioned ethnicity???--Michael X the White (talk) 20:05, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
i didn't either. i just wanted to show you that your argument does not make any sense. if persian occupied egypt, so did greeks. it is not up to wikipedia to spread the non-sense that "persians were not welcome" whereas "greeks were welcome". that's all what you want to say.--Xashaiar (talk) 20:19, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

persian-occupied vs persian-ruled

Hum, I'll have to look at this one. Any source suggestion? --Enric Naval (talk) 15:19, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Let's search for Egyptian uprisings and whether the Persians did interfere into the temple gouvernance like the Greeks under the Ptolemai. Furthermore were Egyptian troops and nobles treated equally like other peoples under Persian rule. If there's anything unusual we sure will find sources about an occupation. It may be helpful to take a look at the Graeco-Persian Wars and its campaign in Egypt. Wandalstouring (talk) 20:04, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

..Alexander was WELCOMED in Egypt as a liberator, since the Egyptians viewed Greeks in a more friendly manner than their Persian "rulers" of the time, as is attested by various ancient sources. Greeks had helped them in their struggle against the Persians many times in the past and of course they were not under Greek occupation yet... Soon thereafter, the Greeks under the Ptolemaic dynasty were considered as detestful as the Persians by the local population, since, now, they were the ones occupying Egypt. This is why we have knowledge of various minor and major rebellions of the locals under Greek rulership, as was the situation under Perisan rulership. You kow, it is very easy to welcome somebody as a libereator only to find out that in reality, this someonehad an agenda of his own rather different that just giving you unconditional love and assistance... There were many tribes in the South Americas that welcomed the Spaniard conauistadors as liberators from the oppresive rule of the Incas or the Aztecs...does this mean that afterwards they did not change their minds? So was the case with the Egyptian population towards the Greeks.

GK1973 (talk) 13:56, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks GK1973. I was waiting for someone to explain to above what liberator means. :)MephYazata (talk) 17:52, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

known world

It is dubious that he conquered most of the known world. The whole Western and Central Mediterranean and the northern Black Sea region, as well as the norhern Balkan remained in independent. Furthermore the Greeks did have a rough picture of the Atlantic by voyagers from Massalia. I suggest to reword it to "a large part of the world known to the ancient Greeks and expanded their knowledge of the East". Wandalstouring (talk) 12:45, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

By "known world" is implied the world known to him, so the civilised world known to Greeks. That lets out almost all of the places you mentioned. The rest (Central Mediterranean) is excluded by "most" of the known world.--Michael X the White (talk) 17:06, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
You are aware of the Greek settlements and trade contacts to this region???
Picking up your civilization argument. For Greeks only the Greek world and Carthage were civilized, thus Magna Graecia and Carthage, making up most of the civilized world were not part of his empire.
And last but not least this statement about the known world is no way supported by the source mentioned for this, making it original research. We could discuss the issue with sources if we use a contemporary map. Wandalstouring (talk) 19:23, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Wandalstouring in this. Magna Graecia, Carthago, the rest of Italy and even India were not exactly considered uncivilized back then even if Iberia, Gaul and Scythia was.

GK1973 (talk) 17:52, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I added several sources talking about Alexander conquering the known world and the Oikumene. Also, you are welcome to check the sources containing both "Alexander the Great" and "known world" scholar and books. You are welcome to provide sources stating that Alexander did not conquer most of the known world, or to go through the searches and provide more sources saying it (I only picked what looked the best ones).

Note: see the subtle distintion: he conquered most of the known world, and spread Greek ideas throught the entire known world, not just the conquered parts.

P.D.: also interesting results using the advanced search to see only text from before 1900[5](you no longer get all the historical fiction novels) or replacing "know world" with "oikumene" [6](you get rid of most "popular" books) --Enric Naval (talk) 00:35, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Check out Ptolemy's map.--Michael X the White (talk) 16:02, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Search tools can't be used for arguments. How do you search for a source not stating this opinion? When does the term oikumene appear? Is it applicable to the times of Alexander or did they have a different concept of a Greek oikumene with barbarians outside? Are you aware that Ptolemy's map dates centuries after the conquest and can for this reason not be used for arguments about the contemporary concept and you have to question what were the intentions when creating this map. Please try to convince me by showing what the Greek concept of the world in times of Alexander was. Wandalstouring (talk) 16:57, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
You are right, both Eratosthenes and Ptolemy's world map are posterior to Alexander so they already included their conquests. Ancient_world_maps#Hecataeus_of_Miletus would be a way better choice, where the known world doesn't reach beyond Gibraltar straits on the West, Germany on the North, or India on the East (I just replaced it on the article), still not a perfect example because it was done 2 centuries before Alexander conquests, so it might not include some territories known to Alexander before starting his conquers.
(Btw, I don't understand what "what were the intentions when creating this map" means, do you mean the intentions of the reconstructors? As far as I know, all those maps are attempts to reconstruct the original maps with as little distorsion as possible. If you have reasons to believe that they are incorrect or biased, you are free to go to the relevant articles to complain or to fix the information there to point out that. I suggest starting with Ancient_world_maps#Antiquity.)
Well, of course you can't use searches as sources, that's why I picked specific sources. For the greek concept, check the explanation I made at Alexander_the_Great#Concept_of_civilized_world_versus_barbarian_world and this source explaining the origins of oikumene so it can explain how Emperor Augustus had Alexander as a role model, I kid you not. Please try to locate other sources explaining the origins of Ecumene so we can compare them. --Enric Naval (talk) 18:27, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree, it's a better map. We can make a comparison of maps before and after Alexander and say that since then Greek knowledge expanded.
Creating a map is like writing a book. You want to get paid for the work. So your intention is to produce results that your financier will pay for. That mustn't be the most accurate map according to contemporary standards, but a piece of propaganda enlarging one kingdom for example. As long as we don't know about the motives behind the creation of a map or text we simply have to be careful of accepting it as "truth" of that time. You'll soon find out that all modern secondary works discuss their primary sources. These maps for example are centered around Ptolemai Egypt. I have doubts whether the Seleucids or Bactrians didn't have other maps showing more of Asia.
I knew his teacher Aristotle who made a difference between Greeks and barbarians, only admitting the Carthaginians as also civilized because of their constitution. Furthermore he advocated a rule of the Greeks over the barbarians who were destined to serve.
However, I like the new sourced explanation of civilized world. Can you integrate it into the lead and change it so that it reflects how Alexander redefined the term and thus made himself ruler of the civilized world. Furthermore, it can be added that he greatly expanded the knowledge of the world(=the size of the known world) because now quite a lot of Greeks were far abroad. This discussion can be helped by showing the changes in maps from Anaximander and Hecataeus to the Hellenistic maps. Wandalstouring (talk) 19:51, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I'll try to update the lead that way, and I'll look at the map thing (can you link to Anaximander and Hecataeus maps?) --Enric Naval (talk) 11:23, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Sure, if you have finished your edit. Wandalstouring (talk) 08:59, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


I don't know who wrote this article, but it seems that a fact was either overlooked -- or not explained. It states herein that this gentleman died on 11 June. He fell ill on 29 May, and died 12 days later (that would put his death at 9 June). On 9 June, his soldiers were allowed to see him one last time, they did so one by one, and the next day he died. That puts his death on 10 June. What? Did he die 3 times? I'm just saying, I know this was a long time ago, but there needs to be (in my opinion) an agreement of some kind on his official date of death--either that or don't try to be so specific. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:45, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

"Alexander had been educated by the Athenian Aristotle"

Aristotle was not from Athens, but from Stageira, Chalcidice, about 55 km east of modern-day Thessaloniki [source: McLeish, Kenneth (1999). Aristotle: The Great Philosophers. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 0-415-92392-1] (as stated in his article). Someone please correct that as the article is locked and I can't do it myself.

Done --Enric Naval (talk) 19:58, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


Does no-one know his birthday?  SmokeyTheCat  •TALK• 11:23, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

It was removed. For reference, the source gives a date but then it says "Unfortunately, the astronomical, religious and civil calendars did not coincide in the fourth century; as aconsequence, it is impossible to give the date of Alexander's birth." --Enric Naval (talk) 23:07, 25 January 2009 (UTC)


How can you say that he was an ancient greek when his name is Alexander the Macedonian he is an ancient macedonian —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bojanbt (talkcontribs) 15:48, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

The royal house of Macedon was accepted as Greek while still being Macedonian. Take a look at Alexander I of Macedon for details. Wandalstouring (talk) 17:03, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
This discussion we had above already. In fact Macedonia occupied Greece and accepted Greek language, the kingdom remained to be Macedonian, so Greeks were incorporated into Macedonia would be more correct to say. But they remained to be Greeks as Macedonian remained to be Macedonians.Draganparis (talk) 18:40, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Nothing that can't be cured with reliable sources: "there was never a break (either cultural or linguistic) in the unity of the macedonians with the other greeks (...) Ancient Macedonia was a Greek state with a Greek population, which spoke a dialect of ancient Greek, had Greek names, and workshipped the same twelve gods of Olympus as other ancient Greeks" [7] From the same source, the area remained Greek until the 6th or 7th century (then it goes on with the Hellenization of the settled invasors, but that's way out of the scope of this article). --Enric Naval (talk) 20:24, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, false medication. Please do not introduce contemporary political disputes here and please do not cite the literature of the local – Macedonian or Greek state propaganda. Just the research historians, please. Indeed, Hellas and Macedonia were separate political entities from the beguiling (OK, we do not know this) up to the modern times. Just to Macedonian kingdom and Hellenic city-states were separate political entities which Athens did NOT consider as Greek - in contrast to Sparta which was a Greek entity - UNTIL 338 BC when Hellas was INCORPORATED INTO Macedonian empire (Imperium Macedonicum). Macedonian Dynasty claimed Hellenic origins, something that modern historians consider uncertain (I gave some references above in a similar discussion). After death of Alexander III, during the separate Diadochi kingdoms and also during Roman conquest, Hellas and Macedonia were always separate political entities. These constituted the separate Roman provinces, Byzantine themas or Ottoman vilayets that followed, when in 1918 central Macedonia was given to Greece, while the Northern Macedonia to new Yugoslav state (State of SHS) and eastern Macedonia – in fact Thracian region – Pirin Macedonia, to Bulgaria. However, this later developments DO NOT HAVE anything to do with this article and should not be further discussed here! Draganparis (talk) 10:40, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
That source I gave is a Princeton University Press book with a pair of minor awards and positive reviews from reliable sources [8], written by an anthropologist that is neither Greek nor Macedonian (Loring M. Danforth). I think that it qualifies clearly as a reliable source by wikipedia standards. Notice that the book you cited from Eugene N. Borza is also published by Princeton [9]. Google books has a restricted view version [10], so you could point us to the relevant parts...
Your interpretation of Herodotus 5,22 and 8,137 should be done by a secondary source, at this point you are just giving your own personal opinion on it. Here you have one secondary source[11], it interprets that Greek politicians denied Greekness of Macedons for political reasons, that Hellenization had already started a couple centuries ago, that Alexander was able to enumerate his Greek ascendants up to the Argos kings in order to enter the Olympics, and that "there seems to have been a presumption [on Ancient Greece] that ordinary Macedonians, despite their dialect, where not as Greek as their kings -Herodotos describes Amyntas (c. 500) as a 'greek ruling over macedonians'(5,20) -but despite ancient and modern controversies it seems that clear that the Macedonian as a whole were Greek-speakers". See also an Oxford university press book saying also that Hellenization started on 5th century BC, before Alexander I of Macedon [12]. Macedons would have become hellenized before Alexander the Great was even born. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for nice argumentative discussion. It would be wonderful if the other people would also follow your example. (Sorry, there will be spelling mistakes - I write fast) (Remark I gave full reference of Borza, with chapter – this is whole chapter that is relevant, and will be easy to find) The best way to show the people the relevance of the reference is in fact to reproduce what is written, since it is possible to falsely claim something as supporting some affirmation when in fact it does not support it. I think you just misunderstood me exactly because I did not give the words of Herodotus. No, Herodotus believes that the Argeides are Greek dynasty. Eugen Borza of course develops a long discussion putting this all in doubt. (Needles to say that I personally believe that they were Greek dynasty.)
Now, as I can see we are back to the discussion about greeknes of Macedonians including the language problem of the Ancient Macedonians. This has been discussed number of times on Wiki and if you would insist I will develop the argument next time and give references. Let me just briefly repeat. I discussed this many times previously at number of different places and there I gave extensive literature which really does not support the hypothesis that Macedonians were related to Greeks more then Illyrians were related to Greeks, for example. The early “evidence” is the absence of Mycenaean pottery, while later the secondary biographers of Alexander III all point out at definite language differences between Greek and Macedonian. Today Dutch and German could understand each other, but Dutch are NOT German! However, it seams that the language difference was even larger or definitely larger, since it took couple of centuries to the Macedonians to learn Greek and stop using Macedonian (Cleopatre VII apparently still spoke Macedonian more then 300 year after Alexander III!). Of course that Hellenisation, which should refer to some import of the Greek culture, certainly writing, particularly on coins (but NOT to becoming Greek!), was forced by the dynasty which claimed links with famous Greeks like Heracles or Achilles, and it started probably as soon as Macedonian inhabited the Thermaic bay. To what extent it went, we do not know. Some Greek poets visited Macedonia, but did they just were there to please the court or they had larger audience - is impossible to say. No Macedonian writer is known, no philosopher, no other great men of culture are known. We know for at least one Scythe philosopher, or Phoenician philosophers, but no Macedonian. According to the “language problem” between two armies in Alexander’s III time (according to Arrian, Diodorus, Curtius), the possibility that larger masses, even some part of aristocracy was hellenised, does not seam likely. All what we know is that of many hundred different languages that were spoken in that region, the languages that remained were Greek, Latin and after 6 centuries, Slave. Were all these people just Hellenes, Romans and Serbs or Slaves? Certainly NOT. So language can not tell us all about ethnicity. So if we would understand that being hellenised does NOT mean being Greek, would be a good start.
I in fact do not know why this problem is so relevant to so many people here. There is no doubt that Greeks and Macedonians were two antagonistic states of the antiquity that were brought together for a very short time during Alexander III, to split for ever when he died but to continue to coexist as separate regions for centuries. Today’s problem of Macedonia and Greece must be kept away from the ethnicity or race and should not deteriorate into racism. Hellenism should also remain in cultural and should not deteriorate to include ethnicity (being hellenised DOES NOT mean being Greek, this would be ridiculous!!!) end enter into political sphere, where it would risk to lead into the problem similar that Germany had with “Germanism” in the 30ies, to finish deeply into racism. But this page MUST remain “history”, no more and not less. Please. Sorry, it was too long.Draganparis (talk) 18:47, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, please, find sources. Also I suggest you read Talk:Alexander_the_Great/Archive12#Recent_revert_war as Borza is also mentioned there. It mentions the theory that Macedonians descend from proto-Greek speakers (can be seen on 62 and 78 of Borza's book).
I searched more and I found another source, this on explaining the panhellenic feeling on the sixth century, and the feeling of union of all Greeks during the Greco–Persian Wars [13]. It would seem to me that most historians consider Alexander to be Greek, and that Borza is arguing against that, so he would have to be attributed if he is added to the article.
Consider going to the top of the page, looking for a bar saying "Recurrent topic" just before the content table, clicking on "show", and looking at the archived topics under "Greekness of Alexander (includes all Macedonian-related and FYROM-related disputes)" --Enric Naval (talk) 20:17, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

I'll restart from the left: Sorry, again I had to write it very fast, the result is may be disastrous text and number of mistakes. I hope you will not ask for more. However, it is not sure that Macedonians had the same close ancestors with the Greeks. But, who knows? As I mentioned they lived for a short time in the same state (Macedonian empire, for about 13 years). After Alexander III died, Macedonian empire of the north had quite separate life from its south, particularly Athens, which in fact belonged to the Macedonian empire. The later Rome, Byzantium and Ottoman Empire kept Greece (Hellas) and Macedonia as separated entities. Whether these two antagonistic people, who spent very short time living in the same empire of Alexander, concoured the world to lose it immediately and to lose each other at the same time, were these people the same people when they got partially united after Ottoman empire was overthrown – I think is not known. The North certainly was very much changed ethnically, but the South also, at least it central and western areas. Were Greek and Macedonian roots the same? The problem is not solved, but it seams that they probably were not. Here is some of the literature:


That neither Macedonia nor Epirus were parts of Mycenaean Greece is maintained by:

(W. A. Hurtley in Prehistoric Macedonia, in Neolitic, Bronze and Early Iron Ages, Cambridge 1939.)

It is then claimed that Macedonia had obviously its own culture:

(K.A. Wardle, Mycenaean Trade and Influence in northern Greece, a chapter in: Zerner and Winder: Wace and Blegen, Pottery as Evidence for Trade in the Aegean Bronze Age, 1939-1989 (Amsterdam 1993), p 117.; A. Cambitoglou and JK Papadopoulos in: Wace and Blegen, Pottery as Evidence for trade in the Aegean Bronze Age, Amsterdam 1993, p 289.).

Nevertheless, from the beguining of 6th century BC, they, Macedonians and people of Epirus started imitating and occasionaly importing mycenian pottery and arms.

(Stelios Andreou and M. Fotiadis, K. Kotsakis: Review of Aegean Prehistory V: The Neolitic and Bronze Age of Northern Greece, Am. J. Archeology, 100: 537-97, 1996. in particular pp 560-591).

The discussion of the problem of ethnicity of Macedonians could be found in :EN Borza: Before Alexander: Constructing early Macedonia, Regina books, 1999, chapter 2 (pp. 27-49).

Borza confirms in the above mentioned reference (pages 41-43) that there is scant evidence that Macedonian was a Greek dialect.

Macedonian dynasty. Classical discussion putting doubt on what Herodotus wrote can be found in P. Roos: Alexander I in Olympia, Eranos 83: 162-68, 1985.

The opinion of Borza and his disagreement with N. Hammond (and the citations of Hammond) could be found in above given references (in my previous comment).

Greekness of Macedonians: Macedonian language.

Modern linguistics treats Macedonian language as lost language without attempting to show that it is a Greek dialect, like JP Mallory and DQ Adams: The Oxford introduction to proto Indo-European and the proto Indo-European world, Oxford University Pres (or this is just mentioned as possibility like in RSP Beekes: Comparative indo-European Linguistics, an Introduction, , John Benjamins PC, 1995, p.23).

There is an attempt that failed to demonstrate that the Ancient Macedonian and Greek are close languages (J. Kalleris: Les anciens macedoniens, 81 Collections de l’Institut Francais d’Athenes, 1954). Kalleris presented 153 glosses that sound Greek and without demonstrating that their form was not, as it is customary, deformed to sound Greek, claimed to be Macedonian.

In all biographies there could be found (I do not need to cite Arrian, Diodorus or Curtius, or Justin or Plutarch. – please look up by yourself, these are very well known places) that Greeks and Macedonians did not understand each other and needed translation. Particularly painful was the accusation against Philotas (who was then executed) that he did not speak Macedonian but Greek, and his defense where he assured that Macedonian language no Greek would understand.

The entire region was “hellenised” in a way, the coins of all surroundings contained Geek engravings, Greek must have been the language of trades. But hellenisation did not mean beckomming Hellenes. The Macedonians maintained their ethnocentrism during Alexander and later, to lose it slowly with the defeats against Rome. When Macedonian language had been lost, we do not know. But being hellenised never meant to be Greek. On Wikipedia we see the efforts to remove the word “Macedonia” and replace it with “hellenised kingdom” or “hellenised empire”. May be because the modern problem of the name of Macedonia. These two must be separated, and the Ancent Macedonia should NOT lose its place in history because of today’s disputes.

We know that the Roman Province of Macedonia persisted to be replaced by the Byzantine administrative unit (Thema) of Macedonia (see Porphyrogenitus, 10th century, cited below) Otthoman vilayet of Romelia was distinct region separated fromm Hellas until 1914.

Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (905-959) (Macedonian dynasty) Peri twn qematwn (“De Thematibus”) (Written probably between 950-959 A.D.) My translated from:

1. Patrologiae Graecae, latine tantum editae, tomus LVIII, J.-P. Migne, paris 1862, p. 625. (in Latin)

2. Immanuel Bekkerus, Constantinus Porphyrogenitus: de thematibus et De administrando imperio, after editino from Bonnae Weber 1840, replica, Elibron Clasics, 2006, pp 51-52. (Parallel text, in Greek and Latin). Translation:

Book II

De Thematibus Occidentis Thema V Europae, Hellas

"The land of Hellenes has the name after Hellen, son of Deucalionis, who, when reigning in Phthiotida, named his people instead of Greeks, Hellenes. It was called for the first time Hellas. This was not the old name of the people but in the Hellenic dialect, as the historian Alexander says, holding that this name was younger. I think that this name was not used for the entire land, as the poet also does not mention Hellenes and calls them Argivos, as the Thesalian also call the the Hellas the town of Achiles, as the historian Alexander says. Never calling them all Hellenes, neither the others, but only those who from Phthiotida, came under Ilion with Achilles.

Thema Hellas has 79 towns: first is Scarphia, second Eleusin, , third Daulium, forths Chaeronea, , fifth Naupactum, sixt Delphy, seventh Amphisa, etc. The island Eubbea also belongs there, which is also called Halin or halkida. There belong also the island Ciclades, island Egina, and all what is below Thermopylas, where Lacademonian Leonides, with 300 solders stand against Xerxses, the Persian king. This is Hellas after Hierocles."

Yes, “In the shadow of Olympus” is available online. So please look up the chapters that I indicated above (Chapter 5, about Alexander I). As to your observation about some historians who should be “attributed”. No, what has a value is not the authority, but the valid or invalid argument. Borza and Hammond disagree on the issue of Macedonian language. But we can see in their argumentation all content of the arguments. So the strength of the argument is given and the conclusion then follows. Unfortunately Hammond died and can not answer toe the arguments of Borza. Therefore we need to know more, always more to be able do defend the arguments of Hammond and even to amend them, or surrender. But “attributing” an “objective” and unbiased historian – is not one valid argument at all.

So, I am sorry, this has been a long text again. The question is unresolved. We need to find at least some text written in Ancient Macedonian to see how similar or different were Macedonian and Greek. What is obvious Macedonians, at least their aristocracy, spoke often Greeek, like Russian court in 19th century spoke French, and as Katarina was German - but Russians were neither French nor German. Who were Macedonians – we do not know. May be just – Macedonians. And we should not forget that to be hellenised does not mean to be Greek. This means today being just European or even more, being cultivated.Draganparis (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2009 (UTC) he was short had small feet and wore iglle boots —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:58, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

We don't look at "strength of argument" on wikipedia, we look at its preeminence in sources. Borza appears to be representing a minority view among historians, so he should be attributed. That's all I'm saying.
Also, hum, I just noticed that we are veering a bit off-topic, from "do the sources say if Alexander was considered Greek?" to "were Macedonians like Greek?", which would belong more to a general discussion forum. The topic also belongs more to some other page like Talk:Ancient_Macedonians. --Enric Naval (talk) 01:49, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Isn't it quite comfortable to write 2 sentences and hope for 2 pages of information in response?
1. About logic: In your comment from February 5, 2009 I understood (falsely?) that you turned the discussion, and I started my second paragraph from the same day with: “Now, as I can see we are back to the discussion about greekness of Macedonians including the language problem of the Ancient Macedonians.” Then, you asked for the sources. If I misunderstood, you should not have asked for these sources but instead explained what the topic of the discussion was. OK?
2. About facts: I said already that my personal opinion was that the Macedonian dynasty was probably Greek. If it were really Greek, this did not prevent Alexander to promote extreme Macedonian ethnocentrism, have almost exclusively Macedonians for his generals and have reserved aristocracy to mainly Macedonians. These references I will let you look for yourself this time. I will give you just an indication: look up Hummond, particularly his “The Macedonian State”, or Badians article in “Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical and early Hellenistic Times” or H. Berwe: Das Alexanderreich”; the summary is given, sorry, by Borza (!) in the chapter 8 of his “Makedonika”.
To continue. Above I just talked about language since YOU mentioned the problem of language, giving reference that stated that it probably was Greek dialect (what I personally doubt, similarly to the most prominent historians and linguists).
3. Argumentation.: The “scientific” value of the texts on Wikipedia is close to ZERO, but Wiki is very informative and may be useful to find important sources of knowledge and even indications where the scientific answers to the important questions could be found. Yes, I know that on Wiki majority of people favour “democracy” instead of the strength of an argument (this is how an amateur-scientist think; I call them “Googwick scientists – the “scientists” who learn from Google and Wikipedia” and do not really do science – it is not pejorative but just funny). Democracy means deciding (on SOME questions (!) by majority. You and I do not decide how high the taxes will be this year, or whether our country will go to war in Afghanistan. This is not how we handle important things not only in life but in science also. In real life we do not vote whether we accept the laws of nature or not, we ask the experts what they think about the strengths of the arguments. And if still undecided, we look at the arguments WITH the experts and again, a small informed group of people decides. People who love science do not decide, people who do and understand it do decide - sometimes. However, there are undecided issues in history. This makes history so interesting. Late NGL Hammond (author of “A History of Macedonia” and most respected author on Macedonia) was also not so sure that Macedonian language was a dialect of Greek, but he “just preferred” the option that it could have been a version of a “Greek dialect” - no more and no less. Yes, there are the “authorities” also that may be mentioned when discussing. These people would also lose their reputation as soon as they would display weak arguments. This happens not so often. As a strategy, “ad hominem” argumentation (about this form of argument you would be able to find probably even in Wikipedia) is one of weakest although we in normal life use it the most to promote some ideas. Whether you or anybody else would accept Borza as a reference without “attributing”, I can not decide. But those that think that he should be treated as biased would better go to some convention on history, preferably to some Hellenistic conference somewhere, and publicly claim that Eugen N. Borza is to be “attributed”. OK.
So I believe (just believe) that Alexander III could have been of Greek origin, although he behaved more as Macedonian as any other real Macedonian did. Alexander III was personally responsible for an extreme ethnocentrism of Macedonians which continued after him in all Diadochi kingdoms down to Roman times. This diminishing importance of his Greek origin, if he was of Greek origin at all. That's all.Draganparis (talk) 10:13, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Ethnic identity and nationalistic ambitions mustn't entail the same ethnic group(Hitler was an Austrian, not a German). You're doing OR by saying that because of his strongly nationalistic policy he wasn't Greek. The concept of being Greek was by blood not by education, aspiration or else. And as far as blood is concerned no source has left any doubt. That Macedonians were different from Greeks can be sourced. How far that is may differ according to sources. That he promoted Macedonians and not Greeks whose rebellion he had just defeated after his fathers death can be discussed. Reasons can have been security issues, composition of companions or nationalistic bias. However, for this you have to research more than one POV. There's for example no doubt that the dominant culture in his empire was Greek, not Macedonian. Wandalstouring (talk) 16:23, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Wandalstouring, funny that you should mention the cultural nature of Alexander's empire. Would you perhaps care to clarify what the nature of the Macedonian culture was and how it differed from "Greek" culture? Just as Macedonians being different from Greeks can be sourced, so can the opposite be sourced and more predominantly so. Let me illuminate. The Macedonian culture was just as distinct from other Greek cultures, as the Athenian was from the Spartan or from the Thebean or the Corcyrean. Claiming that the ancient Macedonians were not a Greek tribe is a result of a contemporary political bias, and not the opposite. It is both curious and, indeed, suspicious to consider, say, the Cycladic or Minoan cultures as proto-Greek cultures or to comfortably draw distinctions between Dorean and Ionian Greeks or even to recognise the more "primitive" nature of the Thessalian Greek culture in the Classical Greek contemporaneity but absolutely expel a tribe which, to the best of extant historical records, spoke Greek, worshipped Greek and eventually propagated the common denominator of the Athenian culture across an empire later called "Hellenistic".--Hieronymus (talk) 22:34, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
@Draganparis. Sorry for mentioning the language thing, it was my own mistake for going into that topic, I didn't realize the risk of starting a long off-topic discussion. --Enric Naval (talk) 19:26, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
@Enric Naval. I am sorry also for writing so long and may be quite useless comments. To avoid further dispute (may be with @Heronymus, which announces to be time wasting) let us imagine for a moment that the Herodotus’ story about the origins of the Argeides were true, OK? This would mean that about 350-400 years before Fillip II and Alexander III one their ancestor (Perdicas) really arrived to Macedonia to become a Macedonian king. We may make a useful comparison to the House of Hanover, i.e. House of Windsor, which is the current English Dynasty, dating from 1714, being a pure German dynasty at that time. We will have to conclude then that Alexander III will be as much a Hellene as the future king of England would be, in the year 2100, a German, and that the Queen and Prince Charles are today, no doubt, both German. Aren’t they? Of course not. Therefore, to maintain that Alexander III was in fact Greek, 350-400 years after one his ancestor arrived to Macedonia, is nonsense. In addition, “Greek” is not a synonym for “Hellenic” and these two terms coincide just in the modern Greece. The term “Greek” has political connotations that are not older then the first Greek state dating from the beginning of the 19th century and should not be mixed with “Hellenism” that is defined by Droysen (German historian) in the middle of the 19th century as a cultural denomination and does not have political connotations. The Diadochi Hellenic kingdoms were not “Greek” kingdoms, as the other Hellenised states, like Rome, were NOT Greek states. I know that some would want this though. For Adolf Hitler “Deutesches Volk” had similar connotations as the term “Hellenised people” has for some politicians today. Do not join them. Let us conclude. “Alexander and his dynasty were Macedonians of possible Hellenic origin, which is disputed” should be the bottom line of the present discussion. I hope that you would agree.Draganparis (talk) 23:40, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

@Draganparis 1. The term "Greek" is not a term of 19th century look at Liddell-Scott... it is much older than you think. 2. 2. Do not confuse the term Ancient-Greek with modern Greek and do not confuse Hellines as used in antiquity with the term Hellenized as used today. 3. Just because certain personalities have have used Ancient-Greeks as a medium for their propaganda or push their agenda it does not mean we should as well. 5. Noone said that the Hellinised kingdoms were 100% Greek... their government was though dominantly Greek and made no actions to hide it. 6. About culture... Macedonian culture was mainly Greek but as others said above they were different mainly due to their geographic isolation and exposure to other cultures. Unfortunately we had again this discussion too many times already... (look at the archives to see how many times your arguments have been repeated again and again) and that's because the Macedonia is the least explored region compared to Southern Greece. The lack of hard evidence allow even at academic level hard disputes. However, from the few evidence we have so far even though we cannot say e.g. that Macedonian language was a Greek dialect for sure, but the evidence we have so far lean towards to Macedonian culture being an important subset of Greek culture. A very simple argument is the following the name Alexander is Greek not just Macedonian. The name has appear in Iliad of Homer and the terms Alex-ander (alex = αλεξ == defense, shield ++ ander = άνδρος == man) are used in many (ancient and modern) Greek words e.g. αλεξ-ί-πτωτο (protection + falling == parachute), αλεξ-ί-σφαιρο (protection against bullets), αλεξ-ικέραυνο (protection from lighting) etc Philip is also a greek name etc etc It is quite strange for a culture to use so frequently names derived by Greek words unless of course it was (to some extent) Greek. Even Romans who were shallowed by the Greek culture did not use Greek names that often. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to expand this discussion further nor I want to. It has been repeated so many times already.A.Cython (talk) 01:00, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

@Draganparis: Saying that the term "Greek" bears a political connotation known from the 19th century only and thereafter is treading on treacherous territory. I will agree that the Greek-speaking folk of the Eastern Roman Empire (and subsequently of the Ottoman empire) did not call themselves Hellenes on account of the term's identification with pre-Christian times. They viewed themselves as Roman at all times (which did not mean that they did not consider ancient Greeks to be their ancestors). They were, however, consistently called "Greeks" by the rest of the then known world (references can be provided, but this is beyond the point of this discussion). The revival of the term "Hellen" in its modern sense began taking its form during the European Enlightenment and prior to the Greek War of Independence. In the ancient world, which is what we are talking about, things were quite different. A typical Greek (or Hellen) belonged to several social and national groups at the same time, which do not necessarily have a contemporary equivalent. However, as M. I. Finley puts it "an Athenian citizen was an alien when he arrived as a visitor in Corinth [or in Macedon for that matter], but we can hardly say that he was a foreigner". It is possible to say that "Alexander, his dynasty and ancient Macedonians were of probable Hellenic (or Greek) origin", and mention that a portion of scholars disputes the fact. It must be made clear that the majority of classical scholars, however, do not.--Hieronymus (talk) 02:39, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Please @A.Cython, you warn me not to do something that I previously warned the others not to do?! What kind of logic you follow? Indeed, I must apologize for introducing long discussions here. This is not needed. Let me repeat: I started reminding that political connotations may pull us away from history. I thereby wanted that we AVOID ambiguities. We must simplify the issues and we should use the term “the Ancient Greeks” and not just “Greeks” to avoid political connotations that the use of, for example, the term “Deutsches Volk” introduced in the past. Please keep the terms as narrow as possible. Hellenism was invented by Droysen, but interest into the Hellenic culture was present in Europe all the time, and true, during the Enlightenment much more then ever. Almost all Europeans speak the Indo-European languages and these are in principle very similar languages. So it could not have happened that the Macedonians spoke some language “not related to the Greek”! The question is how close to the Greek was that language. All we know was that they could not understand each other (modern German and English languages are obviously closer then the Macedonian and Greek were in the ancient times). The use of coins, even with engravings of Greek letters, did not mean “Hellenisation”. And the contrary is also true: The Hellenic culture does not mean “all the culture” but some elements of the common culture which is waste. But, if all was Hellenic - then nothing was in fact Hellenic! Therefore, keeping our concepts well delimited we will be able to discover more and see more. It is astonishing how much the technology was interchanged in the ancient times. But there are elements of the Hellenic culture that ARE specific for the south of the Balkan Peninsula. Let me finish now - sorry for a long text again.
Dear @Hieronymus! The question was of whether Macedonian king Alexander III was possibly of Hellenic ORIGIN (this dating from about 15 generations back). The conclusion drawn on the account of the expert references was that we might say: “may be, but we are not sure”. All we know and can say is, as I demonstrated above on the example of the English dynasty, that Phillip and his son Alexander were - would anybody doubt? - Macedonians.
There was also no question of whether the Macedonians and the Greeks had the same, very close origins. I think that there we may at least say: “unlikely, but who knows…”.
The third question that was not asked on this pages was, which would be quite amusing if it was asked and not just carefully “suggested” by commentators above - of whether the Macedonians were in fact Greeks (!?).This question certainly deserves a profound discussion – in a well suited London pub.Draganparis (talk) 11:17, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
@Draganparis. I realise what the question is. I have agreed with you insofar as you say that whether Alexander of Macedon was from a branch of the Argeian dynasty or not, after that dynasty became part of the Macedonian state, it no longer was Argeian (not Greek, Argeian), but Macedonian. This therefore transposes the question as to Alexander's ethnicity (ethnos - a term with no contemporary equivalent of nationhood or nationality), namely whether he was Greek (Hellen) or not to whether all ancient Macedonians were Greek. I repudiate your dismissal of this conception with expressions such as "unlikely" or "may be but we are not sure". Neither is this a question to be resolved by laymen in a London pub. It is a question which has been addressed, and, although disputed, general consensus among scholars is that by all probability, ancient Macedonians were a Greek tribe (I believe plenty of references have already been provided in this discussion, but more can be provided, if required). This, in turn, makes the king of the Macedonians, by all probability, a Greek (a Hellen) himself.--Hieronymus (talk) 12:00, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
(...Exactly as I predicted that @Hieronymus would react. Please, dear Hieronymus, avoid explaining here what is "ethnicity", OK. I would on the contrary greatly appreciate to have your opinion about my example of the English Royal House and their "being Germans" - see above. And try to publish your study where you will claim that "the Queen is ethnically Deutsch"!)
Since there is no direct evidence of Macedonians being Hellenes in the ancient literature (and there is no doubt about this) you certainly propose to cite some opinions of contemporary historians? If you would like to abandon a London pub discussion we will need to see the references AND citations that would include only the academic departments for Ancient History (excluding the departments originating from the Republic of Macedonia and Greece). Otherwise, I wish you to enjoy this pleasant weekend (hope that you have nice weather today as we have it here in the South California). Draganparis (talk) 12:51, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, Hieronymus, I am in fact quite tiered with these discussions. History – yes, ethnicity of the Hellenistic world – NO. This is an extreme ethno-centrism and a neo-racism. For me the above discussion is closed. Draganparis (talk) 15:08, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
@Draganparis. I much fear that it is snowing in the northwest of England today. I am sorry to say that you are indeed tired and you feel you should close the discussion. This is of course on account of no other reason apart from your knowing how it will end. I went out of my way to explain that I was using the word ethnicity with no contemporary connotations. Which part of this did you not understand? Which part of the concept of the ancient city-state in the ancient Hellenic area do you doubt? Do you refute the fact that each ancient Greek owed fealty to his city-state, prior to viewing himself as part of the Hellenic whole? Ample references as to the Hellenicity of Ancient Macedonians will be provided in due course.--Hieronymus (talk) 17:13, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
A friendly advice, dear @Hieronymus: Please avoid broken English and racism on these pages.Draganparis (talk) 23:34, 8 February 2009 (UTC)


Why is it necessary to have a Legacy and a Legend section of this article? That's just too much. This article is too long with not enough sources. Is somebody's trying to make a data dumping ground? Colonel Marksman (talk) 20:31, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Right. Sorry, please remove all what I wrote. The argument that was "implanted" here is pure nonsense. The ethnicity arguments do not belong here.Draganparis (talk) 14:27, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

He was a great leader and a great king —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ebony0801 (talkcontribs) 01:36, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


I see that an entire section has for its only source...Plutarch, and reads very much like the portrayal of Alexander in the movie. Is it not slightly credulous to use a source such as Plutarch without mentioning historiographical details or analysing it in any way (via use of secondary sources). Are not secondary sources better in general? Everything written about Alexander's life here seems to be presented as fact, yet this can surely not be shown to be the case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

'Others thought (and many still think) that Philip's murder was planned with the knowledge and involvement of Alexander, Olympias or both. Some have suggested that, as a result of Philip's authoritarian parenting style and successful military career, as well as Olympias' overbearing nature and reported beauty, that Alexander might have suffered from an Oedipus complex, resulting in a subconscious desire to kill his father and marry his mother. Still more theories point to Darius III, the recently crowned King of Persia. Regardless, the army proclaimed Alexander, then twenty, the new king of Macedon.'

The above paragraph, just one part of the section, is a case in point. There are no sources for each of the generalisations (who thinks and how do we know many thought that Alexander was responsible, I think this is the case, but evidence is needed)as well as for bizarre claims like 'Alexander had an Oedipus complex', not only do I think that the complex is a load of pseudo-scientific BS that has little empirical evidence but there is no source except at the bottom of the section which is Plutarch, and whilst Plutarch knew a lot I don't recall his skills in spycho-analysis or an ability to travel in time.

Intention to fuse greek and persian empires into one

Hi guys, I'm a bit of a newb in terms of wikipedia editing/commenting so please bear with me if I am breaking conventions. I think this is an excellent article so well done. One area that I feel is not covered adequately is a discussion of Alexander's changing intentions with regards to the conquering of the persian empire. Arrian talks about this issue. Paul Cartedlge and Robin Lane Fox for the modern opinions, I feel this aspect is not sufficiently covered in the current version of the article. Here's a quotation from Robin Lane Fox's 'Alexender the Great' to start the fires of discussion: P259 quoting an ancient, but to my shame I can't ID it as I can't understand his citations.

'On seeing a hugh statue of Xerxes, overturned by the hordes which had forced their way into the palace, he stopped beside it and addressed it as if it were alive. 'Are we to pass you by,' he said, 'and leave you lying on the ground because you campaigned against the Greeks, or are we to set you up again, because of your otherwise high-minded nature?' NoelKennedy (talk) 22:19, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Welcome to wikipedia. There's a 250$ bounty for bringing this article to featured status within this year. There are three problems to face. Citations are not adequate (look at Pericles or Alcibiades for comparison). As you rightly pointed out, the coverage issue can be improved. That leads to the next problem, structure. In my humble opinion your material can be very well integrated with some slight modifications of structure and yes, you need to reference all or it will be deleted.
We have a young king who quells uprising of newly conquered territories of his murdered father by reconquering them. Thus arguable he is from the start of his reign on a conquest tour. The difference between the Greek and the Persian conquest is that the Macedons wanted to be Greeks. Against the Persians and Indians the ideology is highlighted in Spread of Greek ideas(click on the link and you land on the chapter in the article). So there might be a convenient place to highlight the motives of challenging a world power plus a brief mention of the success of the Anabasis of the 10,000 since Alexander himself had an Anabasis styled after their popular story. In his early life and ascent of Macedon are a few hints about the relationship between him, his father, his mother and his siblings, however, there's far more detailed discussion about that and it might well be summarized in an own chapter.
As you rightly point out the ideology of making the world Greek from the start changed as highlighted in the Hostilities section. We might take a new perspective and make the conquest a learning experience of orientalization, possibly starting in Egypt where he becomes the son of Zeus-Amon (before he wanted to be Achill, the ancestor of his mother's tribe, and had a fragile nice white helmet) and suddenly doesn't want to be his father's son who is very much revered by the Macedonians as a great king. Next step is that his divinity asks for Persian customs that are perceived as lowering the rank of the freeborn and also noble Macedonians in comparison to the king. The story of his admiration of the Persian kings fits neatly with Plutarch's story of his early life how well he received the Persian ambassadors.
Next step is surpassing the admired Persian kings, besides taking over their family, leading him to the conquest of India. Sometime then or little later the concept of Ecumene must have been established. Interestingly it isn't that much about Graecisation any more, however, the Greek influence was actually maintained at least in later times. So there can be a discussion what this empire actually was from an ideological point of view(POV in wikispeak) and what sense the conquests made for it. That fits neat with the Macedonian soldiers refusing to do any more world conquests and even how he had bought them first for the new campaign with shiny new linothoraxes.
Since there was an empire and a king who found a purpose for it that lay in defence of some perceived values we are a bit at odds with the reported plan of taking the Arabian peninsula almost a millenium before Muhammed. Was it a barbarian threat or were the values doublespeak and it was really all about being the greatest conqueror who surpassed all and everybody. Here or sometime earlier it might be convenient to discuss his state of mind(also taking a look at the many cases of debility and insanity in his close family) and the many plots that aimed to replace him and how he got rid of friends and how even his bodyguard took precautions against him by plain disobdience.
Greetings Wandalstouring (talk) 18:02, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
The passage is from Plutarch (couple of pages before the description of the destruction of Persepolis). The references of Professor Lane Fox are unfortunately not so easy to follow. Alexander hesitated whether to destroy Persian Empire or rather to take it as it was (and create his “Asian Empire” on the remains of the great Persian Empire). He later made an important effort to bring closer the two “worlds” what in the end gave cultural swing to the Macedonian Empire which we since 19th century call “Hellenism” - a mixture of Asian and Greek traditions. Draganparis (talk) 12:12, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Victory coins

"Victory coin" of Alexander the Great, minted in Babylon c.322 BCE, following his campaigns in India.
Obv: Alexander being crowned by Nike.
Rev: Alexander attacking king Porus on his elephant.
Silver. British Museum.

Here's one of the famous "Victory coins of Alexander", minted in Babylon after Alexander's India campaigns and just before his death. It is thought to depict Alexander being crowned by Nike, and attacking king Porus on his elephant. Feel free to insert it in the article. PHG (talk) 06:57, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Talking of coins, I've got an Alexander silver tetradrachm which is better quality than the example in the article. Should I photograph it and upload it? – Roger Davies talk 07:50, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Sure, but give it to Durova for modifications. Wandalstouring (talk) 09:55, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Marriage Mural from Pompeii

The image with the following text: "A mural in Pompeii, depicting the marriage of Alexander to Barsine (Stateira) in 324 BC. The couple are apparently dressed as Ares and Aphrodite." when clicked on shows the same image stating it depicts Alexanders marriage to Roxane. Roxane and Stateira were two separate people and both wives to Alexander. If it is unknown which wife is being depicted then it is better to state that rather than have this contradiction. (talk) 14:11, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Macedonian or Greek?

Sources: Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian, "The Generalship of Alexander the Great" by JFC Fuller, "Alexander the Great" by Robin Lane Fox, "Alexander the Great" by Lewis V. Cummings, "Alexander the Great: Son of the Gods", "The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories" by Herodotus, and Robert B. Strassler.

Ok so here is a common debate which goes on between the citizens of Fyrom and Greece everyday. Was he a Macedonian or a Greek. Well Macedonian. But Macedonians are Greek and here's why.

The original tribe to form the Macedonians was called the Macedni. When the Macedni first migrated into Macedonia from Argos (hence the name Argead Dynasty), the land was already inhabited by Thracians and Illyrians. The three tribes intermixed and were considered barely Hellenized.

However,the Macedonians still spoke the Doric Dialect of the Greek language because they were Dorians, they participated in the Olympic Games since the reign of Alexander I, their buildings had Greek architectural design which we know because of the finding of the Palace of Philip II and Alexander the Great, and they considered themselves descendants of Heracles.

"Your predecessors have entered Macedonia, and the rest of Greece, in a hostile manner, and injured us, having recieved no injury from us. I at my advancement to the Empire of Greece, willing to avenge my country's wrongs upon the Persians, have crossed over into Asia, having recieved sufficient provocation from your former ravages... (continued)" - Alexander the Great in a letter to Darius III

note the line that says "Macedonia and the rest of Greece" ... Would Alexander lie about his own identity?

There is so much more evidence in that letter that Alexander thought of himself as Greek just as all the other Macedonians did.

We both know that Thracians are Greek so Macedonians were more Greek than anything else.

So, is that not enough? I will cite the entire letter that Alexander the Great wrote to Darius III and let you make your own decision.

“Your predecessors have entered Macedonia, and the rest of Greece, in a hostile manner, and injured us, before they had received any injury from us. I, at my advancement to the Empire of Greece, willing to avenge my country’s wrongs upon the Persians, have passed over into Asia, having received sufficient provocation from your former ravages. You aided the Perinthians in their unjust wars against my father; and Ochus transported an army into Thrace, to disturb the peace of our government. My father was slain by traitors, whom you hired for that purpose (as you have, everywhere, boasted in your letters); and at the same time, when you had taken care that Arses should be dispatched by Bagoas, you usurped the empire unjustly, and in open defiance to all Persian laws. You have, moreover, wrote letters into Greece, encouraging my subjects to rebellion, and to that end have sent money to the Lakedaemonians, and others, which nevertheless all Grecians, except the Lakedaemonians loyally rejected; by which means, you stove to withdraw my friends and followers from me, and to dissolve that firm league which I have entered into with all the states of Greece. Wherefore I have invaded your realms in a hostile manner, because you were the first author of hostilities. And now, when I have met your governors, and captains, and afterward yourself and your whole army, in pitched battle; and have already, by permission of the gods, gained possession of Asia; as many of your soldiers as surrendered themselves into my hands, after the battle, I protect; neither do they tarry with me against their inclination, but freely and voluntarily take up arms in my cause. To me, therefore, as Lord of all Asia, come and apply yourself: But if you are afraid of any harsh usage upon your coming, send some of your friends, who may take an oath from me for your safety. When you come into my presence, ask for your wife, your mother, your children, and whatever you will besides, and you shall receive them; and nothing shall be denied you. However, when you write me next, remember to entitle me King of Asia, neither write to me any more as your equal, but as Lord of all your territories. If you act otherwise, I shall look upon it as an indignity of the highest consequences; and if you dispute my right to the possession of your realms, stay and try the event of another battle; but hope not to secure yourself by flight, for wherever you fly, thither will I surely pursue you” –Alexander the Great in a letter to Darius III

Now people ask me all the time, why did Philip kill Greeks if he was a Greek. For anyone who has studied atleast 2 pages out of any Greek history book you'll find out that they were always fighting each other. Before Philip united them, they fought amongst themselves. Epaminondas was a great example of a Greek general fighting other Greeks. I hope that clears up this issue and if not I'll submit an essay I wrote for my English class on the same subject. Thanks for reading my article! -Nolan Gillies-- (talk) 23:59, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Somebody obviously broke my password and corrected the text in my name(!!!??). Can some editor look into this, please. I will be obliged to change my name and keyword. This is a scandal. My only comment was the following, and I hold to this: "Almost all that you wrote is wrong. How did you manage this? I think you would do much better if you read the books that you cited. Draganparis (talk) 17:30, 14 May 2009 (UTC)". And "Levaol" is the last who can erase my COMMENT. What kind of vandalism this is? DO NOT erase other people's comment (please)! The above, Nolan Gillies, claims that Macedonians arrived from Argos (only dynasty "probably" arrived from Argos, according to Alexander I - as Herodotus reports), language of Macedonians was Dorian (the language of the Ancient Macedonians is not known with certainty, read Hammond, for example). There is no evidence that Macedonians took part in the Olympic games before Phillip II (Alexander I is NOT cited on the lists, this is only reported by Herodotus after probably Alexander Ist own report, which is probably false (as Borza thinks). There is no letter of Darius that is not thought to be a late forgery. So... Draganparis (talk) 19:12, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Alexander III

What would you think of the redirect? I can see why it went to a disamb, but of the people listed, Alexander here tops them at importance. --Ssteiner209 (talk) 12:41, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Alexander III is an ambigous term. Alexander the Great isn't. I favour a disambiguation. Wandalstouring (talk) 15:57, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
As Wandal says. Alexander the Great is not usually referred to as "Alexander III", so there is not a strong association that would justify a redirect. Many people searching for "Alexander III" will be looking for other Alexanders. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:10, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Alexander was Illyrian (Albanian)

The interpretations mace by William Woodthorpe Tarn are not reliable and should not be cited except to show the misconceptions that he introduced in the popular conception of Alexander --Enric Naval (talk) 20:00, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Alexander the Great was Illyrian (Albanian) Other nationalities of course, have long laid claim to Alexander the Great as one of their own most notably the Macedonians and the Greeks. However, as cited so authoritatively in the opening paragraph of Tarn's book, Alexander the Great can be rightfully identified as an Albanian. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Tarn? You mean William Woodthorpe Tarn?
Tarn's account was plain wrong. His reputation for fact-checking while researching Alexander the interpretation he made of the facts about Alexander is beyond horrible [14][15][16]. Please don't cite Tarn's interpretations again except for showing the misconceptions that he introduced in the popular conception of Alexander. --Enric Naval (talk) 18:58, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Note: The IP 71* is none other than banned User:Dodona, and as such can be ignored or rolled back. --Athenean (talk) 19:14, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I'll just collapse it so other people will be warned no to use Tarn. Thanks for warning us. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:00, 29 March 2009 (UTC)


Through many studies people have concluded that the birth of Alexander the Great was on July 22 but many philosphers say that our calenders do not compley with each other but it is still believed that the 22 was the birth day of Alexander.