Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The ‘Culture War’ Done Right – Alexander the Great

I tend to have a more negative view of Alexander the Great than Peter but whatever.

By Peter R. Quinones

Whenever there is a perceived political movement happening, those that are in opposition quickly stop politics from being the focus of the movement. Almost immediately detractors will say that the change being advocated for is not one of politics at all, but of a societal/cultural shift – one that will not only eventually transform the politics of the day, but, more importantly, advance the culture in a direction not amenable to the critics.

When Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great) conquered Persia he brought the Greek culture with him. There are reports that he had a battalion whose only job was to teach Greek culture to the societies he defeated. Many historians report this as a negative but fail to teach that Alexander also adopted the cultures of the conquered lands, allowed their customs to continue, and would even wear their clothing and marry their women. He encouraged his soldiers to marry local women as well to combine the Greek and Persian cultures into one. In doing so Alexander created what is known as the Hellenistic Age in which Greek culture was mixed with the cultures of the lands he conquered.


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