Recently I posted about ancient Greece influence on modern life and in the process found the above painting. It and other mentions of Alexander inspired me to write this post, a collection of facts and thoughts not meant to be comprehensive. For that go to Wikipedia it has way more than you want to know.
At the age of 20 in 336 B.C. the son of King Philip II became Alexander III, king of Macedon, a Greek city/state. Though some like to say the Macedonians were not Greek but conquered the Greeks they in fact spoke a dialect of Doric Greek, followed the Greek gods and participated in the Olympics and other Greek cultural events.
Scholars think the mosaic above is the most authentic depiction of Alexander because it is said to be based upon a contemporary painting of him.
We can ignore the numerous statues like the one on the left because they seem to be more hero worship than reality.
This is from a Dutch artist based upon computer modelling.
From age 13 to 16 Alexander was tutored by Aristotle, who in turn had been a student of Socrates. He was an avid student of wisdom as well as warfare and went on to conquer a large chunk of the then known world before he was thirty years old. He has many quotes attributed to him. My favourite:
“Whatever possessions we gain by our sword cannot be sure or long-lasting, but the love that’s gained by kindness and moderation is certain and durable.”
More ancient Greek quotes — More inspirational quotes
When I was a student I was enthralled by the Mary Renault series of three books that provide a fictionalized but accurate depiction of Alexander’s life and death.