Alexander The Great Motivation

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Alexander the Great’s inexorable ten year conquest of the Persian Empire was a conquest motivated by a number of reasons; finance, revenge, opportunity, expansion and personal zealotry being amongst those debated by modern historians. In his attempts to garner Greek support for the conquest, Alexander veiled his true motivations under the guise of nationalistic revenge. In truth however, Alexander's reasons for the invasion of the Persian Empire lay in financial necessity, territorial expansion, his desire to stand up to his mythological and biological ancestry and the opportunity presented by the relatively weakened state of the Persian empire. 1. Revenge for the Persian invasions of Greece (281) Writing in the first-century BCE,…show more content…
Utilising his military skill and diplomatic ingenuity, Philip had rapidly expanded Macedonian borders north to Paeonia and then east to Illyria, regaining territory that had previously been ceded. By the end of his reign, Philip’s Macedonia was the dominant power in Greece, confirmation of which came with victory over an Athenian-Theban alliance at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE. Alexander himself is said to of remarked, according to Plutach that ‘“my father will get everything first and will leave no great or glorious deed for me to perform”’. To the contrary however, upon his father’s death, Alexander was presented with the task of conquering the Persian Empire, one his father had already begun planning for. Without doubt, this was a ‘great’ and ‘glorious deed’, but Alexander intended to go further than Philip had ever intended. Historian Robin Lane Fox writes that to Alexander, ‘”Asia" meant even more than the existing Persian Empire as far as north-west India. He himself meant to conquer all of it, out to the Outer Ocean, the eastern edge of the world’. Ambition on this grand scale, in comparison to his father’s relatively conservative approach, was Alexander's way of not only carrying on Philip I’s expansionist agenda but also ensuring the bettering of it. Never before had the world seen such an expansionist ambition realised. However, it was not just his biological ancestry which motivated Alexander to attempt these great deeds. In fact, Alexander's mythological ancestry played a part as
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