Alexander the Great is known as one of the greatest military leaders of all time. He conquered numerous territories some of which were the neighboring states of Greece, the Persian empire, and the Egyptians. He was an enthusiast of Homeric models and in several ways developed his style of kingship by looking to those models.
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Many people who also admired Homer’s poetry did not like Alexander as they believed he misunderstood Homer and the idea of “Homeric kingship”. Nevertheless, Alexander conveyed that he understood the lessons in Homer’s poems well through his unwavering decisions and sensible actions during his reign.
An important lesson taught by The Odyssey was that evil-doers will inevitably face the consequences for their choices. For example, the Cyclops Polyphemus devoured two of Odysseus’ men and trapped the others in his cave. Odysseus hatched a brilliant plan to intoxicate the cyclops with wine, then stab its eye using a sharpened olive tree while it was passed out. His plan succeeded; the blind Cyclops removed the boulder blocking the exit of the cave to call for help which allowed Odysseus and his men to escape. The Cyclops faced the repercussions for not respecting the ancient Greek tradition of providing hospitality to guests who were far from home. Alexander did some gruesome things during his reign. However, he seldom inflicted damage upon anyone without a logical reason and if he did, he would genuinely regret it. For instance, when Alexander came into contact with the sacred sanctuary of Nysa, the Indians explained it was constructed from their own interpretation of Greek religion.
The sanctuary, which was the only place where ivy grew in India, was a dedication to the god Dionysus, who the Indians believed was their founder. After learning this, Alexander did not destroy the sanctuary. Instead, he garrisoned his troops in the territory, celebrated the sanctuary with festivities, and formed a close friendship with the Indians.
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