This is something I wanted to get to for the longest. Alexander the Great is one of the most prominent historical figures attributed to the Age of Antiquity. The achievements attributed to Alexander are truly amazing. I would like to apologize beforehand, in case he really did all those things, for I have my reasons to doubt most of them. As a matter of fact I will go as far as saying that the narrative has to be extensively scrutinized, because one too many facts simply do not make sense. Others do not check out during the available "narrative compliant" research.
- In reality, to put a serious dent into Alexander's life story, we would only need to look at the horseshoe issue, and analyze the deployment of Alexander's Macedonian Phalanx. We will get to those a bit later.
- Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.
With the above said, we have an interesting dilemma on our hands. People who lived in the 15th century had a much different perception, and in their opinion, Alexander looked like this.
Alexander the GreatFor the purposes of this discussion, please avoid discussing Julius Caesar and Hector. It was impossible to cut them out without damaging Alexander's name. To get all the related links, and sources, please visit the below article:
Around 1430s AD, artists depicted Alexander as a medieval character, and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But how is it possible, for we have Arrian, Plutarch, Diodorus Siculus, Quintus Curtius Rufus, Justin and co. Here is "Catch 22" as far as these sources go. Nobody knew about these sources until 1418. Some of the blog members know of what I'm talking about here. For the newer members, or for wondering Googlers I will say this:
- This world had exactly ZERO knowledge of any antiquity prior to 1418 AD. This is when Mr. Poggio Bracciolini provided us with the knowledge. Nobody knew about such things as Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome or anything Ancient for that matter.
- There are no surviving original sources of anything. As in, we do not have a single one.
- We only have copies of the copies of the alleged original sources. Copies conveniently survived, and the original sources conveniently did not.
- After 1418, the copies, in great numbers, started getting located in great numbers in various attics, basements, church libraries and other previously "ignored" places.
- Only after 1418, did we start to discover various ancients busts and statues, with most of those located in the 19th century.
VERIFY ME: You are welcome to check, and double-check me on this. In the process you might run into information in support of the following related topics. See for yourself when the so-called sources were discovered. If this 1,500 - 2,000 year break will not get your senses up, I cannot help you. It would mean that the dark "narrative" force runs strong within you.
- Questionable antiquity of the "ancient" statues
- Was Cleopatra a medieval queen?
- Troy: X marked the spot for centuries, but the ruins were only identified in 1822
- 79 A.D. no more: Pompeii got buried in 1631
- With no "ancient" text copies to consider, the image of Alexander was based on the experiences of the ones who lived at the time. Suggesting, that the oral tradition survived for 1,700 years, with no available literature to support the distant past, is a wishful thinking. The only reason those early 15th century people could know about Alexander (as well as Julius Caesar, Hector, King Arthur, and co.) was him being a relatively contemporary character. In other words, I think that Alexander lived some time between 11th and 15th centuries, which is somewhat different from the official 4th century BC.
- It was found at Magnesia ad Sipylum, Turkey between 1891 nd 1893. The first excavations in Magnesia were conducted between 1891 and 1893 by a German archaeological team led by Carl Humann. The work lasted 21 months and partially unearthed the theater, the Artemis temple, the agora, the Zeus temple and the prytaneion. Excavations were resumed at the site, after an interval of almost 100 years, in 1984, by Bingöl. Go figure.
To demonstrate the ridiculousness of several key aspects of the official history, I will use only one event: the Battle of Gaugameta. For the purposes of clear understanding of the narrative, I strongly encourage you to watch the below video. It is an easy to watch, and a somewhat entertaining piece of pseudo history.
Battle of Gaugamela
Battle of Gaugamela
The Battle of Gaugamela, was the decisive battle of Alexander the Great's invasion of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. In 331 BC Alexander's army of the Hellenic League met the Persian army of Darius III near Gaugamela, close to the modern city of Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Though heavily outnumbered, Alexander emerged victorious due to his army's superior tactics and his deft employment of light infantry. It was a decisive victory for the Hellenic League and led to the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.
Alexander forces: 47,000
Darius III forces: 250,000–1,000,000 (ancient sources), conveniently changed to 90,000–120,000 (modern estimates)
Casualties: Alexander on the left, Darius III on the right
The casualty count is comical. Alexander lost between 300 and 1,100, and Darius lost 40,000 to 300,000. What Jesuit monk came up with this non-sense?
The Sarissa Spear
The sarissa (+ source) was a long spear or pike about 4–6 metres (13/18–20/22 ft) in length. It was introduced by Philip II of Macedon and was used in his Macedonian phalanxes as a replacement for the earlier dory, which was considerably shorter. These longer spears improved the strength of the phalanx by extending the rows of overlapping weapons projecting towards the enemy, and the word remained in use throughout the Byzantine years to sometimes describe the long spears of their own infantry.
Total Approximate Sarissa Spear Weight: 14.5 lbs.
Sorry, could not help it
Vaulting Pole max length: 17 ft 5 in
Vaulting Pole max length: 17 ft 5 in
Jeff Hartwig, who set two North American pole vaulting records in 1998, was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1996 and 2008.
- The pole weighs but a few pounds, but when you’re holding it from the end, it effectively weighs 20 pounds or more.
- A bronze Pelta shield: 60 cm / 24 inches wide, and "not too hollow".
- A bronze Thracian helmet.
- A bronze body armor "the linothorax".
Macedonian PhalanxThe phalanx consisted of a line-up of several battalion blocks called syntagmata, each of its 16 files (lochoi) numbering 16 men, for a total of 256 in each unit. Each syntagma was commanded by a syntagmatarch, who - together with his subordinate officers - would form the first row of each block. For visual representation of how the phalanx was supposed to work please refer to this video.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE: I wanted to offer our fellow historians to recreate this Macedonian Phalanx attack formation. Make 256 enemy straw men similar to the one below.
Position your enemy straw men behind Darius III's back, similar to the image below.
Make up a your Macedonian Phalanx 16x16 formation, for the total of 256 Sarissa bearing historians. Attack the stationary straw men enemies.
QUESTION: Once the first straw men enemies get impaled by your Sarissa spears, your front 16 will have their spears loosely embedded in the straw. Notice, that it could have been "firmly embedded in 175 lbs of human flesh". Now, keeping in mind that your Sarissa spears are sharp on both ends, tell me the following...
- What do you do now?
- Option A: jerk your Sarissa spears back, and decommission 16 soldiers behind your front line by impaling the rear ends of your spears into their groin areas.
- Option B: drop your Sarissa spears, and do what "Macedonian" tacticians forgot to tell us.
HorseshoesThe purpose of horseshoes is to help prevent excessive wear and tear and hoof breakage. Most people are familiar with curved metal horseshoes that are fitted onto a horse's hoof with nails. The nails are driven through the hard part of the hoof, and this process does not hurt the horse.
I'm not sure how many thousands of miles the below red arrows amount to, but Macedonians definitely needed horseshoes for their horses.
Unfortunately horseshoes were not invented until 500 AD, more than 700 years after this tale. But charioteers, cavalrymen, and traders were well aware that their horses needed hoof protection on paved roads and rough rocky ground. The hoof of a horse is made of keratin, the same stuff that composes hair and toenails. It wears down quickly on rough ground, and a horse without protection will quickly go lame.
The necessity of protecting the horse hoof was recognised by the ancient Greeks and Romans. An early form of hoof protection was seen in ancient Asia, where horses' hooves were wrapped in rawhide, leather or other materials for both therapeutic purposes and protection from wear. Elsewhere, various methods were employed to trim the hoof into a hollow form and give it as much hardness as possible. Gradually, protection items started to appear, first with the soleae Sparteae, a sort of leather hoof boot, later improved into the soleae ferreae that featured metal studded soles similar to contemporary military boots
The ancient Romans made more improvements, creating the official hipposandal or Soleae Ferreae made of forged iron, but still attached to the hoof with straps wrapped around the horse’s hoof and pastern. But evidence for this improvement does not appear until the 1st century AD, 350 years after the events in this article.
UNFORTUNATELY: In 2006, Channel Four's history programme Time Team featured an episode where hipposandals were recreated and tested; however, they were reported to have been uncomfortable and unsuitable for long journeys.
I was unable to locate any durability information, but let us say that a set of leather hipposandals lasts two weeks, which is probably too generous. Alexander had 7,000 horses. Considering 13 years of campaigning, Alexander's horses would need 8,736,000 hipposandals alone. You tell me if it sounds realistic.
KD: Anyways, its getting late, and I have more to add, but at a later date.
In my opinion, things do not add up big time. I am not saying that Alexander did not exist. I think he did, but not within the narrative provided by the official historians. I think he lived during the Medieval Period, and did not run around with bare legs with an army of sandals wearing poll vaulters. And if this Sarissa thrusting phalanx did not exist, than the entire story line is bogus.