Alexander Reich

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The realm of Alexander the great in its territorial extent in the year of his death 323 BC. Chr.

In ancient historical research, the so-called Alexander Empire denotes that great empire of antiquity that developed under Alexander the Great in the course of the Alexanderzug and in its full size from 324 to about 319 BC. Existed. Since Alexander's political position was legitimized differently in some areas and he also exercised his rule differently from region to region, no geographical spatial term can be assigned to this state structure other than the name of its ruler.

The Alexander Empire was essentially based on a personal union of three different domains: that of Macedonia , the Old Persian Empire and Egypt . In addition, Alexander had ruled most of the Greek cities in the Hellenic League of Corinth and some barbaric tribes of the Balkans . His empire extended over at least 19 areas of today's modern states ( Greece , North Macedonia , Bulgaria , Turkey , Syria , Jordan , Israel , Lebanon , Cyprus , Egypt , Libya , Iraq , Iran , Kuwait , Afghanistan , Turkmenistan , Tajikistan , Uzbekistan and Pakistan ) and touched a few more on their peripheries ( Ukraine , Romania , Albania , Armenia , Azerbaijan and India ). After his death, his empire finally fell apart as part of the Diadoch Wars and was divided among his successors, the Diadochs and Epigones . In the process, the Hellenistic world of states emerged.


Macedonia and the Hellenic League of Corinth in 336 BC Chr.
The ancient Persian empire of the Achaemenids in its greatest extent around 500 BC. Chr ..

The state structure called "Alexander Reich " according to the modern word creation was the historical successor of the old Persian empire of the Achaemenids , with which it was geographically almost identical, only expanded to include the homeland of its conqueror Macedonia and the Greek city-states under his hegemony on the European continent. Occasionally it is therefore also called the "Great Macedonian Empire" or "Macedonian Empire", especially since with Alexander's conquest, the old Persian ruling caste was ousted by a new Macedonian caste , which was recruited from the ranks of his companions ( hetairoi ) and who were his successors ( diadochoi ) also determined the further historical fate of the eastern Mediterranean, up to its conquest by Rome . Furthermore, the Alexander Empire was a multiethnic state in which rule was based on various instruments of legitimation that Alexander united in personal union. Only his person could vouch for the unity of the empire, for which there was no geographical concept of space and no name for its nation .

Since Alexander did not deal so intensively with anything else than warfare throughout his life, his role model function as statesman, Reich organizer and justice of the peace was and is being questioned, especially since his empire collapsed shortly after his death in a decade-long series of wars. Augustus therefore criticized him and emphasized the ruler's function as serving internal order and peace more than just conquering new lands. As Alexander Demandt noted, however, after his victory in the civil war , Augustus had several decades of rule at his disposal, which he could use to consolidate the internal peace order of the Roman Empire ( pax Augusta ). But Alexander died at the age of only 33, hardly having been able to conquer his empire, which connects him more with Charlemagne , Genghis Khan and Napoleon Bonaparte , whose empires also fell apart quickly, but their politics continued to have an impact for centuries. According to Alfred Heuss , Alexander can only be classified into the current models of classical statecraft to a limited extent , since as a pioneer of Hellenism, he was more creative than statesmanlike.

Despite its very short existence, which was tied to only one person, the Alexander Reich took on a significant role in the development of state theory . It was the first territorial state created from a European cultural area , which extended over several continents and peoples, which enabled the spread of Greek culture beyond the borders of its ancestral city-states and helped it to gain international recognition in Hellenism. As a result of Alexander's city founding, this was accompanied by a rapid expansion of urban civilization and, with the accompanying geographic development, the establishment of Euro-Asian world trade. For the subsequent European monarchies , the form of government of the Alexander Empire with its conception of legitimizing rule became constitutive, with the three factors of dynastic succession , recognition by the army by acclamation and the sacred elevation of the ruler to the divine .

The kingship

The empire conquered by Alexander was not a unitary state in which rule could be achieved by assuming a certain title. There was no “king of the Alexander Empire”, but a king of Macedonia, Asia, Babylon and Egypt. His rule had to be justified by the union of powers and rulers' titles that corresponded to the traditional ideas of the individual parts of the empire. In contrast to the Achaemenids, Alexander respected and where possible he also restored the ancient cultural and religious traditions of the peoples he ruled, such as his enthronement in Egypt. He did not want to appear towards them as a conqueror or foreign ruler, but as a guardian of their traditional social order. In this sense, his kingship represented a universal concept of rule, detached from national limitations, which stood as a guarantee for the unity of the whole and at the same time for the preservation of the diversity of peoples subject to it. Even Machiavelli has noted the lack of "national" uprisings of the Asian peoples against the new Hellenistic ruler, both under Alexander as his successors, with astonishment, while had often raised even against the Achaemenid particular the Babylonians and Egyptians. The unity of the empire thus manifested itself only in the person of the king, whose state could not exist independently of him, whom he could shape equipped with unlimited power and thus made it his personal affair. So Alexander was not king “of” but “in” Asia and “in” Egypt, just like his Hellenistic successors, the Ptolemies and Seleucids, were kings “in Egypt” and “in Syria”. The only exception was Macedonia, where the rulers before and after Alexander could call themselves kings "of the Macedonians".

In Europe, Alexander was first and foremost king of the Macedonians ( basileus Makedonōn ), as the dynastically legitimized successor of his father Philip II and in recognition of the Macedonian army assembly. Since it in the Macedonian state alongside the kingdom ( monarchia was no existing supervisory body), such as the ephorate in Sparta or the Senate in Rome , where the king held absolute power as supreme judge and commander. His will was law in matters of administration and domestic and foreign policy. Only the assembled Macedonian army had an indirect function as a corrective to kingship, the recognition of which the king had to obtain from war profits by demonstrating his leadership qualities and appropriate participation. This form of legitimizing rule was characteristic of Macedonia throughout its history and ultimately continued in the Diadochian empires.

Furthermore, Alexander held the position inherited from his father as the highest general of the Thessalian League , the tagos , which is roughly comparable to an early medieval duke . Outwardly he was thus the de facto ruler of Thessaly, whose cities retained their autonomy internally. A similar constellation finally arose with regard to the Greek cities ( poleis ) represented in the Hellenic League of Corinth , which traditionally attached great importance to their internal freedoms. Alexander had also taken over the position of leader ( hēgemon ) of the Hellenic League from his father and was its supreme general ( strategōs autokratōr ). The relationship between the cities and the hegemon was regulated by treaty, the political and military leadership of which they recognized more or less willingly to the outside world, especially with regard to the agreed campaign of revenge against the Persian arch enemy. Furthermore, the hegemon was granted a guarantee of compliance with the general peace ( koinē eirēnē ), which it had to enforce by military means, as in the case of the attempted apostasy of Thebes in 335 BC. BC, which resulted in the destruction of the city . In return, the hegemon was obliged to recognize the internal autonomy of the cities, in which it was not allowed to intervene.

Alexander the Great depicted as a world ruler (
kosmokratōr ), equipped with a diadem, lance and shield. Symbolizing world domination, the shield shows the images of the earth goddess Gaia , the sun god Helios , the moon goddess Selene and five signs of the zodiac. Roman gold medallion minted under the Severan dynasty , discovered in Abukir in 1906 . Coin Cabinet of the State Museums , Berlin .

As a liberator from Persian rule, Alexander was received in Egypt and crowned Pharaoh in Memphis according to the ancient Egyptian rite , which the Persian kings had renounced. It was similar in Babylon , where he was also received as a liberator and, according to the astronomical diaries, as "King of the world" ( šar kiššati ). Persian rule was always resolutely rejected here as in Egypt; The city was conquered several times and the destruction of its Etemenanki temple tower by Xerxes had generated similar anti-Persian reactions as in Greece. And yet Alexander had always claimed a legitimate heir to the Persian kings who would justify his rule in Asia. Not least because of this, the “Alexander Reich” can be regarded as the successor state to the Persian Empire. When Alexander actually considered this succession is debatable. When he was in 334 BC When his campaign in Asia began, the first priority was retaliation for previous attacks by the Persians on Greece ( Persian Wars) and the liberation of the Greek cities along the Ionian coast in Asia Minor. According to Diodorus, however, when he landed on Asian soil, Alexander asserted his right to rule by throwing a spear, which had been transferred to him by the will of the gods. His endeavors became palpable for a second time the following year in Gordion , when he untied the famous knot in the Zeus sanctuary that promised rule over Asia. It is also noteworthy that Alexander already in the first year of his campaign carried out ruling acts in Asia by not only allowing the conquered Persian provinces to exist, but also installing new Macedonian satraps in them. The name Asia only appeared in his official program after his victory in the Battle of Issus in 333 BC. On by being in a letter to Dareios III. titled himself as “Lord of Asia” and from then on demanded to be addressed as “King in Asia” ( basileus tēs Asias ). After the victory in the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. He was finally proclaimed "King of Asia" by his army, although this act was less an imperial acclamation than a solemn confirmation of his claim on the part of the warriors. Alexander was never enthroned as King of Asia; his rule was legitimized by his spear throwing on the Hellespont and his victories against the Persians. At the latest with the death of Dareios III. 330 BC He was recognized as the sole ruler of Asia. Bessus , who had made himself king, found little following as a regicide and was therefore condemned as a usurper and executed at Alexander's instigation.

The Persian king title used since Darius I was "Great King, King of Kings, King in Persia, King of the Countries", which in turn was taken from the Assyrian tradition of rulers and which carried a universal claim to world domination ; among the Greeks it was translated as "great king" ( basileus megas ). Alexander never used this title, although he considered himself to be the successor of the Achaemenids, which is why the striving for world domination often ascribed to him in historiography does not stand up to closer examination, even though he was trusted to do so. Plutarch ( Alexander 18, 2; Moralia 327d = de fort. Alex. 3, 1) combined world domination as a reward with the solution of the Gordian knot. Diodorus (17, 51, 2) put the claim to world domination in Alexander's mouth during his, admittedly familiar, conversation with the Amun priest of Siwa . Known as the Alexander imitator, Mithridates VI. From Pontos the world domination as god-king was predicted by various oracles, as his model had already done, according to Athenaios (213b). Among the Romans, the idea of ​​a world ruler, Alexander, arose around the same time, which primarily influenced the formation of legends in late antiquity. In the book of Daniel he finally appears as an extremely violent world ruler who destroys all previous empires ( Dan 2.40  EU , Dan 2.40  EU ; Dan 7.7  EU ; Dan 11.3  EU ). The claim that was made with the title “King in Asia” is controversial in historical research to this day, as it was not based on a precise definition. For the Greeks, the geographical term Asia was synonymous with the territory of the Persians, for whom there was no corresponding word equivalent, which is why Alexander intended to rule over their territory at least. However, if one considers that the Greeks were not aware of the actual extent of the Persian Empire in Asia and that Alexander's personal point of view was that he had reached the northern border at Jaxartes and the southern border of the inhabited world ( oikunmenē ) at the Indus delta (the eastern border at the mouth of the Ganges had he not been able to achieve because of the revolt of his army), then he could have derived from his title a rule over the entire Asian continent . China, Siberia, Tibet and Southeast Asia were still unknown to him and his contemporaries.

The royal house

Alexander's reign was based on his membership of the ruling dynasty of the Argeadians , as heir to his father Philip II, and on recognition by the Macedonian army. Both were prerequisites for a legitimate succession to the throne that were not fixed in writing and that also came into effect after his own death. In addition to the descent from the father, that of the mother also played a not insignificant role for the Macedonians, with Alexander having the stigma of not being a full Macedonian on his mother's side. This resulted in his deadly hostility to the general Attalus , whose niece Cleopatra was the last wife of Philip II and a fully Macedonian child of hers could therefore have become a serious competitor for the successor. The assassination of Philip II, however, had favored Alexander, who at that time was the only male Argeade of rulable age and was therefore immediately recognized as the new king by the relevant people from his father's entourage. Following the laws of the time, he had Attalus killed, Cleopatra and her baby were killed at the behest of his mother Olympias . With the elimination of his cousin Amyntas IV , Alexander was finally the undisputed king. He also had an older half-brother, Philip III. Arrhidaios , who was considered incapable of governing due to a mental illness and therefore did not pose a threat. Nevertheless, Alexander thought it appropriate to take him with him on his campaign so that he would be within his immediate reach, although the brother should not turn out to be a former Claudius .

In Asia, Alexander also sought to consolidate his rule by dynastic means. His marriage to the Bactrian princess Roxane is explained not least with the request to vote the local Central Asian nobility favorably for him. At the mass wedding of Susa , he finally adopted the Achaemenid princesses Stateira as the second and with Parysatis a third wife. Polygamy , otherwise frowned upon under the Macedonians, was evidently tolerated towards the royal family; even his father had sometimes had several wives at the same time. Both princesses were daughters of former kings, Parysatis those of Artaxerxes III. and Stateira those of his rival and predecessor Darius III. , with which the change of ruler in Asia could be legitimized in addition to the right of conquest. However, with his marriages, Alexander carried the reservations that had already been made towards him into the next generation by exposing the expected children as descendants of Asian women to even less acceptance by the Macedonians. Parmenion is said to have urged him to marry his mistress Barsine , who was also an Asian woman, but, unlike the other three, was educated in Greek and therefore seemed more acceptable as a queen. With her he even had a son who was named Heracles after the mythical ancestor . However, it is unclear whether Alexander ever recognized this son, as he was never mentioned by his side during his lifetime.

The Alexander family (excerpt):

Philip II of Macedonia
† 336 BC Chr.
† 316 BC Chr.
Philip III Arrhidaios
† 317 BC Chr.
† 308 BC Chr.
† 320 BC Chr.
† 309 BC Chr.
Alexander the Great
† 323 BC Chr.
† 310 BC Chr.
† 309 BC Chr.
Alexander IV. Aigos
† 310 BC Chr.

The connection to the Achaemenids:

Dareios II.
† 404 BC Chr.
Artaxerxes II.
† 358 BC Chr.
Cyrus the Younger
† 401 BC Chr.
† probably 358 BC Chr.
Artaxerxes III.
† 338 BC Chr.
† 323 BC Chr.
† 336 BC Chr.
Dareios III.
† 330 BC Chr.
† 331 BC Chr.
Alexander the Great
† 323 BC Chr.
† 323 BC Chr.
† 324 BC Chr.
† 323 BC Chr.
† 284 BC Chr.
† 321 BC Chr.

Court ceremonies and rulers' insignia

By taking over rule in Asia and the associated acceptance of Persian rulers and nobles in his entourage, Alexander aroused displeasure among his Macedonian and Greek followers, who saw the Persians as enemies ( barbarians ) who were inferior to civilization and who were defeated and ruled instead of treated as equal should. By accepting their rites, behaviors and external characteristics, i.e. orientalization, Alexander betrayed pure Hellenism and insulted old Macedonian paternal customs, defeating the Persians in the war, but inferior to them in peace. This was the common criticism of him, which was represented in Roman historiography and beyond. Alexander's attitude also found its defenders such as Arrian and Plutarch , who wanted to have recognized in his approach a deep respect for the Asian peoples and part of his policy of mixing peoples, which should lead to a universal peace order between the formerly warring continents of Europe and Asia .

The Macedonian kingdom had no institutionalized rituals of power or even court offices that anticipated any kind of state order. The king here was more of a kind of private citizen with a higher reputation, to whom an authoritative authority was granted. His palace was rather a better villa and in no way could compare with the splendor of the Orient. According to the self-image of the Macedonians as well as the Greeks, all holders of civil rights were free people and accordingly treated each other with equal rights and respect. The king also had to observe these social rules in order to maintain his authority. Accordingly, his position vis-à-vis his subjects resembled that of a primus inter pares , who delegated political tasks trustingly rather than commandingly. The king was addressed and used as basileus or by his name. People of the closest personal trust and friendship were allowed to kiss him in greeting; whoever spoke to him took off his helmet.

Accordingly, Alexander appeared in the same way after he came to power and was met in the same way by his Macedonian subjects. During his advance into Asia and with the growing recognition of his rule by the local population, his public appearance showed an ever greater change in character, which his Macedonian companions received with strange, if not entirely negative, acceptance. He demonstrated his claim to the succession of the Achaemenids by accepting Persian ruling rituals in connection with external insignia. From 330 BC After the death of Darius III, Alexander wore the typical Persian emblems , such as the red or white headband ( diadēma ), the red shirt ( chitōn ) and the purple ruler's cloak ( chlamys ), which was girded with the king's belt. With the exception of one attempt, he refrained from wearing the Persian ruler's hat , the tiara ( tiyārā ), which was too much for his Macedonians. In Babylon and Susa he sat on the throne of the great kings with a golden canopy and carried a large red splendid tent with him for the further course of the campaign. On the other hand, Alexander inherited a typical Macedonian symbol from his father, namely a scepter that was carried after the model of the mythical Agamemnon . He also wore a signet ring with which all acts of sovereignty but also things of a private nature were certified. The signet ring was not a specific ruler's insignia; at that time most people in high positions wore one. Rather, it only acquired this importance for Alexander when he was passed on to Perdiccas on his deathbed and was understood by him as a transfer of ruler's authority.

Much more difficult than the outward insignia was the introduction of a court ceremony that was taken from the old Persian model. Alexander also led in 330 BC The court office of the chamberlain ( eisangeleus ), which was unknown to the Macedonians until then. From then on, a person wishing to speak to the King on a matter had to register for an audience with the Chamberlain and then had to wait to be received. This applied to both Orientals and Hellenes alike, only the king's closest confidants continued to enjoy free access to him.

The attempt made by Alexander to introduce proskynesis ( proskynēsis ) among the Hellenes was extremely controversial , a gesture in which the subordinate raised his hand to his mouth (kissing hand) and bent slightly forward to the ruler as a show of respect. Among the Greeks, this gesture was well known as a gesture of veneration for their gods, but to use it with people was frowned upon and offensive, as it assumed that the recipient was presumptuous of a godlike nature. And it was precisely this presumption that the Greeks assumed, in an old historical misunderstanding, of the Persian kings, in whom prosksynesis could be observed, which, however, actually did not correspond to the truth. Proskynesis was seen as a gesture of slavish submission by unfree people to their godlike master and whoever performed it submitted to his law. To what extent the Hellenes equated proskynesis with prostration , the submissive footfall seeking mercy or protection, which they also knew, is unclear. In any case, it was incompatible with her pride in freedom. In fact, Proskynesis was the gesture of greeting that occurred throughout the whole of the Middle East and was used to greet the simplest man up to the king. Alexander failed during a symposium with the introduction of proskynesis with his Macedonian followers after the otherwise known as sycophants to Callisthenes had refused to perform it, was willing indeed to recognize the "participation in the Divine" his patron, is therefore not humiliate himself wanted to. As a result, Alexander refrained from demanding prosksynesis from the Hellenes, only the Orientals continued to express it to him. Those Hellenes who did it without being asked were regarded by their compatriots as the worst flatterers and accordingly despised, the same was also true of their attitude towards the Orientals. This relationship of the Occidentals to Proskynesis continued among the Diadochi; The Romans also regarded it as an expression of the arrogance of those who succumbed to the Caesarean madness , but under Diocletian it was firmly anchored in the Roman / Byzantine court ceremonies.

Imperial and court administration

After his ten-year campaign, Alexander died. He did not have much time to develop a permanently sustainable Reich organization; Much had to be improvised or taken over from the Persian organization and got stuck in the beginning. Nevertheless, it was adopted by the Seleucids in Asia and the Ptolemies in Egypt and also served as a model for all later Hellenistic empires.

The Chiliarch - the second man

With the Achaemenids, in a lengthy process up to the 4th century BC, the post of commander of the royal guard troops of the " apple bearers " expanded to that of a "second man in the state", its oriental equivalent after a wezir , a kind of ancient viceroy . His Persian official title was hazarapatiš , which is translated as "Thousand Leader " according to the strength of the "apple-bearer guard "; the Greek word equivalent is chiliarchos . In addition to their protective function for the great king as commanders of the guard, the incumbents had increasingly taken on tasks in state management, which they took over in the event of the king's absence or incapacity to govern.

For Alexander and his Macedonians this function was not unknown. In their homeland, Philip II once handed over the leadership of the state to his friend Antipater during his campaigns , whom Alexander also used as a steward for the duration of his absence in Asia. After Dareios III. 330 BC After he died and his last Chilliarch Nabarzanes had surrendered, Alexander had integrated the "Apple Bearer Guard" into his armed forces and introduced the Chiliarchamt in his court. The office and protection mandate were entrusted to the king's closest personal friend ( philalexandros ) Hephaistion and the department of the Hetairen Reitererei subordinate to him.

Hephaistion never had to take on government duties; he died in 324 BC BC and was replaced by Perdiccas . After Alexander's death, he took over the reign of the empire for the kings who were incapable of ruling and appointed Seleucus as Chiliarch. However, this perpetrated 320 BC. He betrayed the regent and was involved in his assassination, whereupon the office of the Chiliarches lost its meaning for the Alexander empire, which was in the process of being dissolved.

The court

In the course of the campaign and with the takeover of the Persian empire, it became necessary for Alexander to introduce an organized court administration, in which his state manifested itself, with which he could assert his sovereign power over his empire. During his lifetime three court offices were formed, of which that of the archivist was probably the oldest. This post was held by Eumenes von Kardia , who had already served Philip II as private secretary ( grammateos ) and who had retained this position under Alexander. With the increase in ruler's diplomas, legal decrees and decrees of the king, Eumenes was assigned not only his duties as private secretary but also those of the archivist, who had to direct the state correspondence. He was not bound by location and went along with the army along with the archive. The archive in India was unintentionally burned down by Alexander.

After the treasures of the Persian kings hoarded in Sardis, Damascus, Babylon, Susa, Persepolis and Ekbatana had passed into his possession, Alexander entrusted their management to a treasurer, his childhood friend Harpalus . Unlike under the Achaemenids, the treasurer's office was now subordinate to all finance inspectors who supervised the tax revenues in the provinces, the rates of which were fixed by the Persians, and their use. Fiscal policy was thus centralized, thus curtailing the powers of the satraps in favor of the royal central authority. The treasurer's duties were not only to administer the treasure and to finance the army as it moved on, but also to reap its value, which, due to its sheer unimaginable size, happened to an extent never known for contemporaries. The monetary value put into circulation by Harpalus caused a surge in trade throughout the eastern Mediterranean as far as India and thus laid the foundations of world trade in the Hellenistic period. Important mints were Pella , Amphipolis and Babylon. The treasurer had his administrative seat first in Ekbatana , then later in Babylon, where Harpalus, however, led a bad mismanagement, enriched himself and his friends. After his escape he was replaced by Antimenes of Rhodes , who introduced the first state-guaranteed insurance in history, on slave flight .

The immediate court organization was at least since 330 BC. From the office of chamberlain ( eisangeleus ), which was occupied by Chares of Mytilene . Since Alexander was constantly on the move with his army, Chares was mainly responsible for the personal needs of the king in terms of food, the reception of an audience in the royal tent and the division of the pages. Queen Roxane's household was added later. Only after returning to the royal cities of Susa and Babylon was the chamberlain able to expand his duties to include more extensive palace administration.

The provincial order

In Asia, Alexander took over the organization of the empire with its division into several provinces, called satrapies , almost completely from the Achaemenids. Among them, especially in Asia Minor, some of these provinces had developed into veritable petty kingdoms whose governors could inherit their offices dynastically. Alexander ended this practice by removing the established Persian dynasties and replacing them with Macedonian stewards, as Macedonians were now entrusted as governors for all provinces west of the Euphrates . In addition to strengthening the central royal authority, this measure was also based on the strategic importance of these landscapes for the campaign, through which the most important supply routes from Europe to Asia ran. Consequently, Alexander made sure that they were controlled by men he trusted. The Macedonian satraps west of the Euphrates received civil and military competences with their office, as had previously been customary under the Achaemenids. Alexander proceeded quite differently in the provinces east of the Euphrates, in most of which the Persian satraps were left in their offices, provided they swore allegiance to the new king. This trust did not always prove to be justified and after Alexander's move on, some satraps behaved like independent petty kings again or even openly revolted against him, as in the case of Satibarzanes . Alexander went harshly to court with them after his return from India. However, his trust in the Persian satraps did not go so far that he would have granted them the same freedoms and powers as the Achaemenids had. In the eastern provinces, Alexander introduced a separation of powers, in which the Persian satraps were left with civil powers, but military powers were transferred to a Macedonian officer who, in addition to protecting the province , was supposed to supervise the governor as an "overseer" ( episkopos ). The Indian provinces, meaning the landscapes along the Indus , were again awarded to Macedonians with all competencies. Apart from the peace duty to be monitored by the satraps, the tax payments and the consequences of war, the provinces remained autonomous, within their borders the traditional legal norms of the respective peoples applied, in which Alexander only intervened when he saw his loyalty to himself in question.

Egypt assumed a special role for Alexander by granting the country an autonomous position within his empire, while the Achaemenids had treated this ancient cultural land like a simple satrapy. Completely sufficient for his role as liberator, he freed Egypt from the Persian satrap regime and treated it as equal to the Asian part, which later promoted Ptolemy ’s separation from the Alexander Empire. Aware of the wealth and importance of the Nile country as the most important grain producer in the eastern Mediterranean, Alexander divided the state administration in order to prevent the emergence of a powerful regional counterweight to the unified empire. As under the old pharaohs, the district administration was retained at the lowest level and the traditionally superior administrative districts of Upper and Lower Egypt were re-established, each with a local official who was solely responsible for civil administration. However, the fiscal supervision over the whole of Egypt was centralized in one office, which was occupied by the native but native Greek Cleomenes von Naukratis . The military protection as well as the protection of the Nile Delta were separated from each other and each was entrusted to a Macedonian officer. Alexander's handling of Egypt was dropped by his successor in the reign of Perdiccas insofar as he again appointed a satrap for all of Egypt, Ptolemy , who then restored Egypt's constitutional position as an independent but Hellenistic power after the collapse of the Alexander Empire.

The parts of the empire or satrapies of the Alexander empire and the year of their submission:

Macedonia 336 BC Chr. lower Syria
( Koile Syria )
332/331 BC Chr. Carmania 330 BC Chr.
Thrace 336 BC Chr. Egypt 331 BC Chr. Arachosia 330 BC Chr.
Little Phrygia 334 BC Chr. Mesopotamia 331 BC Chr. Paropamisades 329 BC Chr.
Lydia & Ionia 334 BC Chr. Babylonia 331 BC Chr. Bactria 329 BC Chr.
Caria 334 BC Chr. Susiana 331 BC Chr. Sogdia 329 BC Chr.
Lycia & Pamphylia 334 BC Chr. Persis 330 BC Chr. Gandhara 327 BC Chr.
Greater Phrygia 333 BC Chr. media 330 BC Chr. Upper India
( Punjab )
327 BC Chr.
Paphlagonia 333 BC Chr. Tapurias & Mardias 330 BC Chr. lower india
(indus delta)
325 BC Chr.
Cilicia 333 BC Chr. Parthia & Hyrcania 330 BC Chr. Gedrosien 325 BC Chr.
Upper Syria
( Assyria & Phenicia )
333/332 BC Chr. Areia 330 BC Chr. Cappadocia 322 BC Chr.

The cities

One of Alexander's generally recognized merits is his work as a city founder, which enabled the spread of Greek cultural life in the entire eastern Mediterranean region as far as Central Asia. As Crown Prince he had already followed the example of his father, who founded Philippi , and founded his first city, which, like most of the others, later bore his name. The urban development measures taken during the campaign also served its actual purpose, namely as a military and security post for supply routes and strategically important geographical points. Furthermore, they represented the new urban centers of the conquered landscapes, from which state authority over the surrounding area could be asserted. From the ancient reports, a little more than twenty cities can be deduced as the founding of Alexander, although Plutarch ascribes more than seventy to him, a number that is probable at most when including the military bases and small settlements that have remained anonymous in history. Hardly any other person before or after him founded so many cities, all of which were designed according to the Greek polis constitution . The new cities were usually created in already populated locations, such as the famous Egyptian Alexandria , by relocating the local population either voluntarily or by order to the specific city limits. Often, old Persian cities were simply given a polis constitution, which, from the Greek point of view, gave them the legal status of a city in the first place and were considered to be newly founded. Most of them were named "Alexándreia" after their founder. The first settlers of the new cities were the Macedonian and Greek war invalids and retired veterans of Alexander's army ; in addition, garrisons were deployed for security and were usually composed of Greek mercenaries or Thracians . They were later joined by compatriots who moved from their homeland as traders and seekers of fortune, tradesmen and adventurers. This expansion of the urban way of life was rooted in an excess of population in the Greek world. Even Isocrates Philip had. Fallen II incentive to locate homeless Greeks in new cities in Asia Minor and even Aristotle had his pupil Alexander advised to such measures. In addition, indigenous oriental population groups were settled, who, as country teams, formed their own communities ( politeuma ) separated from the Hellenes within the city constitution. The Egyptian Alexandria, for example, was famous for its large Jewish quarter. To what extent the Orientals were granted citizenship is doubtful. Presumably for this they had to become Hellenes through cultural assimilation.

Founding cities that can be attributed to Alexander the Great:

city founding year Location
Alexandropolis 340 BC Chr. near Sandanski / Bulgaria
Tire 332 BC Chr. Tire / Lebanon
Gaza 331 BC Chr. Gaza / Palestinian Territories
Alexandria near Egypt
(Alexándreia pros Aigyptos)
April 7, 331 BC Chr. Alexandria / Egypt
Alexandria in Aria 330 BC Chr. Herat / Afghanistan
Alexandria the
Foreseeing (Alexándreia Prophthasia)
330 BC Chr. Farah / Afghanistan
Alexandria in Arachosia
(Alexándreia Arachōsíā)
330/329 BC Chr. Kandahar / Afghanistan
Alexandria in the Caucasus 329 BC Chr. Tscharikar or Anbam / Afghanistan
Alexandria the
Extreme (Alexándreia Eschatē)
329 BC Chr. Khujand / Tajikistan
Alexandria on the Oxus 328 BC Chr. Archaeological site in Afghanistan
Alexandria in the oasis of Merw
(Alexándreia Margiana)
328 BC Chr. Merw / Turkmenistan
Nikaia on the Kophen 327 BC Chr. Kabul or Jalalabad / Afghanistan
Alexandria-Bucephalia and Nikaia 326 BC Chr. Jhelam / Pakistan
Alexandria on the Akesines 326 BC Chr.
first Alexandria on the river 325 BC Chr. Uch / Pakistan
second Alexandria on the river 325 BC Chr. Pakistan
Patala the city of wood
325 BC Chr. Thatta / Pakistan
Alexanderhafen 325 BC Chr. Pakistan
Alexandria Rhambakia 324 BC Chr. Bela / Pakistan
Alexandria in Karmania
(Alexándreia Karmānia)
324 BC Chr. Gav Koshi / Iran
Alexandria in Susiana 324 BC Chr. Charax Spasinu / Iraq

In the constitution of the Hellenistic territorial state, beginning with the empire of Alexander and continued under the Diadochi, the Hellenistic cities played a special role, which resulted from a compromise between the traditional urban autonomy of the exemplary Greek pole on the one hand and subordination to the needs of one general peace of the land ( koinē eirēnē ) on the other hand, which only the head of the empire could guarantee. The king's force majeure guaranteed the freedom of the cities internally and at the same time limited them externally. The cities were thus granted democratic self-government, with the exception of the royal cities, but in all other matters remained subordinate to the king, to whom they as founders ( ktistes ) owed their urban rights and privileges and to whom they owed divine honors, taxes or tributes. Not least because of this, the later Hellenistic kings also legitimized their rule to the succession of Alexander, as they could put themselves under the authority of his cities and thus subject them to their own rule. Since they were founded on royal land, the cities incorporated themselves into the satrapist order of the empire. In return, they were given the occupation of municipal offices, the right to mint and the financial sovereignty as well as the judiciary. Inter-communal conflicts were not carried out with armed force, the monopoly of force rested solely with the king, but were resolved by recognized neutral arbitrators. The integration of the Greek urban culture into the legal system of his monarchical state thus represents one of the most important historical innovations that went hand in hand with the work of Alexander. It made a decisive contribution to the permanent establishment of territorial states and to overcoming the classical Greek city-state , of which only a few survived until the Roman conquest. The cities of Alexander and his diadochi, on the other hand, grew to be the most populous in antiquity, became centers of world trade and industry, of Greek education and art, in which the Orientals who moved there grew up in the spirit of Hellenism, which went beyond the city limits to the surrounding area and in radiated out the Roman west.

Through the Ishtar Gate , Alexander entered 331 BC. Entered Babylon. Pergamon Museum , Berlin .

Alexander's relationship to “his” cities was fundamentally different to that of classical Greece, especially to the “three heads” Athens , Thebes and Sparta . As a recognized hegemon of the Hellenic League , he presided over them, but they always tried to defend their political freedoms against him in all matters. The hegemony of Macedonia was difficult and hard to bear for the Greeks, in memory of their own proud past and in their cultural overestimation of the Macedonians. In several armed conflicts they tried to shake off the Macedonian hegemony, accepting the breach of the sworn peace. These include the drop test of Thebes (335 v. Chr.), The mice War (334-330 v. Chr.) And after the death of Alexander the lamische War (323-322 v. Chr.). But even Alexander was not to blame for these disputes, as he occasionally exceeded his granted powers as a hegemon and intervened in the inner relationships of the cities. Especially the 324 BC. The exile decree issued in the 4th century BC provoked fierce opposition. It granted about 20,000 exiled citizens the pardon and the right of return to their cities, including pro-Macedonian-minded people and friends of tyrants driven out by the Democrats. The repatriation modalities had to be regulated by the cities themselves, with the restoration of old ownership and financial compensation, which intensified the displeasure against Alexander. This decree also included the repatriation of the citizens of Samos , who had been driven from Athens, to their hometown, which Athens, however, had decided to defend; this was one of the causes of the Lamic war. The defeat of Athens in 322 BC BC resulted in the dissolution of the Hellenic League. The victorious de facto ruler of Macedonia, Antipater , placed the cities under his direct control, eliminated their democracies, and replaced them with Promakedonian oligarchs and tyrants.

The royal cities were an exception in the Alexander Empire insofar as they were not subordinate to provincial administration, but directly to the king and therefore had no self-administration. A royal city was characterized by the presence of a royal palace ( basileion ); under Alexander these were the Macedonian Pella with the palace of Archelaos I , the Egyptian Alexandria with its own but never inhabited palace and Babylon with the palace of Nebuchadnezzar . Under the Achaemenids, Babylon had retained its position as the most populous and prosperous city, on which its self-confidence in relation to Persian rule was based and its cultural radiance had reached as far as Greece. For Alexander it was the preferred residence, his state treasure and court were established here and it was here that he died. It was thus the unofficial capital of his empire. For his successor Seleucus , Babylon represented the starting point of his own empire, but under him it already lost its capital city character after the center of rule of the Seleucids had been moved from Mesopotamia to Syria. Pella and Alexandria, on the other hand, retained their rank as royal cities under the Antigonids and Ptolemies . The old Persian residences Susa , Ekbatana and Persepolis , with its burnt down palace, already lost their status as royal cities under Alexander and gradually sank into provincial insignificance.

The legal position of the liberated Greek cities on the Ionian coast in relation to the Alexander Empire remained largely unclear. Alexander had deposed the propersian tyrants there in favor of democratic systems, but they did not join the Hellenic League. For the war they paid a voluntary war tax ( syntaxis ), which can be understood in a broad sense as a continuation of the old Persian tribute ( phoros ). In Ephesus this was even further claimed by Alexander, only its purpose now benefited the local Artemis sanctuary, which had burned down when he was born. In fact, the Ionian cities were completely autonomous from this point on, but in the end they are likely to have based their foreign policy on the Alexander Empire, as the presence of Macedonian garrisons in Rhodes , Chios , Side and later in Ephesus suggests. The cities of Phenicia and Cyprus , which were of great importance for maritime trade, were obliged by their vassal kings to obey Alexander, who had taken control of them from the Achaemenids. Tire fell after its conquest in 332 BC. BC even under his direct rule, which was secured with a garrison.

Ruler's cult

An innovation introduced with the kingship of Alexander in the ancient concept of rule, which served as a model for his Hellenistic and Roman successors, was the apotheosis he demanded towards the end of his life, i.e. the claim to his recognition as a living god . His rule is at the beginning of a program to legitimize secular rule through the sacred exaltation of its owner, which manifested itself in a comprehensive ruler's cult. The idea that a mortal who has achieved superhuman achievements can be placed at the side of the gods had been generated from the Greek world of belief, but in relation to Alexander it developed into a paradox insofar as only a minority of the Greek scholarly world was ready to grant him such a status. Possibly Alexander continued to orient himself on a Persian model, albeit misunderstood by the Hellenic world, in which the Persian kings were said to claim a godlike existence. In any case, like the Achaemenids, he claimed his rule on the basis of divine law and thus placed himself at the beginning of a development that was to pass into the divine right of the Christian monarchies via his imitating Hellenistic successors and the Roman imperial cult ( Divus ) .

As already mentioned, Alexander repeatedly invoked the will of the gods during his conquest to legitimize his rule over Asia. First he did this in 334 BC. By throwing his spear into the soil of the coast of Asia Minor, then by solving the riddle in the sanctuary of Gordion in 333 BC. And finally in his letter to Dareios III. in the same year. His visit in the same context to the oracle site of Siwa , a shrine of the Egyptian god Amun , who was identified by the Hellenes with Zeus , is one of the most frequently discussed episodes of his biography. The reports of several historians show how Alexander received the correct answers to his questions from the oracle in a confidential questioning. His prospect of a successful conquest of Asia would have been his most important concern, as was speculated and suggested by those around him. However, from this point on, voices had also increased who claimed that the visit to the oracle initiated by Alexander also confirmed his direct affiliation with Zeus. However, this may once again have resulted from a misunderstanding, since the Lord of Egypt, recognized by the priests, was always addressed as the "son of Amun-Re ", a dignity that was almost ex officio linked to that of the Pharaoh, in whose position Alexander was after Oracle visit was enthroned in Memphis.

Alexander is shown as the son of Zeus-Ammon, recognizable by the ram horns. Gem probably of Roman origin, made in Augustan times. Cabinet des Médailles , Paris .

Even if it corresponded to their imagination, the Hellenes' apotheosis was above all a highly political and social matter. It did not correspond to the Macedonian nature with its pronounced paternal custom, in which the assumption of a divine filiation was understood primarily as a denial of the natural father. With them it never prevailed even after Alexander. And among the Greeks, who insisted on their principle of freedom and equality, it was considered presumptuous and blasphemous and was perceived as an outstanding feature of a despotic character trait , embodied among other things in the terrifying example of the oriental Achaemenid monarchy, which, with its supposed divinity, would have sought the enslavement of all peoples . A divine descent seemed acceptable to the Hellenes at best through the connection to a hērōs, i.e. to a god-begotten human of the mythical prehistoric times, as for example the descent of the Macedonian royal house was recognized by Heracles , or the descent of Achilles announced by Alexander's mother . But asserting direct descent from a god was perceived as a sign of betrayal of Hellenism and an overbearing megalomania, not unlike the later Caesarean delusion of the Romans, which questions the equality of the Hellenes with one another and as an intention to establish a tyrannical rule over them , was interpreted according to the model of the Persian kings.

At least until the last year of his life, Alexander did not deny his earthly father and did not demand any divine honors from his followers, but tolerated such honors if they were offered to him by flatterers. With this ambivalent attitude, coupled with the later appropriation of oriental ruler's attitudes, such as court ceremonies, ruler's insignia or prosksynesis, he aroused suspicion in his environment. His airs met with opposition from old, conservative circles and degenerated into sometimes fatal conflicts ( Parmenion , Kleitos ). There was a rumor among contemporaries that his mother Olympias, who was notorious for her religious behavior and hatred of Philip II, revealed the truth about his divine parentage during the last conversation with her son, on which his convictions were ultimately based. For his opponents, such as Demosthenes , such impressions confirmed the judgment passed on him and prepared a welcome breeding ground for criticism and ridicule.

Only in the last year of his life and after the end of his campaign of conquest did Alexander demand in 324 BC From all subjects of his domain, including the Greek cities, his recognition as God, which resulted from his heightened self-conception. This in turn resulted from the sequence of his almost unheard-of successes, which had surpassed those of Heracles or Dionysius . Ernst Badian expressed the assumption that the oracle of Siwa had already predicted his elevation to god during his lifetime as a reward, assuming the conquest of Asia as a condition. Alexander's request did not meet with resistance everywhere, as can be inferred from the spread and duration of his cult far beyond the limits of his actual territory. Some of his companions, especially those of his old generation, tacitly accepted or even imitated the "orientalization" of his appearance, such as Peukestas , who erected an Alexander altar in Persepolis, or Eumenes , who made the divine Alexander the leader of the silver shield troop . They anticipated the imitatio Alexandri later operated by the Diadochi and Romans . The Greeks also showed a willingness to recognize Alexander as a god. In Athens, at the request of Demades and against the resistance of Demosthenes, he was recognized by the Ekklesia as the thirteenth god and was honored as an "invincible god" by means of a statue, which the cynic Diogenes Laertios commented not without mockery. Thereupon emissaries set out for Babylon, who stood before Alexander with golden wreaths on their heads, as is customary before a god. Even the Spartans who refused to join the Hellenic League introduced a cult of Alexander. Here and in Athens, however, it only lasted until Alexander's death in 323 BC. After which Demades was fined by his city for godlessness. With the Hellenes, the distance between man and the gods was bridged by the hērōs , as such Alexander was also accepted by some of his critics, such as Polybius , who recognized nothing divine in his work, but something superhuman. Among the Orientals, Alexander was only considered a god by the Egyptians, thanks to his Pharaoh office, but not by the Phoenicians, Hebrews, Syrians, Babylonians or Persians, who had not assigned any divine attributes to their own "national" kings. Nevertheless, his cult spread over the area of ​​his dominion, due to his veneration among the Diadochi and the Hellenistic founding of cities, in which the city founder ( ktistes ) has always been accorded divine status with a corresponding veneration. The cult of Alexander spread even in pre-Christian times beyond his actual rule in the entire Mediterranean region, so that, for example, Gaius Iulius Caesar regretted his little fame compared to the world conqueror in front of a statue of Alexander in the Herakles sanctuary of Gades in Spain. In Egypt, Alexander was institutionalized by the Ptolemies as the state god . His priesthood there was the highest religious dignity and since the middle of the 2nd century BC. Associated with kingship. In the great sanctuary of Olympia , a private citizen from Corinth had a statue of Alexander depicted as Zeus erected as a consecration gift in Augustusian times. And he was still known as the "son of Zeus" by pagan speakers of late antiquity.

The idea of ​​humanity

Alexander had received an urgent warning from his mentor Aristotle to appear as a friend and leader of free men towards the Hellenes, but he should regard the Asian barbaroi as enemies and future slaves. This request reflects the general worldview of the ancient Greeks, in which humanity was divided into a civilizationally superior Hellenism and an uncivilized, cultureless barbarism. For the Hellenes, barbarism was embodied primarily by the Orientals, who were seen as effeminate, submissive and incapable of self-determination. They have been considered enemies since the Persian Wars . Plato saw them as natural enemies of the Hellenes, the Persian hatred was for Xenophon an expression of "noble" sentiments and for Isocrates retribution for the desecration of the temple of Xerxes was the top priority of every Hellenic. However, there was disagreement over the question of whether a barbarian could be absorbed into civilized cultures. For Aristotle, this hurdle was insurmountable, as he defined barbarism by racial origin. But even the "father of historiography" Herodotus had taken the view of the Hellenization through education and language, according to which a barbarian could become a Hellenic by fulfilling these criteria. According to Antiphon , all human beings, Hellenes and barbarians, are the same in every respect, only education makes the difference. These views were also represented by Isocrates in his remarks, with which Alexander could also have been familiar. He took this position at least during his campaign towards the Asians, whom he met with respect and whom he accepted among his companions ( hetairoi ), to whom he assigned important posts in his court and whose gods he respected. In doing so, he constantly encountered incomprehension among his Macedonian and Greek compatriots.

In doing so, he did nothing other than imitate the Achaemenids, at whose court Greek doctors, teachers and artists were in high regard and, not least, were highly sought after as mercenaries in the army. Like them, their successor Alexander saw himself as an arbiter over humanity, who wanted to unite all peoples into one body through a common way of thinking and way of life and to promote brotherhood among them. In contrast to the Achaemenids, however, he pursued a targeted program for this ideal, in which the Hellenes and Orientals should be equal in all matters of the state and the army in unity ( homonoia ). This ideal originally arose from the Greeks' need for peace and unity among themselves for the common struggle against the Persians, but Alexander now wanted to include the former enemy in it. He experienced resistance especially from his old Macedonian warriors, who had nothing but disdain for the Persians in their acquired natures and who met their king's turn towards this people and their customs with suspicion and sometimes open rejection. Alexander's “Orientalization” was contrasted with the Hellenization demanded by the Orientals , in which they should catch up with the Hellenic, civilized culture through education and language. In the judgment of historiography, Alexander pursued a policy of "people fusion", as a result of which, under his suzerainty, the formerly warring cultures of the Occident and the Orient were to be united and their inhabitants were to merge into a culturally homogeneous nation. In order to achieve this, he had asked the Macedonians and other Greeks to have the same understanding and openness to oriental culture and way of life that he demonstrated for them. From clear rejection ( Parmenion , Kleitos , Callisthenes ) to disinterested indifference ( Krateros , Perdickas ) to willing acceptance ( Hephaistion , Peukestas ), he evoked a wide variety of reactions among his companions. The building of cultural bridges was ultimately to be facilitated by family ties, when 324 BC. In the mass wedding of Susa 10,000 Macedonian warriors were married to Asians, from whose offspring the first generation of the new national people was to grow. Many Macedonians had already started cohabiting with local women during the campaign , whose children, contrary to ancient custom, were to be raised as freeborns. From the Orientals, who followed him far more readily, Alexander again demanded the acceptance of the Greek language and education. The queen mother Sisygambis was exemplary here , who willingly learned Greek in order to understand her adoptive son. The same was true for the rest of the royal family, his wives and the Persian nobles in his entourage, since Alexander himself had never learned Persian. Furthermore, 30,000 warriors recruited in Central Asia were to be taught not only the language but also the Macedonian art of war and fighting methods, as a prerequisite for acceptance into his army, which had proven to be superior to the Persian art of war.

Alexander's early death put an end to the realization of his almost utopian ideal of humanity. His successors did not continue the policy of “people fusion”, either because they were hostile to it or did not have the necessary qualifications, especially since they were already busy enough in their Diadoch wars. Most of the high-ranking officers quickly expelled their oriental wives and their followers relied almost exclusively on Macedonians or Greeks. In the Diadochian kingdoms they founded, the Greeks and Orientals remained separated from one another in parallel societies, with the former now representing the ruling class. And yet Alexander's policy had influenced the social development in his successor realms insofar as the view of the Hellenization of the Orient through cultural assimilation of its inhabitants continued to apply for centuries. For social advancement and participation in politics, economy and science, the assumption of Greek education and way of life was assumed in the Hellenistic empires, to which consequently the oriental peoples would orient themselves in the future and thus helped Hellenism to gain international recognition. People who were exalted in Hellenism, regardless of their origin, were soon only known as hellēnistai . Even Alexander's idea of ​​"intermingling" found a continuation, albeit not a programmatic one, in the marriages of the many simple people who could not afford the luxury of "national" class. For Polybius , their descendants, as well as those of Alexander's warriors and their concubines, were known as mixhellēn , who made up a large part of the Hellenistic urban culture. One can at least count among them the Seleucids , the successors in Syria, whose ancestor was the Persian princess Apame . And the idea of unity ( homonoia ) also lived on, although it is ironic of history that it could be realized in the peoples of the Hellenistic states of Asia and Egypt and not in the city-states of classical Hellas, where it was originally propagated. In the future it was no longer peoples but dynasties who fought against each other in the Orient, while in Greece the old dispute between cities and city leagues, between Pole Greeks and Macedonians continued. A lasting harmony could only come about under Roman control.

The successors

The Hellenistic world of states as heir to the Alexander Empire after the end of the Diadoch Wars.

The early death of Alexander in 323 BC BC in Babylon confronted the Macedonian officers of his army with the complicated question of succession, whereby the personal striving for power of various actors almost led to a fratricidal war. From this point on, the royal family itself, due to a lack of capable male relatives, was eliminated as an independently acting power-political figure. The women capable of action, on the other hand, were to contribute significantly to the downfall of the Argead dynasty through bloody competition among themselves. From now on, however, the reins of action were in the hands of the Macedonian generals, of whom those of the infantry Philip III. Arrhidaios proclaimed king arbitrarily. His mother wasn't a Macedonian either, but still more acceptable as a Thessalian to an Asian woman. After a compromise with the hetaires riding offended by this act, the later-born Alexander IV Aigos was raised to the rank of king with equal rights. The somewhat older Heracles was excluded from the succession, whereby his illegitimacy and his age may have played a decisive role, as he would have come of age earlier than Alexander IV Aigos, which did not fit into the concept of the generals striving for power.

Because these generals wanted to become the actual successor ( diadochē ) of Alexander, who was initially able to secure Perdiccas as regent for the kings. Under his leadership it was possible until 321 BC. The province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor , which Alexander himself had passed by, was subdued in the 2nd century BC , with which the Alexander empire reached its greatest territorial extent. But the authority of the regent was questioned early on and successfully challenged in the first Diadoch War (321–320 BC). At the Conference of Triparadeisos Antipater was then appointed as the new regent, who led the royal family back to Macedonia after more than a decade of absence. But there he died as early as 319 BC. BC, whereupon the second Diadoch War broke out, in which the generals and the royal family decimated each other. From then on, the structural integrity of the Alexander Empire was in a state of unstoppable disintegration. In the Diadoch peace of 311 BC The last remaining warlords actually divided the Alexander Empire into their areas of influence. The decision to hand over the rulership to the meanwhile last living King Alexander IV. Aigos was taken by Kassander as an invitation to take on this potential problem. He let the king and his mother in 310 BC To kill in secret. The following year, the last male Argeade, Heracles, was murdered by Polyperchon .

At this point in time, the Diadochi felt themselves legitimized to rule over the former Alexander Empire due to their war fortunes, following the old principle of the “land won by spears”. Most of them strove to divide the empire into the territories they held. Only Antigonos Monophthalmos ("the one-eyed") and his son Demetrios Poliorketes ("the besiegers") raised claims to the succession in the entire Alexander Empire, but they were defeated in the decisive battle of Ipsos in 301 BC. After which the idea of ​​unity finally came to an end. Essentially, the kingdoms of the Antigonids in Macedonia, the Ptolemies in Egypt and the Seleucids in Syria emerged from the Alexander empire , whereby other Hellenistic empires split off from the latter, e.g. B. Pergamon and Pontos or the Greco-Bactrian Empire .


Overview works

Special literature

  • Ernst Badian : The Administration of the Empire , In: Greece & Rome , Vol. 12 (1965), pp. 166-182.
  • Ernst Badian: The Deification of Alexander the Great , In: Ancient Macedonian Studies in Honor of Charles F. Adson (1981), pp. 27-71
  • A. Brian Bosworth: Alexander and Ammon , In: Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean in Ancient History and Prehistory (1977), pp. 67-75.
  • A. Brian Bosworth: The Government of Syria under Alexander the Great , In: The Classical Quarterly , Vol. 24 (1974), pp. 46-64.
  • AW Collins: The Office of Chiliarch under Alexander and the Successors. In: Phoenix , Vol. 55 (2001), pp. 259-283.
  • Ernst A. Fredricksmeyer: Alexander, Zeus Ammon, and the Conquest of Asia , In: Transactions of the American Philological Association (1974-) , Vol. 121 (1991), pp. 199-214.
  • NGL Hammond: The Kingdom of Asia and the Persian Throne , In: Antichthon , Vol. 20 (1986), pp. 73-85.
  • Sylva Harst: The kiss in the religions of the old world: approx. 3000 BC Chr. - 381 AD , In: Religionswissenschaft Vol. 7 (2004).
  • Alfred Heuss : Alexander the Great and the problem of historical judgment formation , In: Historische Zeitschrift , Vol. 225 (1977), pp. 29-64.
  • Henry M. de Mauriac: Alexander the Great and the Politics of "Homonoia" , In: Journal of the History of Ideas , Vol. 10 (1949), pp. 104-114.
  • Klaus Rosen : The 'divine' Alexander, Athens and Samos , In: Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte , Vol. 27 (1978), pp. 20-39.
  • Fritz Taeger : Alexander the Great and the beginnings of the Hellenistic ruler's cult , In: Historische Zeitschrift , Vol. 172 (1951), pp. 225–244.
  • Gregor Weber : The court of Alexander the great as a social system , In: Saeculum , Vol. 58 (2007), pp. 229-264 ( online ).



  1. Plutarch , Moralia 207d.
  2. See Demandt, p. 353.
  3. See Heuss, p. 61.
  4. See Demandt, pp. 361–362.
  5. ^ Niccolò Machiavelli , Il Principe chap. IV.
  6. See Demandt, p. 386.
  7. Abraham Sachs , Hermann Hunger : Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylon, I, Diaries from 625 BC. to 262 BC (1988); Translation by Bert van der Spek: Darius III, Alexander the Great and Babylonian scholarship , In: Achaemenid History , Vol. 13 (2003) 289–346.
  8. Alexander had ordered the repair of the Etemenanki after his entry into Babylon. Strabo 16, 1, 5.
  9. Diodorus 17, 17, 2.
  10. Arrian , Anabasis 2, 14, 7-9.
  11. Plutarch, Alexander 34, 1.
  12. Aeschylus , The Persians 24; See Demandt, pp. 35–36.
  13. See Demandt, pp. 150–151 and 357–358.
  14. Aeschylus, The Persians 55; Isocrates , speech to Nicocles 5.
  15. "Persarum victor Persarum vitiis victus est.": Francesco Petrarca , De viris illustribus, De Alexandro Macedone 4.
  16. Arrian, Anabasis 7, 29, 4; Plutarch, Moralia 330a – d = de fort. Alex. 8, 1.
  17. Arrian, Anabasis 4, 11, 6.
  18. Plato , Nomoi 10, 887e; Sophocles , Philoctetes 657.
  19. Herodotus , Histories 3, 86 and 7, 136; Xenophon , Anabasis 3, 2, 13; Aeschylus, The Persians 584-585.
  20. See Demandt, pp. 36–37.
  21. Arrian, Anabasis 4, 10, 2.
  22. Proskynesis was first requested by the Romans from Caligula . Suetonius , Vitellius 2, 5; Cassius Dio 59, 27, 5-6; See Harst, p. 224.
  23. Aeschylus, The Persians 304.
  24. Arrian, Anabasis 7, 29, 4.
  25. Arrian, Anabasis 3:19 , 7.
  26. Plutarch, Alexander 46, 2.
  27. Plutarch, Alexander 9, 1.
  28. Plutarch, Moralia 328e = de fort. Alex. 5, 1.
  29. Isocrates , Speech to Philip 5: 120; Diogenes Laertios 5, 22.
  30. Alexandropolis was founded in the land of the Thracian Medi on the upper Strymon . Plutarch, Alexander 9, 1.
  31. a b Gaza was depopulated after its conquest and enslavement of the inhabitants, then resettled on Alexander's instructions and thus formally re-founded (Arrian, Anabasis 2, 27). Alexander probably dealt with Tire in the same way, since this city was provided with a garrison shortly after his death (Diodor 18, 37, 4).
  32. Alexandria near Egypt was founded on the Egyptian town of Rhakotes. Pausanias , 5, 21, 9; Pliny , Naturalis historia 5, 11, 10. For the name, see HI Bell: Alexandria ad Aegyptum , In: The Journal of Roman Studies , Vol. 26 (1946), pp. 130-132.
  33. Probably the former Artakona. Pliny, Naturalis historia 6, 17, 61; Claudius Ptolemy 6, 17, 6.
  34. The formerly Persian Phrada. In this city, Alexander anticipated the conspiracy of Dimnos , which is why this city was renamed "the foresighted". Claudius Ptolemy 6:19, 4; Plutarch, Moralia 328f = de fort. Alex. 5, 1.
  35. ^ Curtius Rufus 7, 3, 5; Pliny, Naturalis historia 6, 17, 61; Claudius Ptolemy 6:20, 4. The Arachosian Alexandria was often incorrectly identified with Ghazni in older research . See Al. N. Oikonomides: the [τέμενοϲ] of Alexander the Great at Alexandria in Arachosia (Old Kandahar) , In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , Vol. 56 (1984), pp. 145-147.
  36. The former Persian Kapiša-kaniš. Arrian, Anabasis 3, 26, 4; Diodorus 17, 83, 1; Curtius Rufus 7, 3, 23.
  37. The outermost Alexandria was founded from the merging of the population of Kyropolis and seven other cities on the Jaxartes (Syrdarja) river , which in ancient times was often equated with the Tanais (Don) . Marble parium B7; Arrian, Anabasis 4, 1, 3; Claudius Ptolemy 6, 12, 6.
  38. Probably identical to the later Ai Khanoum . Claudius Ptolemy 6, 12, 6.
  39. In addition to the Alexandria in Merw, six other settlements were founded in the regions of Sogdia and Margiana. Curtius Rufus 7, 10, 15; Pliny, Naturalis historia 6, 16, 47.
  40. Arrian, Anabasis 4, 22, 6.
  41. ↑ A twin city on both sides of the Hydaspes (Jhelam) river founded after the victory in the Battle of the Hydaspes . The first city, named after the horse Bukephalas , was founded at the place where the river crosses on the west bank and the second city, named in honor of the victory, was founded on the battlefield on the east bank of the river. Arrian, Anabasis 5, 19, 4; 20, 2 and 29, 5; Diodorus 17, 89; Curtius Rufus 9, 1, 6 and 3, 23.
  42. Arrian, Anabasis 5, 29, 3.
  43. Founded at the confluence of the Chanab in the Indus . Arrian, Anabasis 6, 15, 2.
  44. City built around the royal castle of the Sogden on the Indus , with shipyards for shipbuilding, presumably only of a temporary nature. Arrian, Anabasis 6, 15, 4; Diodorus 17, 102, 4; Curtius Rufus 9, 8, 8.
  45. Presumably only a temporary base with shipyards for shipbuilding. Pliny, Naturalis historia 6, 23, 96.
  46. Port founded by Nearchus on the Arbis, a branch of the Indus delta. Arrian, Indike 21 .; Pliny, Naturalis historia 6, 23, 97.
  47. The former capital of the Oreiten . Arrian, Anabasis 6, 21, 5; Diodorus 17, 104, 8; Plinius, Naturalis historia 6, 23, 97. See also JR Hamilton: Alexander among the Oreitae , In: Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte , Vol. 21 (1972), pp. 603-608.
  48. ^ Claudius Ptolemy 6, 8, 14.
  49. Founded on Pallakottas, the canal that fed the Arabian lakes with water from the Euphrates. Arrian, Anabasis 7, 21, 7.
  50. See Demandt, p. 368.
  51. Diodorus 17, 109, 1 and 18, 8, 2-4; Plutarch, Moralia 221a.
  52. ^ Arrian, Anabasis 1, 17, 10.
  53. Arrian, Anabasis 1, 26, 5; Polyainos , Strategika 6, 49.
  54. See Demandt, p. 475.
  55. See Bengtson, pp. 357-358.
  56. On the equation of Amun with Zeus see Pindar , Pythia 4, 16.
  57. Diodorus 17, 51, 4; Curtius Rufus 4, 7, 28; Plutarch, Alexander 27, 8; Pliny, Naturalis historia 34, 64 and 66.
  58. As for example from Nearchus , FGrHist. 133 F33 = Arrian, Anabasis 6, 19, 4.
  59. Callisthenes , FGrHist. 124 F14a = Strabo 17, 1, 43.
  60. In this context, the anecdote handed down by Plutarch ( Alexander 27, 9), according to which the Amun priest greeted Alexander with O paidion ("O my son"), which the Macedonians called O pai Dios (" O son of Zeus ”) was misunderstood. See Demandt, p. 176.
  61. Arrian, Anabasis 7, 9; Ephippos , FGrHist. 126 F5 = Athenaios 538b.
  62. Eratosthenes , FGrHist. 241 F28 = Plutarch, Alexander 3, 3; see Fredricksmeyer, p. 200.
  63. Plutarch, Moralia 187e, 804b and 842d; Claudius Aelianus , Varia Historia 2, 19; Timaeus , FGrHist 566 F155 = Polybios 12, 12b.
  64. See E. Badian (1981), p. 66.
  65. Hypereides , Epitaphios 8; Diogenes Laertios 6:63; Deinarchos , Against Demosthenes 94.
  66. Arrian, Anabasis 7, 23, 2.
  67. Plutarch, Moralia 219e – f; Claudius Aelianus, Varia Historia 2, 19.
  68. Claudius Aelianus, Varia Historia 5, 12; Athenaios 251b.
  69. Polybios 12, 23, 5.
  70. Suetonius, Caesar 7: 1; Plutarch, Caesar 11, 5-6 and Moralia 206b; Cassius Dio 37, 52, 2.
  71. ^ Pausanias 5:25 , 1.
  72. As in Himerios 12, 1.
  73. Plutarch, Moralia 329b = de fort. Alex. 6, 1.
  74. Plato, Politeia 5, 470c, Nomoi 3, 692c and 3, 693a; Xenophon, Agesilaus 7, 7; Isocrates, Panegyrikos 184 and Panathenaikos 163.
  75. Herodotus 1, 57-58; Antiphon , The Fragments of the Pre-Socratics 87, B 44.
  76. Isocrates, Panegyrikos 50 and Euagoras 66.
  77. Plutarch, Moralia 329c – d = de fort. Alex. 6, 1; Polyainos, Strategika 4, 3, 1.
  78. See Demandt, p. 378.
  79. Diodorus 17, 94, 4 and 17, 110, 3.
  80. Diodorus 17, 67, 1.
  81. Diodorus 17, 67, 1.
  82. Plutarch, Alexander 71, 1.
  83. New Testament , Acts 9:29. In the New Testament, the Greek-speaking Jew is distinguished as hellēnistai from the Orthodox Hebrew. The term "Hellenist" appears here for the first time for a member of the Hellenistic cultural area and was the inspiration for the epoch designation of "Hellenism" introduced in the historiography of the 19th century (see Droysen).
  84. Polybios 1, 67, 7.