Globalisation and lessons of Alexander the Great

5 mins read


By Ekaterini Andrestinou

The brilliant idea conceived by Isocrates, that the unity of mankind could be achieved through Greek education was realised with the conquest of the East by the genius leader of Macedonia, Alexander the Great.

This young personality warmly engulfed Isocrates’ idea and made it a reality, inspired by his Greek descent, the Greek surrounding of Macedonia and his Greek education and tradition.

The Greek language becomes a torch in his hands and its flame gives light to the distant corners of the then known world.

His vision was to see Asia, Europe and Africa as a unified world, having at its heart the Mediterranean.

According to researchers, the purpose of Alexander the Great’s expedition was not the abolition of the states of Asia and Africa, but the creation of new states using a mixture of their administrative and cultural elements with the stronger Greek ones.

His genius is not only characterised by his strategic and cultural acumen, but also by his humanitarian feelings.

The proof is in his behaviour towards the imprisoned family of the Persian King Darius, who lost the battle of Issos in 333AD.

Victorious Alexander showed respect and chivalry, as mentioned by professor I. Papastavrou, towards the mother, wife, two daughters and the six-year-old son of Darius, whom he took in his arms caressed and kissed (J.G. Dzoysem, The History of Alexander the Great).

The unresisted triumphant march of Alexander the Great from Tyre to Egypt, and in particular Memphis, gives him another opportunity to show equal respect of the local gods and people, and as a result to conquer the hearts of the Egyptians who welcomed him as liberator from the heavy Persian yoke.

He achieved his goal to make people feel the wind of freedom, recognition and respect of their gods. Having conquered the love of all these people, Alexander the Great manages to create and organise administratively and politically more than 70 cities in the conquered barbaric nations, as mentioned by Plutarch.

Here we find preserved the ancient political system and as mentioned by W. Durant, Alexander carries the light of Athens to a wider world.

Kanellopoulos also stresses that “without the human values developed in Greece, the spread of Hellenism and Greek education realised by Alexander the Great would not have become a universal event”.

The Greek language was used from the third century BC until the Roman and Christian times.

Even today various peoples in regions of Afghanistan and India adore the memory of Alexander the Great and use altered Greek words, and most importantly, they allege that they are descendants of Macedonian soldiers.

According to Plutarch, Alexander, without a doubt, was ahead of the theories of Zenon and Aristotle because he was aiming “as God’s commissioner at mingling the lives and habits of the different nations, sending the message to all the people of the earth to consider the universe as their country, relatives the good ones and aliens the bad”.

In practice, Alexander implemented these thoughts through mixed marriages and the acceptance of many Asian habits.

Again, according to Plutarch, the thought and wish of Alexander the Great when he was praying in the heart of Asia, was for peace, friendship and brotherly relations to prevail in the world.

Without a doubt, all these are universal values, which have become today the common of all the people of the world.

Concluding, we observe that globalization, as conceived and realized by Alexander the Great is not only a historic achievement of that era but also a work with deep and important messages to the whole world.

This was pertinently put by the great master of philosophy I. Theodorakopoulos, who in his work “Philosophy and Life” wrote that our Earth, our Universe can contain in harmony the whole of mankind”.

Born in Athens Ekaterini Andrestinou Papadopoulos is the wife of Ambassador a.h. Andrestinos Papadopoulos. She studied at the University of Athens (BA in Literature and Philosophy), London (Associateship in Vocational Guidance) and Geneva (Diplome d’ Etudes Avancees in Psychology and Education).