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  • If Alexander The Great didn't die...

    I've sorta always wondered this and I think a lot of people may have too...

    What if Alexander The Great didn't die as young as he did. Assuming that Alexander got to live double the years he did. Would he have continued his conquests? Would he be faced with revolt in his empire? Would he have had a stable succession which would have meant his empire being maintained for a couple of hundred years or maybe even expanding to the West?

  • #2
    Posted this in another thread, but I think it applies well here:

    Quote:
    East of Porus' kingdom, near the Ganges River, were the Nanda Empire of Magadha and further east the Gangaridai Empire of Bengal. Fearing the prospect of facing other large armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, Alexander's army mutinied at the Hyphasis River, refusing to march further east. This river thus marks the easternmost extent of Alexander's conquests.
    He certainly wasn't to be going further East, especially since arrayed against him was an army "the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand war elephants."

    So he obviously wash;t going further East, and would certainly have to move to stabilize things in Greece. However, from what we know, at the time of his death in 323 BC in Babylon, he was planning a campaign into Arabia...
    "I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!"

    ~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax


    "The trouble with Scotland...is that it's full of Scots!"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Wellington95 View Post
      Posted this in another thread, but I think it applies well here:

      Quote:
      East of Porus' kingdom, near the Ganges River, were the Nanda Empire of Magadha and further east the Gangaridai Empire of Bengal. Fearing the prospect of facing other large armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, Alexander's army mutinied at the Hyphasis River, refusing to march further east. This river thus marks the easternmost extent of Alexander's conquests.
      He certainly wasn't to be going further East, especially since arrayed against him was an army "the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand war elephants."

      So he obviously wash;t going further East, and would certainly have to move to stabilize things in Greece. However, from what we know, at the time of his death in 323 BC in Babylon, he was planning a campaign into Arabia...
      I know the troops he had were eager to return home to Macedonia and not continue to march... there was a rebellion wasn't there? But what if Alexander raised fresh troops from all his subjugated lands? Since going further East he would have reached 'distant lands' probably not as easily conquerable as the decaying Persian empire. What if he went West? Rome, Gaul, Phoenicians?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wukong View Post
        What if Alexander The Great didn't die as young as he did. Assuming that Alexander got to live double the years he did. Would he have continued his conquests? Would he be faced with revolt in his empire? Would he have had a stable succession which would have meant his empire being maintained for a couple of hundred years or maybe even expanding to the West?
        Originally posted by Wukong View Post
        I know the troops he had were eager to return home to Macedonia and not continue to march... there was a rebellion wasn't there? But what if Alexander raised fresh troops from all his subjugated lands? Since going further East he would have reached 'distant lands' probably not as easily conquerable as the decaying Persian empire. What if he went West? Rome, Gaul, Phoenicians?
        One has to remember that at a time when campaigns lasted just a few months, Alexanders had been in the field for years, and his men were rich from those years of victory. Who can blame them if they wanted to be able to enjoy the fruits of their successes.

        I don't doubt he could have raised new armies and win battles. Armies were limited to about 50k in his period, and he was capable of bringing an army of that size and defeat any equal sized army relatively easily.

        However, while he may have Hellenized a few more areas, I don't think history would have changed much. Under Demetrius the Invincible much of Western India was taken and that did not remain 'Greek' from the Bactrian influence for long.

        It was Rome that really kept the story of Alexander alive, and the Macedonian taking Rome would just substitute different story tellers imo.
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        • #5
          I'm thinking a rebellion would have been on the cards sooner or later. His despotism, drinking and unquenchable ambition was starting to run those closest the wrong way. I can only guess how it would have come about but his successors certainly were ruthless and bloodthirsty enough to have pulled it off with some luck and the right set of circumstances.
          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rojik View Post
            I'm thinking a rebellion would have been on the cards sooner or later. His despotism, drinking and unquenchable ambition was starting to run those closest the wrong way. I can only guess how it would have come about but his successors certainly were ruthless and bloodthirsty enough to have pulled it off with some luck and the right set of circumstances.
            I have to agree with this. By the time of his death, he had begun murdering former allies and supporters whom he feared or just thought had slighted him.

            He was becoming as unstable as Hitler or Stalin with less of the apparatus those worthies had to protect himself. It is hard to believe that some assaination attempt would not eventually succeed. Only the apparant inability of his future successors to cooperate on anything would have given him any chance of survival.
            "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
            George Mason
            Co-author of the Second Amendment
            during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wukong View Post
              I know the troops he had were eager to return home to Macedonia and not continue to march... there was a rebellion wasn't there? But what if Alexander raised fresh troops from all his subjugated lands? Since going further East he would have reached 'distant lands' probably not as easily conquerable as the decaying Persian empire. What if he went West? Rome, Gaul, Phoenicians?
              Troops from the Middle East? To replace the Macedonian phalanx? I think not!

              I don't think he would have gone West, besides maybe conquering some islands in the Mediterranean and perhaps Sicily...what value was there in Northern/Western Europe to a man who had all the trade and riches of the Persian Empire?
              "I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!"

              ~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax


              "The trouble with Scotland...is that it's full of Scots!"

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              • #8
                The only places of value in the West were Egypt, Sicily and Carthage. He'd already taken Egypt. Whether he would have tried to go south and try and take Nubia or not is a question I can't answer.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                  I'm thinking a rebellion would have been on the cards sooner or later. His despotism, drinking and unquenchable ambition was starting to run those closest the wrong way. I can only guess how it would have come about but his successors certainly were ruthless and bloodthirsty enough to have pulled it off with some luck and the right set of circumstances.
                  His death must have been better for the history books then


                  Originally posted by Wellington95 View Post
                  Troops from the Middle East? To replace the Macedonian phalanx? I think not!

                  I don't think he would have gone West, besides maybe conquering some islands in the Mediterranean and perhaps Sicily...what value was there in Northern/Western Europe to a man who had all the trade and riches of the Persian Empire?
                  He was trying to create Half Persian/Macedonian/Greek successors weren't he? With all that forced inter-marriage.

                  Well there was some nice land in the West... Not sure if anyone here has played Rome Total War but imagine Alexander conquering Rome and removing the obsequious senators haha.


                  So since my original question/what if is pretty much solved. What if Alexander did meet the Romans in battle on Roman land? Who would emerge as the victor? Alexander never truly defeated the Spartans and Romans are pretty patriotic defenders. Would Alexander have won minor victories with the Romans eventually winning? Like how Hannibal was eventually defeated?

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                  • #10
                    "If Alexander the Great didn't die..." he would certainly be the oldest man in the world...
                    ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wukong View Post
                      His death must have been better for the history books then




                      He was trying to create Half Persian/Macedonian/Greek successors weren't he? With all that forced inter-marriage.

                      While maintaining the same army organization/tactics...aka the phalanx, companion cavalry, etc?

                      Well there was some nice land in the West... Not sure if anyone here has played Rome Total War but imagine Alexander conquering Rome and removing the obsequious senators haha.

                      Yeah but above Italy was what I was referring to...


                      So since my original question/what if is pretty much solved. What if Alexander did meet the Romans in battle on Roman land? Who would emerge as the victor? Alexander never truly defeated the Spartans and Romans are pretty patriotic defenders. Would Alexander have won minor victories with the Romans eventually winning? Like how Hannibal was eventually defeated?
                      The Roman army which was around at the time of Alexander was not quite the same army that beat the Macedonians at Pydna (168 B.C.) so it would be very hard to tell. However, both armies were very different from that of Hannibal (which was pretty rugged to tell the truth) so a comparison to the Carthaginians is difficult as well...they were closer to the Middle Easter army compositions than the Roman/Greek methods.
                      "I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!"

                      ~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax


                      "The trouble with Scotland...is that it's full of Scots!"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cyberknight View Post
                        I have to agree with this. By the time of his death, he had begun murdering former allies and supporters whom he feared or just thought had slighted him.

                        He was becoming as unstable as Hitler or Stalin with less of the apparatus those worthies had to protect himself. It is hard to believe that some assaination attempt would not eventually succeed. Only the apparant inability of his future successors to cooperate on anything would have given him any chance of survival.
                        You forget that Macedonian politics meant everybody was generally out after everyone. Macedonian royalty had a very short life expectancy. Alexander living until nearly 33 probably lived far longer than most Macedonian princes and kings. However, Alexander only had one real political threat of his life, and that was of Philotas apparantly not reporting a suspected threat on Alexanders life. This led to the murder of Parmenion, a loyal and extremely capable general in his own right. Aside from that particular group of incidents, no real threat was probably made on his life. Why would they? He was giving his Companions far more than they could hope to achieve by themselves.

                        Originally posted by Wellington95 View Post
                        Troops from the Middle East? To replace the Macedonian phalanx? I think not!

                        I don't think he would have gone West, besides maybe conquering some islands in the Mediterranean and perhaps Sicily...what value was there in Northern/Western Europe to a man who had all the trade and riches of the Persian Empire?
                        Lots of rubbish stated on this forum about the lack of capability of Middle Eastern troops. The Persian nobles life was every bit as tough as a Spartans, and that means they were far tougher than most Macedonians and Greeks. Further, Persian armies were more than able to beat Greek heavy infantry in the west, nomadic horse archers in the north and elephants and longbowmen in the east. Until Alexander, no Persian army had any problem in defeating an equivalent Greek force on Persian soil.

                        However, India was rich, and the west was relatively poor. If I were Alexander, that is where I would head. Don't underestimate the value of spice.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                          You forget that Macedonian politics meant everybody was generally out after everyone. Macedonian royalty had a very short life expectancy. Alexander living until nearly 33 probably lived far longer than most Macedonian princes and kings. However, Alexander only had one real political threat of his life, and that was of Philotas apparantly not reporting a suspected threat on Alexanders life. This led to the murder of Parmenion, a loyal and extremely capable general in his own right. Aside from that particular group of incidents, no real threat was probably made on his life. Why would they? He was giving his Companions far more than they could hope to achieve by themselves.



                          Lots of rubbish stated on this forum about the lack of capability of Middle Eastern troops. The Persian nobles life was every bit as tough as a Spartans, and that means they were far tougher than most Macedonians and Greeks. Further, Persian armies were more than able to beat Greek heavy infantry in the west, nomadic horse archers in the north and elephants and longbowmen in the east. Until Alexander, no Persian army had any problem in defeating an equivalent Greek force on Persian soil.

                          However, India was rich, and the west was relatively poor. If I were Alexander, that is where I would head. Don't underestimate the value of spice.
                          "On persian soil" was your catch...

                          But wouldn't the mutiny prevent further eastward expansion?
                          "I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!"

                          ~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax


                          "The trouble with Scotland...is that it's full of Scots!"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wellington95 View Post
                            "On persian soil" was your catch...
                            Absolutely . Terrain is everything. For example, Thermopylae was the perfect place for 300 heavy infantry supported by an equal number of light troops to hold up a more mobile, more numerous but less armoured army. However, Ionian (Greek) armies in Turkey tended to get their whipped every time they faced Persians. As soon as Greeks had to fight in the open, and where tactics was more than a shield push, they did not do well.

                            Originally posted by Wellington95 View Post
                            But wouldn't the mutiny prevent further eastward expansion?
                            While Alexander had promoted Prodromoi to Companion status, he had also added Persian nobles to his elite units also. These recent recruits would have everything to gain by following a known winner. Further, it was not just the nobles that gained, unlike most other armies of the period. This is why the rank and file mutinied. They wanted to live to spend their winnings.

                            The trick with any ancient army is the training. Most peoples from this period would be smaller, and probably lighter than us, but their lifestyle would have meant they were far tougher. Train them properly, and they will beat anyone. Spartacus's slaves taught Rome that one, and they were from many countries.
                            How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                            Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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