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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by Legate View Post
    Arnold Toynbee wrote an essay about this very scenario. I believe I still have the book that contained the essay. It is my bedtime tho,so I will dig the book out before I go to work in the am. I'll post whatever thoughts he had when I get home from work.

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  • Legate
    replied
    Arnold Toynbee wrote an essay about this very scenario. I believe I still have the book that contained the essay. It is my bedtime tho,so I will dig the book out before I go to work in the am. I'll post whatever thoughts he had when I get home from work.

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  • broderickwells
    replied
    I believe Alexander was heading back west from "India" because his army had refused to go any further east - something about wanting to see their families. If he lives, he will probably produce an heir. His empire may or may not break up - it was larger than any previous and may have proved to have been an administrative nightmare. I can see the spread of Zoroastrianism into Egypt and Arabia, but I don't expect it to make much headway against the local religions, or for that matter in Greece either.

    But because he's ignored the Mediterranean, this is still wide open for emerging states. I can see Alexander being interested in Sicily and going after the Carthaginians - they had the money. But the Sicilians, Carthaginians and maybe even the Romans might have made common cause to strike back. After all, a foray into Sicily lost Athens the Peloponnesian war.

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Just ordered this to gain a greater insight



    Personally I can see Alexander heading east after Chandragupta Mauyra. Just as with the Persian Empire, beating one ruler can bag him a great deal of real estate, glory and money, much more than heading off in any other direction.

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  • Tuor
    replied
    It is indeed surprising how some "facts" become embedded in narratives, even with many professing knowledge of history. A classic example are the views, generally taken as common knowledge, that Alexander
    1) conquered India (when in fact he barely nudged into that cicilization)
    2) He was bored because he "had no more worlds to conquer."

    Above posts clearly point out that the two assumptions above are incorrect, yet they seem to still be accepted "knowledge."

    You'd think that, once his excursion around Arabia was complete he'd be drawn back to India, partially for pride- both not having conquered most of it and perhaps to atone for the disastrous path of his armies back from Porus's region to Persia. And, smitten as he was by military glory and imitating (Hercules?), Alexander would also have found equally daunting his apparent efforts to integrate Greek and Persian societies. Btw, even 5-10 years of such efforts would have clarified endless debates over what was his eventual goal for that project.

    As to Italy and Rome, does anyone know the relative situation there in a projected Macedonian incursion at that time? Specifically the political lay of the land of Rome and the other italian and greek states there and the quality of Roman generals and tactics.
    Last edited by Tuor; 29 Aug 10, 21:11.

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by MajorSennef View Post
    ..... I think the very idea that Alexander had the intention of moving West is a falsification drafted by one of his presumed heirs immediately after Alexander's death......
    I'd have to agree with this. The Hercules heroic stature that every Balkan general appeared to try to emulate, means a powerful (and rich) opponent like Chandragupta Maurya will be his prefered opponent imo. Would he win? C Maurya must have been a superb general just to have achieved what he did in such a short space of time.

    From my wargaming days (c30 years ago ) I remember the Bactrian-Greeks as a fairly balanced army. You have the nobles on horse and pikes of course, but with the addition of hearty Sogdians (mountainmen like the Agrianians), nomadic horse archers and mercenary Indian longbowmen (perhaps even elephants) you could have a basis of a force to be reckoned with. If anyone has a non wargaming source of an actual Bactrian-Greek army I would be most grateful .

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  • Colonel Sennef
    replied
    The options for a "what if" with Alexander living and moving West are mind boggling; it kept me thinking over dinner
    1. First of all, I think the very idea that Alexander had the intention of moving West is a falsification drafted by one of his presumed heirs immediately after Alexander's death.
    2. If I do assume that Alexander would think the West would be worthy of his attention, I expect it to be more of a maritime operation. First over the Otranto straits to cross the Ionian Sea from Greece into Italy and later on over the Messina Strait into Sicily and perhaps at an even later stage over the Mediterranean into Carthaginian homelands in Africa. I'm not convinced yet that the first maritime power in the Western Mediterranean, Carthage, because of it Phoenician connection, would just sit by and let Alexander's armies cross in order to let him help himself to the Western Mediterranean.
    3. Once landed in Magna Graecia, several land battles would likely take place between Roman and Alexander's armies Best point to look for similarities would likely be the battles between Roman and Pyrrhus' armies as they would take place in southern Italy 50 years later. Interestingly, Livy too has speculated over this 'what if' in his history books, 'Ad Urbe Condita'. Because of several reasons: the character of Roman generals and flexible Roman tactics, Livy assumes that the Romans would have won such encounters. However given the fact that the Romans, in spite of 50 years more experience still lost against lesser (compared to Alexander) Hellenistic general like Pyrrhus I do not follow Livy's argumentation Note that I have not even taken Alexander's generalship plus the hardiness of his very experienced troops into consideration.
    I intend to give it some more thought, just hope it will not spoil my night rest as it spoiled my dinner

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    If Alexander wanted to attack India I think he could of found the forces to do so. He was already adding Persians to his cavalry and phallanx, and I suspect he would have come up with further ingenious ways of coping with elephants. Further, with Chandragupta Maurya in complete control having mopped up smaller kingdoms into his own, Alexander may have only needed to defeat one individual to gain another huge power base. However, if he suceeded the empire may be too large for 1 man to control.



    The west may be more fruitful in terms of additional assets in the short term, but would it be tempting enough for Alexander?



    I believe he would probably have to wait 2 years before starting another campaign. By that time Mauryan conquests would force his hand imo, and he would head east, probably with something that resembled a Bactrian-Greek army. These could do very well against Indian opposition under the right leader.

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  • piero1971
    replied
    Originally posted by MajorSennef View Post
    Results: As Alexander lived on the Persian cultural influences would be stronger stronger than Hellenism was in the real world.
    Another interesting result for our then Persianised world would be that its norms and values would be stemming from Persian (based on Ahura Mazda) rather than from Judeo-Christian ones.
    very good points!

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  • Colonel Sennef
    replied
    Had Alexander lived on I expect that after his sick bed experiences he would have taken time out, in order to reflect

    He would consider that his army for a variety of reasons might not follow him to the ends of the world in the East.
    So in spite of the glittering Indian empires luring him on personally, he would have to refrain for practical reasons.
    The West must have had less attractions for him compared to the East.
    Additionally, trying to conquer the western Mediterranean would make him far more dependant on maritime resources (Phoenicians) and on seaborne operations. I'm not convinced that Alexander would have liked that sort of unfamiliar dependence.
    In the north, there is nothing but wasteland for him; in the south is Arabia and Yemen

    So, I would expect that the outcome of Alexander's pondering would be to create and empire that would stand the test of time
    with an occasional military foray to the south into Arabia Felix/Yemen.
    He would consolidate his empire, through trade and multiculturalism
    and start to think about how to provide a worthy successor to the throne.

    Results: As Alexander lived on the Persian cultural influences would be stronger stronger than Hellenism was in the real world.
    Another interesting result for our then Persianised world would be that its norms and values would be stemming from Persian (based on Ahura Mazda) rather than from Judeo-Christian ones.

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
    .......
    but eventually, Alex had to die and with inability to procreate... who takes over?
    Alexander could procreate, but given the normal succession issues with Macedonian royal families his survival chances may be low.

    The Diadochi had long lives, often only cut short by man made means, despite their binge drinking. Alexander could have lived another 30-50 years. That is enough time to conquer imo. I would suggest he would go where the money was, ie India or after the Phoenicians. The latter would probably be easier.

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  • piero1971
    replied
    yes, arabia (wel, the coastal areas, Oman, Yemen, etc.) would be next, and fairly easy to conquer.

    advancing through the north african coast would be possible and then who knows? North from Macedonia towards Dacia and across the Carpatians into the Slavic plains? or West through Dalmatia and Illyria and across the adriatic to conquer the fertile Italic lands ? or gobble up the rich, but military weak Carthaginan tradeposts ? with then Iberia to take (a much harder one that one!)

    but eventually, Alex had to die and with inability to procreate... who takes over?

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  • Tuor
    replied
    Alex's immediate plans were to conquer the area of Yemen.
    Also, I agree with Rojik that he needed considerable
    time for consolidation of his enormous conquests. Just reconciling
    Macedonians, Greeks, Persians and others from Greece to the
    border of India, Afghanistan and Arabia is an enormous job.

    Plus, in the theme of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"
    I'd look for an alliance of sorts of Rome and the Italian states
    with Carthage. Consider the difficulty Alex had with Porus.
    I think the central and western Mediterranean would have been
    more difficult then many think for the Macedonians.

    Given the way he overworked himself how likely would a long
    life have been? If 20-30 years then perhaps land campaigns via
    Egypt west or from his mom's home northwest to Italy would be
    doable, but think of trying to hold such a region together. Even the
    Roman Empire couldn't maintain its sometimes hold on the Tigris/
    Euphrates area.

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  • Rojik
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    Thanks .

    Heading west may have been a better option. An invasion eastwards would have seen a clash with Chandragupta Maurya, and that may have been a bridge too far, to mix my metaphors.
    I think India was a bridge to far. I wonder if the West Med might have been the same. I think Alexander might have needed 10-15 years of peace and stability before he tried it, and even if it worked it would create some communication problems.

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  • Draco Borealis
    replied
    Yes he was going to conquer Carthage and Iberia; It all depends on if he woud leave a valid and strong enough sucessor to subdue his generals; If not Romans woud start to forge their empire few later as Macedonic satrapy using phalangs longer; If yes all civilised Europe woud speak Greek not Latin; No Roman Church, schism, Inquisition, Crusades... This only if Mahomet's ancestors woud be erased out from reality too; and no Reformation. United Europe or maybe the hole world a few centuries or thousands of years earlier.

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