Monday, September 3, 2018

Alexander the Great

Alexander the GreatAlexander the Great by Philip Freeman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fantastic book and fascinating biography of one of history's greatest men, and certainly one of the greatest military minds to have ever existed. I thought I knew a bit about Alexander the Great. I was wrong. This book is incredibly comprehensive, while remaining reader-friendly and retaining the reader's interest. I never knew just how damn BIG Alexander's empire was! Having read about Darius of Persia, a number of the Romans, Genghis Khan, the Moors, Ottomans, Hitler's Germany, Stalin and the Warsaw Pact territories, Mao, and so many others, I've come to the conclusion that Alexander the Great conquered and ruled over the greatest (in terms of geography, logistics, etc.) empire the world has ever seen. Previously it had been Darius and the great Persian Empire, but Alexander conquered that enemy and extended the realms of his empire from western and northern Europe, eastern and southern Europe, through the Middle East, virtually all of North Africa, all the way through Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even throughout India! And he did ALL of this before turning age 32, which he never reached as he died shortly before that date. Indeed, Alexander the Great can probably lay claim to have been THE greatest, or certainly one of the world's very greatest, leader the world has ever seen, and in the shortest period of time! Did he turn out to be the most influential? No, that was Jesus, followed by Mohammad. But he spread Greek civilization and culture throughout virtually all of the known world, which impacted much of history for centuries after his death. It was because of him that the later "greatest" empire -- the Roman Empire -- communicated globally largely in Greek, looked up to the Greeks, continued to circulate their Hellenic culture through the Roman world, why the New Testament was written in Greek, why centuries of human history were recorded in Greek, and so much more. If you're remotely interested in human history, cultural history, western civilization, and military history, this is a book not to miss. Most definitely recommended!

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