Thursday 11 June 2009

Alexander the Great

On this day….2,332 years ago Alexander the Great died in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon, aged 32, after a massive ten-day binge on food and drink. Was it over-indulgence, or malaria, or was he poisoned? We do not know.

Hailed as one of the greatest military geniuses in history, Alexander was also, like other great conquerors such as Genghis Khan and Tamburlaine, a ferocious murderer of civilians. In 335 BC, when he was just turned 20, he razed Thebes to the ground, killed 6,000 and sold the rest of the population into slavery.

Three years later, he took Tyre. Once again, there was wholesale slaughter, with all men of military age crucified and 30,000 women and children enslaved. It was in India, though, that Alexander’s worst atrocities were seen. Massaga was reduced to rubble, and its people slaughtered, and Ora and Aornos met a similar fate. At Malli, no one was spared whether man, woman or child.

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