Alexander the Great: The Greek Conqueror and Cultural Blender
The purpose of this collection is to show how the powerful leaders of greatest civilization changed the direction of existing Religion, culture, history and art as per their beliefs and a sudden transition from one period to another. Art forms were developed at different speeds in various parts of the Greek world and, as in any period, some artists had more innovative styles than others. Strong local traditions, conservative by nature, and local cultural requirements allow historians to locate the very origins of works of art. This collection is part two of three that that I have organized, chronologically, on Akhenaton: The Pharaoh, considered heretical, triggered a veritable cultural and religious revolution. The other two collections are "Alexander the Great: The Greek Conqueror and Cultural blender" and Octavian Augustus: The Roman Emperor "The illustrious one". It is my hope that these collections will help viewers to understand influential power of world’s ancient leaders in the field of Art and Culture.
Alexander came to love the arts and greatly appreciates Homeric poetry. He always has with him a copy of Homer's epic poems and dreams of imitating the exploits of his heroes, Achilles and Heracles, and of living like them.
Alexander's conquests have created an immense empire, and its impact on the world stage is still the subject of discussion among historians. Politically, it was the end of Alexander's empire, and culturally, the achievements of the latter introduced the Hellenistic era. The historians who criticize Alexander see him as short-sighted and claim that he only sought to cover himself with glory for his military exploits, while deploring the fact that there were no other worlds to conquer. According to the Roman emperor Augustus, Alexander should have been more satisfied with his role as leader than that of conqueror. Admirers say he has paved the way for the definition of a new political order. Others now had to carry out what he undertook.
Alexander seemed to believe in this Hellenization of the world, in this possibility of making all men live under the same law of reason, a conception which his former tutor Aristotle would have criticized in a lost work, entitled Alexander or the Colonies, considering that a difference of Nature separates forever the Greeks, destined to live free under political institutions, Barbarians devoted to despotism and servitude.
Alexander made the fusion of nationalities both the means and the goal of his work of colonization. In the space of ten years, a whole world had been discovered and conquered; the barriers which separated the East from the West had fallen, and the roads which were henceforth to communicate the countries of the east and west were open.
This development often took place in a rather brutal manner, and often produced degeneration in which the glance of history, which embraces all the ages, can alone discover the latent and powerful thrust of progress.
For Hellenic art, he gained nothing to exaggerate the calm grandeur of harmonic proportions to accommodate the Asian taste, the sumptuous display of colossal masses, to want to surpass the idealism of his spontaneous works by the luxury of materials precious and realistic pleasure of the eyes.
The dark magnificence of the Egyptian temples, the fantastic buildings of the castle and the rooms of Persepolis , the gigantic ruins of Babylon, the Hindu buildings with their serpent-shaped idols and their elephants squatting under the columns, all this, mixed with the traditions of national art, no doubt opened a rich treasure of new ideas and ideas for Hellenic artists. Alexander’s conquests generated a great cultural diffusion and syncretism, promoting the development of things such as Greco-Buddhism. Also, his habit of creating Greek colonies helped spread Greek culture in the east, sometimes with long-lasting impacts. As late as the 1920s, there were communities of Greek speakers in far eastern Anatolia.
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