Tyrant or visionary?

Ironically, Alexander’s worst contemporary source was the most popular. Thus, the classic sources with which today is counted, leave aside the sober and surely boring, Ptolemy’s records. On the contrary, the sensationalist -but entertaining and entertaining- Clitarco is profusely cited by ancient authors such as Diodoro, Diogenes Laercio, Athenaeus, Strabo, Plutarch, Eliano, Curcio or Estobeo, as Antonio Bravo García well writes. One is the Alexander portrayed by the moralists or authors of the current called «Vulgata» (The classics influenced by Clitarco: Justin, Diodoro and Curcio) and another very different is the one described by Arriano. Plutarch on his part, in a brilliant compromise solution, pleasing both the detractors and the defenders, apparently finds only Alexander. In his works, he portrays him as the young man who for most of his life lived virtuously, but at the end of his days he renounced some of the values ​​that he instilled in Aristotle. Long live objective history but apparently, where you can reside in the Demiurge … From these points of view, the different authors have prolonged the debate to this day. Grote describes the Macedonian in such a way that even moralists would be scandalized; W. W. Tarn portrays a precursor of Jesus, and founder of the current UN, which evidently is the middle ground, and thus end the present discussion, which could perfectly be considered Byzantine. But where is such a middle point? In recognizing that Alexander was a genius, but that like all power corrupts, his last days were decadent? Or that the Macedonian was fortunate to have soldiers and generals of the first order who were able to win by facing an enemy in decline? The problem with such compromises is that they are distorted or distorted by duly proven events, such as the spontaneous displays of affection that both Macedonians and Asians, nobles and commoners, priests and laymen had with Alexander, not only in life or at the time of his death, but after his disappearance, or the number of times that the Asians put the Macedonian forces in check, for example. What is the midpoint between white and black? The Grey? Which tone, light or dark? A single tone, or many? Which? Why not the black and white stripes? In such a case, vertical, horizontal or diagonal? How many? Why? Sometimes, it is not so easy to identify the center. Certainly there are many odds and «combinations», but this fact alone does not guarantee that all the proposed solutions are right. In a certain context, the same thing can not be and not be at the same time, despite the relativity inherent to the cosmos. Alexander, in his last days or was a tyrant and / or a decadent, and therefore hated by his subjects, or a true leader visionary and ahead of his time, and consequently both loved and misunderstood by them, so typical of the contradictory essence of the human soul.

 

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