The Truth About Alexander
Alexander at the battle of Gaugamela
The Birth and Death of Alexander
The birth of Alexander is shrouded in mystery and legends. He was born in a night to Olympias, the daughter of Neoptolemus, prince of the Molossi, when the great temple of the Asian Goddess at Ephesus was supposed to have been burned down. She was fierce and beautiful7! His father, Philip divorced Olympias and married Cleopatra, thus Alexander was estranged from him and his legitimacy was suspected. Later Olympias murdered Philip elevating Alexander to an advantageous position. Other versions accuse Alexander of patricide.
How Alexander died is mystery, though, historians asserted that he was died of a mysterious disease, after the conquest of India! When he was dying, Peucestas and some others of the Companions passed the night in the temple of Serapis and asked the god whether they should convey the sick man into the temple, if haply the might be cured there by divine help, but a voice warned them not to bring him, but to let him remain where he lay! Bury8 characteristically notes that, “such is the punctilious and authentic account of in the Court diary; but it is not sufficient to enable us to discover the precise nature of the fatal disease.” These details are discussed to show that they have no similarity with that of Skanda archetype or Skanda form of worship.
Then, how to Interpret Alexander historically on Others? The western scholars have been compromised miserably and proceeded further just to historicize Alexander for their “historical” purposes. Many times, they have to depend upon the forged, concocted and fabricated literature, collectively known as “The Alexander Romance”. Therefore, historians have to be careful in taking such mythical legends for historical interpretations. They cannot try to make mole out of a mountain.
The Alexander Romance
Like the Alexander’s invasion on India, the “Alexander Romance” has also been exploited by the westerners to belittle India. Some have tried to interpret that the Skanda / Kanda worship has been developed only from the “Alexander myth”. Therefore, such “Romances turned myths” have to be analyzed critically. The “Alexander Romance” is nothing but superstitious, legendary and mythical narrations developed based on earlier myths and circulated in the name of “Alexander”.
This legendary narrative took shape in Egypt, mostly some five centuries after Alexander’s death. Earlier elements and a few facts survive among its wild fiction. Because of the spread of the Romance of Alexander, there are Afghan chieftains who still claim to be descended from his blood. Seventy years ago they would go to war with the red flag they believed to be his banner, while on stormy nights in the Aegean, the island fishermen of Lesbos still shout down the sea with their question,” Where is Alexander the Great?”, and on giving their calming answer, ”Alexander the Great lives and is King”, they rest assured that the waves still subside (RLF, p.26).
His only measurement is given in the fictitious Romance of Alexander , where he is said to have been three cubits, or four feet six inches high…….Only in German myth was Alexander was remembered as king of the dwarfs, and it would perhaps be rash to explain his ambition on the assumption that he was unusually small (RLF, p.41).
Philips orders Aristotle to teach Homer to Alexander (RLF, p.59).
Alexander is said to have been crowned as Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt, an honour only mentioned in the fictitious Romance of Alexander; this crowning cannot be dated to any one month, but is supported by the Pharonic titles which were applied to him in the inscriptions of the country’s temples. As Pharaoh, he was the recognized representative of god on earth, worshipped as a living and accessible god by his Egyptian subjects; he was hailed as Horus, divine son of the sun god Ra whose worship had prevailed in Lower Egypt, and as beloved son of Amun, the creator of the universe, whose worship had flourished in the temples of Upper Egypt and grown to incorporate the worship of the more southerly Ra. This divine sonship fitted him to the dynastic past of the native Pharaohs, for he could be said to share their common father Amun-Ra, who visited the Pharaoh’s mother to father each future king; (RLF, p.196-197).
Romance of Alexander gives the details of death of Alexander as to how he was poisoned to death (RLF, p.462).
The author discusses about his deification in pages 436-460 Chapter 31. He was worshipped as god in Egypt and Greece.
This romance / the German myth also gives a hint that the myth might have been adapted and adopted from the Vamana avatara, where, the Dwarf Vishnu conquers the entire world, which is well known in India. The main feature of the dwarf incarnation is to conquer the world. As usual, to reverse the facts, the historians must have resorted to this reverse method of writing history as has been done in other cases.
The Alexander’s Invasion of India
Encyclopedias14 have been cautious in narrating about the Alexander’s invasion of India, because, he never reached India proper. They never record that he conquered India, though they mention about his invasion of India. In fact, there has been a tradition that the Indian forces defeated him and he was forced to retreat.
“In the battle of Jhelum a large majority of Alexander’s cavalry was killed. Alexander realized that if he were to continue fighting he would be completely ruined. He, therefore, requested Porus to stop fighting. Treye to Indian tradition Porus did not kill the surrendered enemy. After this both signed a treaty. Alexander then helped him in annexing othere territories to his kingdom”15.
Recently, a project on Alexander after working extensively, created a website, which points out the following facts:
- Alexander’s ideas concerning India were …still sketchy in the extreme.
- To the Greeks, the land across the Indus was a shallow peninsula, bounded on the north by the Hindu Kush (it was known as such only in the medieval period) and on the east by the great world-stream of ocean, which ran at no great distance beyond the Sind desert, implying that there were no countries.
- On the main Indian sub-continent, let alone the vast Far Eastern land-mass from China to Malaysia, they knew nothing.
- In general Alexander’s ignorance of Indian geography remained profound.
- His whole eastern strategy rested on a false assumption.
- When enlightenment came, it was too late.
- The great Ganges Plain, by its mere existence, shattered his dream more effectively than the army could have done.
Therefore, the historians have made a frivolous attempt during 19th century to make Alexander invade India obviously to strengthen their invasion theory of colonized nations.
The Nile and Nila Explode the Myth of Alexander’s Invasion on India: Alexander and Virgil considered and named Indus as Nile.
“According to the geographical theories of the earliest Greeks, the “Prometheus Bound” is described as follows: This condition was fulfilled by the river Indus. Arrian (vi, I) mentions that Alexander the Great, when preparing to sail down the Indus 9having seen the crocodiles in the river Indus, and in no other river except the Nile…..), seemed to himself to have discovered the sources of the Nile; as though the Nile, rising from some place in India, and flowing through much desert land, and thereby losing its name Indus, next…….flowed through inhabited land, being now called Nile by the Ethiopians of those parts and afterwards by the Egyptians. Virgil in the Ivth George echoes the obsolete error”,
Blavatsky16, after giving these details notes that –
“Alexander, who was better acquainted with Attock than with India – for he never entered India proper – could not have failed to hear the Indus near its sources, called Nil and Nila. The mistake – if mistake it is – is thus easily accounted for”
The Greek cartographers have cleared showed that the world ends with Arabia during the material period. No two maps tally with each other in any detail. In fact, they later start to identify India as Indian extra-Gangem and India intra-Gangem. Whereas, there were Greek scholars who considered India as a land of knowledge, wealth and so on, and thus, later even mentioned as paradise on the earth. But, because of the complexity, they started misrepresented the facts of India.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Myth, Romance and Historicity of Alexander and His Influence on India
- Hinduism, ancient history
- History of Hinduism, medieval period
- Hinduism, modern history
- The Aryan invasion
- Battle over history
- Athiesm in ancient India
- courage the virtue
- Secularism in ancient India
- The biggest holocaust in world history
- A brief history of Afghanistan
- Historians and Indian history
- The Arthashastra of Kautilya
- Megasthanese's Indica or Indika
Source: This article is reproduced from the research work of K.V. Ramakrishna Rao, M.A., A.M.I.E., C.Eng(I)., B.L.