New post coming up.
Back again with more Alexander stories…
As I have mentioned earlier, Alexander the Great was educated by one of the world’s greatest philosophers and polymaths – Aristotle. According to the myths and legends, King Philip II and Queen Olympias of Macedon [ the famous parents] thought that no ordinary educator would be good enough for their son Alexander, who could easily be led by reason but refused to submit to compulsion. Iliad [ Homer’s epic poem describing the siege of Troy] was his favorite book and Achilles his favorite hero [more about that at a later post].
When Alexander was 16, Philip left him in charge of Macedon while he went away to campaign against the people of Byzantium. During this period, in the absence of Philip, the Thracians [eastern Macedon] rebelled and Alexander led an army against their larger city. He was victorious in this move and took over the city, renaming it Alexandria – after himself.
In 338 BC, Philip put Alexander in command of the cavalry at the Battle of Chaeronea [a battle between the forces of Phillip II of Macedon and an alliance of the Greek city-states, the principal cities of which were Athens and Thebes] and Alexander led the charge that broke [ this alliance] the Theban Sacret Band. This early bravery made Philip so fond of his son that he liked nothing better than to hear his soldiers say than he [Philip] was the general but Alexander was the king.
Well, as it was eventually shown at a much grander scale, action and eternal glory, rather than pleasure and wealth, were what Alexander wished to have above anything else. Fame was his obsession. When he would hear of Philip’s many conquests and their associated power and glory, Alexander would not be happy for his father’s success [according to the myths and legends.] Wealth, which eventually was going to become his in the form of his inheritance, was of no interest to him…instead he was sad that…” there would be no worlds for him to conquer.”…and therefore no glory. He was telling his closest friends that the way things were going…with his father conquering everyone…nothing will be left for him to do once he became a king…well that was a very wrong calculation on behalf of Alexander…to the disappointment of the Persian Empire. The rest is history…which I will tell you about …
More about Alexander very soon … xoxoS
Aristotle is one of the “big three” in ancient Greek philosophy along with Plato and Socrates. Socrates tought Plato who in turn instructed Aristotle, who eventually became the teacher of the famous pupil Alexander the Great of Macedon.
Aristotle (Greek Aristoteles) was born at 384 BC at Stragira Mecedon. He was a Greek philosopher and polymath – his writings cover many subjects including metaphysics, physics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Plato and Socrates, Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. His writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy encompassing morality, and aesthetics, logic, and science, politics and metaphysics.
Aristotle was invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor to his son Alexander the Great in 343 BC. He was appointed as the head of the royal academy of Macedon – during that time he gave lessons not only to Alexander, but also to two other future kings of Macedon: Ptolemy and Cassander.
In his Politics, Aristotle states that only one thing could justify monarchy, and that was if the virtue of the king and his family were greater than the virtue of the rest of the citizens put together. Aristotle wrote many dialogues, but, only fragments have survived. Some of the most important works that survived are, Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, De Anima (On the Soul) and Politics. He not only studied almost every subject possible at the time, but made significant contributions to most of them. In physical science, Aristotle studied anatomy, astronomy, embryology, geography, geology, meteorology, physics and zoology. In philosophy, he wrote on aesthetics, ethics, government, metaphysics, politics, economics, philosophy, rhetoric and theology. He also studied education, foreign customs, literature and poetry. His combined works constitute a virtual encyclopedia of Greek knowledge.
It has been suggested that Aristotle was probably the last person to know everything there was to be known in his own time.
Here are some of Aristotle’s most famous quotes:
We are what we repeatedly do.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
Law is mind without reason.
We make war so we can live in peace.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.
All human actions have one or more or these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion and desire.
We must as second best…take the least of the evils.
A whole is that which has beginning, middle and end.
The gods too are fond of a joke.
Hope is a waking dream.
Well begun is half done.
To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
Education is the best provision for the journey to old age.
For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility.
They should rule who are able to rule best.
Happiness depends upon ourselves.
All men by nature desire knowledge.
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
Liars when they speak the truth are not believed.
With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have use it.
It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.
One swallow does not make a summer.
Man perfected by society is the best of all animals; he is the most terrible of all when he lives without law, and without justice.
Again, men in general desire the good, and not merely what their fathers had.
Nature does nothing uselessly.
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.
Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.
In the arena of human life the honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities.
To perceive is to suffer.
Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.
It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered.
Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way…you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.
Dignity consists not in possessing honor, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.
Aristotle inspired and encouraged Alexander the Great toward eastern conquest, and his attitude towards Persia was unabashedly ethnocentric. In one famous example, he counsels Alexander to be a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, and to deal with the latter as with beasts and plants. Alexander’s reply was his famous quote:
I am not interested in the descendance of the citizens or their racial origins. I classify them using one criterion: their virtue. For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a barbarian.
How Great was Alexander the Great!
Near the end of Alexander’s life, Alexander began to suspect plots against himself, and threatened Aristotle in letters. Aristotle had made no secret of his contempt for Alexander’s pretense of divinity, and the king had executed Aristotle’s grandnephew Callisthenes as a traitor. A widespread tradition in antiquity suspected Aristotle of playing a role in Alexander’s death, but there is little evidence for this.
Aristotle’s contribution to us is priceless…and Alexander’s achievements were enchanced and fueled by his great teachings and wisdom. Knowledge is power!
I rather excel others in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and dominion.
I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well. Alexander the Great King of Macedon
Image above. Alexander the Great
I will be back with more details about the Alexander the Great Charity I am trying to create whose objective is to enhance education to everyone especially young men and women.
A Post Card – History & Glamour NIKE!!!
SUSANNA GALANIS Inspired by History Online Catalog
NIKE – The eternal and universal winged goddess of VICTORY!
In antiquity, the Greek goddess Nike was represented in statues and paintings as a woman with wings, dressed in a billowing robe, and carrying a wreath which was intended to be awarded to the “winner.” Please visit the Louvre Museum in Paris for more details as one of the most famous statues in the world “Nike of Samothrace” is permanently exhibited there in the most magnificent manner – Nike prefers the splendor of Paris! The French, I must say, are the most gracious hosts! Currently, they are hosting the “In the Kingdom of Alexander the Great – Ancient Macedonia” exibit and I am for ever greatful … as a proud Macedonian myself…
Since I am mentioning Alexander, in this post about Nike and “winners,” there is a very famous quote that I must share with you:
“To the winner.” This is what Alexander the Great – King of Macedon famously replied when, at his death bed was asked, “To whom was he bequeathing the Macedonian Kingdom?”
Please see my previous posts in this blog for earlier writings, as my fascination with Nike does not seem to go away.
Nike’s message is very simple : She does NOT like loosing.
She stayed on Mount Olympus, a place in Greek mythology to be between the earth and the heavens, along with Zeus, Athena, Hera, Hades [well, Hades was not staying there as he was the God of the underworld], Poseidon, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Aphrodite, Demeter and Hestia, back in the AGE OF GODS… Can you imagine the scene?
The Olympian Gods loved Nike, so did everyone else at the time [and ever since…] There was nothing sweeter for the Ancient Greeks than to taste the sweet fruits of NIKE [Victory], be it in war, in love or in athletics. This is a passion which survives to this day, and the thrill of Victory is one of the best feelings in the world – as a modern Greek, I can attest to that! You can see why I am obsessing with Nike!
As per goddess Nike [my strongest belief as well] loosing is NOT an option!
Here are two postcards for inspiration:
My new collection of Goddess Inspired Jewelry which I am naming AGE OF GODS – Athina will be available soon. needless to say, a collection inspired by goddess Nike is in the works as well….I will be updating you…