A tomb found to be linked with Alexander the Great in Greece (RELS 348)

An exciting phenomenon occurred in September, 2014, and it was brought to light on an article in the National Post called “Archaeologists in Greece find two large marble statues at ancient tomb with possible link to Alexander the Great” which is written by an unknown author. The title of the article ultimately speaks for itself. This dig that revealed the ancient tomb took three months at ancient Amphipolis; which is 600 kilometers north of Athens. A result of this dig is that archeologists found a tomb. They also found two statues of women who, according to another article in the National Post were “larger than life”. There is also a mosaic pavement depicting the abduction of the goddess Persephone by Hades (King of the underworld). The bones found in this tomb belong to at least five people, one of which was a 60 year old women and the other, a mere child. These findings, however, do not indicate whether the individuals were buried or if they died in the tomb.

The significance of this story is that the archeologists believe that this tomb was constituted where Alexander the Great began to form his empire. The archeologists are also certain that this tomb does not belong to Alexander the Great himself because he died in 323 BC in Babylon due to a fever. In addition, the archeologists gave the tomb a timeframe between 325-300 BC. However the archeologists have a theory that the tomb may be of for one of Alexander’s relatives or generals that had links to Amphipolis. A more intriguing theory is that the tomb may belong to Alexander’s wife Roxana and his son Alexander the fourth. Both mother and son were killed on the orders of the Macedonian general, Cassander, in 311 BC. This tomb was also the “largest ever discovered in Greece” and belonged to a “prominent Macedonian of that era.” Taking this information into account, I personally believe that it is plausible that the tomb belonged to Cassader, because being a general means that one would have a lot of wealth. The importance of this tomb can also be indicated when the Greek prime minister stated that he was “….very proud”.

This article relates to the RELS 348 class because it links to empire and colonialization in several ways: Amphipolis was originally a Greek colony and also Alexander the Great built a massive empire. The importance of Amphipolis is that it started as an Athenian colony (Athens is in Greek so its origins are as a Greek) in 437 BC. However this colony was conquered it in 357 BC by Phillip the second (he was Alexander the Great’s father).This city in itself is an example of a product of colonization. Phillip the second and Alexander the Great were from Macedonia. Alexander the Great came into power of this kingdom when his older step brother died. When Alexander was in control of the Macedonian empire, he conquered the rest of Greek first by controlling small city-states and then expanded his empire to have control over Persia and Egypt. He even went to threaten India. When Alexander the Great died, he did not assign anyone to be his successor so his empire split into three; the Persian, Roman and Greek. Even as stated in the article, it is evident that Alexander the Great was an excellent imperialist that changed the shape of history. And this is why he is so important.

The result of Alexander’s empire is evident when we looked at the Greek Empire in class and the impact that Alexander and his empire had on human history. Concentrating on Greek societies, we learned that the Greeks were politically unified with their societies due to their geographical locations. People liked the idea of an empire because it allowed for peace and stability. Empires in general were also the key to historical development. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, a Russian revolutionary, talked about rural idiocy in which one has communities that are not held together; therefore it would be a challenge to build a society because one cannot co-operate and pool enough resources to thrive and ultimately survive. This is why empires were so important; they provided unification of resources along with economic security. Rather than unusual, empires were part of the historical norm. Another aspect of an empire was the sharing of language and ability to trade. It is evident in human history that an empire was a successful way to unify societies, provide social and economic security and secure ones resources. Alexander the Great is a great example of an imperialist who was able to achieve all of these goals while controlling vast lands.

#uwreligions #HK


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