What would the world be like today if Alexander the Great had left his empire to a single person

2023-10-12 09:56:59Histori SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
Alexander the Great

As Alexander the Great lay on his deathbed in 323 BC, his generals asked him to whom he would leave the empire. "The strongest," said Alexander, and died. Of course, they all began to fight to find the strongest, and the empire fell apart.

Alexander's empire stretched from Greece to present-day Pakistan, a territory of about 5 million square kilometers. The Roman Empire surpassed the Macedonian Empire in size, but Alexander built it up faster, in just 13 years, before he died at the age of 32.

Alexander the Great left an unborn son and a horde of ambitious generals eager to fill the power vacuum – as rivals killed his son before his 12th birthday.

Thus, in Babylon, in 323 BC, the generals divided the empire into three parts, with rulers in Greece, Macedonia, and southeastern Europe; Asia Minor (present-day Turkey); and northern Africa. Western and central Asia was taken over by others.

Ptolemy, who had served with Alexander, created a separate empire in northern Africa and southern Syria. He began as governor, but in 305 BC, proclaimed himself king. The Ptolemaic dynasty ruled for 275 years, until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC

But what would have happened if Alexander had left his empire to a single person? It is impossible that the empire would have expanded, historians say, as Alexander's charisma and shrewdness, or his military talent, were missing. Some say that General Perdikas was the leading candidate. But he was killed by his own officers.

If a single person had continued to rule the empire, the history of the world today might be different, historians say. An attractive leader with military prowess could have conquered Sicily and Rome when it was deeply involved in the war with its rivals. A timely invasion would have given Alexander's successor a huge advantage, and might have prevented the formation of the Roman Empire.

A gigantic Macedonian empire could have changed religious history as well.

More Jews would have been Hellenized under such an empire; Muslims might not have extended to the Balkans. For example, the Byzantine emperor, Justinian I, persecuted Greek philosophers when he closed the Academy in Athens in 529. These philosophers went east, away from the empire, many settled in Baghdad, and influenced Islamic thinkers with their Neoplatonism. While Christianity, without the Roman Empire, might not have spread to the West and Europe today would be quite different. Without Rome, Europe would not have the building technology or water supply that gave the Renaissance its edge.

But no leader existed to have Alexander's kind of vision, to stabilize or hold together an empire—and none of his successors demonstrated that ability.