Sunday, March 31, 2013

If Alexander the Great had lived on 69

What might be different, renowned British historian Arnold Toynbee wondered, if Alexander the Great had lived to be 69 years old? He wrote an essay exploring the possible outcomes.

323 B.C.
Alexander is cured from his almost-deadly illness. He becomes a lot calmer and lets his loyal officers Eumenes, Perdikkas and Ptolemaios rule the empire during his the next few years when he is campaigning. 

322 B.C. 
Alexander sails around the Arabian peninsula. In Suez, he orders the renewal of the channel. Phoenicians are settled at the Persian Gulf, along with other neighbouring peoples as Samaritans, Moabites and and Hebrews. They use the opportunity and become an open-minded people. There is no religious strife and therefore no religious movements which spring off a humiliated Judaism. Thus: No Christianity (according to Toynbee). Alexander's new capital becomes Alexandria in Egypt. 

321 B.C. 
He sails to Macedonia and secures the frontiers in Thracia and Anatolia. 

320/319 B.C. 
Conquered of Sicily and Carthage. Both are reorganized in the same manner as the Corinthian league. In Gibraltar, he founds the city of Alexandreia Eschata Herakleia. Pytheas of Massilia receives order to sail around Africa. 

318 B.C. 
Greek-Roman Pact against Samnites.

317 B.C. 
Victory over Samnium. Southern Italy ("Magna Graecia") is reorganized as the league of Naples. Rome may conquer whole Italy and - if possible - Gaul. 

317-314 B.C. 
With the Mediterrean Sea in his hands, Alexander forms a new army with mercenaries and moves to India. He conquers the kingdom of Magadha and Seleukos is installed as ruler. At the Ganges river, Alexander mets a Phoenician fleet that discovered the way to India by sea. From now on, Buddhist missionaries move deep into the empire. In Hellas, Zenon and Epicurus write essays on Buddhistic philosophy. World state and world religion are linked together from now on. 

312/311 B.C. 
Alexander moves to the Jaxartes river. Having heard of Chinese wealth, he joins an uprising and conquers China. Antigonos is made king of China. 

308 B.C. 
Nearchus discovers the sea passage from India to China. In the following centuries, Chinese population moves down the islands in the south, making Australia a Chinese continent. 

287 B.C. 
Alexander dies. 

Alexander's successor Alexander IV. civilizes his empire, reorganizes administration, builds up infrastructure etc. In Alexandria, he builds a university ("Museion" for philosophers, "Hephaisteion" for Technicians). Heron discovers the steam power, Aristarchus the heliocentric idea. Erastothenes finds that Earth is kind of a ball. 

Circa 220 B.C. 
A young Carthaginian named Hannibal has read the stories of Atlantis and hopes to find it across the ocean. He finds the new continent of Antipodia.

The rest of the world slowly joins the peaceful and benevolent empire. 

Circa 1930 A.D. 
A historian named Arnoldus Toynbeenus sits in Alexandria and imagines a world where Alexander died. He shudders by the mere thought of it and praises Alexander LXXXVI.


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