The Persian Policies of Alexander the Great: From 330-323 BC


The Persian Policies of Alexander the Great: From 330-323 BC

By Nicholas Ed Foster

Master’s Thesis, Louisiana State University, 2001

Abstract: Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire and sought to create a unique realm, where all people Greek and non-Greek would be able to live in relative autonomy under the monarch. Scholars have debated Alexander’s intent for the last century and still cannot find consensus. This thesis will approach the intent by focusing on the question of how Alexander governed the empire he conquered. Specifically, did he intend for the people of the conquered landmass to become a new type of integrated culture led by him and his progeny? If it is possible to answer this question, it may give some indication of whether or not Alexander was anything more than a “mere” conqueror. Refusing to be bound by xenophobic tradition, Alexander ruled with the assistance of foreign nobles serving as administrators. He took on a more recognizable and palatable appearance for the newly conquered and then finally acted to unify the top tier of the Persians with his friends and commanders. This study concludes that pragmatism and foresight allowed Alexander to accept all of Persia’s inhabitants as subjects, regardless of ethnicity, and meld them in a way that would ultimately contribute to a more stable empire.




Who was Alexander the Great? Was he (as appears in some of the less flattering sources) a Macedonian who ‘went native,’ captivated by, and obsessed with Persian ‘oriental’ barbarities? Was the establishment of his own vast empire a result of hubristic self-aggrandizement? Or was it the seemingly natural progression of an ambitious but basically pragmatic military leader’s career? The question of what ultimately drove Alexander is a provocative one, and has been debated at length over the years ─ it was called the ‘biggest question of them all’ in a recent biography. This thesis will approach it by focusing on the question of how Alexander governed the empire he conquered. Specifically, did he intend for the people of the conquered landmass to become a new type of integrated culture led by him and his progeny? If it is possible to answer this question, it may give some indication of whether or not Alexander was anything more than a ‘mere’ conqueror.

Click here to read this thesis from Louisiana State University

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