If I could have dinner with anyone from history, I would eat with Alexander the Great. During his lifetime Alexander the Great accomplished things that we are still struggling with today. Many see him as an imperialist who simply conquered Greek and Persian city-states. This in and of itself is amazing when you consider the immense attention to detail that is required when conquering countries with armies 20 times the size of your own across thousands of miles. However, what may be even more amazing is how he was able to unite cultures under his control. Marriage had a purpose for kings in this time period in that it helped the kings understand the culture that they had seized control over, and figure out how to merge two cultures that had previously been enemies.
Today, we struggle to unify competing interests despite having communication across multiple channels and having the technology that Alexander couldn’t have even dreamed of. Why is it that we can’t seem to make peace with other countries? How did he manage to unite nearly all the civilizations in a time period where it could take months to communicate a message across the massive land area that he ruled? Is there a quality of leadership that we can learn from Alexander? Was he truly interested in stakeholders or was he more concerned with making himself a “Great” god-like figure? These are some of the questions I would try to answer with my talk with Alexander the Great.
I would also want to explain the state of the modern day world to Alexander the Great. I would want to know what he thought about people being able to communicate instantly in the future. Would he think that it is much easier to create a unified society without that level of communication? And what would be his justification behind killing millions of people? Was it to create a peaceful society? Would he believe war to be a necessary part of life? Perhaps he would share his teacher’s (Aristotle) views, or maybe not. Alexander had a tendency to have a unique perspective which allowed him to be unpredictable on the battlefield. Alexander the Great certainly had great charisma and an intelligence that surpassed all of his enemies. Whether his intentions were honorable…I guess we’ll never know.