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Alexandre le Grand

Date de naissance: 20. juillet 356 av. J.-C.
Date de décès: 10. juin 323 av. J.-C.
Autres noms: Alexandr Makedonský Veliký,Alexander der Große

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Alexandre le Grand ou Alexandre III de Macédoine , né le 21 juillet 356 av. J.-C. à Pella , mort le 11 juin 323 av. J.-C. à Babylone , est un roi de Macédoine et l’un des personnages les plus célèbres de l’Antiquité.

Fils de Philippe II, élève d’Aristote et roi de Macédoine à partir de 336 av. J.-C., il devient l’un des plus grands conquérants de l’histoire. Il fait de son petit royaume le maître de l’immense empire perse achéménide, s’avance jusqu’aux rives de l’Indus et fonde près de soixante-dix cités, dont la majorité porte le nom d’Alexandrie.

La notoriété d’Alexandre s’explique principalement par sa volonté de conquête de l'ensemble du monde connu. Cette aspiration, à la fois illusoire et pourtant presque réalisée, avant qu’il ne meure subitement à l’âge de trente-deux ans, a pour conséquence — durant un temps très court — une unité politique jamais retrouvée ensuite entre l’Occident et l’Orient.

L’héritage d’Alexandre, marqué par sa volonté de fusionner les cultures grecque et orientale, est partagé entre ses généraux pour former les différents royaumes et dynasties de la période hellénistique.

Citations Alexandre le Grand

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„A king does not kill messengers.“

— Alexander the Great
Context: Now you fear punishment and beg for your lives, so I will let you free, if not for any other reason so that you can see the difference between a Greek king and a barbarian tyrant, so do not expect to suffer any harm from me. A king does not kill messengers. As quoted in the Historia Alexandri Magni of Pseudo-Kallisthenes, 1.37.9-13

„Our enemies are Medes and Persians, men who for centuries have lived soft and luxurious lives; we of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war.“

— Alexander the Great
Context: Our enemies are Medes and Persians, men who for centuries have lived soft and luxurious lives; we of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war. Above all, we are free men, and they are slaves. There are Greek troops, to be sure, in Persian service — but how different is their cause from ours! They will be fighting for pay — and not much of at that; we, on the contrary, shall fight for Greece, and our hearts will be in it. As for our foreign troops — Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Agrianes — they are the best and stoutest soldiers in Europe, and they will find as their opponents the slackest and softest of the tribes of Asia. And what, finally, of the two men in supreme command? You have Alexander, they — Darius! Addressing his troops prior to the Battle of Issus, as quoted in Anabasis Alexandri by Arrian Book II, 7

„Holy shadows of the dead, I’m not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people, to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine. On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions“

— Alexander the Great
Context: Holy shadows of the dead, I’m not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people, to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine. On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions. Addressing the dead Hellenes (the Athenean and Thebean Greeks) of the Battle of Chaeronea, as quoted in Historiae Alexandri Magni by Quintus Curtius Rufus

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„Know ye not that the end and object of conquest is to avoid doing the same thing as the conquered?“

— Alexander the Great
As quoted in Lives by Plutarch, VII, "Demosthenes and Cicero. Alexander and Caesar" (40.2), as translated by Bernadotte Perrin

„I consider not what Parmenion should receive, but what Alexander should give.“

— Alexander the Great
On his gifts for the services of others, as quoted in Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: Giving the Derivation, Source, or Origin of Common Phrases, Allusions, and Words That Have A Tale To Tell (1905) by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, p. 30 Variant: It is not what Parmenio should receive, but what Alexander should give. quoted in Alexander : A History of the Origin and Growth of the Art of War from Earliest Times to the Battle Of Ipsus, B. C. 301 (1899) by Theodore Ayrault Dodge

„Sex and sleep alone make me conscious that I am mortal.“

— Alexander the Great
As quoted in Alexander the Great (1973) by Robin Lane Fox Unsourced variant : Only sex and sleep make me conscious that I am mortal.

„So would I, if I were Parmenion.“

— Alexander the Great
As quoted in Lives by Plutarch, after Parmenion suggested to him after the Battle of Issus that he should accept Darius III of Persia's offer of an alliance, the hand of his daughter in marriage, and all Minor Asia, saying "If I were Alexander, I would accept the terms" (Variant translation: I would accept it if I were Alexander). Variants: I too, if I were Parmenion. But I am Alexander. So would I, if I were Parmenion. So should I, if I were Parmenion. So should I, if I were Parmenion: but as I am Alexander, I cannot. I would do it if I was Parmenion, but I am Alexander. If I were Parmenion, that is what I would do. But I am Alexander and so will answer in another way. So would I, if I were Parmenion, but I am Alexander, so I will send Darius a different answer. If I were Perdicas, I shall not fail to tell you, I would have endorsed this arrangement at once, but I am Alexander, and I shall not do it. (as quoted from medieval French romances in The Medieval French Alexander (2002) by Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox, p. 81)

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„Your ancestors came to Macedonia and the rest of Hellas [Greece] and did us great harm, though we had done them no prior injury. I have been appointed leader of the Greeks, and wanting to punish the Persians I have come to Asia, which I took from you.“

— Alexander the Great
Alexander's letter to Persian king Darius III of Persia in response to a truce plea, as quoted in Anabasis Alexandri by Arrian; translated as Anabasis of Alexander by P. A. Brunt, for the "Loeb Edition" Book II 14, 4

„There are no more worlds to conquer!“

— Alexander the Great
Statement portrayed as a quotation in a 1927 Reader's Digest article, this probably derives from traditions about Alexander lamenting at his father Philip's victories that there would be no conquests left for him, or that after his conquests in Egypt and Asia there were no worlds left to conquer. Some of the oldest accounts of this, as quoted by John Calvin state that on "hearing that there were other worlds, wept that he had not yet conquered one." This may originate from Plutarch's essay On the Tranquility of Mind, part of the essays Moralia: Alexander wept when he heard Anaxarchus discourse about an infinite number of worlds, and when his friends inquired what ailed him, "Is it not worthy of tears," he said, "that, when the number of worlds is infinite, we have not yet become lords of a single one?" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Moralia/De_tranquillitate_animi*.html] There are no more other worlds to conquer! Variant attributed as his "last words" at a few sites on the internet, but in no published sources.

„An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.“

— Alexander the Great
Attributed to Alexander, as quoted in The British Battle Fleet: Its Inception and Growth Throughout the Centuries to the Present Day (1915) by Frederick Thomas Jane, <!-- This is the earliest specific attribution of this statement to Alexander that I have yet encountered. ~ Kalki 2007·03·15 -->but many variants of similar statements exist which have been attributed to others, though in research done for Wikiquote definite citations of original documents have not yet been found for any of them: I should prefer an army of stags led by a lion, to an army of lions led by a stag. Attributed to Chabrias, who died around the time Alexander was born, thus his is the earliest life to whom such assertions have been attributed; as quoted in A Treatise on the Defence of Fortified Places (1814) by Lazare Carnot, p. 50 An army of stags led by a lion would be better than an army of lions led by a stag. Attributed to Chabrias, A History of Ireland (1857) by Thomas Mooney, p. 760 An army of stags led by a lion is superior to an army of lions led by a stag. Attributed to Chabrias, The New American Cyclopaedia : A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge (1863), Vol. 4, p. 670 An army of sheep led by a lion are more to be feared than an army of lions led by a sheep. Attributed to Chabrias, The Older We Get, The Better We Were, Marine Corps Sea Stories (2004) by Vince Crawley, p. 67 It is better to have sheep led by a lion than lions led by a sheep. Attributed to Polybius in Between Spenser and Swift: English Writing in Seventeenth Century Ireland (2005) by Deana Rankin, p. 124, citing A Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, from 1641 to 1652 (1880) by John Thomas Gilbert Vol. I, i, p. 153 - 157; but conceivably this might be reference to Polybius the historian quoting either Alexander or Chabrias. An army composed of sheep but led by a lion is more powerful than an army of lions led by a sheep. "Proverb" quoted by Agostino Nifo in De Regnandi Peritia (1523) as cited in Machiavelli - The First Century: Studies in Enthusiasm, Hostility, and Irrelevance (2005) by Mathew Thomson, p. 55 Greater is an army of sheep led by a lion, than an army of lions led by a sheep. Attributed to Daniel Defoe (c. 1659 - 1731) I am more afraid of one hundred sheep led by a lion than one hundred lions led by a sheep. Attributed to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754 – 1838) Variants: I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep. I am not afraid of an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep. I am afraid of army of 100 sheeps led by a lion. Variants quoted as an anonymous proverb: Better a herd of sheep led by a lion than a herd of lions led by a sheep. A flock of sheep led by a lion was more powerful than a flock of lions led by a sheep. An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. It were better to have an army of sheep led by a lion than an army of lions led by a sheep. An army of sheep led by a lion, will defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. An army of sheep led by a lion would be superior to an army of lions led by a sheep. Unsourced attribution to Alexander: I would not fear a pack of lions led by a sheep, but I would always fear a flock of sheep led by a lion. As one lion overcomes many people and as one wolf scatters many sheep, so likewise will I, with one word, destroy the peoples who have come against me. This slightly similar statement is the only quote relating to lions in The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version of the Pseudo-Callisthenes (1889) as translated by E. A. Wallis Budge, but it is attributed to Nectanebus (Nectanebo II).

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