Heir to Greatness: Addendum – Attila to Napoleon

Last week I seemingly concluded this series with a discussion of the Roman Republic/Empire as a possible successor to Alexander the Great’s legacy. And for me, personally, that’s all there is – by the time of the dissolution of the Roman Empire in the 5th-century AD, the western world had changed so fundamentally from what it had been at the time of Alexander’s conquests that to try to measure leaders by the same criteria seems redundant. Nonetheless, others would argue the contrary, and that’s why I’m writing this – the addendum, the epilogue, the “things I forgot to mention”…

What did I forget to mention?

That military leaders throughout history have consciously and unconsciously modelled themselves on Alexander, and they too deserve to be considered amongst his possible successors?

That the great names of conquerors, like Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan, deserve to be held in the same regard because they also shaped the world in a fundamental way (a horrible, bloody and, frankly, genocidal way).

And that even 2000 years after his life and death, Alexander remains the model for empire-builders?

Perhaps all those who strive deserve to be considered; though almost all fail before they reach the same pinnacle, it’s the trying that matters. After-all, as the man said:

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.”

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About ethanreilly

Ethan Reilly is an author and blogger who lives in Brisbane, Australia. Did he mention he blogs?
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