Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Alexander's wishes before death

It is believed that Alexander gave detailed written directives to Craterus some time preceding his death. However Craterus had already started to apply Alexander's plans, such as the building of a fleet in Cilicia for campaign against Carthage, Alexander's successors chose not to further implement them, on the grounds that they were impractical and expensive. The testament, described in Diodorus XVIII, called for military expansion into the Southern and Western Mediterranean, monumental establishments, and the intermixing of Eastern and Western populations. Its most remarkable items were:

  • The construction of a pyre to Hephaestion
  • The building of "a thousand warships, greater than triremes, in Phoenicia, Syria, Cilicia, and Cyprus for the expedition against the Carthaginians and the other who live along the coast of Libya and Iberia and the adjoining coastal regions as far as Sicily.
  • The construction of a road in northern Africa as far as the Pillars of Heracles, with ports and shipyards along it.
  • The construction of huge temples in Delos, Delphi, Dodona, Dium, Amphipolis, Cyrnus and Ilium.
  • The elevation of a monumental tomb for his father Philip, "to match the greatest of the pyramids of Egypt.
  • The organization of cities and the "transplant of populations from Asia to Europe and in the reverse direction from Europe to Asia, in order to bring the largest continent to common unity and to brotherhood by means of intermarriage and family ties.

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