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Oh snap
August 4th, 2008, 06:26 PM
The all-great wikipedia says that had alexander conquered india, he might have turned westward toward arabia.

It mentions that had he conquered arabia he had his sights set on italy and carthage.

Do you think alexander would have been able to do this?

Could he have conquered the early romans and carthaginians?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great#After_India

DevilPup John
August 4th, 2008, 06:44 PM
Well the problem with a military campaign such as that is basically...

How do you keep it supplied? Those are some long supply lines.

There are many "what ifs?" in this...

What if countries banded together to fight him off? They could pool resources which were much closer to them than Alexanders which needed to be moved along supply routes.

What if an insurgency sprang up and terrorized his supply routes, or even started a campaign in the cities?

The main question is.

How would he keep it supplied? What would be the logistics of the operation? How long could good logistics be kept up under bad circumstances?

Could he have taken it? Most likely. Could he have held it? No, hes empire would have fallen much sooner than it had.

The bigger something gets, the harder it is to maintain. So yes, he probably could have won. But he would not have held his empire as long as it lasted.

Stoic
August 5th, 2008, 07:05 AM
Could he have taken it? Most likely. Could he have held it? No, hes empire would have fallen much sooner than it had.

The bigger something gets, the harder it is to maintain. So yes, he probably could have won. But he would not have held his empire as long as it lasted.

Corret. If he took it, he wouldnt have been able to hold it through military force. His only chance would have been to forge alliances and rule with the support of the people. But I think a political victory was as unlikely as a military one.

So no.

czahar
August 6th, 2008, 08:28 AM
Alexander certainly would've had the desire to conquer Europe and every piece of the known world. But would he have had the power to do it and/or hold on to it? Absolutely not! By the time Alexander's men hit India they were extremely tired and had already mutinied. There is no way Alexander, even had he been in the best of health, would've been able to convince them to continue. He did, however, have new groups of non-Greek soldiers ready at his disposal, whom he could've perhaps conquered the West with. Yet even had he conquered the West, would any of his power structures have remained? Again, probably not. Alexander was a romantic, and notoriously reckless when it came to administration. His government was so flimsy that it is no wonder his empire was eventually carved up by his generals, than swallowed up by Rome.

Oh snap
August 6th, 2008, 08:32 AM
Alexander certainly would've had the desire to conquer Europe and every piece of the known world. But would he have had the power to do it and/or hold on to it? Absolutely not! By the time Alexander's men hit India they were extremely tired and had already mutinied. There is no way Alexander, even had he been in the best of health, would've been able to convince them to continue. He did, however, have new groups of non-Greek soldiers ready at his disposal, whom he could've perhaps conquered the West with. Yet even had he conquered the West, would any of his power structures have remained? Again, probably not. Alexander was a romantic, and notoriously reckless when it came to administration. His government was so flimsy that it is no wonder his empire was eventually carved up by his generals, than swallowed up by Rome.

There is no doubt alexander could've raised more troops to continue. Besides the soldiers would be going back to their homeland, and id say they got tired of this campaign.

No, it probably wouldn't have remained for long but, italy would probably speak greek now:afro:

czahar
August 6th, 2008, 09:40 AM
There is no doubt alexander could've raised more troops to continue. Besides the soldiers would be going back to their homeland, and id say they got tired of this campaign.

No, it probably wouldn't have remained for long but, italy would probably speak greek now:afro:
Greek was the universal academic language well into the days of early Christianity, hence the reason St. Paul wrote in Greek. Whether Italy would've been speaking Greek is extremely questionable considering that Italy already had a significant amount of Greek influence from Magna Graecia yet still spoke Latin. So even with the extra Greek influence of Alexander, would he have wiped out Latin as the official language? How long Alexander's power structure would've lasted would've depended on the skill of his successors, but knowing Rome's hatred for kings, hence their insistance on refering to their post Republic leaders as "emperors", or, at least in the case of Octavian, "first citizen" or "first among equals" (I can't remember which and I may simply be unintentionally mixing different eras of history), there is little doubt that Rome wouldn't have tolerated a Greek king for very long.

Squatch347
August 10th, 2008, 03:27 PM
The all-great wikipedia says that had alexander conquered india, he might have turned westward toward arabia.

It mentions that had he conquered arabia he had his sights set on italy and carthage.

Do you think alexander would have been able to do this?

Could he have conquered the early romans and carthaginians?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great#After_India
Well thats what you get for relying on wiki. ;-). Alexander only turned back because his men wanted to go home, not to Europe. His goal was to reach the legendary eastern sea so he had a while to go yet.

I think the Romans and Carthaginians would have been easy for Alexander, they were not great improvement on the greeks or persians. However, his move into Europe would probably been as difficult as the Roman's was. France and Spain are easy, Germany would have definitely hurt his phalanxes and more importantly his sarrisas.
Still I would hate to underestimate Alexander as all to many have done. His ability to integrate and motivate local troops and change his tactics to suit terrain is amazing.

czahar
August 10th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Well thats what you get for relying on wiki. ;-). Alexander only turned back because his men wanted to go home, not to Europe. His goal was to reach the legendary eastern sea so he had a while to go yet.

I think the Romans and Carthaginians would have been easy for Alexander, they were not great improvement on the greeks or persians. However, his move into Europe would probably been as difficult as the Roman's was. France and Spain are easy, Germany would have definitely hurt his phalanxes and more importantly his sarrisas.
Still I would hate to underestimate Alexander as all to many have done. His ability to integrate and motivate local troops and change his tactics to suit terrain is amazing.

Very true, and too often historians fail to credit personal genius with changing the world. No other Macedonian general could've accomplished what Alexander did. His lightening fast movement, his determination and lack of patience for pointless traditions (symbolized by my favorite story of the Gordonian knot), and his ability to motivate his troops with his outright reckless bravery and the fact that he never expected them to do anything that he couldn't do, were all the reasons for his success. On the other hand, this absolutely reckless behavior and lack of patience with administration were bound to catch up with him, and it's reasonable to believe, that even had he not died so early, he would've had a Hell of a time dealing with both a crumbling Eastern empire, and conquering the West.

FruitandNut
August 11th, 2008, 01:05 PM
I agree with Squatch, that the Macedonian military tactics would have come to grief in the hilly and densely forested areas of Europe.

Squatch347
August 11th, 2008, 06:56 PM
I agree with Squatch, that the Macedonian military tactics would have come to grief in the hilly and densely forested areas of Europe.

Thanks F&N, long time no see.
To add a small clarification, I do think that Alexander's use of local troops could have helped him overcome this disadvantage. We can use his Afghan campaign as a good correlary. As fashionable as it is to say he lost that campaign, thats not quite true. He used a brilliant grouping of local troops, diplomacy, tribal tensions and redesigned sarrisas to subdue that country and hold it for longer than most after his death.
I think a redesign of shorter sarrisas and local troops would have done ok in Germany, though I image Alexander would have been wise enough to pick discretion as the better part of valor with Germanic tribes. I expect he cleverly would have pitted them against each other as he also did with the Northern Macedonian tribes in his early career.

FruitandNut
August 12th, 2008, 07:33 AM
Squatch - Do you think he might have come unstuck with over-stretch and tenuous control, and the fact that the Northern tribes had more in common with eachother than a guy from the edge of the Middle East? Perhaps we would have another and earlier 'Hermannsdenkmal'/monument placed in or about the Teutoburg Forest somewhere?

Squatch347
August 12th, 2008, 11:35 AM
Squatch - Do you think he might have come unstuck with over-stretch and tenuous control, and the fact that the Northern tribes had more in common with eachother than a guy from the edge of the Middle East? Perhaps we would have another and earlier 'Hermannsdenkmal'/monument placed in or about the Teutoburg Forest somewhere?

Very possibly. I definitely wouldn't argue Alexander's ability to control these areas long term. That wasn't his particular genius. I think he had as much in common with German tribes as he did with Afghan tribes; money and conquest. I think Alexander would have definitely been smart enough to avoid the dense forested areas. I totally agree with you on political control though, without him actively there just like in several other places, his control would become quickly ethereal.

Do you think it is likely he would have suffered a military defeat at the hands of the proto-germans? We are of course already making choices for him that he didn't make, like going west. But I wonder if he would have gone into Germany's dark forests.