Alexander the Great has left his mark on world
history as a national precursor of Christ. In this regard, not
only was he instrumental in the spreading of Greek civilisation
to the East and the establishment of Greek as the only language
of the peoples of the region, but also he was a vehicle for the
diffusion of Christian ideals, the messages of love, peace and
coexistence which he so eloquently proclaimed to the huge gathering
of 9000 Greeks and Asian officers at OPI where he condemned race
This characterisation of Alexander the Great
as a forerunner of Christ is further demonstrated by :
(i) Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 17 , paragraph
20 says "When the Egyptians call the Master, he will send
them a man to save them. He will rule over them and protect them
from all dangers" According to Professor P. Trembellas (Memorandum
to Prophet Isaiah p. 232) this "man" is Alexander the
Great, who freed the Egyptians from the Persians and who was considered
by the former as a Messiah. It is known that Alexander was declared
a Pharaoh by the Egyptian clergy and there is a statue of him
dressed as a Pharaoh in the Cairo Museum. These facts surely demonstrate
(ii) The same Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 17,
paragraph 23 praises "the years when there is a happy and
free communication between the Assyrians and Egyptians" -
something which facilitated greatly the propagation of Judaism.
Those "years " according to Professor Trembellas (p.234)
are the years of Alexander.
(iii) In paragraph 18 of Chapter 6 , the prophet
Isaiah says "I come to gather all the nations" Professors
Trembellas writes "... he clearly stated that not only was
he concerned in saving the Judean nation but had in mind all the
Plutarch says about Alexander that he declared
at the OPI meeting "I want peace and friendship and an equal
society for all peoples everywhere ..." and in paragraph
19 ".... I will persist and send those who agree with me
to all nations and into Hellas".
That prophecy was fulfilled by St. Paul.
(i) Prophet Daniel (Chapter 2, paragraph 39)
saw the coming of the Kingdom of Alexander the Great onto the
throne of King Solomon. He says King Navouhodonosor had a dream
which disturbed his spirit to such an extent that he didn't want
to remember or talk about it. Daniel prayed to God to reveal the
dream to him.
The prophecy was borne out.
The prophet Daniel (Chapter 8 , 1-22) prophesied
that the King of the Hellenes would win over the King of the Persians
and that the first King would be followed by four others of the
same nation. Every interpreter of Prophet Daniel refers to Alexander
the Great as the King of the Hellenes and his four Macedonian
successors. However, beyond these interpretations lies also the
reference in the Old Testament where the Chapter on Maccabeans
(4-1) begins "Alexander from Macedonia, son of Philip, beat
Iosipos (Judean Archaeology IA 329) says that
after the conquest of Tyra and the siege of Gaza, Alexander the
Great went to Jerusalem where outside the town he was greeted
by the Judean High Priest along with his clergy and a big crowd.
Alexander the Great bowed before the High Priest
while the latter put his arms around Alexander. Then Parmenion
approached Alexander and told him that everybody was displeased
at his haste to greet the High Priest. Alexander replied: "I
did not greet the High Priest but the God he represents."
Following the directions of the High Priest,
Alexander offered a sacrifice in the Judean Temple and allowed
the population of Jerusalem and its surrounding regions to continue
to use their traditional laws and religion. (An example of piety
and message of religious tolerance and freedom.)
Alexander asked the High Priest to place a
picture or a statue of himself in the Temple. The High Priest
replied that "God has ordered that no picture or statue are
ever placed in the temple". However, he told Alexander that
he would do something for him that will live forever. He ordered
that every male child fathered that year by priests of the Levi
tribe will be named Alexander. Thus the name entered the Talmud
and even today many Jews are named Alexander.
The entry of the name Alexander to the Jewish
Genesis, surely elevates the King of the Hellenes to the level
of God's instrument. This fact alone allowed Hellenism to touch
Judaism and prepare the ground for Christianity.
Rabbi Moses Ben Maimou (1135 - 1206) says that
the Helleno-Macedonian Dynasty was the main instrument for the
fusion of Hellenism and Judaism.
The Talmud (the post -Bible documents of the
Rabbis) also makes reference to the dialogue between Alexander
the Great and the High priest Somon the Just in the Temple.
He also talked extensively about the Hellenic
Macedonians . In Chapter 4 paragraph 6 he says 'Children of Judah
and Jerusalem, you sold out to the Helenes". He said, that
during the period of the Macedonians, successors of Alexander
the Great, Jews gave Hellenic names to all the nobles and were
won over by Hellenic traditions and ethics.
An additional fact which demonstrates the great
connection between the Hellenic Macedonians and the Jews is the
following incident which also relates to the birth of Christ.
The Three Wise Men arriving in Jerusalem on
their way to Bethlehem exchanged the coins of their country with
the local Hellenic coins and used them on their journey. These
coins had the head of Hercules on the one side (he was considered
the beginning of the line of the Macedonian Kings) while on the
flipside they had an eagle from the period of the Hellenic Macedonians
of Selevkides in Syria. They were the official coinage in that
part of Judea from 126 BC to 66 AD and were the only acceptable
means of exchange in the temples.
The above information is referred to by Mr
Jacob Masarer, numismatist of the Israeli Museum of Jerusalem,
talking to Mr Korl Katz, Archaeologist and Historian of the New
York Metropolitan Museum in the documentary entitled 'The journey
of the Kings' shown by ERT 1 on 24-12-88.
According to the Greek Historian Paparrigopoulos,
the word synagogue comes from the Greek (syn = together and agoge
= education) and dates back to Alexander's decree giving freedom
to the local Judean Clubs. The large annual National Get-together
of these clubs was also called Sinitrins from the Greek word 'Synedrio
As mentioned earlier Plutarch characterised
Alexander the Great as a philosopher and said of him "Alexander
who acted as he taught and spoke...".
Alexander's vision and achievements in politics,
economics and cultural development constitute, even today, a shining
example for popular leaders as well as international organisations.
According to Plutarch, he surged out of Macedonia
not to acquire wealth or satisfy wants but to unite people with
the bonds of peace, coexistence and communication. This desire
was expressed clearly by Alexander when he met Diogenes in Corinth.
His ideas included respect for the traditions
of subjugated peoples, their participation in government, the
gradual disappearance of the distinction between the conquerors
and the conquered and a decentralised system of government - all
of which guided Romans and Byzantines alike in their methods of
The social structures introduced by Alexander
were far more important than the battles he fought: Social welfare,
public education and justice for the weak.
Alexander changed the image of world history.
He contributed with his ideas to the notion of humanity and with
courage put his ideas into practice.
With the spread of Greek and its establishment
as the official language for his Asiatic and African State, the
Hellenic language became the main communication tool for the diverse
populations of the East. Alexander the Great and his successors
became not only local but also international carriers of Hellenic
language and culture so that the world could ready itself to receive
and understand words spoken on the mountain from the Nazarene.
As underlined by Strabo, Alexander kept himself fully informed, by the scientists who followed him, of every new ethnological, geographical, zoological or botanical novelty encountered on their campaigns. He internationalised commerce as he believed exchange brought people together and communication brought about harmony. He also unified the monetary system - the Attican drachma became an international currency.
Diodoros, referring to Alexander the Great,
says "He forced his enemies to prosper" ; if one takes
into consideration Alexander's historical period in which the
word philanthropy was unknown, we can understand why he could
be seen as a precursor to Christ. Especially if we think of events
which have taken place since and the hardships, inhumanity and
selfishness which reign even today.
Alexander did not follow the advice given to
him by Aristotle, his tutor, who told him to behave as a King
to the Hellenes but to treat non-Hellenes as inferior beings.
Alexander considered all men and women as equals and tried to
make the vanquished equal to the Hellenes.
We are reminded here of the "There are
no Judeans or Greeks" by St. Paul which was declared and
practiced first by Alexander who was a fierce opponent of race
discrimination. Let us not forget that he married Roxane, daughter
of the vanquished Persian Emperor Oxyarthos, while on the same
day 100 of his officers were married to Persian women as well
as the fact that he trusted many Persians with positions of authority.
Before St, Paul's declaration that women are
equal to men (see his letter to Galatians, C28), Alexander demonstrated
chivalry of the noblest kind towards women. Arrianos is particularly
positive about Alexander's behaviour in this respect.
Plutarch relates that Alexander who "considered
that to conquer oneself is nobler than to conquering one's enemies"
had not touched a woman until he married. When he first saw Roxane,
daughter of his enemy Oxyarthos, she was dancing among the captured
women. He fell in love with her but did not defile her - instead
he married her immediately.
The respect shown to the mother of Emperor
Darius, when she was captured is also legendary. She loved him,
as a result, as if he were her own son, not following Mazalos
when he tried to free her, and according to Panayiotis Kanellopoulos,
when she heard of Alexander's death she fasted for five days and
then committed suicide.
St. Basil, in a lecture he gave to young men,
also portrayed Alexander as a prime example of self-restraint.
Alexander forced about 10 000 of his soldiers to marry the Asiatic
women they lived with, giving money and dowries to those who could
not afford it.
Alexander was a compassionate man and as Arrianos
says of him on freeing the Hellenic cities of Asia Minor from
the Persians "he transformed the oligarchies into democracies
and forced everybody to obey the laws"
For example, he paid all the debts accumulated
by his Macedonian soldiers while he respected fully public property
Arrianos says of him that he was "extremely
sparing of money for his own pleasures while being very generous
in lending a helping hand to others". Kanellopoulos writes,
he used to "punish severely those embezzling public money
or behaving badly towards the citizens."
Indian gods and Buddha, who were initially
never reproduced in image form, began to appear painted in full
body after the meeting of the Indian civilisation with the Hellenic
world, thanks to Alexander. Early statues of Buddha resemble those
of Apollo with Hellenic tunic and shirt.
A statue of Buddha found outside Kabul (as
mentioned in my book on the falsification of Macedonian history)
has a head of Alexander next to Buddha's head.
From the Hellenic coins found in Pakistan we
draw the conclusion that about 30 Hellenic Kings reigned in the
country during the Hellenistic period.
b) The Romans
The Romans deified Alexander. In the museum
of Florina there is a plaque dating back to 3rd century AD with
the inscription: "Julius Aurelius, son of Lysimahos dedicated
to God Alexandros". In fact, it was the Romans who first
wrote the word 'Great' after Alexander's name. The Roman councillors
and Caesars felt proud in considering themselves successors of
Alexander the Great.
Mohammed in the Koran includes Alexander, giving
him the name Zoul Karnein, among the prophets who did good and
gave sound advice to the world.
With Alexander's death, his generals, proved
to be valiant successors, continuing his achievements and realising
his vision for humanity, with specific centres of activity. On
the one hand the Ptolemees in Alexandria while on the other the
Selevkides and Antigonides in Antalya, Pergamo and Efes.
Ptolemy I, who studied togeher with Alexander
in the school of Aristotle, established, after advice given to
him by Demetrios Falireas, the well known Alexandria Museum and
Library. The library flourished and by the reign of Ptolemy VII
it had reached the incredible figure of 700,000 books in its shelves.
Rome's largest library, on the other hand,
had been established and belonged to Perseas, King of Macedonia.
This library was wrecked by the Roman Emilio Paul (Plat. Em.
The Alexandrine literati, with the assistance
of the Ptolemean Dynasty, worked and processed the manuscripts,
cleaning them up and saving them from obscurity. They put them
into some priorotarian order, translated many of them and, most
importantly, reproduced them sending copies to Rome, Athens and
After the destruction of the Alexandria Library,
the Alexandrine works were used, especially during the Renaissance,
so that the wisdom of the Ancient Hellenes belongs today to the
Apart from its library, Alexandria was, for
1,000 years (332 B.C.- 640 A.D.) the world's largest medical centre,
controlling progress in the medical science.
There were also great achievements registered
in Mathematics ( Geometry and Arithmetic), Mechanics and Geography,
all of which contributed greatly to the tremendous progress of
In 283 B.C. Ptolemy the Philadelph set up the
world's first observatory while it was in Alexandria that Aristarch
from Samos discovered the Sun-centred system. Copernicus used
fully Aristarch's theory in his work.
The Moslem religion was also deeply influenced
by the Hellenism it encountered in Syria and Egypt.
It was as a result of Alexander's and his successors'
vision and achievements that in 285 B.C. the Old Testament was
translated into Greek, and became the official version in the
East as well as the West, while the New Testament was written
in Greek from the outset. Knowledge, in this way, began its journey
from Macedonia, spread to the East while the Christian faith spread
to Europe also through Macedonia.
St. Paul, under the influence of Alexander
and his successors, was educated in Greek and received his knowledge
from Macedonia (Philip from Kavala) and after the influence of
Christ spread the word to Europe (Acts, Chapter XVI 9,10).
Holzner, in his book entitled 'Paul' writes:
"Once upon a time came from Macedonia a young hero (Alexander)
who in his 22 years brought the presents of the West, the Hellenic
language and philosophy to the East. Now the West demanded the
most beautiful present from the East, the teaching of the Nazarean".
The historical influence played by Hellenism
(represented by the Macedonians) in the formation of Christianity
is well documented in Chapter 12 Paragraphs 20-23 in St. John's
Gospel when Philip and Andreas told Christ that some Greeks wanted
to see him and he replied: "The time has come for the glory
of the Son of Man".
Christ's reference to his and Christianity's
glory at the moment of the Greeks' appearance tells a big story
of the historical influence exercised by Hellenism in the spreading
of Christianity. In particular, Alexandria, a creation by Alexander
and the Macedonian Ptolemies, played a most significant role in
the propagation of Christianity's bright light.
The first theological School of Catechism was
set up in Alexandria in 160 A.D. and played a most important role
until 405 A.D., during the heyday of the neo-Platonic philosophy.
During that period, Christianity needed the Hellenic philosophy
and language in order to accomplish its great mission. The first
Christian evangelists grew up in Alexandria and were formed by
the Hellenic language and culture.
The marriage of Christianity and Hellenic philosophy
was consumated in Alexandria under the guidance of Clemes and
Origenis. The three Early Fathers of the Church combined theological
education and Greek culture.
"The civilisation of the Hellenistic period
(a creation of Alexander the Great and his successors who followed
him)", writes Abraham Rankowitz, the Russian Academician
of the Soviet Union, "...along with the Roman and the Byzantine
Empires and the peoples of Asia Minor, played a most important
role in today's civilisation".
The conversion of the Slavs to Christianity
by the Greek monks Methodius and Cyrillus, an event which marked
deeply European history, must be placed in a continuum to the
importance of Byzantium, and as an extension, of the civilisation
of the Hellenistic period.
On April 22 1990, Pope John Paul, speaking
in Czechoslovakia, declared "the fact that we, Slavs, became
Christian, we owe to the the Greek monks Methodius and Cyrillus,
who were born in Salonika of Macedonia, and established the Hellenic
and Byzantine tradition in Europe".
The substructure of the civilisation of the
Hellenistic period, and especially the greatness, the presents
and the interest of the Byzantine Emperors, established and developed
the unique monastic city in Mt. Athos, this thousand year old
jewel box of Hellenism and Orthodoxy.
The twenty Monasteries, the nearly 1,700 buildings,
the 100,000 square metre painted surfaces, the 15,000 mobile pictures,
the 15,000 manuscripts, some with pictures - all of them constitute
a highly valuable historical and archaelogical material which
has so far has not been scientifically evaluated.
Alexander was an instrument of God.
Arrianos, at the end of his book on Alexander,
writes "It seems to me that no other mortal could have achieved
so much without the power of God...".