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Alexander the Great was worshiped

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

The image of Alexander of Macedon during the Battle of Issos - Roman mosaic
The image of Alexander of Macedon during the Battle of Issos - Roman mosaic

Alexander the Great and his conquests have always passed into the memory of posterity. Ancient Romans were a people who very often referred to the feats of the Macedonian leader – especially the generals.

It is worth mentioning here about Polybius, a Greek historian and chronicler of the Roman Empire during the republic. He begins his main work The Histories from the memory of Alexander the Great and encourages Roman chieftains to imitate the great ancestor.

Gnaeus Pompey for his achievements in the East he adopted a nickname, like Alexander – the Great. Interestingly, Pompey even became similar to the Macedonian, wearing the same hairstyle, so-called anastole, where the hair on the forehead was combed up, divided by a parting, drooping wavy on the sides of the head. The special popularity of this hairstyle dates back to the time when it was disseminated by Lysippos in the portraits of king Alexander the Great. In addition, Pompey sought Aleksander’s coat in the eastern lands.

Julius Caesar was supposedly commissioned to create a statue with Alexander’s body and his head. When in 69 BCE Caesar took up the position of the quaestor in Spain and saw the statue of the great Macedonian leader he expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that when Alexander was at his age conquered the world, once he did not achieve anything significant.

Emperor Augustus admired Alexander so much that he went to his tomb in Alexandria, where he changed for a time the sphinx guarding the grave on the statue of Alexander. The Macedonian leader was also admired by Nero, Trajan and Caracalla. Familia of emperor Maciynus, carried Alexander’s images, either on jewelery or on clothes.

  • Adrian Goldsworthy, Cezar: Życie giganta
  • Aleksander Krawczuk, Cesarz August
  • Polybius, The Histories
  • Oswald Sobrino, An Affable Bust of Pompey the Great: Insight into a Major Roman Figure and his Times

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