In his Life of Alexander, Plutarch first tells us about Alexander’s childhood and his parents, Philip of Macedon and Olimpias. We learn about his abilities and talents that were revealed fairly early in his life. Plutarch portrays Alexander as quite an extraordinary child. For example, in his conversation with the ambassadors from the King of Persia, he asked them questions, which were “far from being childish or trifling”. Whenever he learned about Philip winning over a city, the young man got upset that he himself would not have anything left to conquer. Historian presents the Macedonian as a man with whose mental and physical abilities were close to supernatural. Taming of a horse that nobody was capable to manage is an example of that.
Next, the author tells us about twenty-year-old Alexander taking his father’s place after Philip’s assassination. Despite his quite young age, he did an outstanding job not only in ruling Macedonia but also in taking over and capturing other countries. He lived a life of warfare, which brought glory to him and transformed the minor and insignificant state into an impressive and mighty empire.
We also learn about his character. Accordingly to Plutarch, the emperor generally was being somewhat considerate about his enemies. For instance, he treated family of Darius very kindly while holding them captives. He tried not to be too hard on the states in his power that attempted rebellion. An obvious exception from this rule is a revolt in Thebes. There, around six thousand people were executed. In addition, pretty much everybody, except for the priests, those who had connections to the Macedonians and those who have opposed the public vote for the war, “were publicly sold for slaves”. These people were around thirty thousand.
Even though Plutarch tried to give to his writings the least bias possible, I could definitely sense an admiration, high regard and appreciation of the monarch by the historian. And if we add the extreme...