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28. In general, he bore himself haughtily towards the Barbarians, and like one fully persuaded of his divine birth and parentage, but with the Greeks it was within limits and somewhat rarely that he assumed his own divinity. However, in writing to the Athenians concerning Samos, he said: ‘I cannot have given you that free and illustrious city; for ye received it from him who was then your master and was called my father,’ meaning Philip. [2] At a later time, however, when he had been hit by an arrow and was suffering great pain, he said:
This, my friends, that flows here, is blood, and not ‘Ichor, such as flows from the veins of the blessed gods.’
1 Once, too, there came a great peal of thunder, and all were terrified at it; whereupon Anaxarchus the sophist who was present said to Alexander: ‘Couldst thou, the son of Zeus, thunder like that?’ At this, Alexander laughed and said: ‘Nay, I do not wish to cause fear in my friends, as thou wouldst have me do, thou who despisest my suppers because, as thou sayest, thou seest the tables furnished with fish, and not with satraps' heads.’ 2 [3] For, in fact, we are told that Anaxarchus, on seeing a present of small fish which the king had sent to Hephaestion, had uttered the speech above mentioned, as though he were disparaging and ridiculing those who undergo great toils and dangers in the pursuit of eminence and power, since in the way of enjoyments and pleasures they have little or nothing more than other men. From what has been said, then, it is clear that Alexander himself was not foolishly affected or puffed up by the belief in his divinity, but used it for the subjugation of others.

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