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The Aims of Alexander

Alexander's overall aims can best be explained as interlinked goals: the conquest and administration of the known world and the exploration and possible colonization of new territory beyond. Conquest through military action was a time-honored pursuit for Macedonian aristocrats like Alexander. He included non-Macedonians1 in his administration and army because he needed their expertise, not because he wished to promote an abstract notion of what has sometimes been called “the brotherhood of man.” Alexander's explorations benefited numerous scientific fields from geography to botany because he took along scientifically minded writers to collect and catalogue the new knowledge that they encountered. The far-flung new cities2 that he founded served as loyal outposts to keep the peace in conquered territory and provide warnings to headquarters in case of local uprisings. They also created new opportunities for trade in valuable goods such as spices that were not produced in the Mediterranean region.

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