27 Sep Legendary Alexander The Great’s Lost Last Will and Testament
It can be hard to imagine the worst case scenario of dying without a will, but for most people, the consequences are far from 50 years of war. For the legendary Alexander the Great, that is exactly what happened. But now, 2000 years after his death, his last will and testament may have been discovered.
Heroes Get Remembered, but Legends Never Die
Despite his legendary status, Alexander III of Macedonia, commonly known as Alexander the Great, died in Babylon on 10 or 11 of June in 323 BCE, at the age of 32. His death was so sudden that when reports reached Greece, they were thought to be a hoax. The cause of his death is unknown, but theories include malaria, typhoid fever, and poison. Both malaria and typhoid fever were common in Babylon at the time.
By Blood A King
After Alexander’s death, his successor was unclear. His generals alleged that his last words were “to the strongest,” meaning that his empire would go to the general who could defeat the others in battle. His potential successors, known as the Diadochi, split up the military and waged a war that lasted 50 years.
Published in the Alexander Romance, a legendary account of Alexander the Great’s life, was a political pamphlet containing a last will and testament in ancient Armenian. The will was believed to be a work of fiction, but British historian David Grant believes it is based on the king’s actual will.
Man is By Nature a Political Animal
A 10-year research project by Grant has revealed the possibility that the fabled will was based on the genuine document. The pamphlet offers a heavily politicized version of what may be Alexander the Great’s true final wishes. Grant believes the original will was buried by Alexander’s generals because it named his half-asian unborn son, Alexander IV as his heir.
The Macedonians saw the child as a “half-breed,” and to follow him would be “unthinkable” at the time. Thus, instead of being content with the allotments that the elder Alexander left for each of the generals to rule for his son, they battled for years to control the empire. Alexander IV was murdered by one of the generals at the age of 14 before he could fully ascend to the throne.
Grant details his findings in his recently released book In Search of the Lost Testament of Alexander the Great.
Although most modern people do not have to worry about wars and murder if they do not have an estate plan in place, Alexander the Great’s successors provide a horrifying example of what can go wrong when one leaves behind a great legacy with no instruction manual.