proskynesis 334 BC
Proskynesis [Greek name for the ritual greeting in Oriental courts]
What is proskynesis? • It is a traditional Persian custom – it was that Persians would crouch right to the ground with their head on the floor when people saw or were in the presence of the Great King (the Persian King). • For the Persians: this did not imply that they were worshipping. It just acknowledged the King as superior to them. • For the Greeks: they only did this action for when they were honouring and worshipping the gods. So it implied Alexander was a god.
Alexander wanted to incorporate proskynesis into the standard court procedures. Alexander did not want the Persians to stop doing the act, as it was what they did for their king. So he decided, under the policy of fusion, to introduce the custom to the greesks and macedonians
The question is: Was Alexander wanting to be worshipped like a god and showing his arrogance. Or was he just innocently carrying on with the Policy of Fusion? • Write down ‘The Story’ p. 95 of Paul Artus and ‘Who was callisthenes
The conspiracy of the pages 327 BC
The pages were a group of young Macedonian servants to Alexander. They went with Alexander on a hunt. One of the pages called Hermolaus killed a boar, in front of Alexander. This was seen as a great insult to Alexander.So, as a traditional punishment for such an act, Alexander whipped him and took his horse away.
So, Hermolaus was angry at Alexander. He planned to kill Alexander, and got the other pages in on his plan.They also did not like the policy of fusion. • This plot was discovered by Alexander. He had all of them killed.
Draw a cartoon of the story above, in your notes. Write down the notes under ‘Hermolaus Motives’, on p.98 of Paul Artus
Callisthenes involvement Callisthenes was also seen to be involved in this conspiracy to kill Alexander. Callisthenes was: • The nephew of Aristotle (Aristotle had tutored Alexander when he was young) • Greek, not Macedonian • Tutored all of the Pages, including Hermolaus. They thought Callisthenes would have encouraged the pages to resent Alexander – the pages looked up to him and were inspired by the fact that he stood up to Alexander. It is also suggested he openly encouraged Hermolaus to kill Alexander by saying “how would one become the most famous man? By kiling the most famous man.”
After… • According to Ptolemy, Callisthenes was tortured and hanged • The Greek people, back in Greece got angry with Alexander • Alexander’s Army was not too concerned • Many of them didn’t like how Callisthenes was so arrogant • This event shows the opposition to the Policy of fusion • It also shows how Alexander was determined to proceed with his policy and destroy any opposition to it In your yellow workbook, complete p.92 - 96