That is another ballgame altogether. Alexander definitely had drawn his plans as contained in his notebooks (hypomnemata). He had already started exploring the coastline of the
Arabian peninsula, an expedition that was cut short because the peninsula turned out to be far larger than expected. His ships went as far as the Straight of Hormuz without knowing that they had reached the headland that Nearchus had seen when sailing up from India into the Persian Gulf in 324 BC.
The projects were all on a grand scale, far beyond the visions of any of Alexander’s successors and are best documented by Diodorus and Curtius. Instructions had been given already to build a thousand warships, triremes up to septiremes in
Syria, Phoenician, Cilicia and Cyprus to be eventually sailed into Babylon’s harbor. They would serve for a campaign along the coast of North Africa in order to conquer the strong Carthaginian realm. Interestingly he planned to build a road along the coast of Libya as North Africa was named in his days, running all the way to the Pillars of Hercules, i.e. modern Gibraltar. Knowing that the first coastal road through today’s was built by Mussolini in 1937, clearly shows how daring a project this was. The conquest of the coastal regions that would also include Hiberia ( Libya Spain) and , evidently implied the establishment of a series of ports and dockyards on the way where the ships could forage on provisions and get repairs done. Curtius even goes so far as to mention that Alexander’s plan was to reach the Alps, and return to Sicily Epirus via the seacoast of . Italy
Alexander’s visions were not limited to warfare only, they included the arts as well. Six expensive temples were to be built, each costing 1,500 talents, located at Delos, Delphi, and Dodona; one at Dion in his homeland and dedicated to Zeus; one at Amphipolis for Artemis Tauropolus; and finally a temple in honor of Athena at Cyrnus (modern Corsica). Second to none, a special temple dedicated to Athena should be constructed at Ilium (Troy) also. To remember his father, Philip II, he intended to erect a tomb as great as the largest pyramid in
. Dinocrates of Rhodes, who had already worked for Alexander in planning the city of Alexandria in Egypt, reconstructing the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, and assembling the monumental funeral pyre for Hephaistion, had also drawn plans to carve an immense image of Alexander in the flank of Mount Athos in Greece’s Chalcidice – plan that may or may not have been taken into account by the king. Egypt
These plans clearly prove Alexander’s determination and do not leave room for failure. He was going to conquer the entire
Mediterranean, something the Romans achieved only several centuries later but their empire was not the making of one man and did not take shape in one lifetime. The Greek language, for centuries the lingua franca all over the Middle-East including today’s Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and helping to spread Christianity, would also been spoken and used in our western countries; Latin may not have had a chance beyond a local nucleus. Our world definitely would have looked very different considering that the knowledge of Greek philosophers, mathematicians, artists and sailors would have flowed straight through our veins!
Unfortunately, when Perdiccas found these orders after Alexander’s death, he decided that the expenses were far too high and Diodorus mentions that even the Macedonians, when these plans were read out aloud, realized that the projects were excessive and impractical. Well, I would say this is only one way to present the case since there definitely was no shortage of money to sponsor the Successors’ wars for forty years! But, on the other hand, if things had evolved differently with Hephaistion or Craterus at the helm in Babylon instead of Perdiccas, who knows what could have happened to Alexander’s dreams.