Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Alexander the Great, it’s all in the name

Were it only for the fun of it, it may be interesting to take a closer look at the name of Alexander the Great, who became king of Macedonia in 336 BC and died as king of Asia in 323 BC.

The very name derives from the Greek “alexo” meaning “refuge/defence/protection”, and “ander” meaning “man”.

Because of his consecutive conquests to the east, it is inevitable that Alexander’s name was corrupted or that some additional qualifier was used as an extension.

So, for instance, his name as “Alexander the Accursed” was given to him by the Persians after he conquered their empire and burnt Persepolis to the ground. In that country, he is also known as Eskandar-e Maqduni (= Alexander of Macedonia). The Alexander Romance from Persian literature has contributed to twist history into legend where Alexander is known as the Iskandarnamah.

The Arabic language mentions him as Al-Iskander Al-Makadonia (= Alexander of Macedonia) and he is also mentioned in the Quran. The Hebrews knew him as Alexander Mokdon (also = Alexander of Macedonia). In India, Hindi and Urdu languages used the name Sikandar-e-azam meaning as much as “expert” and “extremely skilled”. In Egypt, as well as in Aramaic language, he is known as the Tre-Qarnayia (= the Two-Horned One), based on the image of Alexander with the two ram’s horns, the emblems for the Egyptian god Amon.

Interestingly, India made a movie about Alexander the Great, called ‘Sikander’ in 1941, and Prithviraj Kapoor, the actor playing his role, is said to be very much like Alexander is supposed to be according to Indian standards (in spite of him being 1,90 meter tall).


‘Sikander’ is also the title of a Bollywood film from 2009 but has nothing to do with “our” Alexander.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you Argyraspid for mentioning the epic movie 'Sikandar'. Indians made the first ever feature film on Alexander !! The 1941 Indian British Colonial era blockbuster has lavish mounting, huge sets and production values that equal the best of Hollywood then particularly for its rousing speeches and spectacular battle scenes with thousands of extras along with horses, chariots and elephants. Prithvi Raj Kapoor, with his light coloured eyes and all of his 1m90 height portrays an Alexander who is majestic, full of ardour, buoyancy and verbosity. But the story line is faulty with distorted historical facts and theatrically stilted dialogue delivery. Te plot revolvs around Alexander the great's Indian campaign. It starts with Aristotle arriving in India (?!!) to find Alexander totally engrossed with his newly married wife Roxanna. He admonishes Alexander and extols the true virile virtue of empire building and ends with Alexander and Roxana singing on their cruise down the Indus.

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    1. Lovely to read your detailed description of this movie. I just realized that Michael Wood showed part of it in his series In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, actually the episode where Alexander reached the Beas and his troops mutinied.
      Wonderful when things fall into place like this!

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