Alexander the Great—A Hero's Oath

Alexander and Porus, Charles Le Brun

There is some controversy regarding "The Oath" of Alexander The Great. Many scholars dispute that he ever uttered these words. Nevertheless, I think they capture the spirit of Alexander's worldview and the great influence of his teacher—The Philosopher, Aristotle. As such, I'll leave the debate to the scholars. 

In today's political climate, we see Identity Politics representing the same tribalism that Alexander was confronting when he made this speech to his Greek, Macedonian and Persian officers. And he correctly identified the one component that most of our advocates of Right and Left will not acknowledge today. That a man deserves to be judged by his Actions and Values. Not by the collective DNA of his ancestry nor by the sins of his Fathers.

The man of the mind evaluates by VIRTUE. The barbarian evaluates by blood.

"Alexander and Porus" by Charles Le Brun

"Alexander and Porus" by Charles Le Brun

The “Oath” of Alexander the Great (324 BC)

“Now that the wars are coming to an end, I wish you all to prosper in peace.

From now on, may all mortals live as one people, in fellowship, for the good of all.

See the whole world as your homeland, with laws common to all, where the best will govern regardless of their race.

Unlike the narrow-minded, I make no distinction between Greeks and Barbarians.

I am not interested in the origin of the citizens, or the race into which they were born.

I have only one criterion by which to distinguish them: their virtue.

For me, any good foreigner is a Greek and any bad Greek is worse than a Barbarian.

If disputes ever arise among you, do not resort to weapons, but solve them peacefully.

If needed, I will arbitrate between you.

See God, not as an autocratic despot, but as the common father of all so that your conduct will be like the life of siblings of the same family.

I, on my part, see you all as equal, whether you are white or dark-skinned.

And I wish you all to be not only subjects of the Commonwealth, but members of it, partners of it.

To the best of my ability, I will strive to do what I have promised.

Let us hold onto the oath we have taken tonight with our libations as a Contract of Love”.


 

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