Alexander the Great: Conqueror and King of Macedonia
Born July 22, 356 BC, Pella, Macedonia, between 10 and 12 PM. (Source, Marc Penfield, who cites Die Astrologie, June 1927). Time used, 11 PM. Suggested rectification 11:04:08 PM. The chart must be considered speculative, but well supported by evidence from transits, progressions and directions. Died, June 13, 323 BC, Babylon.
(Proposed Ascendant, Aries with Pluto in Aries conjunct the Ascendant; Sun conjunct Venus in Cancer with Mercury also in Cancer; Moon in Scorpio Mars in Gemini; Jupiter in Virgo; Saturn in Taurus; Uranus in Capricorn conjunct the proposed MC in Capricorn; Neptune in Virgo. The Chiron position, probably very significant, cannot be given due to the lack of a sufficiently extensive Chiron ephemeris).
Possible consideration based on Sabian Symbols
The name Alexander the Great is synonymous with war, conquest and towering ambition. The Tibetan infers that he may have been one of those rare expressions — i.e., “a pure ray type” — along with Julius Caesar, the Buddha, the Christ and Leonardo da Vinci (EP I 73). Alexander and Caesar were clearly on the first ray line, the Buddha and the Christ on the second, and Leonardo on the fourth. In the brief, thirty-three year life of Alexander, he forced his way into the imagination, not only of his own era, but of the following two millennia. He was surely an extraordinary character — dramatic, merciless, magnanimous, terrifying, awe-inspiring, full of contradiction, unforgettable. Humanity, full of the sense of its own weakness, persistently admires the archetype of the invincible conqueror. Alexander came as close to fulfilling this archetype as any personage in recorded history, perhaps with the exception of Genghis Khan.
In colloquial speech we speak of a very ambitious person as one who is “out to conquer the world”. In the case of Alexander, this seemed literally true. A Macedonian, his obsessive military exploits took him to the east of the Hellenic states, where at length he became the conqueror of the entire Persian Empire. Never content with the vast and ever-increasing scope of his conquests, he pressed on to subdue what are now Baluchistan, Southern Afghanistan and Iran, and finally large portions of northern India, where only a mutiny of his nearly exhausted armies prevented him from seeking still further lands and peoples to overcome. Alexander was a driven man, obsessed with the need to vanquish the then-known world, and even worlds beyond.
An explorer as well as a conqueror, he sought to prove his strength against the peoples of lands undreamt. He did not know who they were, but he had faith in his invincibility and his power to bend them to his will. Whether or not he sought to create a world empire is unknown, but for him, interestingly (and to his credit) conquest was never enough. It had to be followed by harmonization and attempted fusion. One can judge that the drive to create synthesis was, for him, an irresistible urge — no matter what the cost, to himself, his armies or to those over whom he repeatedly triumphed.
The Ray of the Soul
There can be little doubt that Alexander was a first ray soul. The Tibetan lists him in the company of those who, equally, must be considered first ray souls.
“The sorry history of humanity has been one of kings and potentates, rulers and warriors, presidents and dictators — rising into power at the expense of their own or other nations. Conquerors come and go — Akbar, Genghis Khan, the Pharaohs, Alexander the Great, Caesar, Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, Napoleon, Hitler and Mussolini. These have all upset the rhythm of their times and have come to power through aggression and slaughter.” (EXH 183-184)
Whether or not Alexander was a first ray monad, as well, must remain, for the moment, undecided. Although he was a figure famous to many (and infamous to some), it could not be said that he functioned in a manner definitely inspired by the high spiritual level of the monad, though the possibility remains. The Master of the Wisdom will know Alexander’s monadic ray; we human beings, who know much less, can only infer. Judging from the quality of Alexander’s life, as history has recorded it, the degree of his spirituality (if “spirituality” is defined in relatively conventional terms) can be severely questioned, whereas the degree of his megalomania cannot.
Yet, in relation to Alexander, Julius Caesar, the Buddha, the Christ and Leonardo, the Tibetan offers the suggestion that he could be considered an example of a “pure ray type”. Given the choice between types of major, or primary, monadic rays (the first, second and third), it is hard to believe that Alexander could have been anything other than a first ray monad. As for the various subrays, and other qualifiers on the monadic, triadal and egoic levels, we are as yet in no position to judge with accuracy.
The astrological chart chosen for Alexander is speculative but has much to recommend it. It differs significantly (in date, time and even in year) from other speculative charts (as might be expected with so ancient a chart), though most accounts place his birth in July, in the year 356 BC.
The time for the chart used is suggested (by Marc Penfield) as between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM in Pella, Macedonia, in the year 356 BC. An average time of 11:00 AM is selected. Selection in this manner could seem a very crude and arbitrary process, indeed, and one unlikely to yield any degree of accuracy, yet surprisingly, the hour of 11:00 AM may be very close to the correct time of birth. Coincidentally (if it is a coincidence) the symbol for the 19th degree of Aries rising is “The Magic Carpet of Oriental Imagery”. We have very little to do to imagine the idea of the ‘Persian Carpet’, as we remember Alexander’s great and continuous movement to the East as the conqueror of the entire Persian Empire.
If we move the birth time forward a mere four minutes and eight seconds, we would find the beginning of the twenty-first degree of Aries rising — a degree entitled “A PUGILIST ENTERS THE RING”, “The release and glorification of social aggressiveness”, a keyword for which, in Dane Rudhyar’s opinion is “OVERWHELMING POWER”. Suffice it to say that such a symbol would be most apt for the life and character of Alexander, one of the most ruthless and invincible conquerors of recorded history.
Whichever of these two rising degree we choose to use, charts calculated for 11:00 AM, or 11:04:08+ (or some time in between, such as 11:01 AM or 11:01:30 AM) prove convincing in a number of ways which shall be demonstrated. The charts for 11:01 to 11:04 AM, however, suffer from the Ascendant’s association with Sabian Symbols that seem inappropriate. These Aries Rising charts also demonstrate the presence of a most powerful, astrologically-based first ray through which the ray of the soul (or monad) could manifest. Aries, the principal astrological sign/constellation, through which the first ray manifests most forcefully is, significantly, the Ascendant (with Leo and, consequently, the Sun as the decanate ruler in the 11:00 AM chart). If the 11:04:08+ chart is more correct, then, according to the Tibetan, Mars is the decanate ruler, which is certainly justifiable.
The first ray is dramatically accentuated by the presence of Pluto, planet of death and destruction, rising in Aries — whether in the first or twelfth house, it makes no difference, so close is Pluto the Ascendant. First ray Pluto (regardless of the exact degree of the proposed Aries Ascendant) is placed in the Leo decanate of Aries, reinforcing, thereby, the powerful presence of the first ray, for Leo is partially a first ray sign/constellation. There is an astrological triangle known as Aries-Pluto-Shamballa. Pluto is, indeed, intimately connected with first ray Aries and with Shamballa (the main source on our planet of the First “Ray of Will or Power”). Alexander (if he could be called a disciple) would reasonably, along with certain others, be called a disciple of Shamballa:
“The men who inspired the initiating French revolution; the great conqueror, Napoleon; Bismarck, the creator of a nation; Mussolini, the regenerator of his people; Hitler who lifted a distressed people upon his shoulders; Lenin, the idealist, Stalin and Franco are all expressions of the Shamballa force and of certain little understood energies.” (EXH 133)
That those who represent and express Shamballa do not always have a positive effect upon humanity, can be seen by considering the relative moral merits of the individuals mentioned above.
By considering the conjoining of Aries and Pluto at the Ascendant, we can see what a powerful conduit existed in Alexander’s astrological chart for the “Ray of the Destroyer”. His relentlessness, ruthlessness, mercilessness (at times) and apparent invincibility are thereby explained — at least astrologically. He would allow nothing to stand in the way of his conquests. Those who resisted were annihilated. Those who accepted his domination were (paradoxically, in the eyes of many) treated with respect and an unusual degree of what can only be described as generosity and civility. Often, he seemed to treat them as the equals of his conquering Macedonians.
The first ray is also represented by first ray Uranus (i.e., monadically first ray) in first ray Capricorn at the MC (a position on the astrological angles or “cross” which is closely associated with the first ray). Alexander was powerfully Uranian in his nature (unpredictable, reorganizational, ‘establishmental’). He was a potent restructuring force in the Hellenic World and the Asiatic empires he conquered. Aries, the sign of the new, is also a conduit for the seventh ray of manifestation — of which Uranus is also a transmitter. It is said by one of his biographers that Alexander inaugurated (Aries) about 70 new cities.
Aries, it will be remembered, is hierarchically ruled by the planet, Uranus — especially in the case of initiates. It is difficult to judge Alexander as a true initiate, so it will be wise to pause before deciding that Uranus can be considered effective as a hierarchical ruler of the proposed Ascendant in his chart. As an elevated planet conjunct the MC, Uranus was, however, definitely effective. Placed in the sign Capricorn (a major sign of manifestation and anchoring) we can see why he was able to inaugurate and establish these cities, and, in general, to institute his inspirations. Not only was Uranus conjunct the MC but rather closely parallel to it as well (parallels of declination).
At a certain point in his career Alexander became convinced that he was a “god”, which, if true, would indicate a spiritual status far above and beyond that of an initiate. As his life continued, he insisted that others treat him as divine, complete with all the obsequies due a deity. In truth, he was no more a “god” than any other human being (who, as a monad, is, indeed, a “god”), and the probability is, that he was no high initiate, but rather an extremely powerful, versatile, talented personality who appropriated the first ray of his soul in manifestly destructive ways.
Whether he was an “initiate of the threshold” (i.e., an initiate of the first or second degree) can be debated. There can be little doubt that he was an individual of great courage and intelligence and, on occasion, of heart, but he loomed too large in his own importance to be called a true initiate. Further, through repeated and prolonged “drinking-bouts” (in one of which, enraged by drink, he murdered a military comrade he otherwise valued highly), he demonstrated that he was far indeed from achieving emotional control — a characteristic of those who have achieved the second degree.
The Ray of the Personality
When considering a hypothesis for the personality ray, the fourth ray of “Harmony through Conflict”, which is, in certain respects, very much the ray of the warrior, seems a strong possibility. Alexander was not a consistent character by any means. There are a number of well-documented sudden and dramatic reversals of attitude in his life. He was often remorseful over his excesses and, for a great conqueror, apologetic and full of regretful grief. It seems he had all the adolescence of character typical of an inflamed (Aries) fourth ray type, and was the victim, as well, of the self-celebratory narcissism typical of those upon that ray (and influenced strongly by that sign).
It was always difficult to predict what Alexander would do, a fact which may have contributed much to his continue successes over ‘enemies’. He was quick to anger, but suddenly generous and forgiving as well. He would take tremendous risks (both to himself and his men), but was, on other occasions, extremely cautious or wisely flexible in situations which demanded it. As a general he has a certain spontaneous adaptability and improvisatory quality typical of the fourth ray. He was given to fourth ray excesses of character — at times utterly unrestrained, undisciplined — Dionysian in the extreme; at other times, he was the strictest of disciplinarians. Such inconsistencies are typical of the fourth ray.
His treatment of (cooperative) conquered enemies was typically fourth ray in nature, for he sought harmony with all compliant, subjugated peoples by restoring to them many, if not all, of their former privileges, which, as their conqueror, he could easily have retained for himself and his Macedonian armies. Once he was well-established as the conqueror of Persia, he treated Persian culture as the equal of Macedonian culture and traditions, and many subservient Persian rulers as the equals of his Macedonian and Greek comrades in arms.
In a way, he adored Persian culture (adopting its customs and trappings) and was judged (by his disgruntled Macedonian soldiers) to elevate it far beyond its true worth. He sought a broad-scale harmony between Persians, Macedonians and Greeks, and encouraged his men to take Macedonian brides; he even paid them to do so. He, himself, took a Persian bride—a daughter of the Persian emperor, Darius. He deliberately became the harmonizer of his conquered lands and peoples, envisioning himself grandly as a supremely tolerant, benevolent ruler.
His method was so often—first severe conflict and conquest, followed by the promotion of a pervasive harmony entirely in contrast with the furious conflict he had precipitated. This is behavior typical of the interplay between the first and fourth rays, especially when aggravated by the fiery impulses of Aries and modified by the personal sensitivity of Cancer.
Two of the three signs/constellations which serve as conduits for the fourth ray, are tenanted in Alexander’s chart—Saturn, the ruler of the MC, placed in fourth ray Taurus, and the fourth ray Moon placed in the very first degree of fourth ray Scorpio. This Moon position is powerful indeed, and a good argument for speculatively delaying the time of Alexander’s birth until approximately 11:00 AM, when the Moon entered destructive, war-like Scorpio. Fourth ray Mercury, the esoteric ruler of the Aries Ascendant is placed in the fourth sign, Cancer, and is widely trine to the fourth ray Scorpio Moon. If 21º of Aries is rising (the apt symbol for which is, “A Pugilist Enters the Ring”), then Sagittarius, which, with Taurus and Scorpio, is a distributor of the fourth ray, is the sub-ruler of the decanate of the Rising Sign.
Alexander’s Sun Sign (like that of Julius Caesar’s) is, both tropically and sidereally considered, Cancer — not a sign which one would normally associate with a conqueror, for this sign often produces in men a rather effeminate psychology. Both Alexander and Caesar are reputed to have had a number of homosexual liaisons. Caesar, for instance, notorious for his sexual excesses, was known as “every woman’s husband and every man’s wife”, and Alexander, though he married a number of women, had a male “best friend”, Hephaestion, who was almost certainly, so some affirm, his lover. Sexual ambiguity is often associated with the artistic fourth ray. A study of history will reveal that Alexander was closely tied to his mother, for whose sake he became temporarily estranged from and hostile to his father, Philip II of Macedonia, when Philip took yet another wife. The attitude of obsessive conquest so dramatically evidenced by Alexander can be interpreted as a huge over-compensation for the passivity and effeminacy of his Cancerian nature.
The one most driven to conquer is, from the psychological perspective, often the one most fearful of being conquered—in this case by the mother force. It is interesting that in one of the most convincing astrological charts for Genghis Khan, there is to be found a fourth house Cancer Moon and, as history tells the story, the great Khan both feared and respected his mother, who was the only person who seemed to have power over him. Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor”, is said to have been “ruled” by his wife.
That Cancer is the fourth sign of the zodiac is significant. Its orthodox ruler is the fourth ray Moon, strengthened in its fourth ray nature by being placed in fourth ray Scorpio. Since Ascending Aries is esoterically ruled by fourth ray Mercury, which is trine to the fourth ray Scorpio Moon, the fourth ray is potently accented — especially in its conflict side (because two Martian signs are strongly involved). The orthodox ruler of the Ascendant is Mars, placed in Gemini, the sign over which fourth ray Mercury orthodoxly rules. Mars in Gemini is also significant for a battle between the pairs of opposites, and would contribute to the fact that Alexander’s facile, intelligent mind was a great instrument of war. This position of Mars would promote a conflict within his own nature which aggravated his already warlike tendencies.
The harmony side of the fourth ray is accentuated by the presence of affiliative, unitive Juno rising (albeit in aggressive Aries, making it the ‘initiator of marriages’). Further, the Vertex (the ‘point of fate’) is placed in compromising Libra. Most significantly perhaps, the orthodox ruler of fourth ray Taurus and of compromising Libra is Venus which is found in the fourth sign, Cancer, conjuncted to the Cancerian Sun. Venus would add to Alexander’s effeminacy as well as to his charm and popularity. It would contribute to making him the “best of friends”. Other factors — Pluto rising in Aries and the Scorpio Moon would make him the “worst of enemies”.
The Ray of the Lower Mind
From the records that exist, it is difficult to assess the ray of Alexander’s lower mind. Certainly he could be decisive and authoritative, thus demonstrating the first ray. He could also be colorful and ironic—qualities characteristic of the fourth ray. What is perhaps less known is that he had an active scientific and explorational interest, and was fascinated with the acquisition of new knowledge. Mars, as orthodox ruler of the Aries Ascendant, is in curious Gemini and quite close to the Placidus cusp of the third house of lower mind. As well, Mars and Mercury are only one minute of arc away from an exact parallel.
It would be difficult (and perhaps lethal) to argue with Alexander. The Mars/Mercury parallel can be read in much the same way as Mars in Gemini and makes for an incisive, aggressively curious, mobile mind. Further, Mercury, the orthodox dispositor of Mars is found in the third house of the chart, in Cancer, a sign that emphasizes the third ray of mind. This Mercury is opposed within one degree to the elevated, scientific Uranus, giving the mind a definitely experimental and exploratory tinge. The Mercury/Uranus opposition, involving the third and ninth houses, emphasizes the possibility of a fifth ray component to the mind. The fifth ray would not necessarily be “good in the field” of battle because it is so deliberate, weighing up the facts, but it seems characteristic of Alexander’s curiosity about the peoples and places he conquered. Interestingly, this was true of Napoleon, who, in the speculations of some, was the reincarnation of Alexander.
The Ray of the Astral Body
There seems little doubt that Alexander was possessed of (or by) a sixth ray astral body. He was the exponent of a Pan-Hellenic idealism and sought to bring Greek Culture to the then-known world. The great irony (characteristic of one for whom the fourth ray was so strong) was that he became the devotee of oriental culture, and in one of his characteristic reversals, sought then to impose Persian/Oriental culture not only on himself, personally, but on his Macedonian soldiers. In true fourth ray fashion, it seems he could not tolerate being only one thing or another, but had to be both.
A strong conduit of the sixth ray of idealism is the square, within one degree, between sixth ray Mars and sixth ray Neptune (placed in Virgo, a sign which partially distributes the sixth ray). Alexander’s devotions (as with almost every characteristic of his life) were excessive. When his best friend Hephaestion, died in 324 BC, just a year before Alexander’s own death, he engaged in the most extravagant mourning (born both of his devotion and flamboyant character), building a funeral pyre in Babylon which cost 10,000 talents (a huge sum and more than a king’s ransom). It should be noted, in terms of parallels of declination, that sixth ray Neptune is parallel within less than a degree to the Ascendant. These Neptune positions establish Alexander as a visionary — and, as one who could be judged as an alcoholic.
Further indications of the presence of the sixth ray are as follows: Jupiter is placed in sixth ray Virgo, giving further weight to the power of the sixth ray. Two asteroids, devoted Vesta and nurturing Ceres, are placed in sixth ray Pisces, and in the twelfth house which is resonant to both Pisces and the sixth ray. Ceres, exactly trine to the Sun and closely trine to Venus, would add to the maternal, care-taking quality. When the family of the Persian Emperor Darius, was captured, they were treated with unaccustomed chivalry and entertained in an almost luxurious captivity, at great expense to Alexander.
Clearly, there were softer, more generous and noble aspects to his character. The opposite was also true, as a number of seemingly close friends and companions discovered, The impulsive, subconscious Moon is placed in Scorpio, the sign of death, and in square to the nodal axis (the nodes indicating the place where people both come into the life and depart from it). Alexander, for all his flamboyance and apparent magnanimity, was inherently suspicious (Moon in Scorpio), and to lose his trust was to lose one’s life.
The Ray of the Physical Body
This ray cannot reliably be determined. Alexander loved beauty of form (as his Venus conjunct the Sun would suggest). His likeness was rendered more than once (in a manner no doubt flattering) by a famous sculptor of the day. But, as well, he was given to the most robust physical exertions, and could be, it seemed, indefatigable. The first ray, from whichever source — from the soul or astrologically mediated — clearly had a great influence upon his physical nature, though legend reports that he was lithe and supple rather than stiff as the first ray so often inclines the body to be.
It must be noted that the seventh ray, whether or not it was the ray of the physical body, was astrologically important in the life. The three signs/constellations that distribute the seventh ray are all tenanted. Aries is at the Ascendant and holds Pluto; Cancer holds the Sun and Venus; and Capricorn is at the MC and holds Uranus. It was Alexander’s wish to set his conquests in good, well-harmonized form, as the Sun/Venus conjunction in the fourth house of establishment would indicate. Unfortunately or fortunately, the impatient Aries Ascendant, with all three of its rules either in conjunction, parallel or both to the MC/IC, made him far too restless to ever properly consolidate his gains. He was always moving on towards greater and greater achievements until, at length, only the weariness of his soldiers stopped him in India. One wonders whether Alexander was following a path to his metaphysical ‘home’ in the East.
Certain Astrological Indications
That Alexander was one of the most successful military generals of recorded history may be attributable to the experience of many lives, but there are also horoscopic reinforcements the contributed to this success. Protective Jupiter in Virgo is closely sextile to the Sun/Venus conjunction, and thus, closely trine to the heliocentric position of the Earth. The Part of Fortune (the place where energy between the Sun and the Moon ‘flows’ unobstructedly, and thus, contributes to happiness and success) is closely conjunct the MC (the career point), indicating elevation.
The Part of Fortune is trine to Neptune (giving success through imagination and intuition), and also conjunct Uranus, giving unexpected successes ingeniously won. The Uranus/MC conjunction is reinforced by a parallel between the MC and Uranus (Uranus being the planet of greatest declination, and thus powerful). In so many ways, Alexander “broke the mould”. He was a unique leader — and dictator (another quality of willful Uranus).
Further contributing to his success was stabilizing Saturn in Taurus, trine to both Neptune and Jupiter in Virgo, and especially trine the midpoint of Jupiter and Neptune. Though extravagant in his expenditures (and inflated in many respects, as the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction would indicate), he was in other ways a financial conservative and was scrupulous in the collecting of revenues through the taxation of subjugated kingdoms and peoples (Moon in Scorpio, relating to the resources of others). Thus a balance was struck, and, indeed, he was sensible enough to ensure that he could afford his occasional extravagances.
Three planets can be seen as involved with the Part of Fortune — Uranus (conjunct) Neptune (trine) and Saturn (widely trine). We note that these are the three synthesizing planets. Alexander had at his disposal great and determining energies and he used them to advance his “fortunes in the world”.
We also note that the extremely close parallel of declination between mobile Mercury and restless Mars, account not only for an agile and enquiring mind, but (since they are, as well, closely parallel the IC) for a driving urge to be “on the move”. To this, an Aries Ascendant would naturally contribute, and we remember that Mars in Mercury are, respectively, the orthodox and esoteric rulers of Aries. The hierarchical ruler of Aries, Uranus (another planet of mobility), is also involved in this configuration being acceptably contraparallel to both Mars and Mercury, and also to the IC. These indications reinforce the importance in the life of relentless Aries.
It is interesting to realize that Alexander the Great was, as well as a great general, a great founder of cities — foremost among which was Alexandria. In fact a number of the cities he founded were based upon his name — Alexander, such was his growing megalomania. The powerful seventh ray contributed to this urge-to-civic-establishment. When we see the Sun in Cancer in its own house, the fourth, we understand that the Cancerian mantram, “I build a lighted house, and therein dwell”, operated powerfully in his life. He destroyed cities, razing them to the ground (Aries); he built and re-built cities (Cancer). One can see that he was not animated thoroughly by the will-to-destroy, but quite significantly by the will-to-build, the will-to-establish and, of course, the will-to-harmonize.
We cannot be certain of the position of Vulcan in Alexander’s chart. It might have been in Cancer or Leo. If in Cancer, his ‘will-to-build’, would have been strengthened. If in Leo, yet another first ray planet would have been placed in a first ray sign, thus strengthening his already formidable will and autocratic behavior.
It could easily be said that Alexander was not a spiritual person—but would this be true? Certainly he understood spirituality more in terms of Shamballa than Hierarchy (though he could not have known about these planetary centers or called them by the names we now do). Alexander’s vision of a Pan-Hellenic civilization, incorporating the best values of the East, was certainly grand in its conception. He was no unaccomplished individual. His feats of destruction were immense, but so were his feats of construction. He was in fact both the conqueror and would – be reorganizer of the then – known world.
Esoterically, Pluto is closely associated with first ray Aries, and makes of Alexander the consummate ‘destroyer’. But he was also the regenerator—another quality of Pluto. He sought to benefit from the civilizations and cultures he conquered, and to see their best qualities widely distributed. Pluto at the Ascendant is countered by Uranus (the planet of ‘magical reconstruction and reorganization’) at the Capricorn MC. Uranus rebuilds what Pluto destroys. The spirituality of Alexander (if we can reasonably credit its existence) would have to be interpreted in terms synthetic of Shamballic power rather than the gentler impulses of the Spiritual Hierarchy; he seems more the representative of the obliterative monad than of the preserving soul. In any case, the “monadic point” (always opposite the Sun) is also found in first ray/seventh ray Capricorn, the same sign which houses Uranus, the hierarchical ruler of the Aries Ascendant.
Mercury the esoteric ruler of the Aries Ascendant, closely connected to Mars via parallel of declination and through Mars’ placement in Gemini, speaks for the spread of learning and culture that Alexander advocated. It is interesting that the principal city he founded — Alexandria — became one of the greatest repositories of learning in the ancient world. So often world conquerors have come from the East in the attempt to overrun the West — Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Tamerlaine. In this case, the direction was reversed, with a later (the fourth) subrace of the Fifth Root Race (namely the Celts — among whom the Greeks and Macedonians could be numbered) becoming the conquerors of an earlier subrace (the Persians, the Arabs and even of the residents of India, connected with the first subrace).
Some other Factors of Astrological Interest
There are number of hypothetical planets, to the reality of which more than a few competent astrologers attest. Should they be taken into consideration when assessing the character, psychological and spiritual potentials of an individual? Perhaps, in the interests of research, they should. After all, the Tibetan speaks of over 115 planets in our solar system, as well as many asteroids, all of which have their various influences and effects.
The Trans-Neptunian planet Apollon is part of the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune (quite close to Neptune), and accounts for the spread of influence associated with Alexander’s conquests and also with the spread of information which resulted from them. Hades (another Trans-Neptunian), bringer of death, disease, and destruction, is conjunct the Scorpio Moon adding to its lethal quality. Jason (one of the Centaur planets) is closely conjunct to the proposed Descendant. Jason is associated with the quest for the Golden Fleece (and with all quests for that matter).
Alexander, through his conquests, was on a great quest. The question remains whether the objective was ever entirely clear to him. Other of the Centaurs are fairly close to the Ascendant and one of them is conjunct the Vertex. Alexander’s relationship to his horse, Bucephalus, became the well-renowned subject of legend. If the Ascendant were in the twenty-first degree rather than in the nineteenth, then Sagittarius (the sign of both the horse and the Centaur) would be the zodiacal sub-ruler of the rising decanate.
It is interesting to see the undiscovered planets Isis and Osiris opposite each other with Isis closely opposed to Mars. This contributed to Alexander’s attempt to put back together that which, through conquest, he had taken apart.
Midas, the unknown planet of great wealth, is in Taurus (the sign of resources) closely conjunct to Saturn, also in Taurus. Through his victories, Alexander accumulated a huge treasury, which, despite his extravagances, he watched over scrupulously, insisting on its proper management and putting to death any guardian of the treasury whom he found to be dishonest.
Some Fixed Star Indications
There are a number of fixed stars associated with Alexander’s Scorpio Moon. Alpheratz is closely contraparallel, Mirfak is opposed, Scheat is closely contraparallel, and Toliman is conjunct. Alpheratz gives the urge for freedom and independence and a love of great speed; Mirfak is the young male warrior, proud of his strength and courage; Scheat is closely associated with free-thinkers who think fast and dare to think or do the impossible; Toliman in the foot of the Centaur, is linked with learning, education and spiritual growth. It may also represent the sacral center of the great Being. We can see how these particular stars, in relation to Alexander’s warlike Scorpio Moon, amplify certain well-known traits of his Character.
Venus is closely conjunct to the royal star, Regulus, showing how he could use his charm and charisma to enhance his power to rule. While there are many asteroid and fixed star contacts with significant areas of Alexander’s chart, and while these contacts would be most interesting to explore, to do so would be beyond our present scope, and, in any case, would more likely reveal exoteric detail, however interesting, rather than insight into the esoteric state of his soul.
Points of Interest Relative to Dynamic Factors in Alexanders Chart
When dealing with a speculative chart, it is always necessary to study closely the dynamic factors of the proposed chart to see if the chart is justifiable.
At the age of fourteen, Alexander became the pupil of the great Aristotle (an arrangement which almost proved fatal for the great sage). We note that in April of 342 BC, Alexander’s progressed Mercury (planet of learning) enters the sign Leo, connected with the fifth ray and individualized mind. Mercury also represents the power to “think for oneself”, as Aristotle, intent on giving the young prince an excellent education, found out to his dismay. Significantly, there is a lunar eclipse on April 28th, involving the Scorpio Moon. More significantly, transiting Saturn retrogrades to a long month station at one degree of Scorpio, on the eclipse point and conjunct the Moon. The sage, Aristotle (representing Saturn to Aristotle) was arriving. Aristotle tried to tame Alexander’s wild emotions (Saturn was on Alexander’s Moon), but, in the last analysis, failed. As well in May of 342 BC there was a solar eclipse within three and a half degrees of Alexander’s Saturn—Saturn again. The emphasis was upon attempted discipline and instruction.
Let us examine some pertinent eclipses for the period. It is not possible to discover when, after Alexander was fourteen years old, Aristotle came to be his teacher, but the following eclipses involve the Moon, Saturn, and to a degree the Ascendant and the Descendant. The last eclipse, before his fifteenth birthday, is close enough to involve either of the proposed Ascendants (19º or 21º)
Mon LEcl (X) Tr-Tr Apr 28 0342 BC 13:59 02°Sc08′ D
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr May 13 0342 BC 01:06 15°Ta57′ D
Mon LEcl (X) Tr-Tr Oct 22 0342 BC 01:29 23°Ar47′ D
Mon LEcl (X) Tr-Tr Apr 17 0341 BC 04:50 21°Li58′ D
When Alexander was 18 years old, in 338 BC, he became a military commander. Transiting Jupiter was crossing both his Aries Ascendant and Pluto. Significantly, Jupiter is natally placed in the sign Virgo, which has come to indicate the military service. Uranus directed by SA (solar arc) comes opposite the natal Sun, giving freedom, independence and the free expression of will—emphasizing the elevated Uranus natally on the MC — the indication of one who can do as he pleases. In the beginning of 337 BC, there is a solar eclipse opposed the Sun in the fourth house, and conjunct to solar arc directed Uranus, emphasizing the theme of authority and independence.
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Jan 20 0337 BC 07:44 25°Cp38′ D
At the age of 20, Alexander became King of Macedonia—we do not know the exact date. Saturn transiting in Capricorn was coming to the MC, conferring power, authority and, especially, great responsibility. Particularly important, and strongly indicative of the quite close accuracy of the chosen Aries Ascendant charts is the conjoining of the progressed Ascendant with both natal and progressed Saturn. This conjunction reinforces the testimony of transiting Saturn at the MC. We must remember that Alexander came to power at the death (the murder) of his father, Philip II of Macedonia.
Saturn is traditionally the indicator for the father, and the double Saturn emphasis reinforces the connection between ascension to power and the condition of the father. At approximately the time of his birthday in 336 BC we see solar-arc directed Chiron crossing the Ascendant of the 11:00 am chart. (When the date is unknown, the solar return chart for that year is chosen, for its indicative quality.)
A most interesting eclipse shortly before Alexander’s twentieth birthday indicates, from a fourth house perspective (the fourth house ruling one’s native country) the coming to power. There is a close solar eclipse at the IC. Alexander was now established as the king of Macedonia.
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Jul 4 0336 BC 12:30 06°Cn30′ D
This eclipse falls exactly on his natal Mercury, which T-Jupiter is conjuncting. Mercury is the ruler, orthodoxly, of the third house of lower mind and the sixth house of practical service. Alexander had to have all his wits about him in this sudden situation. Mercury is also the esoteric ruler of the Aries Ascendant (and is natally opposite the planet of suddenness, Uranus — which the eclipse opposed). He had to think fast due to the sudden death of his father and his ascension to the throne. Transiting Pluto is also reinforcing the MC or career point by Trine. Pluto is a planet of power, and by transit is also exactly trine the elevated Uranus.
Coinciding with his rise to power, the P-Moon moves into Leo, the sign of personal authority, and, incidentally, ‘kingship’. Alexander was assuming a new identity. It should be noticed that not only was the P-Moon changing sign, but the P-MC was either in the last degree of Capricorn (the summation of power) or, depending upon the chart used, in the very inception of Aquarius. Perhaps the last degree of Capricorn is more convincing, as it was after the death of his father that Alexander began to spread his military influence to the East in a manner reminiscent of the sign of spread and circulation, Aquarius. Alexander’s benefit from the death of his father is indicated by transiting Pluto in trine to the MC, indicating the father. It is said that Alexander had nothing to do with his father’s death.
Indeed, he took revenge swiftly, ruthlessly eliminating all who were suspected of complicity in the assassination. When certain cities rebelled after the death of Phillip, Alexander put down the uprisings. When Illyria revolted on the false rumor that Alexander was dead, Alexander rushed south and sacked the city, sparing only the temples and the house of the poet, Pindar. One can see here the contrast between the Aries and Cancer aspects of his chart. Under Aries he leapt into drastic and ruthless action, sparing none — except his Cancerian urge to preserve that which was sacred to the gods and his innate sensitivity (under Cancer and the fourth ray) led him to spare Pindar’s home.
It should be noted that by November of 335 BC (Alexander was 21) there is a powerful stellium of planets in Leo in the fifth house of personal authority. The progressed Sun and Moon are conjunct producing a progressed lunation in the fifteenth degree of Leo (the Sabian Symbol for which is “A PAGEANT WITH ITS SPECTACULAR FLOATS MOVES ALONG A STREET CROWDED WITH CHEERING PEOPLE”, and the Keynote of which is “The more or less sensational release of energies in a form dramatizing the unconscious aspirations of man’s primitive and instinctual nature”).
This progressed lunation was to set the tone for Alexander’s remaining years, and death came to him well before another lunation could be accomplished. P-Mercury was also an important part of this progressed Leo stellium, and was in the same degree only twelve minutes of arc from the progressed Sun and Moon. The stamp of a dramatic and imperious authority was received. At the time of the progressed lunation, Jupiter had already moved by transit into Leo as well. Alexander’s authority was unopposed, and, essentially, he could do anything he wished.
By the time Alexander was 22, he was victor throughout all of Asia Minor. We note that T-Jupiter is conjunct his progressed Sun in Leo, indicating the continued growth of his Leonian personal power and authority.
In 332 after many conquests Alexander, in full command of Syria, entered Egypt and was acknowledged to be the son of Amon-Ra. This may have contributed to the growing conviction of his own divinity. At this time Uranus was square the MC and its own natal position, promoting a change in his own conception of his status. The P-Moon was close to Jupiter and P-Jupiter, contributing to the beginning of the psychological inflation which was to continue growing as his conquests mounted. By the end of 332 BC T-Jupiter was also coming to the conjunction of his natal Scorpio Moon, reinforcing the inflation. During this period, there were also solar eclipses involving the Ascendant and Descendant, and thus involving his perception of his own identity relative to others.
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Oct 16 0332 BC 19:31 19°Li03′ D
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Apr 11 0331 BC 12:55 16°Ar07′ D
In the winter of 332 BC he founded the city of Alexandria, perhaps the greatest of all monuments to his name. We can see how the two eclipses above would contribute to this founding. In the earlier of the two charts, his progressed Sun is trine to his natal Ascendant, emphasizing identity, and the progressed Moon (signifying all that is established in form) is closely conjunct his natal Jupiter — indicating fulfilled embodiment.
In the year 330 there was a conspiracy against Alexander. T-Saturn was transiting his twelfth house of Karma and T-Uranus was transiting the Ascendant. We also see SD Mars very close to his IC in the earlier of the two charts. The conspiracy was put down. Alexander, discovering that the son of one of his leading generals, Parmenion, was involved, had him put to death and the innocent Parmenion as well. Alexander’s men intensely disliked this despotic harshness as well as Alexander’s pretenses, as he assumed Persian dress (fourth ray personality and natal Venus conjunct the Sun). It is clear that Alexander was undergoing a change of identity, of self-perception (coincident with the transiting of Uranus on his Ascendant).
Between the year, 328 BC and 327, he attempted to impose the Persian court ceremonial, involving prostration (proskynesis), on the Greeks and Macedonians too; but to them this custom, habitual for Persians entering the king’s presence, implied an act of worship and was intolerable before a man. We note that there is a solar eclipse opposing the progressed MC, and thus on the progressed IC. A lunar eclipse involves his Sun. These eclipses involve identity points.
Mon LEcl (X) Tr-Tr Jul 20 0328 BC 16:51 22°Cp05′ D
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Aug 4 0328 BC 03:02 06°Le02′ D
This practice was repudiated by those in his entourage. Macedonian laughter led to the discontinuation of this pretentious practice.
In 327 BC, Alexander fought his way into India, crossing the Hindu Kush. At the Hydaspes (the present-day Jhelum River) he met and defeated an army under Porus. He overran the Punjab, but there, in 326 BC, his men would go no farther. There was a mutiny and Alexander’s wishes to proceed further came to an end.
We see Alexander’s progressed Moon in Scorpio; Saturn is coming to its return position, and T-Pluto is beginning its conjunction of natal Saturn. During January of 0327 there is a solar eclipse on this progressed MC. During July of the year 327 BC there was a solar eclipse closely conjunct his natal Sun in Cancer, foreshadowing the growing challenge to his authority.
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Jan 28 0327 BC 20:51 04°Aq47′ D
Mon LEcl (X) Tr-Tr Jul 9 0327 BC 17:21 11°Cp18′ D
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Jul 24 0327 BC 19:59 25°Cn50′ D
Mon LEcl (X) Tr-Tr Jan 3 0326 BC 16:31 09°Cn08′ D
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Jun 15 0326 BC 01:13 17°Ge30′ D
Note how these eclipses involve Alexander’s nodal axis, his MC, his Sun and his IC. By the Spring of 326 BC, he experienced his Saturn Return, followed by a square of transiting Saturn to his progressed Sun in Leo. There was also a solar eclipse on his natal Mars (positioned at 15 + Gemini), perhaps descriptive of the mutiny (reacting against the tendency toward overexpansion signaled by Mars in Gemini). His expansions into India were stopped. He had to turn back. Pluto had come to its conjunction of natal Saturn. This, along with the other adverse aspects, represented an insuperable challenge to his claim to unlimited authority. There was no way for him to proceed further.
Under the continuing influence of transiting Saturn square the progressed Sun and transiting Pluto, for long conjunct natal Saturn, Alexander suffered many reversals, and retrenchment was necessary. At one point he received a serious wound which weakened him considerably.
In spring 324 Alexander had returned to Susa, the administrative centre of the Persian Empire. There is a story that he passed much of the journey through Carmania in drunken revel, dressed as Dionysus. This story may be an exaggeration, but is not dissimilar to the strange theatrical behavior of Nero, who also had Pluto rising (probably with Sagittarius rising) and who was also possessed of or by a fourth ray personality — though his soul ray may have been the sixth.
We note that during this period, Alexander was strongly under the influence of transiting Neptune trine his natal Sun—a planet already powerful in his chart through its square to natal Mars (orthodox ruler of the Ascendant) and its close parallel to the Ascendant.
This was a period in which Alexander, uniting the influences of his first ray soul and fourth ray personality, was attempting great racial fusions between the Macedonians and Greeks, on the one hand, and the Persians on the other. He and his best friend Hephaestion married Darius’ daughters, and 80 of his men took Persian wives. Of the 10,000 of his men who had previously taken Persian wives, all were given generous dowries. Thus, Alexander continued to promote racial and cultural fusion and synthesis.
This policy of racial fusion brought increasing friction to Alexander’s relations with his Macedonians, who had no sympathy for his changed concept of the empire. His determination to incorporate Persians on equal terms in the army and the administration of the provinces was, likewise, bitterly resented.
Neptune is the planet of idealism and of fusion. The strong influence of transiting Neptune during this period accounts for Alexander’s idealistic, and rather unrealistic attempt to fuse the Persians and Macedonians together in harmony, in one great empire. He was thwarted in his attempt during 324 BC with two solar eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio, respectively, squaring the position of his progressed Sun in Leo. Further, transiting Pluto was conjunct his natal Saturn and transiting Saturn was conjunct natal Mars. Again he was thwarted, though transiting Jupiter, also conjunct natal Mars, allowed him to bring harmony out of the situation and pacify the rebellious Macedonians.
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr May 23 0324 BC 07:31 26°Ta20′ D
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Nov 16 0324 BC 19:25 20°Sc36′ D
In the autumn of 324 BC, with T-Pluto conjunct his natal Saturn and T-Uranus also conjunct natal Saturn, his best friend Hephaestion died. During this period there was also a solar eclipse squaring Alexander’s progressed Sun. Transiting Saturn was in the third house of brothers and siblings, and was opposed the progressed Moon in Sagittarius (ruler of the fourth house of intimates and family members).
From the time of Hephaestion’s death, Alexander demanded to be seen as a god. His progressed Moon had moved into Capricorn and was approaching the tenth house cusp. His status in his own estimation had reached its apotheosis.
Suddenly, in Babylon, while busy with plans to improve the irrigation of the Euphrates and to settle the coast of the Persian Gulf, Alexander was taken ill after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout; ten days later, on June 13, 323, he died in his thirty-third year; he had reigned for twelve years and eight months. His body, diverted to Egypt by Ptolemy, the later king, was eventually placed in a golden coffin in Alexandria. Both in Egypt and elsewhere in the Greek cities he received divine honors.
The astrological indicators at the time of Alexander’s death are compelling. The progressed Moon had come to within one minute of arc of natal Uranus. His death was sudden and unexpected (Uranus). It should be noted that the Moon is the orthodox ruler of the Cancerian Sun; Sun and Moon are intimately involved with health. The drinking bouts, in which he engaged with greater frequency as his life progressed, were an effect of the Mars/Neptune square. We also notice SD Neptune at the seventh house cusp.
Uranus was also involved by transit, conjunct to progressed Saturn. We see, thus, Saturn, the progressed ruler of the MC (one’s status) transited by Uranus and natal Uranus (already conjunct the MC) conjuncted by the progressed Moon (the Moon representing the constitution of the individual). We also note P-Mars conjunct Mercury, ruler of the 6 house of health and, T-Mercury conjunct P-Mars and N-Mercury. The house of health was definitely implicated. Further, Jupiter (which often brings the release of death) had come to the fourth house, which is traditional astrology represents the “end of life”.
The eclipses for the period of death are unusually potent in their indications.
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr Apr 12 0323 BC 23:26 17°Ar33′ D
Mon LEcl (X) Tr-Tr Apr 28 0323 BC 12:07 02°Sc27′ D
Sun SEcl (X) Tr-Tr May 12 0323 BC 10:40 15°Ta45′ D
Note that there is an almost exact solar eclipse (within one degree) of Alexander’s Ascendant in Aries using the earlier chart. Such an eclipse is often fateful. Even if 20° + are rising, the eclipse would have to be considered effective. The lunar eclipse of April 28th occurs within two degrees of Alexander’s natal Moon in Scorpio, and the solar eclipse of May 12th occurs within a few degrees of terminal Saturn, already implicated by a transit of Uranus. Clearly a forceful array of inharmonious aspects and eclipses were in effect when Alexander died—apparently of his own excesses (indiscriminately ‘incorporative’ Cancer), probably compounded, according to some reports, by a fever.
On the day of his death, the transiting Moon (moving rapidly, of course) was also in the sign Cancer, the sign of his Sun, and perhaps very close to transiting Jupiter, the planet of release. Transiting Neptune, another planet of release, was quite closely square the progressed Sun, and exactly inconjunct the transiting nodes, and its position was in the eighth house—the house of death. It is needless to say that Neptune is related to alcohol consumption, and that Mars (square Neptune in the natal chart) is related both to intemperance and to fevers.
It has been suggested that the disciples of Shamballa are difficult to understand; the prevailing bias of humanity rejects them for their apparently harsh and cruel ways. One must often evaluate their influence from a perspective somewhat distant from the immediacy of their lives, and in terms of larger processes of civilization and culture.
Could Alexander in any way be considered a disciple? Certainly he appeared egocentric, and at length, megalomaniacal—not traits usually found in one who serves the spiritual advancement of humanity. From a certain perspective, his life of obsessive conquest served no one but himself, contributing steadily to his insistent need for self-aggrandizement and self-glorification. Such a need is usually found only in one who is beset by deep personal insecurities (generated, it may reasonably be thought, by his Cancerian and Venusian qualities and the emotionally vigilant paranoia promoted by his Scorpio Moon)
On the other hand his military exploits, animated increasingly by a spirit of exploration, brought many benefits to the culture and civilization of the period. His own personal interest in scientific investigation (Uranus opposed to Mercury—both powerful planets in the chart) brought many advances in the knowledge of geography and natural history. His will-to-explore was certainly promoted by his orthodoxly ruling planet, Mars, in the sign of enquiry, Gemini. Operating, even if unconsciously, under the will-to-synthesize (a first ray impulsion strengthened by Aries with its absolutism), he created one world, united both culturally and economically, from Gibraltar to the Punjab. Trade and social intercourse in these regions were greatly enhanced.
Alexander’s life has to be evaluated in terms of Shamballic themes. He impacted greatly the civilization of his era paving the way for the world dominion of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity. Synthesis is destructive of a multitude of minor hegemonies.
Alexander was an irresistible cultural force. He was inspired by Hellenic ideals and the heroes and gods of Greece—Heracles, Achilles, Dionysis—figures which were often in his mind and with whom he, romantically (Mars square Neptune) compared himself. But in true fourth ray manner, he was surprising sensitive to the cultural values of his conquered ‘enemies’, and sought to befriend them, incorporating their values and traditions into his ever-expanding world-empire, and to reconcile and harmonize these values with those of his own Macedonian/Greek culture.
If we understand the meaning of the sign Cancer in combination with the first ray, we will find Alexander to be psychologically incorporative. He sought not only to conquer, but to incorporate his conquests into his own glorified personhood—merging subdued kingdoms, empires and their subjects into “one body” within his larger god-like self. When we think of the effect of Alexander’s life, the advanced Cancerian mantram, “The Whole is seen as One” becomes significant. We find the many synthesized into the one, with one figure (himself) as the absolute monarch and guiding spirit of this forcefully achieved wholeness, synthesis, oneness. Of course, such an attitude reeks of extreme self-glorification — even self-deification — but one can hardly fail to recognize its foundational impulse as Shamballic — however distorted that impulse had become.
There is no question that, during the millions of years of human ‘progress’, war has been inevitable. Humanity, qualified by Scorpio and the fourth ray, is a warring kingdom on its way to an eventual peace and harmony. Alexander’s Ascendant and Moon are in Aries and Scorpio respectively — two signs governed by Mars (the “God of War”). To conquer was but to fulfill his destiny. As humanity becomes more psychologically sophisticated, it will incline, increasingly, towards what might be called ‘the internalization of war’. Then, the spirit of conquest will no longer cause such great misery and hardship on the external plane of life, but the tremendously potent spirit of an Alexander or a Genghis Khan, will be turned towards the conquest of ‘internal enemies’—one’s own faults and vices — everything of a psychological nature which prevents true freedom of the spirit.
To contemplate the figure of Alexander (a man of iron will, relentless, yet flexible and adaptable, intelligent, imaginative, romantic, full of the sense of glory) is both inspiring and horrifying. From a distance one can marvel at his character, and yet be grateful that he lived in another time and not in the present age (apparently). While abhorring many of the outrageous specifics of his life, one can be filled with admiration for him as a psychological phenomenon — a testimony to what can be accomplished under the driving force of pure will. Will is neither good nor bad; its application will determine its value in any particular instance. Most of us need far more will than we seem to have, though we would (so we think) never apply the will as Alexander did. That great reservoirs of will do, indeed, exist, and are accessible by the human being, Alexander’s short life has demonstrated. We can only imagine his achievement in the realm of soul and spirit, had this great and relentless will been turned inward — as no doubt it someday will be (or, over the course of the last almost 2400 years, has been). It is the nature of the spirit to know its essential greatness and to seek to recapture it. Perhaps, beneath all psychological compensations, “this was the motive of this fundamentally spirit-driven man.
Quotations Attributed to Alexander the Great
“I am dying from the treatment of too many physicians.”
“In faith and hope the world will disagree, but all mankind’s concern is charity.”
“I send you a kaffis of mustard seed, that you may taste and acknowledge the bitterness of my victory.”
“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”
Before heading for Asia, Alexander found himself in Corinth, where the great thinker Diogenes lived. Diogenes was sitting in a barrel, enjoying the sun paying no attention to Alexander. Alexander was very surprised at this lack of interest and asked if he could do something for Diogenes. “Yes, could you move over a bit, you’re blocking my sun” answered Diogenes. “If I wasn’t Alexander I’d be Diogenes” replied Alexander. (in Plutarch’s “Life of Alexander”)
One of the most famous statements by Alexander: “I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity”. or “It’s better to burn out than fade away”.
“Persian women are painful to my eyes”
“I do not separate people, as do the narrow-minded, into Greeks and barbarians. I am not interested in the origin or race of citizens. I only distinguish them on the basis of their virtue. For me each good foreigner is a Greek and each bad Greek is worse than a barbarian.”
“I am paying my mother extraordinarily high rent for nine months of dwelling” – when he was bombarded by complaints and accusations about Antipater and his associates in Pella. Perhaps, he should have listened more carefully after all….