44. Greatest of them all

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Alexandria, Egypt 285 B.C. - 40 Years Later
He certainly proved he had the temperament for politics and murder...when seven years later, he executed Olympias. Met her death with great courage.
Five years... No, it was six years after that...Cassander finally achieved the complete destruction of Alexander's bloodline...when he poisoned Roxane...and Alexander's 13-year-old son...the true heir to the empire.
But Roxane too, like Olympias...played by stern rules, supported by several generals. Days after Alexander's death, she had Stateira poisoned.
It was reason enough for some to believe...she was the one behind Hephaistion's sudden demise. But this is unproven in my mind.
Bagoas disappeared from the histories entirely...a wise move, perhaps.
But I will say his love and devotion for Alexander...were unquestionable and extraordinary.
Now I am the keeper of his body...embalmed here in the Egyptian ways.
I followed him as Pharaoh, and have now ruled 40 years.
I have two sons, each jealous of the other's power. But they will grow to make fine fathers and husbands. And I trust they'll be just in their affairs.
But they have never seen...the great cavalry charge of Gaugamela...or the mountains of the Hindu Kush... ...when we crossed the 100,000 men army into India.
He was a god, Cadmos...or as close as anything I've ever known.
"Tyrant!" they yell so easily. I laugh. No tyrant ever gave back so much.
What do they know of the world, these schoolboys?
It takes strong men to rule. Alexander was more, he was a Prometheus, a friend to man. He changed the world.
Before him, there were tribes...and after him, all was possible.
There was suddenly a sense the world could be ruled by one king...and be better for all.
Eighteen great Alexandrias he built across this world.
It was an empire, not of land and gold, Cadmos, but of the mind. It was a Hellenic civilization...open to all.
But the truth is never simple...and yet it is. The truth is, we did kill him.
By silence, we consented. Because... Because we couldn't go on.
What, by Ares, did we look forward to but to be discarded in the end, like Cleitus?
After all this time, to give away our wealth to Asian sycophants we despised? Mixing the races, harmony? Bah!
Oh, he talked of these things...but wasn't it really about Alexander and another population ready to obey him?
I never believed in his dream. None of us did. That's the truth of his life. The dreamers exhaust us.
They must die before they kill us with their blasted dreams.
Oh, just throw all that away, Cadmos.
It's an old fool's rubbish. You shall write, "He died of fever and a weakened condition."

Yes, great Pharaoh.

Oh, he could have stayed home in Macedonia, married, raised a family.
He'd have died a celebrated man. But this was not Alexander.
All his life, he fought to free himself from fear. And by this, and this alone, he was made free.
The freest man I've ever known.
His tragedy was one of increasing loneliness...and impatience with those who could not understand.
And if his desire...to reconcile Greek and barbarian ended in failure... What failure!
His failure towered over other men's successes.
I've lived... I've lived long life, Cadmos...but the glory and the memory of man...will always belong to the ones who follow their great visions.
And the greatest of these is the one they now call...Megas Alexandros.
The greatest of them all.



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