תמונות בעמוד

and the like, doing more than all the eight education upon his character to compare kings before him put together."

inherited traits as subtrahend against the Though the progress of the country to- finished product as a minuend, the data ward civilization was seriously retarded by which we fortunately possess concerning the ten years of anarchy that followed this his early training, and our knowledge of the reign, and the various wars that intervened ideas and system of his later teacher Aristo disturb the succeeding reigns of Amyn- totle, afford, when combined with the clear tas (389–369 B. C.), Alexander II (369–368), picture history has left us of our hero's perPtolemæus (368–365), and Perdiccas III sonality, an opportunity unparalleled in all (365–359), the trend of events was ever to- the story of olden time of seeing what eduward bringing the country into closer, cation can do for a man. Let the plain story though often hostile, contact with central of his boyhood yield its own lesson. Greece.

As was usual in all well-to-do Greek It was an occurrence of no slight signifi- families, Alexander was first committed to cance for the history of the land which he the care of a nurse. Her name was Lanice, was afterward to rule when Philip, the son probably the familiar form of Hellanice. The of Amyntas, was held three years (368–365) first six years of his life were spent under a hostage at Thebes-at a time, too, when her care, and a feeling of attachment deThebes, at the height of its political impor- veloped toward her that lasted throughout tance, was the leading military power of his life. “He loved her as a mother,” says the day, and the home of Epaminondas, the an ancient writer. One of her children, greatest leader and military strategist that Proteas, whom she nursed and brought up Greece had yet produced. The tendency of in company with the young prince, remained Macedonian politics for a century and a half in after life one of his most intimate assobefore Philip had followed, as we have seen, ciates. All her sons afterward gave their the twofold inclination of the kings, first, to lives in battle for him, and her one brother, raise Macedonia to the rank of a Greek state Clitus, who was also a faithful friend, and and secure it participation in Hellenic affairs at Granicus rescued him from death, was and Hellenic culture, and, second, to antago- killed by his hand in a pitiful quarrel at a nize orientalism as expressed in the power drinking-bout, a deed which brought him of Persia. With Philip the course of events instant regret and fearful remorse. As he brought it about that these two inclinations lay in his tears on the bed of repentance, naturally blended into one. After a peculiar the graphic account of Arrian tells how" he combination of occurrences in the year 352 kept calling the name of Clitus, and the had given him a foothold in Thessaly and name of Lanice, Clitus's sister, who nursed made him a party to the controversies of and reared him-Lanice, the daughter of central Greece, he saw his way to a larger Dropides. “Fair return I have made in ambition, which combined all the ambitions manhood's years for thy nurture and careof his predecessors, and more than fulfilled thou who hast seen thy sons die fighting in them. He and his people should become my behalf; and now I have slain thy brother Greek in leading Greece, and in leading it with mine own hand!'” against the East.

During these first six years we have no Philip ascended the throne in 359 B.C. reason to suppose that our young hero's Three years later Alexander was born prince education differed essentially from that of and heir. We have seen the soil and the root other Greeks. The methods of the nursery from which he sprang. All his life is true to are usually those of plain tradition, and are its source. In fresh, wild vigor he is a son the last strongholds to be reached by the of Macedon, in impulsive idealism the son of innovations of any newfangled systems of Olympias, in sagacity and organizing talent education. He grew up in the retirement the son of Philip. But he was born to a of the women's quarters, in the company of throne, and, in his father's foresight, to a other children, and with the customary greater throne than that of little landlocked solace of top and hoop, puppet and ridingMacedonia, with its shepherds and peasants horse, cradle-songs and nurses' tales. Of and country squires. Philip doubtless prided men he saw little, least of all during those himself on being a “self-made ” man; but his militant years of his father, Philip. He was, boy was to have an education that no Greek through and through, a mother's boy. To could despise.

her he had the stronger attachment, and While it would be evidently amiss in from her he inherited the predominating estimating the influence of Alexander's traits of his spiritual character.


[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

With the beginning of his seventh year a das (Plutarch, chap. xxv) harmonizes reasonGreek boy of the better class was usually ably with the foregoing. It again represents intrusted to the care of a special male ser- the tutor as a rigid inspector of details, and vant, called the paidagogos, or pedagogue. gives to his sternness a complementary shade He was usually a slave, not necessarily one of the petty economical. This is the story: of much education, but a trustworthy, re- “As he [Alexander] was sending off to spectable, and generally elderly person, Olympias and Cleopatra and his friends capable of teaching boys their “manners great quantities of the booty he had taken and keeping them out of mischief. He ac- [from the sack of Gaza), he sent along with companied the boy wherever he went, at- it, for his pedagogue Leonidas, five hundred tended him to school, carrying his cither, or talents of frankincense and a hundred talents little harp, his books, tablets, etc., and re- of myrrh, in memory of a boyish dream of his mained there in waiting until the school- youth. For it so happened once at a sacrifice master, the didaskalos, was through with that, as Alexander seized both hands full of him. In Alexander's case more than this the incense and threw it upon the fire, Leowas done. The general oversight of his nidas called to him, and said: 'Sometime, if education was intrusted to a man of distinc- you get to be master of the land of spices, tion and royal birth, one Leonidas, a relative you can throw incense on lavishly like this, of Alexander's mother, who, though he did but for the present be economical in the use not spurn the title “ pedagogue” in so good of what you have.' So now Alexander took a cause, was properly known as “educator” the occasion to write to him: ‘We send you or “professor.” He was, in reality, what we frankincense and myrrh in abundance, so should call the prince's tutor. The position that you may make an end of economizing of pedagogue proper was held by an Achar- with the gods.'” nanian named Lysimachus, a man whose We may do the old tutor an injustice in witless mediocrity has been rescued from attributing to him, on the basis of this incitotal oblivion by one happy “classical allu- dent alone, anything like smallness or meansion.” “Because," says Plutarch,“ he named ness in character. The tendency of Alexander himself Phenix, and Alexander Achilles, and was naturally toward lavishness and recklessPhilip Peleus, he was esteemed and held the ness. Leonidas sought, doubtless, to check second rank [i. e., among the educators of this, and was remembered most distinctly by Alexander)."

his former pupil in his favorite rôle of brakeLeonidas was essentially a harsh, stern man. And yet Leonidas cannot escape wholly disciplinarian. Alexander received under the charge, which later opinion laid at his his tutelage an excellent physical education, doors, of having carried his severity and and was trained to endure hardships and martinetism too far, and of being thus in privations, and to abhor luxury. A passage some measure responsible for certain faults, in Plutarch's life of Alexander is in point particularly of harshness, imperiousness, and here: “He was extremely temperate in eat- arbitrariness, which showed themselves later ing and drinking, as is particularly well illus- in the bearing and temper of his pupil. trated by what he said to Ada-the one Philip early recognized that a character of whom he dignified with the title 'mother,' such strength as Alexander's was not to be and established as Queen of Caria. She, as a controlled and trained in the school of arbifriendly attention, used, it seems, to send trary authority. He needed guidance, and him daily not only all sorts of meats and not authority. He must be convinced and cakes, but went so far, finally, as to send him led, not driven. Thus Plutarch says: “ Philip the cleverest cooks and bakers she could recognized that while his was a nature hard find. These, however, Alexander said he had to move when once he had set himself to no use for. Better cooks he had already- resist, he could yet be easily led by reason those which his pedagogue Leonidas had to do what was right. So he always himself given him; namely, as breakfast-cook one tried to influence him by argument rather named All-night-tramp, and as a dinner-cook than command, and as he was unwilling to one Light-weight-breakfast. “Why, sir,' said intrust the direction and training of his he, ‘that man Leonidas would go and unlock son to the teachers of music and the culmy chests where I kept my blankets and ture-studies, considering this to be a task of clothes, and look in them to see that my mo- extraordinary importance and difficulty, or, ther had not given me anything that I did not as Sophocles has it, a job at once for many really need, or that conduced to luxury and a bit and many a helm,' he sent for Aristotle, indulgence.'” Another reference to Leoni- the most famous and learned of the philoso

phers, to come to him.” It does not by any have good reason to justify the opinion of means necessarily follow, from what Plutarch his father, Philip, that the training of such a says, that Leonidas was dispossessed of his fellow demanded the best coöperative steerposition as supervisor of the prince's educa- ing endeavors of “many a bit and many a tion by the coming of Aristotle. He proba- helm.” He was not at all what is ordinarily bly remained in at least nominal control, but called the “bad boy”— rather the contrary. it is certainly to be inferred from all that we But he was restless, energetic, fearless, hear about the later course of training that headstrong, and self-willed, though his selfthe all-important personal factor in it was will was that of an intelligent, inventive inAristotle. The pedagogue proper, i. e., dependence, rather than pure stubbornness. Lysimachus, undoubtedly continued to act The famous story of the taming of Bucein the function of personal attendant, and phalus contains a full body of doctrine on we hear of him as still in the company of this subject, and, as its accord with later Alexander during the campaign in Syria, and developments in the character of Alexander when the latter was over twenty-three years is too unmistakable to admit of any doubt old. The story which Plutarch tells about as to its authenticity, we give it in full as him in the “Vita” illustrates not only his Plutarch tells it. From the context in which amiable eccentricity of temper, but also at the the narrative appears, we infer with reasonasame time, the tenderness, generosity, and un- ble certainty that Alexander at the time was selfish loyalty to friendship which were such about twelve years old. marked features in Alexander's character. “Philonicus of Thessaly had offered to “During the progress of the siege of Tyre, sell Philip his horse Bucephalus for thirteen on a foray-expedition which he made against talents. So they all went down into the plain the Arabs dwelling by Antilibanon, he came to try the animal. He proved, however, to into great danger through his pedagogue be balky and utterly useless. He would let Lysimachus. Lysimachus, namely, had in- no one mount him, and none of the attensisted on following him everywhere, claim- dants of Philip could make him hear to him, ing that he was no less fit and no older than but he violently resisted them all. Philip, in Homer's Phænix. When now, on entering the his disgust, ordered the horse led away as mountain regions, they were obliged to leave being utterly wild and untrained. Whereat, their horses and goafoot, Lysimachus became Alexander, who was present, said: “That is exhausted and was unable to advance. The too good a horse for those men to spoil that rest of the company was far in advance, but way, simply because they have n't the skill Alexander could not bring himself to leave or the grit to handle him right. At first his old friend there alone, with the night Philip paid no attention to him, but as he coming down and the enemy close at hand. kept insisting on being heard and seemed So he stayed by him, and kept cheering him greatly disturbed about the matter, his on and trying to help him forward, until, father said to him: "What do you mean by without its being noticed, he, with a few at- criticizing your elders, as if you were wiser tendants, became separated from the army, than they, or knew so much more about and found himself obliged to bivouac there handling a horse than they do?' 'Well, this in the darkness and the bitter cold, and that, horse, anyway, would handle better than too, in a grimly disagreeable and dangerous anyone else, if they would give me position. After a while he descried at some chance.' 'In case you don't succeed,' redistance from him various scattered camp- joined his father, 'what penalty are you fires of the enemy. Relying upon his fleet- willing to pay for your freshness?' 'I'll pay, ness of foot, and with his usual fondness for by Jove, the price of the horse!' Laughter encouraging his people by personal participa- greeted this answer, but after some bantertion in toil and peril

, he made a dash against ing with his father about the money arrangethe company at the nearest watch-fire. Two ments, he went straight to the horse, took barbarians who were sitting there by the fire him by the bridle, and turned him around tohe despatched with his knife, and then, seiz- ward the sun. This he did on the theory that ing a firebrand, made off with it to his own the horse's fright was due to seeing his own people. Then they built a great fire, so that shadow dance up and down on the ground some of the enemy were frightened and fled. before him. He then ran along by his side Others who essayed to attack them they awhile, patting and coaxing him, until, after repulsed. Thus they spent the night in a while, seeing he was full of fire and spirit safety. This is the story as Chares tells it.” and impatient to go, he quietly threw off his

To return now to the boy Alexander. We coat, and swinging himself up, sat securely


astride the horse. Then he guided him about the control of his personality; he merely for a while with the reins, without striking treated self as part of his environment. him or jerking at the bit. When now he saw Appetites fared with him much as Bucethat the horse was getting over his nervous- phalus did. ness and was eager to gallop ahead, he let This greed of achieving early showed, him go, driving him on with a sterner voice however, its bent toward things political. and with kicks of his foot. In the group of “He had not,” Plutarch says, “like his father, onlookers about Philip there prevailed, from Philip, an undiscriminating fondness for all the first, the silence of intensely anxious con- kinds of fame. Thus Philip, for instance, cern. But when the boy turned the horse and used to plume himself on his cleverness in came galloping up to them with pride and joy oratory, as much as if he had been a proin his face, they all burst out into a cheer. fessional rhetorician, and his chariot-race His father, they say, shed tears for very victories he commemorated on his coins. joy, and, as he dismounted, kissed him on Alexander, however, when his companions the head, and said: “My son, seek thee a were trying to find out whether he would kingdom suited to thy powers; Macedonia is be willing to compete in the foot-race at too strait for thee.'

Olympia, for he was swift of foot, said: 'Yes, Bucephalus became from this time the certainly, if I can have kings as antagonists.'" property and the inseparable companion of We should do Alexander great injustice if Alexander. He accompanied him on his we interpreted this remark as monarchical campaigns, “sharing many toils and dangers snobbishness. Alexander, our author implies, with him," and was generally the horse rid- was no lover of fame in itself and for its den by him in battle. No one else was ever own sake. The winning of a foot-race, for allowed to mount him, as Arrian says, “be- instance, would have little value for him, cause he deemed all other riders unworthy.” except he could win it from a prince, i. e., He is reported to have been a magnificent except as the victory could take on a politiblack charger of extraordinary size, and to cal color and assume a political meaning. have been marked with a white spot on the Not that he felt it unbecoming to his station forehead.

or beneath his dignity to contend with comFrom boyhood on, nothing is more char- mon men, but that a mere athletic victory acteristic of Alexander than his restless would be to him only a sham victory, a meanpassion for reshaping and subduing. He ingless achievement. This interpretation of bore no marks of indolence of will. Action our passage is supported not only by the was almost a mania with him. A naïve re- context, but by all that we know else of the mark of his boyhood shows how the child boy's character. was father of the man. “Whenever news It is in harmony with this earnestness of was brought of Philip's victories, the capture purpose, and the tendency of his ambition of a city or the winning of some great battle, to concentrate itself upon a single aim, that he never seemed greatly rejoiced to hear it; we find him, while yet a stripling, profoundly on the contrary, he used to say to his play- interested, with a naively boyish seriousness, fellows: ‘Father will get everything in ad- in everything which concerned the imperial vance, boys; he won't leave any great task dreams and plans of his house. Once when, for me to share with you.' ... He deliber- in his father's absence, a body of special ately preferred as his inheritance, not trea- ambassadors from the Persian Shah came to sures, not luxury and pleasures, but toils, the capital, he is said to have attracted much wars, and ambitions."

remark by the skill with which he entertained By nature he was fervently passionate and them, and by the sober craft with which he impulsive, and it was only a magnificent force exploited the opportunity of their presence. of will that enabled him to hold rein upon his He showed them such distinguished attenpassions. The struggle for self-control be- tion and kindness that he directly placed gan in his boyhood. “Even in boyhood,” the himself upon a confidential footing with ancient biographer says, “ he showed a ten- them. The questions he asked them were, dency to moderation and self-control, in to their surprise, not about trifling topics that, though naturally violent and easily such as a boy would be expected to be interswayed by passion, he was not readily in- ested in, but “about the length of the roads, flamed in the enjoyment of bodily pleasures, and the methods of inland travel; about the and handled them mildly.” Self-subduing Shah, and what sort of a man he was in a was only a manifestation of the supreme military way; how strong the Persian army passion for bringing his environment under was, and what constituted the strength of

« הקודםהמשך »