This can cause us all to hope that maybe Alexander the Great wasn’t actually like the emo rent-boy portrayal Brad Pitt gave him in the unwatchable Troy: Alexander the Gay.
The Telegraph reported a while back on an archaeological discovery dating from circa 300 BC. And they think it was the tomb of some Macedonian bigwig.
Archaeologists in Greece have discovered a vast tomb that they believe is connected with the reign of the warrior-king Alexander the Great, who conquered vast swathes of the ancient world between Greece and India.
The tomb, dating to around 300 BC, may have held the body of one of Alexander’s generals or a member of his family. It was found beneath a huge burial mound near the ancient site of Amphipolis in northern Greece.
Antonis Samaras, Greece’s prime minister, visited the dig on Tuesday and described the discovery as “clearly extremely significant”.
A broad, five-yard wide road led up to the tomb, the entrance of which was flanked by two carved sphinxes. It was encircled by a 500 yard long marble outer wall. Experts believe a 16ft tall lion sculpture previously discovered nearby once stood on top of the tomb.
They ruled out the possibility that the tomb could be that of Alexander – the emperor is believed to have been buried in Egypt after he died of a fever in Babylon in 323BC.
Since that report, more has been unearthed (both literally and figuratively), and archaeologists have made the not unexpected discovery that the tomb was plundered in ancient times, and that at least some of the guardian statuary was defaced by iconoclasts, perhaps during the long dark night of Greece’s occupation by the marginally-civilized Ottoman Empire.
A more recent article is here in the Daily Mail. It contains more information on the excavations, and was the source of the images that we have reprinted here. While the text of the article is interesting, we were particularly intrigued by this interesting comment:
Antipater was one of the few people who died in Greece around the estimated time the tomb was constructed, and was important enough to rate a tomb of this one’s size. He was a general for Alexander’s father, Philip II, and then was Alexander’s regent for Macedonia, and Strategos of Greece. In that capacity he crushed Sparta once and for all at the Battle of Megalopolis. Later, after Alexander’s death, he became regent of the empire, and guardian of Alexander’s infant son, and his brother. Had he lived longer, the history of Western Civilization might have been very different. He died in 319 BC.
There is not enough information out there yet to identify the tomb to any single individual, but that’s a credible suggestion.
Wait, Alexander had a son? The Brad Pitt version couldn’t have done that.