In a now fragmentary passage of [Cicero's] treatise On the State, he seems to have quoted an anecdote that would turn up again, almost five hundred years later, in the pages of Saint Augustine. The story was that a petty pirate had been captured and brought before Alexander. What drove him, Alexander asked, to terrorize the seas with his pirate ship? “The same thing as drives you to terrorize the whole world,” the man sharply replied.
FLG thought he had posted that portion of Cicero before, but guess he never got around to it. FLG began reading the article thinking he was going to hate it because he reads Mary Beard's blog. She refers to Alexander as a drunken juvenile thug. But, somewhat surprisingly, FLG enjoyed the article.
Besides pirate references, it also includes support for FLG's theory that all ambitious men are motivated by daddy issues:
Or, to follow Ian Worthington’s theory in Philip II of Macedon, after modest beginnings, Alexander was driven to continue in his campaign of conquest right up to the Punjab specifically to outdo his father in every possible way
And FLG had a face palm moment here:
“Some say,” writes Arrian, “that for most of that day…Alexander mourned and wept and refused to leave until his Companions carried him off by force.” Soon after he established a cult to Hephaestion as a “hero.” This is almost exactly what the Roman emperor Hadrian (under whom Arrian served) is said to have done at the death of his own favorite, Antinous. Maybe Hadrian was aping Alexander. Much more likely Arrian was modeling his own picture of Alexander on the behavior of the emperor under whom he served.