Caesar’s future leadership ability is also evident in his ability to deal with his pirate captors and also bribing his way out of detention when he was captured by Sylla’s soldiers. The courage in the young Alexander was manifest in taking up the challenge to ride an untamed horse as a boy which could have easily killed him. The valiant Caesar reveals himself in the negotiations with his captors when he laughed at them for asking a very low ransom and later he captures them after his ransom was paid and has them crucified as he had promised them.
They also portrayed similar behavior towards friends. For Alexander, he rewarded his men and friends heavily, giving land, villages, and many precious gifts at will to anyone willing to receive or desiring assistance from him. Caesar too rewarded his friends freely.
Both leaders knew the value of buying friendship, attention, favor or loyalty. At the time Alexander the great was crossing into Asia Minor, he had 200 talents in debt because he had spent all money in making sure that his men and their families were well provided for. Caesar too before he had any public employment had a debt of thirteen hundred talents due to his profuse expenditure in buying public loyalty, (Plutarch & Du Pontet R. L 2009).
Tactics employed in war determines the ultimate winner. In his quest to reach India, Alexander at one point burnt all his baggage trains enabling the soldiers to march faster and also motivate them to conquer and plunder on their enemy’s supplies. Caesar on the other hand, in combat against Pompey realized that most of his fighters were young men who would do anything to preserve their handsome faces, he instructed his army to aim at the enemies’ faces and in trying to avoid harm to their faces, Caesar emerged victorious.
Both generals were courageous at war, often being at the front line and often throwing themselves in danger’s path to defend their men in desperate situations. Alexander suffered very many wounds in Asia and Caesar almost died in Britain all in direct combat.
These two men had the mastery of the benevolence and enthusiastic service of their armies; the soldiers were highly passionate and devoted to them. They were curiously ready to battle indomitable opponents in the most bizarre situations but always went as long as the leader said so.
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They liked to pardon their captives, treat them well and incase death occurs, give them befitting funerals. Alexander displays this excellently when he is merciful to a woman who had killed one of his allies, showed kindness to king Darius’ family while Caesar shows kindness to Brutus who finally hatched a plot to murder him.
These men lived and died as fighters. Neither of them took any offence at omens which at times predicted doom to them, nor showed any annoyance with the seers who prophesied their deaths. Caesar preferred to die than live in fear of death by employing bodyguards and Alexander was planning conquests to his last days.
We cannot fail to acknowledge that a few differences arise in their lives. First, Alexander inherits a kingdom that had been firmly established under King Philip, while Caesar was a regular citizen from a notable family who worked his way to lead the Roman Empire. In this respect both have their accomplishments but the unequal resources at the start of their careers in leadership are very evident. Alexander’s conquest took him to faraway lands and in his battles he never faced the same foe twice and was never defeated. With Caesar however, the Gaul and Pompey took a huge part of his battle plans where he fought them over and over without really crushing them totally.
These men had different role models. Alexander modeled himself on past heroes like Hercules and Achilles while Caesar studied Alexander the great emotionally. At troy, during the siege on the city, Alexander is said to have anointed Achilles grave and performed some rituals in respect, during the siege on tyre he saw Hercules in a dream and this gave him the motivation to conquer the city on the same day. When Caesar was in Spain and read part of the history of Alexander the great, he remarks that Alexander was really a great person due to all that he had achieved in the few years that he lived.
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