What Are Some of the Bad Things Alexander the Great Did?

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Alexander the Great committed numerous acts of violence and destruction as a military leader, including destroying the ancient city of Persepolis and knocking down prominent statues and religious figures. Alexander the Great had a bold, brash personality and a short temper. He drank heavily and resorted to violent means to solve even small dilemmas; this personality proved ideal for the military, but got Alexander into trouble among civilians.

The differences in opinion of Alexander the Great divide in history from the East and West. Westerners generally perceive Alexander the Great as a heroic man, while citizens in parts of the East view him as a carousing, destructive figure.

Alexander the Great had a rocky relationship with the Persians, and set out to get revenge after each perceived wrongdoing by the Persians against him. Alexander destroyed Persepolis after Persian ruler Xerxes burned the Acropolis. Additionally, Alexander took issue with the teachings of the Zoroastrian religion, and destroyed numerous Zoroastrian properties, including monuments and iconic figures, in many areas of the Persian empire.

Upon taking control of cities in the Persian empire and in the broader Middle East, Alexander the Great instituted several political reforms viewed unfavorably by citizens. One reform sought to make Asia a more centralized nation with more power vested in the federal government. Alexander also set policies restricting marriages of his soldiers to local women. Alexander, in fits of rage, killed several men as well, including Cleitus, leader of the cavalry division under his rule.