Analysis: What Alexander The Great Can Teach About When a War is Over

Posted November 24, 2014 at 5:00am

The New York Times runs a piece by author and West Point English Professor Elizabeth D. Samet , that looks to history as a guide to help determine when a war is over: “This fall, I tried in my small way to seize the chance to explore the culture of long campaigns and to examine the particular difficulty of recognizing the end. The context is a course on world literature. My students, juniors and seniors at the Military Academy, are perhaps more keenly interested than most in the mythologies of long wars. As they contemplate their military careers, they also need to know what it means to serve in the wake of a war. Together we have been following Alexander the Great’s line of march. This long campaign effectively began at the same time as Alexander’s succession to the Macedonian throne of his father, Philip, in 336 B.C., when he crushed a Greek revolt, and ended only with his death 13 years later in 323 B.C., at age 32.”