- Aaron Shim
Diary of Alexander the Great
My name Alexander. My father gave me this scroll for my 20th birthday. My dad is Phillip II from Macedonia. He is a good dad. While he didn't spend much time with me growing up, I still like him. One thing I don’t like about him though is that he is away, conquering so much land. He's not leaving any for me to take over! I am a warrior too and I know I can conquer the world! My father doesn't look like he's able to achieve this goal, but I am very confident I can. I gotta go now. My father is challenging me to ride and tame this horse that is rampaging.
Good news! I managed to tame the horse and we had a celebration! It was really fun. After the party though, my father had too much to drink and he started acting crazy. I told him to control himself and he got mad and started shouting at me: “You think you are the best! The only thing you did was to tame that little horse!’’ I couldn't control my temper and shouted back, “You wouldn’t have been able to even tame it!” Then, one of the servants saw us fighting and separated us. I guess I should apologize. I doubt our relationship will be as good as before.
I did apologize and my father forgave me. Phew! Today, I took a ride around the kingdom. I mean, if I want to rule my country well, I will need to know the land and its people. I am on my way back to the palace. I will keep this short. I really need to go now. My father wanted me to use you just to write down tactics. He didn’t expect me to actually write my thoughts down! Well, I am going to use you as a diary anyway.
I just had my archery session. I am soaking in sweat right now. It is so hot. Then horse riding comes next. My horse is the best! It can run the fastest. I still have about 11 minutes until training starts. I don’t need to have a horse riding class. I am already so good at it! Anyway, I might not be able to write for a while. My father is going to be out of Macedonia for a while and I need to be a king during that period. I hope you understand what I mean. You know, you might think this is no good for normal people, but I am not normal. I will soon conquer the whole world. That is why although I don’t like horse riding sessions, it might do me some good later. I need to go now. I might not write for a while, but that is only because I need to be a king.
Hey, long time no see. I know, I barely even have time to bathe. I have those meetings lasting several hours. Well, some part of me wishes my father to come back. I really don't like the boring stuff about being a king. Those endless discussions! What I really want is to be a warrior. These are actually two very different things. Warriors fight. Kings usually do a lot of boring stuff. I will be a king who actually goes out to fight. That is why I continue to train. I want to do an excellent job. Although my father isn't here, his servants do the job, and they’re doing pretty fine. He is coming back on March 20th and that will be the end of my fun fighting sessions. What's cool about being king though is I get to tell the servants to do what I like. You know, being a king is hard, but being a student is even worse. It's hard to focus and keep still during really boring lectures! I get bored and I start teaching them! I know, my dad might be mad. I hope he doesn’t find out! I am having a good time. Just thinking it as a break before he comes back to teach me skills that he thinks are useful.
Hey, my father’s back! He came back this afternoon. He was so tired that he went to sleep right away. It is the start of my boring routine, again. My father will teach me archery and horse riding. I heard the news that my father shot the enemy’s king with an arrow. I wish archery and horse riding is worth doing. I don’t really think it is important. A warrior fights with swords, not arrows! I mean, he teaches me really well. I can shoot almost as well as him now. Also, after I got Bucephalus, my horse, I can ride even faster! Bucephalus is amazing. In horse riding, I can beat dad. Soon, if I improve my archery a little bit more, my dad won’t need to teach me!
Sorry, I needed to go into battle. I know it is completely random to write to you one day that I am going on a battle. There is a reason. I didn’t prepare, so I left in haste. I couldn’t bring you there. Obviously, my army won. It was easy. My tactics were perfect and my soldiers also fought well. It was fun. The reason I left in haste was that my dad was supposed to go on that battle. However, he forgot (I have no idea how he forgot a battle!). Therefore, the opposition closed down on us. That is why I left in such haste. I replaced my dad. My dad is a great warrior, but he sometimes misses the obvious.
I didn’t write for a while because nothing exciting happened. Except that I had a fight with my dad, again. He doesn’t want me to ask him when I can become a warrior. I don’t know why. I really don’t want dad to be mad at me. He had a problem with my mom too, so yeah. I don’t know how that happened. My dad really didn’t care about my mom. He barely even used to talk to her. They were going on fine that way. Don’t know why they fought...
My father has died. I know this is so sudden after a month. I don’t know why. I didn’t even get to apologize to my dad. I don’t know why he died. Someone killed him, and I don’t know why… I need to go to the funeral. I… just can’t believe it… that.. he just died after a month without seeing me. He was away. He said he was gonna go around Macedonia. Of course, he left me a note. So, I didn’t see how…….. my father died… and if I had been there………………….. I …… can’t believe that I am going to be a warrior… Without …. my ….. father seeing me.
You know, I don’t want to become a king. I am not ready. I know I will have to be one soon, but I just can’t believe that my teacher, my mentor, my friend, my DAD is just gone…... I don’t want to rule countries. I don’t want to do anything. Learning from my dad was better.
I need to forget about my father’s death for now. I just need to get over it. I need to! I can do this! I just need to forget about his death! I need to……...
I thought I would be able to go out to the battlefield and fight. Instead, my friends tell me I need to do the “important stuff “ first. If I could, I would rather be someone else.
Hey, I am being tutored by Aristotle. How cool is that? Not cool!!! It is boring. I mean, my dad died. Then, he can’t teach me anymore so Aristotle comes in. Ugh! Aristotle is a great teacher. He helps me be wiser and calmer. However, I still want to be a warrior. Like, a fighting warrior. I hope one day, my dream will come true.
I wrote to you because I wanted to tell you something. So, I was patrolling through Macedonia and I found this man on the ground sleeping. I asked him, “Who are you?”
His answer was quite rude, “Diogenes. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, can you move out of the way? You are blocking the sun.”
I was obviously surprised. He was rude, but I really liked him. So I said, “Sure. Let’s go, guys!” I whispered to him, “If I was able to choose who I would be, I definitely would be you.” Then, we patrolled the rest of Macedonia and went back to the palace. It was a weird experience.
Hey, I just finished learning from Aristotle. I am planning to practice horse riding and archery that my father taught me. I am going to ride my horse and run around the circle then, shooting my arrow. My father was always able to do it on one try. Right now, it takes me four. My dad was very skillful. One day, I will be better than him.
Guess what! I am going to go on a “trip” to Persia. I am going to conquer the land. If Persia gets bigger, they might become a problem. I need to cut them out now! What do you think? It isn’t much of a trip, but it will probably be fun.
Bad news. This is so frustrating! So I asked my friend Cassander to look over my palace while I was gone. I mean, I can’t look after my palace and go on a battle, right? I can trust him with my life. Then, when I was about to march out, a bomb flew inside the castle wall and blew up most of the palace. Cassander, unfortunately, was standing right behind the walls. Fortunately, Cassander wasn’t dead. Of course he was still badly injured. When the bomb blew up, I led my panicking soldiers outside the castle. I gotta admit. I acted cool, but I was really afraid. Whoever threw those bombs might be strong. The opposing army was the Anatolian army. We beat them easily. However, we needed to wait until Cassader’s wound was all healed. Or else, he might get attacked, but he won’t be able to do anything. That totally ruined my plan. It is winter right now, but when Cassander is all healed, it will probably be the end of spring or the start of summer. Why…
It is soon the winter holiday. I want Cassander to heal faster for my present. Some part because he is my friend, other parts because I want to conquer lands. By the way, I conquered Phoenicia and Judea. It was very simple. My army attacked really fast and both of the lands couldn’t defend themselves. Well, I got good news. I will be able to go on a battle to Persia during Mid January. Cassander is recovering faster than I guessed.
I am going to Persia today. I have all my stuff packed and we are ready to go. I am sort of excited. I don’t know why. I mean, I always wanted to fight, but I still can’t believe I am actually going. I had some battles before, but Persia is huge!! Just telling you, I am bringing Aristotle. I just think I might borrow some help. I have to go now. I will write to you probably in 2 weeks or so.
I arrived in Persia. I might not be able to write to you for a while because of the battle. Don’t worry about me. My army will win. Later!
I had my first battle with Persia. We won, but it was close. Do you know how my dad used to teach me about horse riding? That really helped me win the battle. So I was chasing Darius the third, the Persian emperor with my horse. There were so many boulders. Darius was skillful, but I had learned horse riding from my father. I was able to run past all the boulders. When I was about to kill Darius, I noticed that my friends were in trouble. Killing Darius might have ended the battle, but my friends were more important to me. They are the people who I can’t live without. Therefore, I headed back to help my friends. So, we won the first battle, but I am sure there will be more.
Okay, so I am nervous. It is 11:52 am. In 8 minutes, I will be on the battlefield. It is cool. However, I don’t know why, but I have a feeling that this battle will be very important.
I don’t know where to start. First of all, I am so sorry I didn’t write to you for a while. We won battle number 2 easily. However, one of my friends got injured. Therefore, we just defended. He is back now, but I don’t want anyone to get injured in my army. You understand, right? I am having my third battle probably next year. I am going to give my soldiers some rest.
I am sorry. The third battle started earlier than I thought it would and it went on longer than I thought it would. It started last November and it ended 3 days ago. It was so tiring. Sometimes, my tactics didn’t work and I was stressed. However, as you might have guessed, I kept going on. It was really intense. I don’t know if I can call it a victory. 3 of my friends got injured and we didn’t get to catch Darius. I am so frustrated. Persia has an advantage in the number of soldiers, so I need to end the battle fast. But how? So I have been thinking of tactics I can use. So I and some of the soldiers will go straight down to the opposition. Then, when the Persian army is being attacked, the other half of the army will go around the Persian army straight to Darius’s palace. I mean, I hope it works. However, that tactic won’t do any good if Darius is not in the palace. I gotta train my soldiers and tell my friends the tactic.
Tomorrow, I will be going to battle. I really hope my tactic works. I will make sure Darius gets captured. See ya!
In one sentence, my tactic didn’t work; Darius wasn’t in the palace. Instead, he battled against me. He is still a good fighter. And my army only had a few hundred soldiers. Darius had a few thousand. I mean, I couldn’t win that. At least the other half returned with Darius’s family. I am not going to harm them or anything. They will just be held captive. I will treat them well. Bad thing is, I don’t know what I am going to do. I can’t think of any tactics. Aristotle keeps telling me to just run at them, but I know better than that. We only have a few thousand soldiers. The Persian at least has a few million. Therefore, I will go to Darius. Only Darius. No one else.
I didn’t capture Darius. That is the sad part. I mean, but he died. During the 3rd battle, I was chasing Darius alone. Again, I almost got him. I reached for my bow and shot his horse’s back. Thank you, dad. You taught me both horse riding and archery, and they are helping me win the battle. Darius fell from his horse but didn’t die. Some of the Persian soldiers came and I needed to fight them off first, so I lost Darius. About 3 hours later, I found out that Darius had fallen from a horse again and this time, he died. He was a great warrior. I will agree with that. I am going to treat his family as my own family. I guess I just won the battle!
I am back in Macedonia. Conquering Persia felt good, but I am tired. Also, I am really thankful for my dad. Without him, I might have lost the battle. He might be dead, but he still lives inside me. All my skills are from him. I used all the skills he taught me to win this battle. Probably like a year or so later, I will go to India. I always heard that the end of the world was in India. I gotta rest now.
I know I am supposed to write a diary entry every day. I am sorry I didn’t write to you for 9 months. I had some land problems. You know I have a lot of lands, right? However, although I have many friends, I need them during battle. I don’t have any others who I can trust to rule over Persia. Persia is a big land. I have a meeting to decide who will rule over Persia. Also, I need to go to conquer India. Arrgh!! I don’t know what to do!!! I need my dad…
I am going to India. I am going to win!
My soldiers are already tired. It is so hot and it is tiring. I feel bad for my soldiers and I know I can’t let them be mad at me, but I still need to go on. Aaaaaaaaaaa!!! Everything isn’t right!!!
My army can’t go on and I know that. I am not trying to be a bad warrior. I just want to conquer lands. I mean, I want to be the king that has control of every land on Earth! I don’t want to go back when we are this far. Hope you understand.
I think my army can’t endure anymore of this. They are throwing fruits at me and my friends. I will go back. Tomorrow. I can’t stand this, and my army can’t stand this. We will go back, just not the way we came.
You might wonder what I meant as “not the way we came”. Don’t think of me as a bad warrior… I am going the long way. I just want them to suffer a bit. It was my dream to conquer India. I didn’t get to do that because of my soldiers...
Sadly, they figured it out. As “they”, I mean the soldiers. I am in so much trouble. Also, unfortunately, now I have no idea where we are.
Seven years have passed and we are still not in Macedonia. At first, I just planned to go around a little bit. Then, I forgot where I was and we lost track. Another bad news, I think I am sick….
I can’t stand this anymore... I think I'm about to die. Before I leave this world, I have three wishes. Firstly, my physicians alone carry my coffin. Secondly, when my coffin is being carried, the path leading to the graveyard must be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected. Lastly, I want both of my hands to be kept dangling out of my coffin.
Thank you, diary for always being with me.
Last entry - June 11
I am Alexander’s friend Cassander. Alexander died. Nobody knows why. He had a high fever last night and he died this morning. I am so sorry. Alexander was a great friend. He didn’t leave me when I was injured, and he even let me rule Macedonia for some time. He was an amazing friend. I will never forget him. He will be buried with honor. From now on, he will be called Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great was the king of the Greek Empire called Macedon. He lived from 356BC to 323BC. Image sourced