Chanukah Myths (3 of 8)

chanukiah3

 

Myth: Alexander, tutored by the great philosopher Aristotle, was an enlightened despot.


Fact:

We touched on the importance of Alexander to the Chanukah story in myth one. I always the enjoy quoting the following passage from Bertrand Russell, in his History of Western Philosophy. “Hegel thinks that Alexander’s career shows the practical usefulness of philosophy. As to this, A. W. Benn says: “It would be unfortunate if philosophy had no better testimonial to show for herself than the character of Alexander. . . . Arrogant, drunken, cruel, vindictive, and grossly superstitious, he united the vices of a Highland chieftain to the frenzy of an Oriental despot.”’

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