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Alexander the Great

A lifelong passion for Alexander the Great can be traced back to my early years in Salford.

The need for a hero to look up to was an important ingredient in my formative years. Alexander, a handsome, strong willed character who lead from the front; a charismatic individual who would not ask of a man or, for that matter, order anyone to complete a task he personally would not complete himself.

Although deadly to his detractors he was fiercely loyal to his friends. No problem was insurmountable. A quite unique personality - most if not all men fall short of his exacting standards.

In April 1979 our first son was born and christened Alexander. The time was right to visit my spiritual homeland. Macedonia in those far off days was not a tourist destination, the planning especially with a young child would have to be spot on. All the necessary ingredients were put in place and we were ready by September 1980. The flight was long and tedious, arriving in Thessaloniki in the early hours followed by a long hair-raising coach journey. All the hardships would be rewarded on opening my hotel curtains in the morning. The view was stunning, not a ripple on the dead, calm sea. A view no doubt Alexander would have been accustomed to.

 

 

Can you see Alexander?

My senses made me profoundly aware that I was 32 years old. At thes same age my hero ruled the ancient world. I was poised to fulfil a childhood dream and follow in his footsteps. As with Alexander fortune favoured me in the guise of the Ministry of Culture & Science. They had assembled an exhibition in Thessaloniki entitled "Alexander the Great, History & Legend in Art''. This took place in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki July 19th / September 29th 1980. Such timing!!. The treasures from the excavation of the Tomb of Philip II at Vergina by Manolis Andronicus (whom I would have the good fortune to meet only a few days later) at Vergina were also displayed. In the course of the next 14 days I would visit Pella, Alexander's birthplace, Edessa,Veria and Vergina, where I spoke at length to Manolis Andronicus in a cafe adjacent to his excavations. A wonderful afternoon would be spent at Olynthus the scene of one of Philip's (Alexander's father) many victories. The harsh beauty of the ancient Macedonian landscape would haunt me forever.


ALEXANDER AND THE GREEN MAN

It is written in the Middle Ages that Alexander the Great consulted the Green Man in the guise of a prophesying tree whilst campaigning in India. The prophecy would tell that Alexander would never return home and he would die of poison through treachery of one of his companions, also Olympias would meet a miserable fate!!

Alexander and the Green Man

The ancient "possibly Celtic" Green Man, who resides with me.

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