What Made Alexander the Great – The Greatest Persuader
In a famous Greek legend, the Gordian knot was the name given to an
intricate knot used by Gordius to secure his oxcart.
Gordius, who was a poor peasant, arrived with his wife in a public square of
Phrygia in an oxcart.
An oracle had informed the populace that their future king would come riding
in a wagon.
Seeing Gordius, the people made him king.
In gratitude, Gordius dedicated his oxcart to Zeus, tying it up with a
An oracle foretold that he who untied the knot would rule all of Asia.
Many people tried to undo the knot but all to no avail. The penalty for
failing to untie the knot was death.
In 333 B.C. Alexander the Great had invaded Asia Minor and arrived in the
central mountains at the town of Gordium;
He was 23 years old. Alexander was undefeated, but without a decisive
He was in need of an omen to prove to his troops and his enemies that the
outcome of his mission – to conquer the known world – was possible.
In Gordium, by the Temple of the Zeus Basilica, was the ox cart, which had
been put there by the King of Phrygia over 100 years before.
The staves of the cart were tied together in a complex knot with the ends
tucked away inside.
Having arrived at Gordium it was inconceivable that the young, impetuous
Alexander would not attempt to tackle the legendary “Gordian Knot”.
Alexander climbed the hill and approached the cart as a crowd of curious
Macedonians and Phrygians gathered around.
They watched intently as Alexander struggled with the knot and became
Alexander, stepping back, called out, “What does it matter how I loose it?”
With that, he drew his sword, and in one powerful stroke severed the knot.
Alexander the Great went on to conquer most of Asia before his death.
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