"Now that the wars are coming to an end, I wish you to prosper in peace. May all mortals from now on live like one people in concord and for mutual advancement. Consider the world as your country, with laws common to all and where the best will govern irrespective of tribe. I do not distinguish among men, as the narrow-minded do, both among Greeks and Barbarians. I am not interested in the descendance of the citizens or their racial origins. I classify them using one criterion: their virtue. For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a Barbarian. If differences ever develop between you never have recourse to arms, but solve them peacefully. If necessary, I should be your arbitrator. You must not consider God like an autocratic despot, but as a common Father of all; so your behavior may resemble the life siblings have in a family. On my part I should consider all equals,white or blacks, and wish you all to be not only subjects of the Commonwealth, but participants and partners. As much as this depends on me, I should try to bring about what I promised. The oath we made over tonight’s libations hold onto as a Contract of Love".
- Alexander the Great at Opis.
I have it over to the side at my blog: rjones2818.blogspot.com.
There is argument as to if he actually gave this, or if it was put in his mouth by one of Hadrian's generals (Arrian) as propaganda. Either way, it's one of the finest statements of how people should interact with each other that I've ever read.
I think then that you might want to direct your admiration towards a modern Greek gentleman!
The problem with the oath is that it is not historical. Its internet origins probably lie in a book written by Nicholas Martis, The Falsification of Macedonian History.
In his book, Martis says that "This oath is given by Zolakostas in his
book Alexander the Great, Precursor of Christ
" who referenced the 3rd book of Pseudo Callisthenes and the philosopher Eratosthenes.
Pseudo Callisthenes is, of course, the author of the fictional Alexander Romance, and if the oath was to be found in its pages it still could not be verified as historical. To date, however, I haven’t found any translation of the Romance that contains the piece, and there is no extant work of Eratosthenes which contains the oath (so Zolakostas could not have read it there either).
All that Arrian (the sole source for any "prayer" at Opis, I believe) has to say is:
Arrian 7.2.6-9 On this Alexander sacrificed to the gods to whom it was his custom to sacrifice, and gave a public banquet, seated all the Persians, and then any persons from the other peoples who took precedence for rank or any other high quality, and he himself and those around him drank from the same bowl and poured the same libations, with the Greek soothsayers and Magi initiating the ceremony. Alexander prayed for various blessings and especially that the Macedonians and Persians should enjoy harmony as partners in government. The story prevails that those who shared the banquet were nine thousand and that they all poured the same libation and gave the one victory cry as they did.
So, in essence, the oath is not to be found in any of the sources and is a work of modern fiction reflecting an author's view of Alexander. That same author may be channeling Plutarch's On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander
by the way,
but the actual words in the oath are not Alexander's.
(With grateful acknowledgement to the members of Alexandriaeschate
for the information on Martis and Zolakostas.)