By Harold Lamb
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In this strange method of taking nothing for granted it was necessary to learn the causes erf sickness before being taught the cures, N&t until the noble young Macedonians had advanced beyond the study of natural things could they gain knowledge of phenomena, of the Mysteries. Aristotle had a way of dodging talk about the Mysteries by saying that life was enough of a mystery for one man’s mind. “He’s a phenomenon himself,” Ptolemy complained. “He doesn’t preach, he doesn’t teach, he tells us not to believe what we read but to ask questions.
At the turning point he could see the white marble of the shrine upon which had been carved the words: I am am immortal god, mortal no more. They used the pillar as a marker and started back on the other side of it, racing uphill to the city. The boy went eagerly, because the streak of sunrise along the mountain ridge meant that the chariot of the sun was rising out of its stable in the distant Ocean and starting on its course across the sky. When clouds moved over the mountains he thought he could see the heads of the horses uptossed.
The Kinsman seemed surprised. “Your father is King “ he began, and checked himself. He knew well what the boy meant. Had Philip, King of Macedon, any companions who were more than wine companions, who shared his thoughts and loved him in spite of his failings? Leonidas considered and answered honestly but carefully. “He has Parmenio and Antipater. ” He had named two generals of the army and a politician. ” the boy persisted. ” This time Leonidas answered without thought. ” A dozen, Alexander reflected, was the number of boys about his own age from twelve to fourteen years selected by his mother to share his classes with the tutors.
Alexander of MacEdon by Harold Lamb