“…when the baby Alexander had just begun to walk and talk, the world had seemed set in its course. The Greeks would fight endless wars over the meaningless question of which city-state would exercise brief hegemony. An ossified but operational Persian Empire would continue to dominate an extensive core. People at the fringes of the empire- western Anatolia, Egypt, and India- would continue to find ways to avoid Persian domination, and ambitious local governors would periodically assert a tenuous independence. Macedon would continue in its role as underperforming giant with great human and natural resources, but lacking effective central government.
Some of those assumptions began to change as Alexander’s father, Philip, consolidated royal power in Macedon, brought the mainland Greeks under his control, and laid plans for an Asian expedition that would add the rich provinces of western Anatolia to his burgeoning Macedonian Empire. But in the dozen years since Alexander had inherited the throne of Macedon, the pace had accelerated wildly. So much had changed for an unimaginable number of people across Europe and Asia, as long-entrenched systems of government had been suddenly overturned. The treasure-houses of the Persian Empire, packed with the carefully hoarded loot of two centuries of plunder and efficient taxation, had been thrown open. Tons of silver and gold spilled into the Euro-Asian economy. The Greek language, and rich cultural heritage it brought with it, was becoming the new lingua franca. Everything, it seemed, would be made anew.”
From I Wish I’d Been There, Book Two edited by Bryon Hollinshead and Theodore K. Rabb