What were some of the ways Alexander the Great used religion to help people accept him as a ruler?

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mrkirschner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Alexander the Great had a big challenge in uniting a vast empire of people from different backgrounds.  He knew that religion was a powerful force to bring people together.  Alexander the Great used religion to his advantage in two different ways.  First, he honored the Greek gods, but also paid homage to Egyptian and Persian gods as well.  Alexander made it a point to be seen in the temples oracles throughout the empire.  At one point, the priests of the Egyptian temples began referring to him as the son of god.

That leads to the second way that Alexander used religion to his advantage. Alexander started to tell his subjects that he was a god.  He started to wear the headdress of the chief god of the Egyptians.  Because of his striking success on the battlefield and his benevolence as a leader, his subjects were inclined to believe him.