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Trevor Byrd
Professor Kimberly Lark
History 134
28 June 2015
Portfolio Reflection
Throughout this course we have looked at the rise and fall of many civilizations and
cultures throughout ancient history. We are now faced with a question and this question states,
What can I, as an historian of the ancient world, learn and apply from the history of my ancient
ancestors to my own role in contributing to the acting responsibly for the betterment of society?
There are many different ways that an individual could answer this question but for this paper I
will pick a certain theme and focus on answering this question with the theme that is chosen. The
theme that I will answers this question with will be religion/morals and tradition.

Alexander the Great is known for his outstanding military fighting skills. At an early age
Alexander became the King of the Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon1 and a member of the
Argead dynasty (Alexander the Great). Alexander conquered many empires in which he was
able to create one of the largest empires of the ancient world which stretched from Greece to
Egypt and even into northwest India (Alexander the Great). As the King of Macedon he would
not always stay true to his religion because often times he would adapt the beliefs of the empires
and countries he conquered. But as King, Alexander would always stay true to his traditions. By
this I mean he always did what he thought was best for his country. He always wanted Macedon
to grow and become a world empire that people feared and respected.

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Muhammed, the Prophet of Islam, was known for being the last prophet of God and he is
the start of the second largest religion today, Islam. It is believed that an angel from heaven came
down to Muhammed and told him to recite scripture for the Quran2 (Islam From The Beginning
To 1300). Soon after he was told that he was to spread Islam throughout the world because he
was the last prophet of God. At first Muhammed didnt believe he really was and sometimes
faltered in his destiny but ultimately stayed true to his calling and religion. Muhammed is the
father of Islam and without him being faithful throughout his journeys in trying to promote Islam
to people who wanted nothing to do with what he had to say Islam would not have started and
spread throughout the world and be what it is today.

Constantine the Great, also known as Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor from 306
to 337 AD of Thracian-Illyrian ancestry (Constantine the Great). Constantine was known as
the first Roman Emperor to claim conversion to Christianity. He did away with a Christian
persecutions and even forced Christianity onto the people of Roman. Besides Christianity
Constantine did many good things such as enact many administrative, financial, social, and
military reforms that ultimately strengthened the empire. He even built a new imperial residence
at Byzantium3 and renamed the city Constantinople (Constantine the Great Rules).
Constantinople would even become the capital of the empire for over a thousand years.
Constantine was able to help spread Christianity to Rome and even beyond Rome by making
Rome an example of Christianity. He stayed true to his beliefs and made a huge impact for
Christianity.

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As an historian of the ancient world we must ask ourselves how we enable what we
learned throughout history to help the betterment of todays society. We looked at three different
examples of how people in the ancient times stayed true to their religion and traditions and
because of their actions they were able to make a huge impact in their societies and countries.
Alexander the Great, Muhammad, and Constantine the Great influenced and helped shape that
world through their beliefs and traditions. Today, we are facing obstacles that are not exactly like
the obstacles these leaders faced in their time. We are not worried about concurring different
countries, for the most part. But if you believe in a certain religion you normally want others to
learn and believe in the same things you do. So, as a results we as humans go out and tell others
what we believe in and show them the ways that they can believe too. No madder what your
religious beliefs are you always want others to join you. To better the society that we live in I
personally believe we need to open ourselves up to new ideas, not saying we need to change
what we already believe in but we can very easily listen to someone and what they have to say.
This would allow people to be less angry with people that believe in a different thing then you.
Allow peace between nations and different religion because you would realize that the others are
not be rude or do not care about what you have to say but you are open to listening to them. Once
we reach this point of acceptance the world can be a better and safer place to live in.

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Notes
1. Macedon was an ancient kingdom on the northern periphery of Classical Greece.
2. Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation
from God.
3. Byzantium was an ancient Greek colony on the site that later became Constantinople.

Works Cited

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Alexander the Great. Wikipedia. 20 June. 2015. Web. 28 June. 2015.


Islam From The Beginning To 1300. history-world. 2002. Web. 28 June. 2015.
Constantine the Great. Wikipedia. 26 June 2015. Web. 28 June 2015.
Constantine the Great Rules. National Geographic. 1996. Web. 28 June 2015.