Alexander (2004)

12 corrected entries

Corrected entry: In the battle at Gaugeamela, the Persian army is wearing dark clothes. Their uniforms were yellow and light purple.


Correction: The concept of uniforms was not in existance at this period in time. All soldiers wore what they could afford. The dark stuff may not be sensible for a desert people but is not nescessarily wrong.

Corrected entry: In the "Director's Cut," Ptolemy implies that Alexander and Hephaistion died of typhus, which is transmitted by lice. He refers to what Hephaistion drank, so the cause is more likely to be typhoid. Historians believe that typhoid killed Alexander because waters of Babylon were, and still are, notorious for it.


Correction: The cause of Alexander's death has never been established, nor is it likely that it ever will be. Historians may express their opinions, but these are just that, opinions based on highly limited available evidence and personal theories. No consensus exists among historians, with typhoid, malaria, meningitis and pancreatitis all put forward as candidates among a host of other suggestions. As such, no factual error can realistically be claimed on this front, as no immutable facts exist to be deviated from.


Corrected entry: At the river Hyphasis, Alexander's troops refused to go any further. Their spokesman was a Greek nobleman named Koinos. Their cause was not defended by Krateros as depicted in the movie.

Correction: In the DVD commentary, Stone acknowledges this. He says he had Krateros do it because it linked to a later scene, and gave it more intimacy, being that Krateros was one of Alexander's trusted friends.

Corrected entry: Philotas was never involved in the so called 'conspiracy of the pages'. He was accused of conspiring against Alexander on his own and put to death in 330 BC. The conspiracy of the pages occurred in 327 BC, three years later.

Correction: In the DVD commentary, Stone acknowledges this. However, since he was forced to shorten his movie and had to change events to make it more dramatic, he had Philotas's conspiracy included later in Asia when the army is most disillusioned with him.

Corrected entry: Cleitus did save Alexander's life once, but it wasn't at the Battle of Gaugamela as is depicted in the movie. He saved his life earlier, at the river Granikos.

Correction: In the DVD commentary, Stone acknowledges this, and points out that since only the Battle of Gaugamela was shown in the movie (with Cleitus still alive), he included that little bit in Gaugamela, which later played a role in the scene where Alexander kills Cleitus.

Corrected entry: When Philip is teaching Alexander about Greek myths, he tells him that Herakles completed twelve labours, but was nevertheless struck with madness, with caused him to kill his children. That's turning things around. Herakles (or Hercules) was first struck with madness and in this madness he killed his children. To pay for this crime, he was ordered by the Oracle to complete twelve labours.

Correction: Actually there were 2 different versions of the Heracles myth since classic time, so the film's version is accurate. In one, the 12 labours preceded the madness attack, instead of following it, which made the homicide fury only harder to accept for a mortal's mind.

Corrected entry: Alexander was Greek, not Irish, so the Irish accents are inaccurate.

Correction: Technically, Alexander was from Macedonia. In Macedonia, they spoke Celtic. As such, Oliver Stone knew that, short of teaching all his actors Ancient Greek, hiring a lot of Celtic actors would be the most realistic way to make the film. There is a lot of Irish and Scottish actors in the film as a result. Colin Farrell lashed out at reporters at the Irish Premiere for this exact reason.

Corrected entry: At the scene where Alexander's army meets the Persian army (with Darius between them), we can see that they are in a desert. However the geography of Issos (where the battle took place in 333 BC) is not desert-like or an open field. It is a canyon.

Correction: The lone battle we see in the movie between Darius and Alexander is actually an amalgamation of two battles between the two Armies. The two battles being Gaugamela and Issos. Events from both battles are shown in the movies battle sequence. The geography in the movie sequence looks more like Gaugamela's geography.

Corrected entry: Right before his Babylonian governor is being murdered, Alexander examines some papers. They're written in an old style font, but after all, they're written in English instead of Greek or any language spoken in his army.

Correction: Standard convention in historical movies - can't be considered an error. Alexander didn't really speak English either, but the movie is in English so we can understand it.

Corrected entry: In the movie, Alexander is referred to as a native of Greece. He was actually from Macedonia.

Correction: The ancient kingdom of Macedon is to be distinguished from the Republic of Macedonia. Macedon was definitely part of what is now called Greece. Its capital city (Pella) was near present day Thessaloniki. Macedon adopted the Greek language and culture in the 5th century BC, so by the time Alexander became king, it was really a Greek state and part of the Hellenistic world. Therefore it's fair to say Alexander was a Greek.

Corrected entry: Alexander's horse Bucephalus was not given to him as a child, but in 329, when he had already been in Asia several years. As the movie has it, the horse would have been nearly 20 years old when it was killed, very unlikely.

Correction: Most accounts have Alexander recieving Bucephalus in Macedonia when he is 12 or 13 in 344 BC not in 329 BC.

Corrected entry: Alexander in the movie is right-handed, the historical Alexander was left-handed.

Correction: A famous and common myth, but there's no historical source. If Alexander was left-handed, he'd probably have been forced to become ambidextrous as left-handedness was usually frowned upon in Antiquity.



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