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According to Wikipedia, Alexander founded or renamed each of the following places after himself:

  1. Alexandria, Egypt
  2. Alexandria Arachosia, Afghanistan; now called Kandahar (a contraction of Iskandahar)
  3. Alexandria Ariana, Afghanistan
  4. Alexandria Bucephalous, Pakistan, on the Jhelum
  5. Alexandria Carmania, unknown site in Kerman Province, Iran
  6. Alexandria Eschate, "the Farthest", Tajikistan
  7. Ghazni, formerly Alexandria in Opiania
  8. Alexandria on the Caucasus, Afghanistan
  9. Alexandria on the Indus, Pakistan
  10. Alexandria on the Oxus, Afghanistan
  11. Alexandria Prophthasia, Afghanistan
  12. Alexandria Susiana, Iran
  13. Alexandria Troas, Turkey
  14. Alinda (Alexandria on the Latmos), Turkey;
  15. Cebrene (formerly Alexandria), Turkey
  16. Iskandariya (Alexandria), Iraq
  17. Iskenderun (Alexandria ad Issum), Turkey
  18. Kandahar (Alexandria), Afghanistan
  19. Merv, Turkmenistan, sometimes also called Alexandria

Firstly, is this list accurate? Secondly, what was the purpose of this practice? Was it simply vanity? Did he also found or rename other places based on the names of, say, his parents, wives, or generals?

(I suppose that he did name one town after his horse, Bucephalus.)

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1. Alexander was convinced that he was a deity (son of Zeus/Amon). 2. All autocrats are prone to that (Stalingrad, Leninsk, etc...). Alexander was just more extreme about it due to the god delusions. –  DVK Mar 22 '13 at 16:30
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I'm not sure we can probe very far into the inner working of his mind. But I don't think it's a stretch to say, considering all he achieved, that he was a bit mad. –  Nathan Cooper Mar 22 '13 at 18:10
    
@DVK Thank you. Please expand on that in an answer. –  coleopterist Mar 22 '13 at 19:08
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@coleopterist - don't have good sources at the moment, sorry. Will try later –  DVK Mar 22 '13 at 19:41

1 Answer 1

There were actually about 70 towns (by Plutarch's count) named after Alexander, but he didn't found and name all those places himself. He was the founder of the various Greek states (even if mostly by virtue of conquest), so it would be perfectly natural for the Greek ruling classes to want to pump up his reputation, including naming a lot of things after him.

He did in fact found rather a lot of towns though (not all named after him, and many "repopulations" of older town sites). According to the authors there, most were military centers for his soldiers, who weren't realy keen on mixing with the locals.

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