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Alexander the Great
The Story of an Ancient Life


  • Date Published: November 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521148443

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • Everything we know about Alexander comes from ancient sources, which agree unanimously that he was extraordinary and greater than everyday mortals. From his birth into a hypercompetitive world of royal women through his training under the eyes and fists of stern soldiers and the piercing intellect of Aristotle; through friendships, rivalries, conquests and negotiations; through acts of generosity and acts of murder, this book explains who Alexander was, what motivated him, where he succeeded (in his own eyes) and where he failed, and how he believed that he earned a new 'mixed' nature combining the human and the divine. This book explains what made Alexander 'Great' according to the people and expectations of his time and place and rejects modern judgments asserted on the basis of an implicit moral superiority to antiquity.

    • Explains how poets, historians and philosophers (European and Asian) evaluated the life and deeds of a deeply thoughtful, fearless and innovative warrior-king striving 'always to be the best' and 'go beyond'
    • Investigates the sources for Alexander, as well as war technology in his era, battlefield surgery and the consumption of alcohol
    • Includes a concluding chapter on Alexander's legacy in fiction and films and how his memory is invoked in political speeches of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… well edited … the authors have told an interesting tale and one whose argument provides an interesting foil to the bulk of contemporary Alexander scholarship.' David W. Madsen, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521148443
    • length: 208 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The world of Alexander's birth and his education in literature and warfare (350s and 340s BC)
    2. Opportunities and risks as a teenager (340s to 338 BC)
    3. The danger in replacing a murdered father as king (337 to 335 BC)
    4. The opening battles against the Persian army (334 to 332 BC)
    5. Finding god in Egypt and capturing the riches of Persia (332 to 330 BC)
    6. Winning the world as king of Asia (330 to 329 BC)
    7. Murder, marriage, and mixing customs in Afghanistan (329 to 327 BC)
    8. Victory and frustration in India (327 to 326 BC)
    9. Returning to Babylon and becoming divine (326 to 323 BC)
    10. Remembering and judging Alexander (323 BC to now).

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Classical Civilization: Greece
  • Authors

    Thomas R. Martin, College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts
    Thomas R. Martin is the Jeremiah W. O'Connor, Jr Professor in Classics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the author of Ancient Greece and (with Ivy Sui-yuen) Herodotus and Sima Qian.

    Christopher W. Blackwell, Furman University, South Carolina
    Christopher W. Blackwell is the Louis G. Forgione University Professor of Classics at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the author of In the Absence of Alexander: Harpalus and the Failure of Macedonian Authority and (with Amy Hackney Blackwell) Mythology for Dummies.

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