Alexander the Great and His Empire: A Short Introduction

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Overview

"In this long-awaited translation, Pierre Briant's study of Alexander the Great finally reaches English readers. Briant's account reveals exciting new connections to this old story of Greek triumph, illuminating the vibrant Persian Empire as never before and giving us a picture of Alexander that is different from the often distorted accounts that have prevailed since the Enlightenment. This is a book not to be missed."—Lawrence Tritle, Loyola Marymount University

"Pierre Briant is a scholar of the highest international standing. His book is set apart from the plethora of biographies of Alexander the Great by its focus on his origins and aims, the way he administered and organized his empire, and especially his impact on the areas he conquered, the last of which almost no other books address."—Ian Worthington, author of Alexander the Great: Man and God and Philip II of Macedonia

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This is now the best introduction to the history of Alexander the Great in English.
Wall Street Journal
Pierre Briant's Alexander the Great and His Empire may be short, but it is of a wholly different order of seriousness from that of Mr. Freeman: an analysis less of Alexander himself than of his record as a state-builder and in particular of the debt that he owed to his Achaemenid predecessors. . . . Mr. Briant is one of the most brilliant historians of antiquity at work today, a scholar whose corpus of researches into the Persian Empire has enabled us to understand its overthrow from the perspective of the defeated as well as the victor.
— Tom Holland
Historian
[Briant's] analytical approach marks a welcome change from the plethora of biographies and studies on Alexander. . . . [T]his is a book that must be contended with and stands to serve in that role for a long time.
— Sean Farrell Moran
Organiser
Briant's book opens a new line of thinking on Alexander, an interesting perspective.
— R. Balashankar
Wall Street Journal - Tom Holland
Pierre Briant's Alexander the Great and His Empire may be short, but it is of a wholly different order of seriousness from that of Mr. Freeman: an analysis less of Alexander himself than of his record as a state-builder and in particular of the debt that he owed to his Achaemenid predecessors. . . . Mr. Briant is one of the most brilliant historians of antiquity at work today, a scholar whose corpus of researches into the Persian Empire has enabled us to understand its overthrow from the perspective of the defeated as well as the victor.
Historian - Sean Farrell Moran
[Briant's] analytical approach marks a welcome change from the plethora of biographies and studies on Alexander. . . . [T]his is a book that must be contended with and stands to serve in that role for a long time.
Organiser - R. Balashankar
Briant's book opens a new line of thinking on Alexander, an interesting perspective.
From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2010

"This is now the best introduction to the history of Alexander the Great in English."—Choice

"Pierre Briant's Alexander the Great and His Empire may be short, but it is of a wholly different order of seriousness from that of Mr. Freeman: an analysis less of Alexander himself than of his record as a state-builder and in particular of the debt that he owed to his Achaemenid predecessors. . . . Mr. Briant is one of the most brilliant historians of antiquity at work today, a scholar whose corpus of researches into the Persian Empire has enabled us to understand its overthrow from the perspective of the defeated as well as the victor."—Tom Holland, Wall Street Journal

"[Briant's] analytical approach marks a welcome change from the plethora of biographies and studies on Alexander. . . . [T]his is a book that must be contended with and stands to serve in that role for a long time."—Sean Farrell Moran, Historian

"Briant's book opens a new line of thinking on Alexander, an interesting perspective."—R. Balashankar, Organiser

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691141947
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/2010
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Pierre Briant is the Professor of the History and Civilization of the Achaemenid World and the Empire of Alexander the Great at the Collège de France. His many books include "From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire."

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii
Translator's Note ix
Foreword to the American Edition xi
Acknowledgments xxi
Introduction: Alexander before the Expedition to Asia Minor (356-334) 1

Chapter I: The Major Stages of the Conquest (334-323) 7
From Granicus to the Fall of Tyre (May 334-Summer 332) 7
From Tyre to the Euphrates (Summer 332-Summer 331) 10
The End of Darius and the Final Submission of Greece (Summer 331-Summer 330) 12
Guerillas in the Eastern Satrapies and Macedonian Opposition (Summer 330-Spring 327) 14
The Conquest of India and the Return via the Persian Gulf (327-325) 20
The Last Years (324-323) 22

Chapter II: The Origins and Objectives of the Conquest 24
The Unsatisfactory Nature of Explanations Based on Personality and Psychology 25
The Heritage of Philip II 28
Alexander and the Royal Territories of the Achaemenids 32
"War of Liberation" and "War of Reprisal": The Limits of Alexander's Philhellenism 33
The Conquest of India and Return via the Persian Gulf 37
The Problem of the "Last Plans" 38

Chapter III: Resistance to the Conquest 42
The Resistance of Darius (334-330) 42
Underground Resistance and Open Revolt in Greece 52
Resistance and Reprisals in the Eastern Satrapies (330-327) 54
The Discontent of the Macedonian Soldiery (330-324) 63

Chapter IV: The Administration, Defense, and Exploitation of the Conquered Lands 67
The Different Degrees of Royal Authority 68
Territorial Control and the Management of the Population 80
Conquest and "Economic Development" 83

Chapter V: Alexander among Macedonians, Greeks, and Iranians 101
Conquest and Surrender: Contradiction and Opposition 102
A Policy for the Future (325-323) 126
Conclusion: The King Is Dead! Long Live the King? 139
An Introductory Bibliography 145

Appendix: The History of Alexander Today: A Provisional Assessment and Some Future Directions 153
Index of Toponyms 187
General Index 190

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