Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions / Edition 1

Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions / Edition 1

4.0 2
by Frank L. Holt
     
 


"Frank Holt probably knows more than anyone alive about the mysterious Greek kingdoms in Bactria and on the frontiers of India that were one of the odder legacies of Alexander's Eastern conquests. The literary evidence is sparse, the coins remain ambiguous, the topography defeats all but the toughest. Holt's forays into this world are those of a clever and… See more details below

Overview


"Frank Holt probably knows more than anyone alive about the mysterious Greek kingdoms in Bactria and on the frontiers of India that were one of the odder legacies of Alexander's Eastern conquests. The literary evidence is sparse, the coins remain ambiguous, the topography defeats all but the toughest. Holt's forays into this world are those of a clever and persistent detective: he loves cracking problems, and the tougher they are, the better. This time—very properly beginning by invoking the name of Sherlock Holmes—he has given us what Conan Doyle would probably have called 'The Adventure of the Elephant Medallions.’ Debate has raged over the scene these portray ever since the first was discovered. A cavalryman with a lance confronts an opponent on an elephant. Who are they? What is the occasion? Guesses have ranged from Alexander to the Greco-Bactrian monarch Eucratides, from Porus at the Jhelum to Darius at Gaugamela. Using his numismatic and historical skills like a Holmesian magnifying-glass, Holt takes us through the theories, deftly explodes the fallacies, and comes up with a (for me) entirely cogent and satisfying solution. He has also, somewhere along the way, acquired a really marvelous prose style. Not only is the problem in itself a page-turner; Holt also throws in, by way of introduction, the best short impressionistic account of Alexander's career I have ever read. This is high scholarship at its most exciting."—Peter Green, author of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B. C.: A Historical Biography

"[This book] brings to a wider audience one of the few contemporary pieces of evidence for the image and ideology of Alexander the Great. While relatively well known to experts in the field, the 'elephant medallions' of the title are far less well understood, and have thus played a smaller part, in popular accounts of Alexander than they

probably should. Holt's book offers a well thought out introduction first to Alexander and the Alexander story, second to the entrance of the 'medallions' into modern scholarship, and third to the medallions themselves."—Andrew Meadows, Curator of Greek Coins, British Museum

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520244832
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
01/25/2005
Series:
Hellenistic Culture and Society Series, #44
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
217
Sales rank:
297,629
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations
Preface
1Man of Mystery1
2A Treasure23
3Picking a Fight47
4Whose Pachyderm, Whole or Halved?68
5Another Treasure92
6A Closer Look117
7A Dark and Stormy Night139
App. AThe Published Elephant Medallions167
App. BSome Possible Forgeries of the Large Medallion171
App. CThe 1973 Iraq Hoard173
Select Bibliography175
Index191

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