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Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend
     

Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend

by Richard Stoneman
 
This engaging book is the first to gather together the hundreds of colorful legends told in cultures across the globe about Alexander the Great, conqueror of the ancient world. Richard Stoneman shows how the mythical exploits of Alexander have resonated for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and in eastern and western cultures, for more than 2000 years.

Overview

This engaging book is the first to gather together the hundreds of colorful legends told in cultures across the globe about Alexander the Great, conqueror of the ancient world. Richard Stoneman shows how the mythical exploits of Alexander have resonated for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and in eastern and western cultures, for more than 2000 years.

Editorial Reviews

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"The volume is highly informative in its goal of tracing the evolution of thought about Alexander through the centuries."—Dawn L. Gilley, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

— Dawn L. Gilley

Library Journal

Stoneman (honorary fellow, Univ. of Exeter) claims-with good reason-that his work displays a new approach to the much-studied Alexander by focusing on the legends surrounding him. Yes, historians have previously constructed such analyses around groups of texts embodying these legends and the geographical area whence they sprang. Stoneman, however, uses the chronology of Alexander's own life to connect the various legends. This strategy works surprisingly well, primarily because the reader reviews the historical facts of Alexander's life (in all their uncertainty) before being asked to follow the various tangents of legend, which can be bewildering. It becomes clear how and why stories appeared centuries later, whether in medieval India or England, and what geographical and cultural factors were involved. In this way, Stoneman introduces Christian myths and legends and makes their genesis more understandable, particularly in relation to "histories" that arose in the 13th and 15th century from a ninth-century Romance of Alexander. These are all complex aspects of the study of Alexander, yet Stoneman does his best to present them in an organized fashion, and for the most part he succeeds. Recommended for academic libraries.
—Clay Williams

Booklist
"This is an unusual and thought-provoking book that should appeal to both Alexander buffs and well-informed general readers."—Booklist
Choice

"The first full-scale study in over 50 years of the Alexander Romance and its legacy in English. . . . Particularly interesting is the author's discussion of the rich medieval Persian Alexander literature—both Zoroastrian and Islamic—and its influence. This fascinating book belongs in every university and college library Essential."—Choice
Bryn Mawr Classical Review - Dawn L. Gilley
"The volume is highly informative in its goal of tracing the evolution of thought about Alexander through the centuries."—Dawn L. Gilley, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300112030
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
04/09/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Stoneman is Honorary Fellow of the University of Exeter and widely acknowledged as the foremost expert globally on the myths of Alexander.

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