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This book seizes on one of the eternal objects of widespread attention in Ancient History and turns the tables on the scholarship that has shaped and dominated the field.
Instead of scrutinising the documents in order to reconstruct the biography and assess the historical significance, Diana Spencer traces the deployment and development of the mythical figure of Alexander. She explores and synthesises a selection of Latin texts, from the Late Republic to Hadrian, to form a series of themed discussions which investigate the cultural significance of Alexander for Rome.
The selected texts - drawn from verse and prose, history, epic and oratory - are presented alongside their English translation, and provide an insight into a world where to think about Alexander was to engage with the burning ideological issues of Rome during a period of intense and often violent political and cultural change. The book makes clear how particular texts and issues may be readily accessed, providing a valuable resource for teachers and their students, whilst also offering a new approach to cultural histories of Rome and Alexander.
List of Readings List of Illustrations Acknowledgements
Introduction: The Empty Bottle
Map 1: The Roman World Chronology of Alexander Map 2: Alexander's Journey
1. History into Story
What's in a Name?
Alexander and the Successors: Making History Rome and the 'East': Cultural Context The Legacy of the Punic Wars Rome in the First Century BCE Augustus and the Succession History and Identity
2. Readings—Alexander Rex
Alexander v. Rome? What if . . .
Plain Speaking: Autocracy and Freedom of Speech Flattery and Excess: The Collapse of Language
3. Readings—Living Fast, Dying Young . . .
Drinking-Up Time Angry Young Man . . .
4. Readings—Imaging Alexander
Words, Memory and Myth: The Making of Kings Frontiers, Limits and a Rhetoric of Conquest: Acknowledging the Power of Words Africa Dreaming . . .
5. Autocracy—The Roman Alexander Complex
Style of Command Eastward Ambitions: The Politics of Victory
6. Alexander after Alexander
Notes Bibliography General Index Index of chief passages discussed