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Few figures from history have aroused as much admiration as Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king who, between 334 and 323 B.C., conquered the immense Persian Empire, led his army as far as India, and transformed the known world. Even in antiquity, he was an almost mythical hero, and over the centuries he has been remembered as the paragon of martial brilliance. But for the historian, Alexander presents both a tantalizing subject and a formidable challenge. For all his achievements, there is very little direct evidence of his existencea few inscriptions, some coins and portraits, and allusions to him in speeches of the dayand the oldest surviving accounts of his life were written three or more centuries after his death.
In Alexander: Destiny and Myth, distinguished historian Claude Mossé rigorously and imaginatively draws on a vast array of sources to create an indelible portrait of Alexander as conqueror, man, and legend. Carefully navigating between fact and fable, Mossé offers a compelling new assessment of Alexander and his legacy in five concise sections. From his ascension to the throne of Macedon in 336 B.C. in the wake of his father's assassination to his stunning conquest of Darius III's Persian empire, his Indian campaign, and his premature death at age 32, Mossé first reconstructs the major stages of Alexander's reign. She next explores the perception of Alexanderas a ruler and even a godamong the diverse peoples he governed, paying special attention to the cities he founded. Mossé then turns to the elusive question of Alexander's character, offering provocative insights on this millennia-old debate. The book's final two parts concern Alexander's legacy, both immediatethe fate of his empire and the limits of his accomplishments, particularly his attempt to Hellenize the eastand far reachingthe idea of Alexander as a mythical hero from antiquity to the present by way of ancient, medieval, early modern, and twentieth-century words and images.
At once sweeping, succinct, and spellbinding, Alexander: Destiny and Myth is a strikingly fresh account of the man who continues to intrigue and excite the historical imagination twenty-five hundred years after his death.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.22(w) x 9.66(h) x 0.79(d)|
About the Author
Claude Mossé is Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris VIII and one of the world's leading historians of ancient Greece, with more than twenty book on the subject. Paul Cartledge is Professor of Greek History, Chairman of the Faculty of Classics, and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. Among his many books are The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization and Spartan Reflections.
Table of Contents
|'Some more talk of Alexander'||vii|
|Part I||The Major Stages of Alexander's Reign|
|1.||The Graeco-Oriental world at Alexander's succession||11|
|2.||The beginning of Alexander's reign: the revolt of Thebes||18|
|3.||The conquest of the western provinces of the Persian Empire||22|
|4.||The conquest of the eastern provinces and the end of the Asian campaign||32|
|Part II||The Different 'Faces' of Alexander|
|5.||The king of the Macedonians||47|
|6.||The hegemon of the Greeks||55|
|7.||The successor to the Achaemenids||66|
|8.||The son of Zeus||73|
|Part III||Alexander the Man|
|9.||Youth and upbringing||89|
|11.||Light and shade||103|
|Part IV||The Legacy of Alexander|
|12.||Alexander's empire: a fragile construction||113|
|13.||The invention of a new type of monarchy||124|
|14.||The birth of a 'new world'||140|
|15.||The Hellenisation of the East, and its limits||151|
|Part V||Alexander the Mythical Hero|
|16.||The image of Alexander in the ancient world||167|
|17.||The medieval Alexander||178|
|18.||The image of Alexander in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France||189|
|19.||The historians and Alexander's image||197|
|20.||From the Alexander Romance to novels about Alexander||202|
|Alexander's principal Companions||215|
|The succession of the Achaemenid kings||223|