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"Alexander's behavior was conditioned along certain lines heroism, courage, strength, superstition, bisexuality, intoxication, cruelty. He bestrode Europe and Asia like a supernatural figure."
In this succinct portrait of Alexander the Great, distinguished scholar and historian Norman Cantor illuminates the personal life and military conquests of this most legendary of men. Cantor draws from the major writings of Alexander's contemporaries combined with the most recent psychological and cultural studies to show Alexander as he was a great figure in the ancient world whose puzzling personality greatly fueled his military accomplishments.
He describes Alexander's ambiguous relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedon; his oedipal involvement with his mother, the Albanian princess Olympias; and his bisexuality. He traces Alexander's attempts to bridge the East and West, the Greek and Persian worlds, using Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, as his model. Finally, Cantor explores Alexander's view of himself in relation to the pagan gods of Greece and Egypt.
More than a biography, Norman Cantor's Alexander the Great is a psychological rendering of a man of his time.
|Product dimensions:||5.42(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.47(d)|
About the Author
Norman F. Cantor was Emeritus Professor of History, Sociology, and Comparative Literature at New York University. His many books include In the Wake of the Plague, Inventing the Middle Ages, and The Civilization of the Middle Ages, the most widely read narrative of the Middle Ages in the English language. He died in 2004.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Do enough readers buy books on Alexander to justify the large output of publications such as this which contribute nothing to understanding of the subject? Those who enjoy reading this book should remember that what the author alleges to have been the feelings and motives of Alexander are mere supposition. The documentary evidence does not exist. Even the bibliography in this book is poorly selected. For anyone with a serious interest in Alexander the Great, the book by Carol G. Thomas would be recommended. The search for the historical Alexander, as has so often been pointed out to no avail, is as futile as the quest for the Holy Grail.
This is not much of a book on Alexander. It reads like some old BS lectures cobbled together in hope of making a dollar. The author knows little or nothing about the tactics employed in battles which gave Alexander control of much of Asia. Alexander was not a homosexual. In his world the concept did not exist. Neither did the consept of pedophilia. He had, from about the age of sixteen, relations with a girlfriend, married several wives, had children, in addition to the men and boys he enjoyed. Generally, it seems that only the religions I have recently heard called 'Abrahamic,' i.e. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, developed extensive sexual prohibitions, probably in the interests of breeding. Like most soldiers, Alexander was known to take a drink. The bibliography might be worth taking a look at.