Alexander The Great

Alexander The Great

by Robin Lane Fox


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141020761
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication date: 08/27/2013
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robin Lane Fox is Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford, and was until 2014 Reader in Ancient History in Oxford University. He is the author of Pagans and Christians (1986), The Unauthorised Version (1992) and many books on classical history, including Alexander the Great (1973), The Classical World (2005) and Travelling Heroes (2008), all of which have been widely translated. He has been the gardening correspondent of the Financial Times since 1970.

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Alexander the Great 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
9045hiroki on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Miro on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I knew something about Alexander the Great before reading this book but it's still full of surprises. Firstly has to be Robin Lane Fox's mass of knowledge (and informed speculation) about such distant events. I never realized the depth of Alexander's Homeric influence or the extent that he adopted the Persian imperial style after his Asian conquests. He shows Alexander to be an interesting blend of detailed practicality and wild ambition. He believed that he was a Greek God and had an endless reckless drive but could still make detailed preparations, careful tactical decisions and work out successful relations with troops, allies and defeated nations. So successful in fact that by age 32 he was by far the richest man in the world with an empire covering some 2 million square miles.One difficulty with the Classical world is that it's so different from own. The Homeric ideal of conquest, valour and generally Might = Right doesn't sit too comfortably with modern ideas of democracy and peaceful co-existence. Lane Fox can see the problem but opts firmly for the glory of Alexander in his Homeric ancient world context.
julsitos2 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The best authoritative version of Alexander's biography. Professionally written and reader-friendly.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Although Mr. Fox is a historian who has obviously done his work and gives us a book which has the latest word on Alexander's life, his writing isn't as fluid and coherent as we would wish. However, it is the publishers who let us down. The few maps that we are granted look like poor photocopies and therefore are entirely useless and whoever proofread the work should be shot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I enjoyed the feel of the tale as you read it. Even though it is a historic story it is still as action packed as todays stories. You get to learn what the Greeks and Persians thought of eachother and their soures of entertainment and honor. This is a book that you will not want to put down due to it's 'Greatness' and it's lack of bordem. You learn the important characters he meets at this time that also hae their own spots in history suchas Aristotle, Philip, and Darius. I loved this book and maybe you will too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an extraordinary history. Anyone expecting a conventional biography will be disappointed, since the biased and fragmentary nature of the primary sources makes modern biographical treatment for Alexander impossible, even more so than for other ancient heroes. However, one thing about the peripatetic conqueror that seems to be known with some certainty is the itinerary that defined his brief life. Starting from this, Mr. Lane Fox applies his own intimate knowledge of the middle and near-eastern landscape to create a book which, at its most basic, reads like a highly literate travelogue. This is all backdrop, though, for a kind of detective story as the author picks apart the tantalizing fragments of information and disinformation that, once boiled down, reveal for us Alexander's character. The bold military prodigy is clearly apparent here, but that's the standard textbook part of the story. Rounding out the picture, we see him as the cosmopolitan diplomat, beloved egalitarian leader-of-men, bisexual libertine, respectful supplicant to his gods, forgiving victor, gallant defender of women, ostentatious potentate, superstitious fool, charismatic orator, fearless in-the-trenches combat commander, wily tactician, boyish adventurer, child-like animal lover, sophisticated Greek intellectual, reckless gambler, visionary strategist, loyal and generous friend, bloody mass killer, and drunken lout. And the truly remarkable thing about the history is that all these persona somehow hang together, creating a believable portrait that makes it clear why Alexander has fascinated politicians, soldiers and scholars for twenty-three centuries. Stylistically, this book is dense and will deter casual readers. However, some patience through the early pages gives enough time to get into the exotic poetry of place names and the flow of the story. The turgid logic of the character study takes over from there, and the case unfolds majestically. This is a brilliant historian at work and I highly recommend the book.