14Nov Coercing the Delphian Oracle Posted by: Mark Newton in art & photography 5 Comments ancient world
Beautiful! Alexander the Great is probably the most interesting figure in the Classical Era, at least to me. His attempt to unify cultures by marrying his Macedonian soldiers to foreign women and promoting foreign commanders to respectable ranks in his own army, was something rarely seen at times when racism and segregation were the norm. This modernist and culturally sensitive view of his led to his eventual downfall: a real-life Greek Tragedy.
Thanks, Lars. I don’t know enough about Alexander – I seem to mainly have read either side of that period. I know he was greatly admired by the Romans. Do you recommend any particular books?
Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been running a
tight time schedule lately! Anyway, there are dozens of books about Alexander
The Great, the real problem is not a lack of available information but a lack
of accurate information as we only know so much about this great conqueror, and
some writers tend to romanticize or exaggerate his tales. To begin with a
smooth start, pick up Alexander The Great: Son of The Gods by Alan Fildes and Joann
Fletcher, a relatively new book (2004) which deals with Alexander’s entire life
in a scholarly modernist manner by separating as much fact from fiction as possible. After
that, move on to the ‘Big Three’ Alexandrian works: The
History of Alexander by Quintus Curtius Rufus, The
Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives by Plutarch, and The
Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian. As you have noticed all the
authors of the ‘Big Three’ are Ancient Romans, though they are closer to the
primary sources then we are today, as you know yourself; Ancient Romans were
infatuated with him. By reading Son of the Gods, you’ll have a good grasp of the accurate
history as we know it and will be able to piece together your own puzzle when
reading the Ancient Roman works. After all this, if you find you’re still wanting
more, it isn’t too hard to find books which specialize on either his campaigns
or his personal life. Have fun with the reading, I really hope you’ll enjoy him
as much as I did!
Ouch…wacky formatting, sorry about that, copy and pasting from Microsoft word definitely has its drawbacks.
Thanks for all the recommendations there! Very useful reading list indeed. Sounds like you’re quite the Alexander scholar!