By Guy MacLean Rogers
For almost and a part millennia, Alexander the nice has loomed over historical past as a legend–and an enigma. Wounded many times yet continually positive in conflict, he conquered many of the recognized global, simply to die mysteriously on the age of thirty-two. In his day he used to be respected as a god; in our day he has been reviled as a mass assassin, a tyrant as brutal as Stalin or Hitler.
Who used to be the fellow at the back of the masks of energy? Why did Alexander embark on an remarkable application of world domination? What accounted for his outstanding good fortune at the battlefield? during this luminous new biography, the esteemed classical student and historian man MacLean Rogers sifts via millions of years of background and delusion to discover the reality approximately this advanced, ambiguous genius.
Ascending to the throne of Macedonia after the assassination of his father, King Philip II, Alexander came upon whereas slightly out of his teenagers that he had a unprecedented expertise and a boundless urge for food for army conquest. A virtuoso of violence, he was once proficient with an uncanny skill to imagine how a conflict could spread, coupled with devastating decisiveness within the box. Granicus, Issos, Gaugamela, Hydaspes–as the victories fixed, Alexander’s ardour for conquest multiplied from towns to international locations to continents. while Persia, the best empire of his day, fell ahead of him, he marched instantaneously on India, aspiring to upload it to his holdings.
As Rogers exhibits, Alexander’s army prowess simply heightened his exuberant sexuality. notwithstanding his flavor for a number of companions, either female and male, used to be tolerated, Alexander’s fairly enlightened therapy of girls used to be not anything wanting innovative. He outlawed rape, he positioned clever girls in positions of authority, and he selected his other halves from one of the peoples he conquered. certainly, as Rogers argues, Alexander’s fascination with Persian tradition, customs, and sexual practices could have ended in his downfall, even perhaps to his death.
Alexander emerges as a charismatic and strangely smooth figure–neither a messiah nor a genocidal butcher yet essentially the most resourceful and bold army tacticians of all time. Balanced and authoritative, this incredible portrait brings Alexander to existence as a guy, with no diminishing the ability of the legend.
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Extra resources for Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness
32 Finley 1973a (1985), with Osborne 1996b, Tandy 1997, von Reden 2002, and Reed 2003 among many more recent contributions. See ch. 23. 33 Review of evidence and arguments in Kim 2001. 34 Kraay 1964; Howgego 1995: 12–18; Martin 1996b. 35 Seaford 1994; Kurke 1999; Seaford 2004. 36 Cf. Murray 1990b, especially Schmitt-Pantel 1990 and Bookidis 1990; Schmitt-Pantel 1992; Bookidis 1993. See ch. 26. 37 Drews 1983; Carlier 1984; Ogden 1997. 38 Toepffer 1889; Arnheim 1977; Herman 1987; Morris 1996b; Duplouy 2006.
The material contained in the two relevant volumes of the former begins with a brief section on the post-Mycenaean transition and then offers a sequence of century-long periodizations, each interweaving literary, artistic, and social-economic aspects. I Greci, more recent, much larger and more complex, has a first volume, Noi e i Greci (1996), which uses a long series of sections in order to map the complex relationships between Greece and Greeks as a real community in past time and Greece and Greeks as they are seen or imagined or used.
Such labels have three characteristics in common. First, they gaze backwards, whether from our own modern vantage-point or from that of the higher culture or greater sophistication which we attribute to “Classical Greece” (itself a dangerous label). ” Second, they all imply comparison, whether with medieval Europe or with post-Roman “Dark Age” Britain or with other chronologically distant civilizations. The comparison with medieval Europe has been especially influential, the Greek city-states being seen as politically and economically very similar to the Hansa states, the Swiss cantons, and the Italian communes:2 but all such comparisons are shortcuts, which mislead more than they help.
Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness by Guy MacLean Rogers