By Guy MacLean Rogers
For almost and a part millennia, Alexander the nice has loomed over heritage as a legend–and an enigma. Wounded again and again yet regularly victorious in conflict, he conquered lots of the identified global, merely to die mysteriously on the age of thirty-two. In his day he was once 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 guy at the back of the masks of strength? Why did Alexander embark on an remarkable software of world domination? What accounted for his awesome 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 historical past and fantasy 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 across whereas slightly out of his adolescents that he had a rare expertise and a boundless urge for food for army conquest. A virtuoso of violence, he was once talented 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 fastened, Alexander’s ardour for conquest elevated from towns to nations to continents. while Persia, the best empire of his day, fell sooner than him, he marched straight away on India, aspiring to upload it to his holdings.
As Rogers exhibits, Alexander’s army prowess merely heightened his exuberant sexuality. notwithstanding his style for a number of companions, either female and male, was once tolerated, Alexander’s rather enlightened therapy of girls was once not anything in need of 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 can 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 some of the most inventive and bold army tacticians of all time. Balanced and authoritative, this fantastic portrait brings Alexander to existence as a guy, with no diminishing the ability of the legend.
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Additional resources for Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness
The period from Cecrops to Demophon was marked by four famous trials before the Areopagus: the trial of Ares, opposed by Poseidon, for killing Halirrhothius, of Cephalus for killing Procris, of Daedalus for killing Talos, and finally the trial of Orestes. v. 161). 42. See p. 13 above. "Sch. Ar. ATI. I63). 8. 16 THE LOCAL HISTORIANS OF ATTICA still alive, perhaps renewed by the oligarchic agitation after the Sicilian disaster. At the time of the democratic movement in the sixties, when the Areopagus was shorn of its political powers and survived only as a court for homicide trials, it was natural that historical precedent for its judicial activity should be sought.
Inscr. no. 41; Marchant's note on Th. 75. CHAPTER II THE PLACE OF THUCYDIDES IN THE TRADITION Thucydides stands apart from lesser historians by virtue of his independence of outlook and his skill in applying the principles of the rhetorical schools to historical writing. It is exceedingly doubt- ful whether Hellanicus showed any such independence. 1 It is, therefore, unlikely that Thucydides owes any of his stylistic peculiarities or his analytic qualities to Hellanicus. But it is scarcely to be expected that a writer will entirely disregard the traditions of his predecessors or free himself completely from their influence.
The fragments themselves and the division of the material by later Atthidographers show how much attention was devoted to this mythical age. Hellanicus' method of dealing with it deserves closer attention. Starting at the beginning, he would be obliged to establish, or at least to assert, the claim of the Athenians to be autochthonous. Harpocration quotes Hellanicus for the statement that the Arca- dians, Aeginetans, and Thebans were autochthonous:61 he does not tell us where this statement was made, but it seems most likely that it came in the Atthis and as a comment on the Athenian claim.
Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness by Guy MacLean Rogers