Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
An authoritative and dramatic portrait set against a backdrop of the war-torn Greek empire draws on extensive research to cover such topics as Alexander’s military prowess, premature death and inspiration to subsequent historical conquerors.

Blackwell Publishing
In the first authoritative biography of Alexander the Great written for a general audience in a generation, classicist and historian Philip Freeman tells the remarkable life of the great conqueror. The celebrated Macedonian king has been one of the most enduring figures in history. He was a general of such skill and renown that for two thousand years other great leaders studied his strategy and tactics, from Hannibal to Napoleon, with countless more in between. He flashed across the sky of history like a comet, glowing brightly and burning out quickly: crowned at age nineteen, dead by thirty-two. He established the greatest empire of the ancient world; Greek coins and statues are found as far east as Afghanistan. Our interest in him has never faded.

Alexander was born into the royal family of Macedonia, the kingdom that would soon rule over Greece. Tutored as a boy by Aristotle, Alexander had an inquisitive mind that would serve him well when he faced formidable obstacles during his military campaigns. Shortly after taking command of the army, he launched an invasion of the Persian empire, and continued his conquests as far south as the deserts of Egypt and as far east as the mountains of present-day Pakistan and the plains of India. Alexander spent nearly all his adult life away from his homeland, and he and his men helped spread the Greek language throughout western Asia, where it would become the lingua franca of the ancient world. Within a short time after Alexander's death in Baghdad, his empire began to fracture. Best known among his successors are the Ptolemies of Egypt, whose empire lasted until Cleopatra.

In his lively and authoritative biography of Alexander, classical scholar and historian Philip Freeman describes Alexander's astonishing achievements and provides insight into the mercurial character of the great conqueror. Alexander could be petty and magnanimous, cruel and merciful, impulsive and farsighted. Above all, he was ferociously, intensely competitive and could not tolerate losingùwhich he rarely did. As Freeman explains, without Alexander, the influence of Greece on the ancient world would surely not have been as great as it was, even if his motivation was not to spread Greek culture for beneficial purposes but instead to unify his empire.

Baker
& Taylor

Draws on extensive research to cover such topics as Alexander's military prowess, premature death, and inspiration to subsequent historical conquerors, set against a backdrop of the war-torn Greek empire.

Simon and Schuster
In the first authoritative biography of Alexander the Great written for a general audience in a generation, classicist and historian Philip Freeman tells the remarkable life of the great conqueror. The celebrated Macedonian king has been one of the most enduring figures in history. He was a general of such skill and renown that for two thousand years other great leaders studied his strategy and tactics, from Hannibal to Napoleon, with countless more in between. He flashed across the sky of history like a comet, glowing brightly and burning out quickly: crowned at age nineteen, dead by thirty-two. He established the greatest empire of the ancient world; Greek coins and statues are found as far east as Afghanistan. Our interest in him has never faded.

Alexander was born into the royal family of Macedonia, the kingdom that would soon rule over Greece. Tutored as a boy by Aristotle, Alexander had an inquisitive mind that would serve him well when he faced formidable obstacles during his military campaigns. Shortly after taking command of the army, he launched an invasion of the Persian empire, and continued his conquests as far south as the deserts of Egypt and as far east as the mountains of present-day Pakistan and the plains of India. Alexander spent nearly all his adult life away from his homeland, and he and his men helped spread the Greek language throughout western Asia, where it would become the lingua franca of the ancient world. Within a short time after Alexander’s death in Baghdad, his empire began to fracture. Best known among his successors are the Ptolemies of Egypt, whose empire lasted until Cleopatra.

In his lively and authoritative biography of Alexander, classical scholar and historian Philip Freeman describes Alexander’s astonishing achievements and provides insight into the mercurial character of the great conqueror. Alexander could be petty and magnanimous, cruel and merciful, impulsive and farsighted. Above all, he was ferociously, intensely competitive and could not tolerate losing—which he rarely did. As Freeman explains, without Alexander, the influence of Greece on the ancient world would surely not have been as great as it was, even if his motivation was not to spread Greek culture for beneficial purposes but instead to unify his empire. Only a handful of people have influenced history as Alexander did, which is why he continues to fascinate us.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2011
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781416592808
1416592806
Branch Call Number: 938.07 ALE
BIOGRAPHY
Characteristics: 390 p

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michelmcg
Jul 12, 2019

This reads like a page-turner novel, while still being an authoritative historical work. The author presents various historical viewpoints during the narration, and suggests probable interpretations, but invites the reader to make up his or her own mind. This is the best book about Alexander the Great for the general reader of the many I have read. It is demonstrably clear why his contemporaries called Alexander "The Great", and I would agree that, while Alexander had his faults (who doesn't?), the title is well deserved.

d
donkeyhote
Jul 20, 2016

I took a course of Ancient Greek history in college and I read a few books on Alexander. His tutor was Aristoteles, but Alexander did not take all his advice, and looks like he made himself independent. And at age 33 he died in the deserted Babylon. He did not respect anything or anybody, including the Oracle of Delfi. And by a burst of temper he killed his own friend the Black Cleitus, who had saved his life in a battle with the Persians. So, he was a sort of crazy guy. He even went to India, won a battle but could not keep that country under his control, so why do this carzy roaming around and beating everybody up? Some historians suppose that his death in Babylon was a case of poisoning, because he diverged much from the instructions he got from Aristoteles. Aristoteles taught him that other races, Persians too were just slave material, but he encouraged his soldiers to marry Persian women, and as the Persians were much superior in number to the Greeks, the original Greek race got mixed and in general they don't look that same as they originally did. OK, now, why is this crazy world conqueror called "Great?" And why is Cyrus, the Persian king who occupied Babyon called also "Great?" And why does Immanuel Velikovsky, the famous historian call some Egyptian Pharaohs "Great" and others not? OK, it looks like those who describe history for us have some secret reason for calling some leaders "Great". What can be the reason? I reason that those leaders belonged to some ancient secret, elite international Orders and today's leaders pay tribute to them. Maybe some of today's leaders are descendants of them. And they don't tell us the real reason why some leaders were "Great." Looks like some ancient Globalists were those who are "Great" today.

c
CycleV
Jul 19, 2016

The Library Journal review brings up some decent criticism, but this book was highly entertaining. And it's not like I was planning on memorizing how many soldiers fought in the Battle of Wherever in 344 BCE.

m
Macedon
Jun 26, 2012

A really great, informative, and interesting narrative of Alexander the Great and the Macedonian nation.

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