Alexander and the East

Alexander and the East : The Tragedy of Triumph

By (author) A. B. Bosworth

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In this study Brian Bosworth looks at the critical period between 329 and 325 BC, when Alexander the Great was active in Central Asia and what is now Pakistan. He documents Alexander's relations with the peoples he conquered, and addresses the question of what it meant to be on the receiving end of the conquest, drawing a bleak picture of massacre and repression. At the same time Alexander's views of empire are investigated, his attitude to his subjects, and the development of his concepts of personal divinity and universal monarchy. Analogies are thus drawn with the Spanish conquest of Mexico, which has a comparable historiographical tradition and parallels many of Alexander's dealings with his subjects. Although of concern to the specialist, this book is equally directed at the general reader interested in the history of Alexander and the morality of empire.

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  • Paperback | 234 pages
  • 140 x 214 x 18mm | 322.06g
  • 17 Dec 1998
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 10 maps and figures
  • 0198152620
  • 9780198152620
  • 1,619,909

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Review quote

An essential acquisition for graduate and advanced undergraduate collections. Rochelle Snee, Religious Studies Review sensitive discussion of Alexander the Great ... Bosworth judiciously assesses the sources, but also considers the geographical and social context. Professor Bosworth deserves to be read, and not just by classicists or historians of the ancient world, since this is a prudent investigation of the construction of the heroic image of a totalitarian ruler Times Literary Supplement This monograph ... makes a number of profound statements not just about matters relating to Alexander's campaigns in the East, but also about fundamental issues which are central to Alexander studies ... What brings the whole book together and work as a monograph is the subtle interweaving of recurring themes ... an important contribution to Alexander studies ... It is a tight and controlled exposition and exploration of various problems connected with Alexander's campaigns in the East, while at the same time presenting deeper insights into who Alexander was as disinterred from a difficult, complex and often contradictory source tradition. Journal of Hellenic Studies B's main themes are important and he develops them well, with numerous trenchant and pithy observations. The portrait of Alexander he builds up is a sobering one, at times chilling. His forthright criticisms of the king will win him few friends among admirers of Alexander, but are a necessary antidote to the recurrent temptation to idealize him. A. D. Lee, The Classical Review

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