The Conquests of Alexander the Great

The Conquests of Alexander the Great

Hardback Key Conflicts of Classical Antiquity

By (author) Waldemar Heckel

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 25mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 30 November 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521842476
  • ISBN 13: 9780521842471
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 594,517

Product description

Waldemar Heckel provides a revisionist overview of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Emphasising the aims and impact of his military expeditions, the political consequences of military action, and the use of propaganda, both for motivation and justification, his underlying premise is that the basic goals of conquest and the keys to military superiority have not changed dramatically over the millennia. Indeed, as Heckel makes clear, many aristocratic and conquest societies are remarkably similar to that of Alexander in their basic aims and organisation. Heckel rejects the view of Alexander as a reincarnation of Achilles - as an irrational youth on a heroic quest for fame and immortality. In an engaging and balanced account of key military events, Heckel shows how Alexander imposed his will on the willing and how the defeated were no longer capable of resisting his military might.

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Author information

Waldemar Heckel is professor in the department of Greek and Roman studies at the University of Calgary. A scholar of the age of Alexander the Great, he is the author of The Marshals of Alexander's Empire and Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great: Prosopography of Alexander's Empire, which was listed by the Times Literary Supplement as among 'the best books of 2006'. Dr Heckel is one of the founding editors of the Ancient History Bulletin and has collaborated with J. C. Yardley on a number of translations of, and commentaries on, the Alexander Historians.

Review quote

'Provides an engaging and balanced overview of the conquests.' Bookseller Buyers Guide 'The choice of [Heckel], one of the most distinguished historians of the period in question, for this volume on Alexander the Great is an obvious one. [He] succeeds in giving a balanced and demystified picture of Alexander's conquests.' The Classical Review 'A book on Alexander's conquests by Waldemar Heckel, one of today's leading specialists in the field, is ... a welcome development. Heckel has given us a well-written and sensible book, with a good selection of facts and problems having to do with Alexander's reign and the wars he fought. Even without an overwhelming scholarly apparatus, the book can be still read with profit by professional historians and classicists, and its views generally represent a prudent compromise among the most important modern scholarly opinions.' Classical Journal

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. How do we know? Sources for Alexander the Great; 3. The Macedonian background; 4. The Persian enemy; 5. Conquest of the Achaemenids; 6. Resistance on two fronts; 7. Conquest of the Punjab; 8. The ocean and the West; 9. The long road from Susa to Babylon.