Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great : Man and God

3.34 (38 ratings by Goodreads)
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Alexander the Great conquered territories on a superhuman scale and established an empire that stretched from Greece to India. He spread Greek culture and education throughout his empire, and was worshipped as a living god by many of his subjects. But how great is a leader responsible for the deaths on tens of thousands of people? A ruler who prefers constant warring to administering the peace? A man who believed he was a god, who murdered his friends, and recklessly put his soldiers lives at risk?

Ian Worthington delves into Alexander's successes and failures, his paranoia, the murders he engineered, his megalomania, and his constant drinking. It presents a king corrupted by power and who, for his own personal ends, sacrificed the empire his father had fought to establish.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 388 pages
  • 133 x 197 x 27.94mm | 408g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • REV Pbk ed.
  • 140580162X
  • 9781405801621
  • 491,235

Back cover copy

?"Ian Worthington brings an immediacy to ancient history that is exciting and compelling. The characters live and breath and there are many vivid moments of drama ? that stay in the mind long after you have put the book down. A ripping read."? Terry Jones

?"Ian Worthington's book has many virtues, including a clear narrative that shows intimate familiarity with the primary sources and secondary literature. It is accessibly written in an unemotional style for a wide general readership."? Professor Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History, ClareCollege, Cambridge

Alexander the Great was a legend in his lifetime and he remains one today. He has become a near-mythical figure whose youth, advancement of Greek culture and spectacular military success are focused on to the exclusion of other aspects of his life: the delusion, paranoia, murderous tendencies, excessive drinking and his belief that he was a god on earth.

Worthington argues that Alexander became corrupted by power and sacrificed the empire his father had sought to establish for his own personal ends. The role played by King Philip II, Alexander's pretensions to personal divinity and his failure to marry and to provide a political heir, are uncovered as key factors in his decline and in the chaos and bloodshed that followed his death.

In this personal history of Alexander, Worthington discusses not only his dashing image and heroism, but also the downsides to his personality and the disintegration of his empire, to question whether he really deserves to be called ?Great?. This fascinating account of Alexander the Great's life is a welcome addition to the legend surrounding the most famous figure in ancient history.

Ian Worthington is Professor of Greek History at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has published numerous books and articles including "Alexander the Great: A Reader "(2003), "Demosthenes: Statesman and Orator" (2000), and "A Historical Commentary on Dinarchus" (1992). He is currently working on a biography of Philip II of Macedonia.
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Table of contents

1. Introduction: Uncovering the Legend 2. Alexander's Inheritance 3. Alexander's Boyhood 4. King at Last 5. The Very Gates of Asia 6. A Bridge of Corpses 7. Son of Ra, Son of Zeus 8. Lord of Asia 9. Conquest and Conspiracy 10. Bactria and Sogdiana 11. India 12. We'll Say Goodbye in Babylon 13. Death and Disorder 14. Man and God 15. Alexander: The Great 16. Philip's Ghost
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Review quote

'Ian Worthington's book has many virtues, including a clear narrative that shows initmate familiarity with the primary sources and secondary literature. It is accessibly written in an unemotional style.'

The Anglo-Hellenic Review, Spring 2005
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About Ian Worthington

Ian Worthington is Professor of History at the University of Missouri. He has published 15 sole-authored and edited books and over 100 articles and essays on Greek history, epigraphy and oratory. In 2005 he won the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity in the Humanities, in 2007 the Student-Athlete Advisory Council Most Inspiring Professor Award and in 2010 the William H. Byler Distinguished Professor Award.
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Rating details

38 ratings
3.34 out of 5 stars
5 11% (4)
4 37% (14)
3 29% (11)
2 24% (9)
1 0% (0)
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