Alexander the Great (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) by Richard Stoneman

By Richard Stoneman

Offers an advent to the heritage of Alexander and the most topics of his reign. in addition to tackling difficulties of interpretation, the textual content comprises: an exam of the written and different assets, and the issues of operating with them; dialogue of archaeological and numismatic proof; an overview of the Macedonian heritage; perception into Alexander's schooling and ideas; an exploration of Alexander's declare to divinity; overview of Alexander's brief and long term achievements; and a learn of his effect in antiquity.

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Like the legend of the Gordian knot, any such inscription is likely to have been hastily contrived for the present moment; but as the Romance bears many signs of Egyptian origin it may well preserve a genuine tradition about this visit. Alexander, now hailed as a god-king and successor of the pharaoh, must have begun, in the light of his tremendous successes, to wonder whether he really was, in the terms of the ancient world, a superhuman being. 395) had been the first to receive cult as a god (on Samos), but the example Alexander set later in his career was to become the norm for rulers for centuries to come.

According to the Alexander Romance, his eyes were of different colours. This piece of information, combined with the characteristic twist of the neck and heavenward glance in most of the statues, has been taken as an indication of ‘ocular torticollis’, a posture of the head which compensates for the palsy of one eye. Thus a handicap became in art an emblem of kingship. In 338 began Philip’s final act of conquest against Greece. Athens and Thebes, holding the line for the rest of Greece, were defeated at the battle of Chaeronea (August), an event which spelled the end of Greek freedom.

Even if the episode is pure fiction, as most scholars have concluded, it became one of the most enduring traditions about Alexander and a symbol of the contrast between two ways of life. It was curiosity that led Alexander to Diogenes. He looked at him. Diogenes said nothing. Eventually Alexander asked Diogenes if he would request a favour from the great king. ‘Yes,’ said Diogenes, ‘please stand aside. ’ Alexander was apparently impressed. ’ A second event which might cast light on Alexander’s character followed shortly afterwards, when he visited the oracle at Delphi.

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