Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great


Alexander the Great by Richard Stoneman is an introduction to the career and impact of the great Macedonian conqueror and the main themes of his reign. As well as tackling problems of interpretation, the author includes:* An examination of the written and other sources and the problems of working with them* Discussion of archaeological and numismatic evidence* An outline of the Macedonian background* Insight into Alexander's education and ideas* Exploration of Alexander's claim to divinity* Assessment of Alexander's short and long-term achievements* A study of his influence in antiquity


There are many books on Alexander the Great, and the aim of this one is modest: to introduce students to the outlines of his career and the main problems of the sources, and to provide some orientation for further study of Alexander. I have emphasised perhaps more than is usual the significance of Alexander's impact on the world that followed him, in legend and philosophy as well as in political practice. More than most historical figures, Alexander is one whose career resonates today, not least in contemporary Greece and its Balkan neighbours, where his fame still serves ideological purposes.

I am grateful to the series editors for their invitation to contribute to this series, and their comments on the typescript; also to David Shotter for his careful criticisms of style and presentation. Michael Whitby read the whole text with great attention and is responsible for very many improvements. The errors that remain are my own.

In this second edition I have revised the text throughout, as well as correcting a few errors that were pointed out by reviewers. The most substantial changes are as follows: following the valuable comments of several outside readers, I have expanded the discussion of sources; of numismatics; of the two major battles of Issus and Gaugamela; of the Exiles Decree; and of Alexander's impact on the later Greek and Roman worlds. The late Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg, in a valuable review, drew attention to the revaluation of Alexander's Persian opponent by Pierre Briant, and this has led me to give a fuller account of the Persian perspective in several places.

Scholarly discussion of Alexander does not stand still: this book remains an attempt to represent, in a compact space, the state of scholarship and the varying approaches of scholars at the time of writing.

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