Alexander the Great: Themes and Issues
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Alexander the Great's life and career are here examined through the major issues surrounding his reign. What were Alexander's ultimate ambitions? Why did he pursue his own deification while alive? How did he administer his conquests? Did he actually set the world in ‘a new groove' as has been claimed by some scholars? Each of the key themes, arranged as chapters, will be presented in approximately chronological order so that readers unfamiliar with the life of Alexander will be able to follow the narrative. The themes are tied to the major controversies and questions surrounding Alexander's career and legacy. Each chapter includes a discussion of the major academic positions on each issue, and includes a full and up-to-date bibliography and an evaluation of the historical evidence. All source material is in translation. Designed to bring new clarity to the contentious history of Alexander the Great, this is an ideal introduction to one of history's most controversial figures.
the latter stages of his campaign in Asia many of his subordinates accuse him of a great many crimes. Hermolaus prior to being led off for execution for his part in the so-called Pages conspiracy accuses Alexander of the “unjust” executions of Philotas and Parmenion, and his outright murder of Cleitus, but does not include in this listing of crimes the murder of Philip (Arr. Anab. 4. 14. 2. Moreover, to murder one’s father was among the most heinous of crimes calling down pollution not only on
living,5 and such apparent rarities do not go without challenge by modern historians (Badian 1981: 42–3; Zahrnt 2000: 171–9). This is true of the claim that a temple was constructed in Pydna honoring Amyntas III, Philip II’s father (schol. Dem. Olyn. 1. 5; Aristid. Or. 38. 480; Habicht 1970: 11–12). It is debated whether this occurred at all, or, if it did, whether this was posthumous or not.6 The honoring of dead kings with hero cult appears to have been the case in Sparta (Cartledge 1987:
Phoenician, fleet, by securing all its port cities meant that for the time being his pursuit of Darius was abandoned in order to secure the entire eastern seaboard of the Persian empire. With the long delay at the siege of Tyre,10 this pursuit was even less important. Egypt then became the last possible bastion for the Persian fleet, a possible point for a planned counterattack on Phoenicia, or a point for rallying opposition in Greece and the Aegean. So, Alexander is reported to have himself
and worshiped Bel-Marduk, the patron god of Babylon (Arr. Anab. 3. 16. 5; Bosworth 1980B: 316). As in Egypt, even though no specific enthronement is mentioned, Alexander does receive the standard titles associated with kingship, “Alexander, king of the world,” “Alexander, king of all lands” (Sachs and Hunger 1988: 179, 181; Chapter 3). When Alexander left Babylon he was accompanied by a number of Babylonian priests who were present on the expedition to perform various rites (Plut. Alex. 57. 4).
the Tapurians and the Mardians (Arr. Anab. 3. 23. 7, 24. 3; Curt. 6. 4. 25, 5. 21); Satibarzanes, in Areia (Arr. Anab. 3. 25. 1; Curt. 6. 6. 20), but he revolted and was replaced by another Persian, Arsaces (Arr. Anab. 3. 25. 7); Proexes, Parapamisadae (Arr. Anab. 3. 28. 4), replaced in 327 by Tyriespes (Arr. Anab. 4. 22. 5), and he in turn by Oxyartes in 325 (Arr. Anab. 6. 15. 3). Where Persians were appointed as satraps, they were all likely accompanied by Macedonian or Greek officers in charge