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Alexander in Brief

Encyclopedia entries | Short biographies | Timelines | Frequently asked questions

Encyclopedia entries

Britannica 11th Edition on Alexander. Article by Bevan. Excellent, if somewhat dated, scholarly overview of his life. The Classical entries from the 11th edition (1910) could be turned into a decent classical encyclopedia. This article is courtesy the Xenophon Group, an site devoted to military history, particularly Russian and Ukranian. The also have the Britannica 11th edition's Peloponnesian War and Xenophon. Top 5%

Wikipedia: Alexander the Great.

Editorial note: If you don't know already, Wikipedia is an "open source" encyclopedia. Anyone can edit it, anytime. Surprisingly, it usually works well. But the Alexander entry is certainly not the best. There are errors of fact and balance, and while Wikipedia may generate "smart mobs," there are no "unbiased mobs." Thom Stark severely criticized the entry on the "talk page" as a "damning indictment of the whole notion of open source history." I wouldn't go that far, particularly in light of the reefs and shoals of internet history generally. The best feature, apart from the section I wrote, however, is the massive hyperlinking.[1] Having watched it for a while now, I can say that although both good and bad changes occur, it's getting gradually better—and that's the point. I wager than in 20 years it will be a pretty good short biography!

Reader's Companion to Military History: Alexander the Great. Excellent long entry by Eugene N. Borza. See also Macedonians and Philip II. Top 5%

Columbia Encyclopedia (long-ish), at Bartleby.

IBM 1999 World Book entry, by Eugene Borza.

Compton's Encyclopedia courtesy "Crystal Links."

Jewish Encyclopedia: Alexander the Great by Isaac Broydé, Kaufmann Kohler and Israel Lévi from the 1901-1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. Covers Alexander in Judaism, not Alexander generally.

Encarta nicely reformatted by Achilles Anastasopooulos. Fight the power.

Short biographies

BBC biography (440 words) by Joann Fletcher.

"Alexander the Great World Conqueror" by Chris Whitten. Short biography prompted by some arrowheads.

Discovery Channel Asia's biography.

Sensationalistic mini-bio of Alexander from "History House." Larded with boldface to emphasize sex and violence—and something for no reason at all!. Still, it quotes Peter Green and others, explores controversies and has good hyperlinking, eg., a page on Philip and Pausanias ("Who would have guessed that his father, Philip of Macedon, met his death at his eighth wedding at the hand of his fair-haired boy lover?").

Gay Heroes biography by Jay Spears. The biography is fairly standard, but Spears' review of Pressfield's Virtues of War is a real gem.

Mr. Dowling's Electronic Passport to Alexander (brief, vague biography)

"A library in Alexandria housed the accumulated knowledge of the Greeks. This would become very important in the centuries that followed because Greece and Rome would fall to barbarian tribes would could not read."
Err.. What?

Hyperhistory Alexander page. One thin column on pink background. "Hyperhistory" is motivated by "Christian" and "Biblical"—a bullying way to indicate 20th-Century American Evangelical Protestant/Fudamentalist—concerns. This particular page, however, seems driven only by a contempt for aesthetics.

Silk road foundation's brief biography (Irma Marx).

Another pocket biography in the service of commerce. I particularly like "Alexander's army was not prejudice [sic] and gratefully received soldiers of different nationalities." The exact opposite is surely true.

Timelines Detailed, hyperlinked timeline by Jona Lendering, from his Alexander the Great biography. Top 5% Brief and full timelines.

Extremely short timeline by Paul Cartledge, from his BBC article "Alexander the Great: Hunting for a New Past."

Frequently asked questions offers its own looney FAQs. The religious statements—eg., that Cleopatra was Alexander reincarnated—are easy to screen out. But there are non-religious errors and distortions too, eg., flat denial that Alexander was homosexual or bisexual.

Google Answers: Was Alexander the Great a celebrity in Rome? competently answered. I wish some of the Google answers used non-Web sources.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.
Check out my new site
Wiki Classical Dictionary, currently focused on Alexander

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Genghis Khan on the Web More than 275 links about the Mongol conqueror.

Cleopatra on the Web Over 410 resources on Cleopatra. Includes 168 images.

Ancient Library and the Wiki Classical Dictionray, major new reference sources for ancient studies.

Hieroglyphs! Over 125 links about Egyptian hieroglyphs for all ages and levels of knowledge.

( See all my ancient history sites )