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Other Books

Roisman, Alexander the Great: Ancient and Modern Perspectives | Alexander the Great: A Reader (ed. Worthington) | John Maxwell O'Brien, Alexander the Great: The Invisible Enemy | Bosworth, Alexander and the East | Holt, Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions | Spencer, The Roman Alexander | Other monographs | Book lists and recommendations | Other

Review of Yardley and Heckel's trans. and com. on Justin 11-12. by P. J. Rhodes. Histos v. 2 (1998).

Roisman, Alexander the Great: Ancient and Modern Perspectives

Amazon. Alexander the Great: Ancient and Modern Perspectives by Joseph Roisman (Problems in European Civilization Series, 1995). Books of scholarly articles adapted primarily for undergraduates.

Reviewed by David Silverman, BMCR 96.1.

"It feels strange to render so negative a verdict about a volume which contains writings by many of the leading authorities on Alexander and the Macedonians, but I can not recommend giving this book to students. If their level of background knowledge and ability to do research is so slim, then let them read something originally written especially for that level, and not a dumbed-down version of something originally written for the readership of Phoenix or JHS."

Reviewed by Thomas Banchich, BMCR 95.3.

Alexander the Great: A Reader (ed. Worthington), Reviewed by Peter C. Nadig

Amazon. Alexander the Great: A Reader by Ian Worthington.

German-langauge review by Sabine Muller, H-Net. Automatic translation doesn't work on it, and I'm not cracking my dictionary and grammar open for this!

John Maxwell O'Brien, Alexander the Great: The Invisible Enemy

Amazon. Alexander the Great : The Invisible Enemy by John Maxwell O'Brien. Controversial book explores Alexander's psychology, particularly as relates to his drinking.

Review by Waldemar Heckel, for the Bryn Mawr Classical Review:

"In short, my own objections to the book reflect a fundamental difference in approach. I found O'Brien's biography highly readable and, as a piece of literature, enjoyable. But those who claim that the truth about Alexander the man is irrecoverable will not change their minds after reading this book."

Excerpt: Alexander as a Tragic Hero (two pages), from Houghton Mifflin's Mosaic.

Bosworth, Alexander and the East

Amazon. Alexander and the East : The Tragedy of Triumph by A. B. Bosworth. Bosworth tells "the underside of victory."

PDF: The introduction. Beautiful format allows easy reading of Greek.

Web Archive: "Bosworth's Alexander: A Review Discussion" by Victor Parker, University of Canterbury (Paper given at the 1997 NZACT Conference)

Review by John Atkinson, Scholia 7.

"Bosworth's originality here is in comparing surviving accounts of Alexander's campaigns with Cortes' account of the reconquest of Mexico, plus Francisco Lopez de Gomara's edited version of Cortes' account, and the independent account by one of Cortes' junior followers, Bernal Diaz del Castillo. The exercise illustrates how the perspective can alter the record, and how literary allusion can colour the narrative."

Short review by Robert Cowley from Cowles History Group.

Holt, Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions

Reviewed by Filippo Canali De Rossi, BMCR (June 23, 2004). De Rossi finds a catastrophic success:

"In general, however, H.'s interpretation so convincingly solves the riddle he so very patiently posed that there is not really much room left for doubt or scepticism."

Amazon. Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions by Frank Holt, part of UC Berkeley's always-good Hellenistic Culture and Society series.

UC Berkeley page (advertising a sale price), with the first chapter as an excerpt .

Holt Publishes 4th Book on Alexander the Great. Press release from University of Houston History Department reveals his next book is going to be The Future Behind Us: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan.

Spencer, The Roman Alexander

Amazon. The Roman Alexander: Reading a Cultural Myth by Diana Spencer (Exeter Studies in History). Also in hardcover (Publisher's blurb).

Reviewed by Carlo Franco, Bryn Mawr Classical Review (June 29, 2003). Franco questions some of Spencer's methodological choices, eg., an exclusive focus on Latin-language sources,

The Roman Alexander was created by writers, largely using and experiencing two libraries, two languages, two worlds, not only the Latin one. The marginalization here of Plutarch, not to say of Dio Chrysostomus or Arrian, is not without consequence."

Reviewed by John Atkinson, Scholia Reviews (2004).

German: Reviewed by Sabine M´┐Żller, from H-Net (August, 2003). Automatic translation doesn't work on this.

Other monographs

Amazon. Darius dans l'ombre d'Alexandre by P. Briand.

Reviewed by Jan P. Stronk, BMCR (March 2004). Methological issues are at the forefront:

"Because practically all information on Darius has to be extracted from texts actually focusing on other subjects (predominantly Alexander), extracting it requires a strict methodological approach, executed with extreme precision. This process explains that writing on Darius, one necessarily has to write on Alexander as well: the story of Darius lies hidden in the shadow of Alexander."
Also touches on Darius in non-western traditions:
"More or less like the 'Roman d'Alexandre,' both Sasanian and Islamic stories about the battle(s) between the Macedonian and Persian armies show a complete lack of understanding of, or even interest in, the actual occurrences before, during, or after Alexander's campaign, including Darius' death."

Amazon. Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army by Donald W. Engels. Engels' book produced something of an eclat in the field.

Comments on Engle's Alexander the Great and Logistics of the Macedonian Army (search for Alexander)

Amazon UK. Non-Jonesian Indology and Alexander by Ranajit Pal, described as "an attempt to free Indology of its Jonesian fetters."

Reviewed by Jan-Mathieu Carbon, Scholia Reviews (2005 [sic]). Hits Pal's style and argumentation hard, but also finds much of interest, conceivably of revolutionary effect.

Amazon. Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction edited by A. B. Bosworth and E. J. Baynham. Contains recent essays on Alexander. Oxford UP blurb with list of essays. Now available.

Amazon. Alexander and the Greeks by Victor Ehrenberg (1982). Ehrenberg assembled all the inscriptions associated with Alexander.

"In Search of Cleitarchus: Review-discussion of Luisa Prandi: Fortuna e realta dell' opera di Clitarco" by A.B. Bosworth, Histos v. 2 (1997).

Amazon. The Marshals of Alexander's Empire by Waldemar Heckel (1992).

Reviewed by Catherine Rubincam, BMCR 4.5.

Amazon. Cities of Alexander the Great by Peter M. Fraser. Oxford UP blurb

Reviewed by Gary Reger BMCR 97.04.

"We can now see Alexander's foundations in their context, as both sequel to the Achaemenid cities and fortresses, and as predecessors to those of the Seleukids and the many other central Asian empires that followed"

"In Search of Cleitarchus: Review-discussion of Luisa Prandi: Fortuna e realta dell' opera di Clitarco" by A.B. Bosworth, Histos v. 2 (1997).

Amazon. Alexander the Great and Bactria : The Formation of a Greek Frontier in Central Asia by Frank L. Holt (Mnemosyme, Bibliotheca Classica Batava, Supplementum Centisimum)

J.R. Hamilton, Plutarch: Alexander (commentary) Reprinted by Duckworth and the Bristol Classical Press, 1999 and reviewed by Waldemar Heckel.

Amazon. Alexander the Great : The Unique History of Quintus Curtius by Elizabeth Baynham. Umich Press blurb (quite full).

Reviewed by Lynette G. Mitchell, BMCR 00.2.

"For Curtius, Alexander is a vehicle for another story, and a story perhaps more relevant to imperial Rome than the dog-end of the fourth century BC. Yet for Alexander historians this is an important understanding to reach. Only by understanding what Alexander historians wanted the 'great' man to be, can we come to any understanding at all of what he was."

Review-Discussion (in German) by Holger Koch, Histos v. 3 (1999).

Amazon. The Legacy of Alexander: Politics, Warfare and Propaganda Under the Successors by A. B. Bosworth. Specialist monograph on the early Diadoch period.

Reviewed by Rolf Strootman, Bryn Mawr Classical Review (January 31, 2004). Did Alexander's peripatetic rule undermine a unified empire?

Amazon. In the Absence of Alexander: Harpalus and the Failure of of Macedonian Authority by Christopher W. Blackwell.

Review by Christopher Ehrhardt, BMCR 2001.

"In B.'s own opinion, the important novelty is that he looks at the events in the light supposedly shed on the concepts of 'authority', 'hegemony', and 'power' by modern theorists, including Paul Veyne and (almost inevitably) Michel Foucault, and thus is enabled to explain why the Athenians declined to surrender Harpalus, or his money, to any of the Macedonian potentates who demanded him, despite the obvious dangers of defying the representatives of an empire which stretched from the borders of Attica to the Punjab. This reviewer must candidly admit that the theorising about concepts provided him with little illumination and that it was a relief when B. returned to the real if dim and often inadequate light given by the historical sources and the tricks and illusions presented by Attic orators."

Amazon. Faces of Power : Alexander's Image and Hellenistic Politics by Andrew Stewart. Publisher's blurb (UC Press)

Reviewed by Mark D. Fullerton, BMCR 95.2.

Amazon. Alexander the Great: The Real-life Story of the World's Greatest Warrior by Nick McCarty. Illustrated book by a TV writer. This plugs some marketing hole, and may be expected to soak up %1 of the revenue associated with the movie Alexander. You don't need it. (See the Publisher's blurb.)

Web Archive: "In Search of the Macedonians of Pakistan" by Michael A. Dimitri (Biser Balkanski, publishers).

Information on Gregory Zorzos' books Economics of Alexander the Great, Technical of Alexander the Great, and so forth. Zorzos is an autodidact historian of self-published books in Greek. Includes summary and other material in English. He hurts his credibility by crowing over polite thank-you letters for free books given to the Greek Club of Calcutta and the National Library of China.

Book lists and recommendations

Borders: Alexander the Great and Ancient Times. Borders carries many of the best books, but also some pointless reprints and "me too" books—works that, while not terrible, are only published or republished now because they are in the public domain or satisfied some "hole" in Border's offerings and could be thrown together rapidly. If your time is worth anything, you might as well read Green or Fox, not, to save a few bucks, Cummings or McCarty.

Pothos.org: The Pothos.org Top Ten. Continually-changing. It's a good idea to survey people, but it's a list for people who've read them all, not a reading-plan.

"Alexander on the Printed Page" from Alexander on Archaeology (magazine) gateway. "Must read" list suggested Eugene Borza. Includes Fuller and Cartledge in the top five Alexander books. (Fox is unmentioned.) One could quibble with the Macedonia list.[1]

Other

Review of Robert F. Dobbin's Epictetus, Discourses Book 1. Reviewed by William O. Stephens, BMCR 99.11. Arrian, the historian of Alexander, also set down Epictetus' thoughts.

Information on Gregory Zorzos' books Economics of Alexander the Great, Technical of Alexander the Great, and so forth. Zorzos is an autodidact historian of self-published books in Greek. Includes summary and other material in English. He hurts his credibility by crowing over polite thank-you letters for free books given to the Greek Club of Calcutta and the National Library of China.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.
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