Brill's Companion to Alexander the Great by Professor of Classics Joseph Roisman

By Professor of Classics Joseph Roisman

Many very important matters surrounding Alexander the Great's conquest have captured the curiosity of students and basic readers considering the fact that antiquity. This booklet, that is meant as an informative better half for students and nonspecialist alike, acquaints us with those concerns and their present interpretations, and opens up new instructions of research because it confronts them. It covers a wide variety of themes: the ancients' representations of the king in literature and paintings; Alexander's kinfolk with Greeks, Macedonians, and the peoples of Asia; the army, political, sociological and cultural elements of his campaigns; the exploitation of his biography and the myths approximately him by way of historic philosophers to argue an ethical aspect or by way of sleek groups in and outdoors the Balkans to verify or contest ethnic and nationwide identities.

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Historically, both the truth of Philotas' involvement in any plot and the circumstances will remain unclear. However, it is evident that Ptolemy and Cleitarchus promoted the official line; moreover, it is also interesting that despite his elevation, Ptolemy is not named as one of the marshals who help bring Philotas down. That role is ascribed to Craterus, Hephaestion and Coenus-men who were safely dead when Cleitarchus wrote his history. He could keep silence on his royal master's part; yet another example of history written by the victors.

4. 51 See Heisserer, 1980; more recently, Bosworth in I Greci 1998: 57-60. 52 See Hatzopoulos 1996: 25-8, no. 6; 84-5, no. 62; Hatzopoulos, 1997: 41-52. See also Errington 1998: 77-90. 53 The fundamental study is Price 1991; see also Bellinger 1963: esp. 73-80 and Oikonimides 1981. I am also grateful to Dr. Pat Wheatley, University of Queensland, for his helpful advice on Alexander and Successor numismatics. 18 ELIZABETH BAYNHAM New discoveries in architectural and art historical monuments continue to offer suggestions about late fourth century Macedonian culture, patronage and propaganda,54 but unfortunately progress is usually slow and hampered by limited funding or other logistical problems.

This approach can invariably lead us a long way from the historical king, but it has become a commonplace that Alexander becomes the creation of a particular writer, whether ancient or modern. iii. Quellenforschung and Alexander historiography As noted earlier, the overwhelming bulk of information we have is literary, late and derivative. Yet regardless of what, or when all these people wrote they all had their own spin. Each one interpreted Alexander according to his or her own ideals, aspirations and purpose-purposes which might range from propaganda, aggrandisement, philosophical discourse, the audience's moral instruction (for what to avoid as well as what to imitate), rivalry with literary predecessors,s7 rhetorical display and sheer entertainment.

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