The History of Alexander PDF/EPUB ↠ The History
Not an easy book to review This is a scholarly account Curtius History of Alexander is one of the sources for the great general s life, written some time after his death, written by a Roman, and written for a Roman market which venerated the military genius of Alexander and appreciated his skills in prefiguring the Roman methods of diplomacy i.e., proffering the hand of friendship, but carrying a very sharp sword.Anyone with an academic interest in the era will be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of this work and will hardly require a populist review However, anyone looking for an accessible, readable account and analysis of Alexander s career and impact on Europe and Asia will not find it here So, while the work merits five stars for its scholarship, as a piece of accessible, popular history, two stars is not an uncharitable assessment.Curtius History is preserved in fragmentary form only The first two books are missing and can only be offered in summary form Written at least three hundred years after Alexander s death, Curtius work is based on primary Greek sources which are no longer to be found In his introduction Heckel argues that the author, Curtius, was alive in the time of Claudius and wrote this work around 40 50 AD Others, however, have suggested that the writer lived later, and wrote around 200 AD.This may appear a spurious debate for those interested solely in Alexander himself, but Heckel demonstrates that the content of the work does make allusions to contemporary Roman life and politics, and that it s historical accuracy is distorted to provide commentary on Roman life, thus diverging from a true description of Alexander s world.Heckel s introduction is informative, well argued, and provides a sound basis for appreciating the value of the text John Yardley s translation is fine It is scholarly and, from what I can gather, an accurate translation This does not, however, make it a good read in 21st century terms The Roman style of historical writing is a trifle staccato for modern tastes, tends to follow a process of making statements or offering allusions Its narrative dynamic and analytical style are slow, terse, and somewhat disjointed Given that fragments of the books are missing, the sense of continuity is further fractured.The content of Curtius History is fascinating For anyone with a scholarly interest in the era and that can include amateur historians or even wargamers , there is plenty of detail and plenty of flavour of the Greek world to have you poring over this for years This is a book to dissect, to search for evidence rather than to read It is a book which poses questions rather than provides answers.An essential source, a fine translation backed by a sound introduction, this is not a book for light reading, but it is a must for the shelves of the enthusiast, and it is a book which will be referred to again and again by anyone with than a passing interest in the world of Alexander. cool For all those who are interested in Alexander the Great one of the few remaining sources from after his death. This book is required reading to understand Alexander the Great and his personality It gives a personal insight into the complex person that was Alexander the Great. Another book written on Alexander the Great,but different from the others So many have written books about Alexander and yet in this book so many things I read for the first time.The book is very easy to read, ofcourse it is about the wars,conquers,of Alexander.The details that are not written in Arrian for example and Plutarch are several.I will give a few examples.One of Alexander s speeches,outstandingly written to pursue the killer of Darius.The queen meeting Alexander and what she demands of him.The Caspian discovered by the soldiers, what they see and feel about the salted water.The speech of Coenus on behalf of the soldiers, and Alexander s speech.The fight of the Indus river.The Gedrosian desert,and the judgement of Philotas All is strongly suggest that if you are an Alexander lover you should add this book to your reading Enjoy. History has given us both shining heroes Jesus, Socrates, Joan of Arc and deep dyed villains Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot , but perhaps most interesting are the morally ambiguous characters Depending on your perspective, Alexander the Great was either an enlightened statesman and general or a drunken, power mad sociopath I suspect the truth is somewhere in between Quintus Curtius Rufus, a Roman historian writing in the first century A.D., gives us perhaps the most rounded portrait of Alexander as a good man corrupted by success Alexander s virtues were his own, his faults the result of his good fortune Curtius is sometimes confused about names, dates, and places, and sometimes he plays fast and loose with the facts, but over all he wrote an exciting, fast paced narrative full of gripping battle scenes, harrowing accounts of bravery and cruelty, and unforgettable characters One feels that Curtius, living as he did during the time of the deranged Julio Claudian emperors, uses Alexander s story to express truths about his own period that could not be openly stated Most likely he wrote during the reign of Claudius, who in addition to being an alcoholic and a womanizer was also a sadist all faults for which Curtius criticizes Alexander He is especially troubled by Alexander s insistence on being worshipped as a god this at a time when the emperor cult was in its early stages.One gets the impression that Alexander was losing it at the end, becoming increasingly reckless while falling under the spell of the eunuch Bagoas Unfortunately, The History of Alexander is incomplete The first two books and the beginning of the sixth are missing, and the later books all have lacunae of increasing severity The whole drama of Alexander s return to Babylon, the death of Hephaestion, and Alexander s own final illness and death is missing The work ends with the onset of the wars that broke out over the disputed succession to Alexander s throne, resulting in the splintering of the Macedonian empire.John Yardley has produced a readable translation with a helpful introduction and notes by Waldemar Heckel Included are bibliography, list of abbreviations, appendices, maps, and an index to maps Overall an exciting account of one of history s most legendary figures. super great for my history class Even when his material is questionable see Arrian s The Campaigns of Alexander , Curtius is a fascinating tale of one of the greatest conquerors of all time, a man of many curious quirks and actions Well worth the time spent. Alexander the Great BC , who led the Macedonian army to victory in Egypt, Syria, Persia and India, was perhaps the most successful conqueror the world has ever seen Yet although no other individual has attracted so much speculation across the centuries, Alexander himself remains an enigma Curtius History offers a great deal of information unobtainable from other sources of the time A compelling narrative of a turbulent era, the work recounts events on a heroic scale, detailing court intrigue, stirring speeches and brutal battles among them, those of Macedonias great war with Persia, which was to culminate in Alexanders final triumph over King Darius and the defeat of an ancient and mighty empire It also provides by far the most plausible and haunting portrait of Alexander we possess a brilliantly realized image of a man ruined by constant good fortune in his youth A really cool book Rufus is quite critical of Alexander at times he describes the darker moments of his history Obviously, not all of these stories would be true, but after reading Arrian, Rufus just seems so much logical and believable Rufus doesn t make a villain out of Alexander or anything, he just points out that everybody has flaws He gives some interesting descriptions of the Persian culture giving a Roman perspective of eastern customs If you re writing a paper on Alexander then Rufus is a perfect counterpoint to the traditional history that people like Arrian and many modern historians tend to favour A fun read.
- 339 pages
- The History of Alexander (Classics)
- Quintus Curtius Rufus
- 03 June 2017 Quintus Curtius Rufus