Alexander the Great
The Unique History of Quintus Curtius
The history of the world's first multicultural king
He was a pupil of Aristotle and conqueror of much of the known world. This handsome commander, leading his army from the lofty perch of the wild steed Bucephalas, looked out with his one dark and one blue eye upon the world he ruled by divine ambition.
The reign and personality of Alexander the Great—one of the most romantic and powerful kings in history—have remained a source of fascination from antiquity to the present. But because the ancient information surrounding the conqueror is rich, contradictory, and complex, every historian of this near-mythical ruler—whether ancient or modern—invariably creates his or her own Alexander.
The unique work of one such ancient historian, Quintus Curtius, is the subject of Elizabeth Baynham's book. She mines Curtius' study of power for his contemporary perspective, historical methodology, and his portrait of the famous king and presents us with a brilliant, multifaceted study of this unique account regarding one of the most fascinating rulers in history.
Praise / Awards
". . . offers many fascinating insights into the Alexander tradition, both ancient and modern, the key episodes of his career, and the particular character of Curtius' account. Through this study, the reader develops a deeper respect for what has often been dismissed as a derivative source of minor significance. . . . even the novice Alexander enthusiast will gain much from it. . . . Highly recommended."
—R. P. Legon, University of Baltimore, CHOICE, Volume 37, No. 4, December 1999
". . . any reader of Baynham's Alexander the Great will gain valuable insights into the reactions of the Roman imperial power to the figure who provided its most compelling model."
—Katherine Clarke, Times Literary Supplement, July 16, 1999
"Through its subtle and wide-ranging treatment, this monograph represents an important contribution to Alexander studies and to Roman historiography as Baynham moves knowledgeably and effortlessly through the problems and pitfalls of Alexander source-criticism, as well as Roman historical writing at the end of the republic and beginning of the imperial period. Beautifully produced. . . ."
—Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Developments in Curtian studies are making it ever more difficult simply to dismiss this author as a second-rate historian, and Baynham's work should help to focus attention on this growing openness to literary analysis rather than historical verification in engagement with the Historiae Alexandri."
—Diana Spencer, University of Keele, Classical Review, Volume 50, No. 2 (2000)
"Baynham has written a thought provoking book..."
—J. Rufus Fears, American Journal of Philology, Volume 122, No. 3
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