Thinking about Alexander
–Quintus Curtius Rufus – in Penguin as The History of Alexander: lots of speeches; Roman bias against king.
–Plutarch – parallel with Julius Caesar; character more than politics
–Arrian – in Penguin as The Campaigns of Alexander; very pro-Alex.
**These are all 400+ years after his death, so they’re really secondary sources.
–Also: Lysippos: the offical court sculpture of Alex.
–was a monomaniac
–was a drunkard (almost certainly)
–had a troubled childhood
–was alf-Illyrian, because of Olympias, so possibly not the best choice for king (which was elective, within the royal house)
–inherits the kingship, being hegemon (overlord of Greece, as in representative), and a huge debt to Greek moneylenders. Add in his monomania, and here are three excellent reasons for invading Persia….
My take: I love Alexander. I love the stories that have grown up around him, and the very romance of taking that many men that far. I’m not necessarily that enamored of the man himself, but that hardly matters.