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Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography Paperback – 8 Dec 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (8 Dec. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520071662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520071667
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 539,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Green's portrait will discomfit those who seek consistency in behavior (and those who have already made up their minds about Alexander): it is a complex, multi-dimensioned figure which should appeal to this troubled age."--Eugene Borza, "The Classical World

About the Author

Peter Green is Dougherty Centennial Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age (California, 1990).

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By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Only occasionally have I read a work of history that's in the "can't put down" category. DISTANT MIRROR by Barbara Tuchman, MEN TO MATCH MY MOUNTAINS by Irving Stone, and Shelby Foote's monumental Civil War trilogy come to mind. ALEXANDER OF MACEDON, 356-323 B.C. by Peter Green is now another.
This material first appeared as ALEXANDER THE GREAT in 1970. This particular volume, a revision and expansion of that earlier book, is the second reprint (1991) of the title first published in 1974.
For the sake of background, the author necessarily begins his masterpiece with Alexander's father, Philip of Macedon, whose achievement was to unify Macedonia and coerce the Greek states to the south to join with him in an Hellenic League. But, after Philip is assassinated on page 105, it's all Alexander as he marches his army on a peripatetic route of conquest against the Persian Empire throughout Asia Minor and the Middle East as far as present-day West Pakistan - and then back again. Twenty-five thousand miles - the circumference of the Earth - in eleven years. I kept turning the pages to see what he was going to do next.
In his "Preface to the 1991 Reprint", Green makes it clear that his study of Alexander is a work in progress, and that even this book needs further revision in the light of new information. However, as flawed as the author may consider his ALEXANDER OF MACEDON to be, his masterful distillation of 17 pages worth of ancient and modern sources makes the narrative of Alexander's life sing. Green's prose is crisp and touched with a dry humor, and it never bogs down.
Though Green concludes that Alexander is "perhaps ... the most incomparable general the world has ever seen", he doesn't spare his subject from charges of megalomania and tyranny.
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I read this over 18 months ago. I have'nt read anything better since and I read a lot.
The story of Alexander it a truly amazing one. Even taking that into account this book is an excellent read. You get a great incite into the politics, scheming and rivalries that took place. The coverage that battles is excellent too - with diagrams and tactical analysis. Finally, the danger and brutality of these ancient times is vividly cast without over doing it.
This is a great read and you'll learn some history too.
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Format: Paperback
Macedonian politics, the plains of Persia chasing fleeing kings, revolts in staff officers.....the sort of stuff that seems to be the perfect recipe for insomnia. but , peter green's version of alexander has all that, ( even more), and yet was a spellbinding account that i managed to put down only when i had finished reading it whole.
alexander has been one of history's most colourful characters. a gifted general and leader of men, who died young, after singly managing to command an army that conquered the the largest empire a single man could win at that time. peter green brings out the genius in alexander, while making him believable. he fumes at his friends, his mistrusts his generals though needing them while feeling exasperated when they want to go home after failing to integrate in the eastern way of life. yet, his campaigns are brilliant, his battle plans a work of genius and in spite of all his massacres and often sensless violence, we are awed by him at the end of the book.
the language of the work is lucid, the storytelling frank,balanced, sensitive and sensible, which is a surprise for a work of history. the maps, especially of all the major battles are exceptionally well done and very comprehensible. all in all, a very good buy , and the best way to spend a free day.......sunny or not!
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Format: Paperback
3 figures stand out of the mists of time, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caeser and Alexander of Macedonia, known more commonly as Alexander the Great. While there have been other great men whose impact has changed the face of history (Mohammed, Jesus, Augustus, etc) none stand out quite like these like there 3 men. Peter Green in this work, attempts to chronicle the life of Alexander and the impact that he had upon the world at the time.

We start with a look at the history of Macedonia (which is not located in the area now called Macedonia) and then a semi detailed look into Alexander's father, Philip, the man responsible for uniting much of Greece. We go into then Alexander's life, from birth to death and his long campaign into the Persian empire, the battles against Darius and his lieutenants, the march down to Egypt (including the famous solution to the Gordian Knot) where Alexander had a meeting with one of the most respected oracles. We then have a further confrontation with Darius, the final conquest of Persia and the push to India, where along the way, Alexander met and married Roxanna. We reach the banks of the Indus, where finally, the army said no more and refused to march further. We then get Alexander's last months, until his death in Babylon, with his disputed final words as to the succession 'To The Strongest'

Peter green has written an extremely good book on Alexander. With a strong, flowing narrative style, we follow in Alexander's footsteps in a way that is accessible for people with little knowledge of the time. Alexander captures so much attention after so much time due to the brilliance of his campaign and the force of his personality. There is also a mystique about him.
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