ALEXANDER THE GREAT by Jacques Benoist-Mechin


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A recreation of the conquests of Alexander in the East clings to known fact but pauses also for conjecture as to his motivations. Alexander is presented as the great leader who came to believe in his own divinity, but who believed most of all in the establishment of a united world. The author sees him as absorbing and assimilating the civilizations of the East rather than merely attempting to superimpose that of the West upon his subjects: witness his own marriage to the Persian Roxane and the marriages of his men at Susa. He ascribes the sacking of Persepolis to Alexander as a deliberate act to avenge the affront of the Persians against the Greeks in Athens. He faithfully follows his fortunes from the death of Darius, as he founds his empire, acts in response to threats against his power and person (from Parmenion's sons, Kleitos, Callisthenes, dealt with in violence, to the Opis revolt, when he won ""his finest victory singlehanded against his entire army""). Then on to the final phase, with Hephaestion's death, and after singular ill omens, his own death, which his dream could not survive. Alexander's brilliance is not reflected in the text, but it is a responsible presentation by a long established military historian.

Publisher: Hawthorn