The Death of Alexander the Great

What-or Who-Really Killed the Young Conqueror of the Known World?

By Paul Doherty
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780786713400, 288pp.)

Publication Date: August 2004

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Description

In May 323 BC Alexander of Macedonia fell ill in Babylon. Within ten days he was dead. A military genius who raged through the Persian empire, Alexander believed he was the son of God, with a desire for everlasting glory and an urge to march and conquer the world. The Death of Alexander the Great critically analyzes this extraordinary conqueror who achieved so much before he died at the early age of 33. Alexander was a man who wanted to be a God, a Greek who wanted to be a Persian, a defender of liberties who spent most of his life taking away the liberties of others, and a king who could be compassionate to the lowliest yet ruthlessly wipe out an ancient city like Tyre and crucify 3,000 of its defenders. Doherty scrutinizes the circumstances surrounding Alexander’s death as he lay sweating beside a swimming pool in the summer palace of the Persian kings. Did Alexander die of alcoholism, a hideous bout of malaria, or were other factors involved? Alexander had been warned not to enter Babylon, so he surrounded himself with outstanding captains of war. This book is a dramatic reassessment of the leader’s mysterious final days.

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