The Roman Alexander (Paperback)

Reading a Cultural Myth (Exeter Studies in History)

By Diana Spencer

University of Exeter Press, 9780859896788, 277pp.

Publication Date: December 31, 2002

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If Alexander the Great had not existed, then he would have to have been invented. But the "Alexander" that still fascinates now is far more than the sum of the mainstream biographical tradition. This book offers an insight into a world where to think about Alexander was to engage with the buring ideological issues of Rome during the first centuries BCE and CE, a period of intense and often political and cultural change.

The author has made a selection of the diverse mentions of Alexander, comparisons with Alexander and cultural paradigms that have collected around him, in order to reveal the story of the peoples who have been interested in him - a novel investigation of power and national identity in the Roman world. The book explores and sythesises a selection of key texts, drawn from verse and prose, history, epic and oratory, to form the basis of a series of themed discussions investigating the cultural significance of Alexander for Rome. The book provides translations, an extensive critical bibliography and full notes.

About the Author

Diana Spencer is a Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Birmingham.