Alexander and the East: The Tragedy of Triumph by A. B. Bosworth

By A. B. Bosworth

During this learn, Bosworth seems to be at Alexander the Great's actions in significant Asia and Pakistan, drawing a bleak photograph of bloodbath and repression similar to the Spanish conquest of Mexico. He investigates the evolution of Alexander's perspectives of empire and proposal of common monarch, and files the illustration of Alexander by way of historians of antiquity. The e-book is directed to experts and normal readers alike.

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The price of Alexander's sovereignty was killing on a gigantic scale, and killing is unfortunately the perpetual backcloth of his regime. The thin-lipped armorer, Hephaestos, hobbled away, Thetis of the shining breasts Cried out in dismay At what the god had wrought To please her son, the strong Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles Who would not live long. 1 The extant histories are late, ranging from three to five centuries after the king's death; yet they are based for the most part on early material, deriving from the first generation of the age of the Successors.

The search for a criterion of truth is delusive. All sources are to some degree unreliable, including, particularly including, those of an 'official' nature. One can therefore operate only by cross-comparison, painstakingly isolating common material, identifying and explaining variants, and arguing from general probability, that is, the appropriateness of the recorded details to the overall historical context. I can best illustrate this by an example from a very different period which provides more sources but a simpler tradition and which allows more precise explanation of context and method than is possible with the historians of Alexander.

In Curtius5 version 4,000 is the total cavalry in Porus' advance force (Curt. 14. 2), and in Diodorus and Plutarch (see n. 40 above) the figure is even smaller. For all the discrepancies of detail there is unanimous agreement that Porus' cavalry was outnumbered. 4Z Arr. 5. 17. ' See below, p. 19. The Shield of Achilles Indian cavalry Archers and Agrianians Macedonian phalanx Archers and Agrianians (a) The first phase of the battle Macedonian phalanx (b) Final stage: the killing ground Fig. 4. The cavalry engagement at the Hydaspes woefully inadequate.

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