The pothos.org Top Ten Books
Dozens and dozens of books have been published about Alexander. And writers and researchers keep busy. A major new publication appears every few months. So what to choose? This is the pothos.org Book Top 10. These are the ten prominent books that are currently most appreciated by the pothos.org community. Votes and comments have been collected during the last few months.
Alexander of Macedon; A Historical Biography by Peter Green
A new number # 1! This is a nice surprise. Many prefer Peter Green's style of quality writing. The book offers some intriguing interpretations of Alexander's motives and achievements. Also, Green walks a nice path in between Bosworth's criticism and Lane Fox's heroism. pothos.org visitor Chris Bates said: "My favourite biography."Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great by A. B. Bosworth
Brian Bosworth's excellent biography is not always in praise of Alexander. And that really is kind of an understatement. But the breadth and depth of Bosworth's scholarly approach is admired by many. And hated by some. A good book for a general overview, but please don't expect popular edutainment. pothos.org member Heinrich Müller said: "Consistently black, yet in my view a must-read." (Bosworth still held the number # 1 spot in our Christmas 2004 Top 10.)Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
The Invisible Enemy by John Maxwell O'Brien
Has not been in the Top 10 for years, but more and more people are becoming supporters. Perhaps this book is more like a work of art than like a scholarly study. Deep undertones from the Iliad. Obsession with the god of wine. Additional poetry is included. pothos.org visitor Linda Ann 'Amyntoros' DeSantis remarked: "Because it's still my favourite biography."Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
The Marshals of Alexander's Empire by Waldemar Heckel
This is Heckel's academic masterpiece. Very expensive and filled with scholarly annotations. However, it is one of the most admired books ever with those dedicated to Alexander for a very long time. Not starting material, for sure, but worth every single penny once your interests in Alexander advance to hardcore levels. Heckel unravels the personal stories and tragedies of Alexander's ruffian commanders. pothos.org member Alexander Meeus said: "Excellent work to read about the other protagonists."Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox
Robin Lane Fox was Oliver Stone's chief historical advisor during the making of "Alexander". This book remains a mainstay for everyone interested in Alexander the Great. Very readable, highly enjoyable. Adventure reading. More than any other book it might have inspired a lifelong enthousiasm for ancient history in many of us. pothos.org member Marcus Pailing claims: "Because it's still great."Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
Into the Land of Bones by Frank Holt
Who needs Dan Brown when we have Frank Holt? With his Mystery of the Elephant Medallions Holt proved that history books can be written like a forensic detective thriller. Into the Land of Bones takes you to the barren mountain ridges of Afghanistan that were just as difficult to control for Alexander's army back then as for the US military nowadays.Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
Faces of Power by Andrew Stewart
Obviously this is considered a fine book when it comes down to illustrations. Andrew Stewart has achieved the status of being the essential reference on the image evidence. And, well then, as you might expect, you will have to dig deep into your pockets for an unexpected spending spree. pothos.org member Alexander Meeus: "The best book on the non-written sources."Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
The Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian
The old guys are back. Arrian wrote his Alexander history in 140 A.D. but he still reads like a modern adventure about heroism and chivalry. This is one of the five prime sources of our knowledge. If you like reading this, then you might also give Curtius and Plutarch a try.Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
The Nature of Alexander by Mary Renault
Mary Renault is carefully walking the very thin line between scholarship and fantasy. No modern author has inspired more people to enlist as followers in Alexander's footsteps. Some readers claim it feels as if she actually 'knew' Alexander. Majestic.Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
The Genius of Alexander by Nicholas Hammond
This great, respected scholar of Alexander is more than welcome in our Top 10. At last one of the few remaining genuinely positive views on Alexander's great achievements. Mister Nicholas Hammond died in 2001, aged 93. This book will live on.Buy it now at amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.
Why all these Amazon links? pothos.org is not a commercial website. It is being payed for by private funds. Amazon donates 5% of the selling price to pothos.org once a book is bought using the links above. Rest assured: nobody has gotten rich and so far running pothos.org only costs money.