Fred Naiden's Life of Alexander

Recommend, or otherwise, books on Alexander (fiction or non-fiction). Promote your novel here!

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Hetairos (companion)
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Fred Naiden's Life of Alexander

Post by sean_m »

The new issue of Mouseion reminds me that Fred Naiden published a life of Alexander with the title Soldier, Priest, and God in 2019.

I have not read it in full but Fred Naiden is a good scholar. The chapter on geography seemed to have the idea that Alexander had not memorized all the itineraries of the Achaemenid empire by the end of his winter at Gordion, and just knew what leisured Greeks such as Aristotle could tell him. Since he controlled Sardis and Gordion and had good relations with Ada of Caria, I don't think it would have been an issue to get complete itineraries for any of the places he wanted to go (and if some were only available in Aramaic, transcribing and translating is what slaves are for!).

Edit: looks like the chapter by Naiden I was thinking of was Fred S. Naiden, 'An Anatolian Itinerary, 334–333 BC', in: L. Brice Lee and Daniëlle Slootjes (eds.), Aspects of Ancient Institutions and Geography: Studies in Honor of Richard J.A. Talbert, Leiden 2015, 216–234. Already in 1996 Pierre Briant had warnings against the habit of assuming that travelling in the Achaemenid empire was like travelling in the Ottoman empire or Iran in 1900 with its weak organization and decayed infrastructure.

Elizabeth Carney has a short review here ... ogin=false
My blog (Warning: may contain up to 95% non-Alexandrian content, rated shamelessly philobarbarian by 1 out of 1 Plutarchs)
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