Writing 450 years after Alexander's death, Arrian had the advantage of hindsight and the unique ability to sift through important historical material which is now lost. He was able to judge the motives of many of the detractors of Alexander and to set the record straight in many instances. Alexander's aims have always been a topic of intense debate and this history will tell you what this brilliant tactician was trying to accomplish and why. From his first encounter with the Persians at the Battle of the Granicus to his last battle on the banks of the Indus River, thrill to the extraordinary exploits of Alexander the Great as he turns the ancient world upside down. After his passing, nothing would ever again be the same....
Lucius Flavius Arrianus, or Arrian (circa A.D. 85 to 90 - circa 146) was born in Nicomedia, a Greek town which at the time was a part of the vast Roman Empire. It is fairly certain that Arrian's ancestors had been citizens for some time because his family was prominent, and he himself seems to have held an important priesthood as a young man. Arrian studied Stoic philosophy with the famous Epictetus and has left us an excellent book on the subject based on his notes. One of his fellow students was the future emperor, Hadrian, whose close friend he remained in later life. Arrian was a wealthy man with a great sense of responsibility. He put his considerable abilities to work on behalf of society and served with distinction as a senator and as a military commander. In fact, he was the first Greek ever to command Roman legions. He later served as governor of Cappadocia. In his spare moments, Arrian wrote many important books, of which his Anabasis of Alexander is by far the most popular.
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Though it compares favorably with the "begats" in the first chapter of Matthew in the Bible, the similarity in this tedious chronicle of battles, marches, slaughters and sacrifices compares to it in human interest and character development. Not saved by more than a hint of military tactics or geographical detail, this work is a soporific. I regret using a book credit for it. The publishers "blurb" promised more than was delivered.
The book tells a fascinating story but does so in a manner that some might find a tad on the boring side. The author often recounts long lists of names and orders of battles and can get dull at times. The book is almost entirely focused on military conquests and offers little insight into Alexander's personal or political life. Still, interesting enough for me to finish.
Probably not. It was hard to stay engaged in the writing style, voice, and overall content
Some parts were interesting, but overall I found boring
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