The Roman Alexander: reading a cultural myth

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University of Exeter Press, 2002 - History - 277 pages
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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 burning ideological issues of Rome during the first centuries BCE and CE, a period of intense and often violent political and cultural change.Diana Spencer 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 synthesises 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.

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