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

By A. B. Bosworth

During this learn, Bosworth seems at Alexander the Great's actions in critical Asia and Pakistan, drawing a bleak photo of bloodbath and repression such as the Spanish conquest of Mexico. He investigates the evolution of Alexander's perspectives of empire and notion of common monarch, and files the illustration of Alexander by means of historians of antiquity. The ebook is directed to experts and common readers alike.

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And Alexander's admiration may not have been unqualified. He certainly rewarded Porus with a great expansion of territory, but the lands Porus acquired were almost exclusively lands he had attacked in the past or whose rulers were hostile to him. These were likely to resent his domination and prevent him enjoying a united, powerful empire. In fact Porus' sway and its unpopularity may have been the best guarantee Alexander had of keeping his conquests. 54 The facts of the battle of the Hydaspes belie the propaganda.

In the face of this dilemma the standard reaction has been to adopt some variant of Arrian's second principle of selection, the explanation of his choice of Ptolemy as his primary source: he was not merely a participant but a king, and 'it would have been more disgraceful for him to lie than for anybody else'. Arrian does not go so far as to claim that there were no lies in Ptolemy (and he is occasionally uncomfortable with what he reports),8 but he certainly implies that Ptolemy's account was the most truthful.

5. 17. 2: 'they were dashed back towards the elephants, who served, as it were, as a friendly, fortification'. The situation, and the language, is reminiscent of Thucydides' description of the Athenians at Syracuse (Thuc. 7. 6. 3). Other sources describe the Indian line as the equivalent of a fortified city wall, the infantry representing the curtain wall and the elephants the towers (Diod. 17. 87. 5; Curt. 8. 14. 13; Polyaen. 4. 3. 22), but Arrian has developed the imagery, and deliberately superimposed a Thucydidean echo.

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