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The History of Alexander

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4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  818 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Alexander the Great 356-323 BC, who led the Macedonian army to victory in Egypt, Syria, Persia and India, was perhaps the most successful conqueror the world has ever seen. Yet although no other individual has attracted so much speculation across the centuries, Alexander himself remains an enigma. Curtius History offers a great deal of information unobtainable from other s ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 352 pages
Published May 31st 1984 by Penguin Books (first published 54)
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umberto
Aug 02, 2012 umberto rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Having this paperback since August 2012, I’ve long reluctant to have a go with this seemingly tedious ten-book biography entitled “The History of Alexander” by Quintus Curtius Rufus. It’s a pity its Books 1 and 2 had been lost, so we’ve to make do with the summary. I didn’t know why, perhaps its biographer’s name wasn’t familiar to me, that is, I’ve rarely heard his name till its page informed me he was the Roman historian who “wrote the only life in Latin of Alexander the Great” (p. i) Generall ...more
Gavin
Jun 16, 2008 Gavin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Less dry than Arrian's The Campaigns of Alexander, but covering a similar period. Based on different sources to Arrian's ones but nearly similar in the basic sequence of events. It's also a good deal shorter than Arrian's tome. Both are well worth reading.
Jesse
May 30, 2010 Jesse rated it really liked it
This is a rhetorical account of Alexander's campaigns; Curtius does a rather poor job of explaining the battle action, but a very good job of representing the emotional tumult of each event, and the words of Alexander, his generals, friends, enemies and conspirators as imagined by him. Also, Curtius rambles, sometimes talking about (false) geography for a little too long, or, in the speeches, some really tedious platitudes come out (certainly not near the caliber of Plutarch's). However, it has ...more
Jay Eckard
May 23, 2013 Jay Eckard rated it really liked it
The main interesting point is that this history of Alexander is told from a specifically Roman viewpoint. Curtius has an old-school Roman soldier mien that only slips when he fawns over his emperor. He specifically sees Alexander's life as a moral arch: his initial good luck, acumen and leadership is ultimately defeated when sexual laxity and adoption of foreign culture trumps his inherent virtue.

Curtius is at his best, as befits an old soldier, describing the battles scenes of Alexander's conq
...more
Sharkcrow
Jan 15, 2011 Sharkcrow rated it really liked it
Not a bad source for Alexander. Has some great material in it for assignments. Haven't read it the whole way through, only dipped unit it as needed, but the translation is easy enough to read and I probably will read it as a whole at some point.
Lora
Jul 28, 2014 Lora rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ancient Greek/Macedonian Historians
Recommended to Lora by: Dr. Christensen
Considering it is one of the few primary sources available on the life of Alexander the Great it was good. I read it over a 2 years ago for my Classics Special Topics class on the Life of Alexander the Great. If I remember correctly I did a paper/powerpoint on the death of Alexander.
rabbitprincess
The translator of this book was my prof for Greek Civ. I never did finish the book, because I was a silly little frosh with a short attention span at the time, but now that I'm more mature, have some Latin under my belt, and am all nostalgic for classical studies, I'm going to try reading it again.
Gregg Jones
Apr 03, 2016 Gregg Jones rated it liked it
Shelves: history, literature
First I would recomne
Fawls13
May 10, 2008 Fawls13 rated it it was ok
Old time history, so some things are to be taken in the context of the times written in.
David
Jul 19, 2011 David rated it liked it
Shelves: greek-roman
Not as enjoyable as Plutarch but still good.
Ch J Loveall
Mar 12, 2014 Ch J Loveall rated it liked it
I do not agree with some of his descriptions. But, as he seems to be politically motivated, is this really a surprise?
1L3N
Jul 04, 2014 1L3N rated it liked it
It's a fantasy, written 2000 years ago.
The part set in India blows your mind.
The first part of the book is more realistic.
Yann
L'histoire de la plus grande conquete de tous les temps. Edifiant.
Andrej
Mar 31, 2013 Andrej rated it it was amazing
Less reliable than Arrian but way more readable account.
Matthew
Aug 24, 2012 Matthew rated it liked it
Rufus's depiction of Alexander is compelling but probably historically inaccurate.
Jossalyn
Jan 03, 2013 Jossalyn rated it really liked it
wanted to read some of the original sources for Alexander
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