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Besieger of Cities

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  6 reviews
When Alexander the Great died in Babylon, his generals such as Antigonus and his young son, Demetrius vowed to keep his great Empire together. Demetrius devoted his life to fighting for this cause, and in doing so was given the title 'Saviour God' by the Athenians.

He was a resourceful soldier, an inventor of weapons, as well as brave and handsome-small wonder he dazzled th
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published 1963 by Pantheon
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TERENCE: I’ll take “Obscure Hellenistic Era Kings” for $1000, Alex.

ALEX TREBEK: All right. “I am the son of Antigonos. I am nicknamed Besieger of Cities. And I drank myself to death, a prisoner of Seleukos I Nikanor, in 283 BC.”

[Jeopardy theme plays as the contestants perplexedly scratch their heads]

TERENCE: [milliseconds before the buzzer sounds] Ummm…Who is Demetrios Poliorketes?

ALEX: Correct!

Besieger of Cities is the fictional life of Demetrius, the son of one of Alexander the Great’s general
Edmund Marlowe
Demetrius Poliorcetes (The City-Taker), the subject of this fictionalised biography, was probably the most likeable of the many colourful characters who struggled to capture control of Alexander the Great's empire in the forty years after his death. Exceptionally compassionate for an often cruel age, generous, charismatic and staggeringly good-looking, he was also fatally flawed, his boundless ambition and aptitude for warfare undermined by his self-indulgence and weak will. Plutarch, on whose l ...more
I read this novel many years ago, when I was a young(er) man, and greatly enjoyed. Would love to have a copy now :(.

The generation following the death of Alexander the Great was one of near constant warfare as his former generals, and their families, squabbled, intrigued, and plotted for power. The mighty Persian empire became a mere play thing as a dozen 'great' men spent their lives (and the lives of many others) striving for control. All set against the time when Greek and Macedonian civilis
A.k.a, "Elephants and Castles," this tells the story of the life of Demetrius I of Macedon, who in the 3rd/4th c. bce was the son of one of Alexander the Great's main generals. After Alexander died, Demetrius and his father attempted to reunite the empire (by force of arms, of course). Demetrius nearly succeeded, conquering Ptolemy's fleet and freeing Athens, then the rest of his life was spent trying, and trying, and trying but never quite succeeding. As usual, Duggan does a bang-up job of tell ...more
Generally an overall good read. A great compliment to studying the post-Alexander Greek world, often times ignored in historical novels.
It's the first book of Alfred Duggan I've read and I can see why some think he's one of the best historical novelists. I still like Mary Renault better, though.
The story of a Greek General hoping to follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great. Well-researched but so dated now in its presentation. Oddly full of misprints. And lacked a map of the area to keep me right!
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"There have been few historical imaginations better informed or more gifted than Alfred Duggan’s" (The New Criterion).

Historian, archaeologist and novelist Alfred Leo Duggan wrote historical fiction and non-fiction about a wide range of subjects, in places and times as diverse as Julius Caesar’s Rome and the Medieval Europe of Thomas Becket.

Although he was born in Argentina, Duggan grew up in Engl
More about Alfred Duggan...

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