Skip to main content

Alexander the Great in His World

Alexander the Great in His World

Carol G. Thomas

ISBN: 978-1-405-17828-0

Apr 2008

304 pages

$39.99

Description

Alexander the Great is one of the most celebrated figures of antiquity. In this book, Carol G. Thomas places this powerful figure within the context of his time, place, culture, and ancestry in order to discover what influences shaped his life and career.

The book begins with an exploration of the Macedonia that conditioned the lives of its inhabitants. It also traces such influences on Alexander’s life as his royal Argead ancestry, his father, Philip II, and his mother, Olympias. The author examines Alexander’s engagement with Greek culture, especially his relationship with Aristotle, and contemplates how other societal factors – especially the highly militarized Macedonian kingdom and the nature of Macedonia’s relationship with neighboring states – contributed to his achievement.

What was the significance of these influences on the man who succeeded in conquering most of the known world from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River? The author focuses on this question in exploring ancient landscapes and resurrecting key figures from antiquity in order to penetrate the motivation, goals, and inner being of Alexander the Great.

List of Figures vi

List of Maps viii

Preface ix

Introduction 1

1 Basic Facts, Generally Uncontested, of Alexander’s Life 9

2 Being Macedonian 22

3 Being an Argead 55

4 Being a Neighbor of Greece 98

5 Surviving by Might 132

6 Meeting the Distant Threat 159

7 Reconstructing Alexander 191

Bibliography 224

Index 237

""Thomas' approach is refreshingly broad and sensible."" (Greece & Rome, 2008)

“Would serve well as one of several works offered to an undergraduate class … The work is well written and clearly presented.” (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

""Will provide a basic introduction to her subject which some teachers and students may find helpful."" (Journal of Classics Teaching)

“An engaging and persuasive book, which offers a new perspective … .It will maintain the interest of specialists … yet remain accessible to the general reader.” (Canadian Journal of History)


  • A dynamic portrait of one of antiquity's most important figures.
  • Places Alexander the Great within the context of his time, place, culture, and ancestry in order to discover what influences shaped his life and career.
  • Seeks to define the motivation, goals, and inner being of Alexander through the influences on him from his birth to death.
  • Examines how Alexander's father, King Philip II, and mother, Olympias, affected his development.
  • Considers how Alexander's engagement with Greek culture, especially his relationship with Aristotle, contributed to his achievements.
  • Asks whether it was Alexander's influences or his departure from them that distinguished him.