World Civ. 1
The man without the myth, a Review of: Alexander the Great and his Empire
Pierre Briant is a well-known and seasoned historian, who has filled the post of Professor of History and Civilizations of the Achaemenid World and the Empire of Alexander the Great at the College of France while continually presenting the historical literature community with works - often of mixed-reception by fellow historians - that date as far back as 1973. “Alexander the Great and his Empire” (circa 192 pages) is one of his more prominent contributions to historiography that has since its conception in 1974 been altered and revised roughly five times. While its namesake is that of the famous Roman conqueror, its agenda falls more so in line with placing Alexander’s conquest in the context of history of that period and in doing so analyzing the mass effect this process had and the resultant behavior of those involved. Through its inclusion Briants sets the stage for deeper and larger questions, stemming from “a territory that is very poorly sign-posted,”(Briant, p.24) such as: “the origins of the conquest and Alexander’s aims; the nature and relative importance of various forms of resistance encounter; the organization of the conquered territories; and relations between conquerors and conquered.” (Briant, Foreword XI) He seeks to qualify based on these general areas of focus and distinguish between the general biases historians uphold in continuance of the ancient writers own somewhat glorified and overly personalized depictions of his expedition, as well as present arguments and ideas that have been popularly overlooked or disfavored despite their legitimacy.
Briant begins his rectifying mission with a chronologically ordered overview of Alexander the Great’s military conquest. This expedited, shallow coverage of his campaigning addresses two battles with the Persians - two victories - that though indecisive, served to further his...
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