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I can see the where the potential disagreement on that point can come into play, but I think it raises an interesting question. The point is perspective. Truman died in ; his life and times are far more documented that Alexander's. There are plenty of people alive today that remember Truman. We can easily dissect every aspect of his decision to use atomic weapons. Alexander died 2, year ago.

Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness - Guy Maclean Rogers - Google Книги

We don't have the luxury of mass media or eye witness accounts to tell of Alexander's motives. Perhaps the killing of Greek mercenaries or the wholesale murder of the entire population of Massaga seemed justified over 2, years ago, no matter how offensive it seems to us. Unfortunately for Alexander, he is judged by people now living in a different world, separated by over 2, years. I am not prepared to call Alexander a hero or a villain, and there in lies the ambiguity of his greatness. Posted by Primvs Pilvs at 9: Historia vitae magistra - Cicero.

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Alexander the Great and the Situation ... the Great? Crash Course World History #8

Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Alexander by Guy Maclean Rogers. The Ambiguity of Greatness 3. For nearly two and a half millennia, Alexander the Great has loomed over history as a legend-and an enigma.

Wounded repeatedly but always triumphant in battle, he conquered most of the known world, only to die mysteriously at the age of thirty-two. In his day he was revered as a god; in our day he has been reviled as a mass murderer, a tyrant as brutal as Stalin or Hitler. Who was the man behind the mask of power?

Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness

Why did Alexander embark on an unprecedented program of global domination? What accounted for his astonishing success on the battlefield? In this luminous new biography, the esteemed classical scholar and historian Guy MacLean Rogers sifts through thousands of years of history and myth to uncover the truth about this complex, ambiguous genius. Ascending to the throne of Macedonia after the assassination of his father, King Philip II, Alexander discovered while barely out of his teens that he had an extraordinary talent and a boundless appetite for military conquest.

A virtuoso of violence, he was gifted with an uncanny ability to visualize how a battle would unfold, coupled with devastating decisiveness in the field. Granicus, Issos, Gaugamela, Hydaspes-as the victories mounted, Alexander's passion for conquest expanded from cities to countries to continents. When Persia, the greatest empire of his day, fell before him, he marched at once on India, intending to add it to his holdings.

As Rogers shows, Alexander's military prowess only heightened his exuberant sexuality. Though his taste for multiple partners, both male and female, was tolerated, Alexander's relatively enlightened treatment of women was nothing short of revolutionary. He outlawed rape, he placed intelligent women in positions of authority, and he chose his wives from among the peoples he conquered.

Indeed, as Rogers argues, Alexander's fascination with Persian culture, customs, and sexual practices may have led to his downfall, perhaps even to his death. Alexander emerges as a charismatic and surprisingly modern figure-neither a messiah nor a genocidal butcher but one of the most imaginative and daring military tacticians of all time. Balanced and authoritative, this brilliant portrait brings Alexander to life as a man, without diminishing the power of the legend. From the Hardcover edition. Paperback , pages.

The Ambiguity of Greatness

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Alexander , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Sep 10, Dreams At Dusk rated it really liked it Shelves: Four stars largely because it did sometimes come across overlay brisk on that front, despite examination of ambiguity being the central theme of the text.

There were also some flow issues. Dec 16, Douglas rated it liked it. First, it was well-written - that's pretty much a given if I finish a book - my attention span wanders easily if I'm annoyed by an author!

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It definitely smacked of being thoroughly researched and I liked the way he presented his findings. Although it was written to sound neutral towards t First, it was well-written - that's pretty much a given if I finish a book - my attention span wanders easily if I'm annoyed by an author! Although it was written to sound neutral towards the historical legacy of Alexander, it was pretty clear in fact directly stated many times that the intention of this book was to counteract previously written works that presented a negative view of Alexander. To be fair, I think the author did a commendable job of presenting some of those parts of the historical record that are disputed - spending time exploring the range of possible motivations for Alexander's actions whether positive or negative.

Essentially, the book highlights key conflicts in a fairly detailed way including maps and diagrams of battle formations and nicely supports the conclusion that Alexander was able to accomplish so much so quickly because he was unnaturally gifted as a military tactician, leader, and really as an all-around human being.

I could probably go on way longer. For as densely packed as the book is, it comes off as an easy and enjoyable read, which a great accomplishment for the author. If you have a firmer background on the time period and cast of characters than I did, you might even enjoy just reading one little chunk of this book here-or-there when the mood strikes you! Using extant sources, contemporary, near contemporary Plutarch, Livy, Arrian, Ptolemy , and historical scholarly treatment to the present.


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Guy Rogers expertly presents a view of a king whose realm and ambitions were truly monumental. Alexander meant to tame the world and conquer the devotion of divergent cultures by assimilation of values, as well as by force. Rogers does not portray Alexander as a war monger, rather, he presents a determined military general bent on territorial expansion who p Using extant sources, contemporary, near contemporary Plutarch, Livy, Arrian, Ptolemy , and historical scholarly treatment to the present. Rogers does not portray Alexander as a war monger, rather, he presents a determined military general bent on territorial expansion who probably preferred peaceful surrender over extended battle but was always prepared for any confrontation at any level.

If he had a 21st century PR man in his ranks his message to his enemies surely would have been, "bring it on!


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First and foremost Rogers shows the Macedon ruler as the son of a brilliant despot who taught his son that preparation at every level was the key to success. His father, Philip II, would have been immensely proud of his son's accomplishments. Wounded repeatedly but always triumphant in battle, he conquered most of the known world, only to die mysteriously at the age of thirty-two.

In his day he was revered as a god; in our day he has been reviled as a mass murderer, a tyrant as brutal as Stalin or Hitler. Who was the man behind the mask of power? Why did Alexander embark on an unprecedented program of global domination? What accounted for his astonishing success on the battlefield? In this luminous new biography, the esteemed classical scholar and historian Guy MacLean Rogers sifts through thousands of years of history and myth to uncover the truth about this complex, ambiguous genius. Ascending to the throne of Macedonia after the assassination of his father, King Philip II, Alexander discovered while barely out of his teens that he had an extraordinary talent and a boundless appetite for military conquest.

A virtuoso of violence, he was gifted with an uncanny ability to visualize how a battle would unfold, coupled with devastating decisiveness in the field. When Persia, the greatest empire of his day, fell before him, he marched at once on India, intending to add it to his holdings. He outlawed rape, he placed intelligent women in positions of authority, and he chose his wives from among the peoples he conquered.