The Campaigns of Alexander

Arrian,

The Campaigns of Alexander
 
 
Considered by many to be the most important work on Alexander the Great, Arrian’s “The Campaigns of Alexander” or “The Anabasis of Alexander” is an accurate and thorough account of the Macedonian conqueror’s military exploits. Arrian of Nicomedia was a Roman historian, public figure, military commander, and well-acclaimed philosopher of the 2nd century. As a youth, he studied under Epictetus, and later strove in his literary works to emulate the great soldier-historian, Xenophon. Written in the 2nd century, likely during the reign of Hadrian and nearly 400 years after the death of Alexander, Arrian had access to many important historical works which are now lost. He took information from the contemporary works of Callisthenes, Onesicritus, Nearchus, Aristobulus, and most significantly from the biography of Alexander by Ptolemy, one of Alexander’s generals and possibly his half-brother. “Anabasis” translates as “a journey up-country from the sea” and the text focuses mainly on Alexander’s military conquest of the Persian Empire between 336 and 323 BC. Divided into seven books, Arrian’s work is the most complete historical account of Alexander’s adult life and his unparalleled military victories over one of the world’s greatest empires.


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