Cover image for Alexander the Great : the unique history of Quintus Curtius
Alexander the Great : the unique history of Quintus Curtius
Baynham, Elizabeth, 1958-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xiv, 237 pages ; 24 cm
Abbreviations -- Introduction -- "Roman" Curtius -- Quintus Curtius' sources and his historical methods -- Fortuna -- Regnum in the First Pentad: Alexander and Darius -- Regnum in the Second Pentad: Alexander, king, general, and tyrant -- Appendix: the problem of Curtius' date and identity -- Bibliography -- Index.
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DF234 .B356 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The literary tradition surrounding the Macedonian conqueror is rich, contradictory and complex. Much of what we know comes from the history of Quintus Curtius, who wrote a history of Alexander in the first century AD. Baynham explores Curtius' historical style and his presentation of the legendary king. She examines his use of ancient sources, and discusses why Curtius chose to preserve the information about Alexander that he did. She demonstrates that his work was a carefully planned narrative, and that he was not only interested in presenting Alexander as a clever ruler and accomplished tactician, but also as a human subject to the whims of chance, of fortuna .

Author Notes

Elizabeth Baynham is Senior Lecturer in Classics, University of Newcastle

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Alexander the Great is a figure of endless fascination, and Alexander historiography remains a lively and fertile occupation for classicists and ancient historians. Baynham's study focuses on the first century CE account of Alexander's career by the Roman historian Quintus Curtius. Much of the book is taken up with investigation of the literary and rhetorical antecedents of Curtius's history, but Baynham ultimately offers many fascinating insights into the Alexander tradition, both ancient and modern, the key episodes of his career, and the particular character of Curtius's account. Through this study, the reader develops a deeper respect for what has often been dismissed as a derivative source of minor significance. Although the full value of Baynham's work will be appreciated only by the specialist, even the novice Alexander enthusiast will gain much from it. All Latin passages are translated. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. P. Legon University of Baltimore

Table of Contents

Abbreviationsp. xi
Chapter 1. Introductionp. 1
Chapter 2. "Roman" Curtiusp. 15
Chapter 3. Quintus Curtius' Sources and His Historical Methodsp. 57
Chapter 4. Fortunap. 101
Chapter 5. Regnum in the First Pentad: Alexander and Dariusp. 132
Chapter 6. Regnum in the Second Pentad: Alexander, King, General, and Tyrantp. 165
Appendix The Problem of Curtius' Date and Identityp. 201
Bibliographyp. 221
Indexp. 227