Ancient literary sources for Alexander the great and his campaign

Ancient literary sources for Alexander the great and his campaign can be divided into two basic categories, the surviving and lost.

The surviving ancient sources literally counted on the fingers of one hand and all have gaps of lesser or greater extent. These are the three Greek projects (Arrian, Plutarch and Diodorus) and two Romans (Kurtius and Justin) writers, and their common feature is that the oldest of them wrote at least 250 years after the death of Alexander. Furthermore the available manuscripts is too much later copies, the former is usually of Greek Byzantine period and the Latin of the middle ages. Of these five ancient writers Arrian is its own separate category and everyone else are the so-called (at least in Anglo-Saxon literature) folk tradition (vulgata). The authors of popular tradition (others less and others more) used by Alexander and his campaign as a background for the writing of historical novels, which readings are naturally much more agreeable than the dry textbook of military Arrianoy. Analytically evaluated as follows:Arrian (Arrian): He was born in Nicomedia, Bithynia (Today's Turkey, Izmit) the 97 a.d. and died on the 175 a.d. He studied in Athens and the emperor Hadrian appointed him prefect of Cappadocia and high. He resided much time in Athens and the 147-x 148m.. the saved from invasion of Alanians. He wrote historical, philosophical writings and war with the most important "Ascent" Alexander and the complement of the integral, the "Indian". It was as a literary model Xenophon, which mimicked successfully. It is obvious that no one can find more reliable sources by themselves the protagonists of events and what exactly did Arrian. For the Ascent was based mainly on Ptolemy and Aristoboylo and for the Indian to Nearchos, Megastheni and Eratosthenes. Where its sources disagreed, She recorded the disagreements and chose not one or the other or some his version. So, helped non-lost the reality through the fog of the novel and is the only historian of Alexander, that is not placed in the so-called folk tradition.

Diodorus Siculus: born in Agyrio (Atzira) Sicily on the 90 and died on the 30 e.g.. His paper, «Historical Library», covers world history from ancient times until the beginning of the Galatikwn wars (59 e.g.) of Julius Caesar. The relatively short treatise of Alexander is considered mainly comes from the Kleitarcho, and secondarily by the Chieftain, the Doyrida and polyvios. Wrote an addict from sources of, which many times are recognised by specialists within the text. His work despite its drawbacks is overall enjoyable as reading and because of simple language was highly popular in the years of Byzantium.

Plutarch: He was born in 46 a.d. in Chaeronea, Boeotia and died after the 127 a.d. I wrote history, but he described the characters different personalities. His works, from which we derive information about Alexander and campaign, It is primarily the "Alexander-Caesar», incidentally the "Demosthenes-Cicero", While relevant information there and in other ' Parallel Lives '. The details that gives us for the last few days of Alexander, almost identical to those of Arrianoy and seems to come from the Basileies newspapers.

Kurtius: He is the author of the complete project for Alexander salvaged in Latin. However most of the extant manuscripts are very poor quality, and in addition have lost the first two by the total 10 project books, not know with certainty either the name of the author, nor when lived, Neither the title of the project. The author's full name was probably Koyintoys Curtius Rufus, While the title of the project on what manuscripts it appears, referred to sometimes as "history", sometimes as "the story of Alexander the great of Macedon" and sometimes as "the story of the great Macedonian, Alexander». It is totally unclear when co-authored the Kurtius, but the dominant trend today wants him contemporary of the Roman Emperor Claudius (41-54 a.d.) or Vespasian ' S time (69-79 a.d.). A particularly noteworthy feature is that no other author doesn't seem to know the work of Koyrtioy from the time of the writing of the middle ages. Many scholars regard him as a valuable source of information on the grounds that it is the only ancient writer, He lists some specific facts or information. Unfortunately, those incidents or other available sources of information, turn out the disadvantages of Koyrtioy. Most important of these are its inefficiency in military matters, the formulation of major claims and subsequently undone the, a series of major geographic errors, and above all the blatant plagiarism from older writers and almost intact implantation in diigisi of facts, that happened before or after the campaign of Alexander and of course with other actors.

Justin: his full name was Marcus Ioynianoys (or Ioynianioys) Ioystinoys, must have been Latinized Gaulish and appeared in Rome as teacher of rhetoric. He wrote in Latin a compendium (Summary) history of Trogoy sometime between 144 and 395 a.d. Although we could talk about amputation and not for summary, the result was that the epitome of Ioystinoy rescued as our days, While from the area kolossiaias history of Trogoy survived only a few excerpts. Justin himself says that from the 44 Trogoy stachyologise ' books the most valuable material "and that created" a kind of anthology ", failing ' what,What is not easily read or doesn't create morality».

In addition to the above authors information for Alexander and his campaign there and in quotes not rescued historical as well as local sources (inscriptions and Papyri) the countries that won. The evaluation of this material need special attention, as it is difficult to understand even the angle of their author, much more difficult is to check the reliability of. The statement of Plutarch "this I know by Swtiwna, He says that he heard from the Potamwna Lesbio "gives us a very good picture of the unreliability of certain (If not more) of them. Some other historians attributed in Kallistheni the boast that the image of Alexander and of his works as well as the acceptance or rejection of divine origin depended on Kallistheni himself and his writings, with the status of accredited campaign chronikografoy. The Onesicritus again did not hesitate to write that Alexander broke off the pursuit of Darius, to undertake a multi-day sexual paralysis with the Queen of the Amazons.

For several centuries after Alexander's death seems to have released a large number of letters to various officials of Alexander, even towards his mother, and these letters were invoking as documentation of their claims many authors. Of course it is very doubtful if these letters were genuine and given the above I guess I should feel confident that it was fake, While in some cases could be just those constructs, that the invoked as documentation. Given the inventiveness of writers, as the Onesicritus, the Douris and Fylarchos, We should by definition fake all this correspondence.

The saved ancient writers recorded the names and commented or reviewed abstracts of some non-saved Alexander's historians. So we know with certainty that composed the story after they took part in the expedition of Alexander the Ptolemy, the Aristobulus, the Nearhos, the Callisthenes, the Onesicritus and the Harris, who are evaluated as follows:

Aristobulus the Kassandreys: He took part in the expedition of Alexander, but according to his own testimony began the writing of history in the age 84 years. This means that wrote later of the Kleitarcho, Onisikrito, Charita, Marsyas painter and Equestrian, that's why several modern scholars consider that anemixe his own memories with the already rich literature in those days. What is certain is that he often disagrees with what delivers Ptolemy. Because he took part in the campaign and knew many important details, Arrian chose him as the second most important source of.

Eumenes: in modern terms, we could say that he was the Commander of the Corps of military staff Clerks of Alexander. He was mainly responsible for the updating of the Kingdoms of newspapers, the official calendar of the Court.

Callisthenes the Olynthios: He was born on the 370 ή 360 e.g., He was the nephew of Aristotle, strict principles and independent character. Co-authored the "Greek", starting from the Antalkideio Peace (387) and ending at the beginning of the third Sacred War (354). Set the literary skills in the service of a national vision of Macedonian Hegemony, He followed Alexander solemnly in the campaign and praised his accomplishments. But it was from the most prominent opponents of prostration and the 327 the aylokolakes (Alexander himself or) the involved in the conspiracy of children and obtained his execution. The historiography of characterized by multitude of imaginary elements, so it was the authorship of "the novel of Alexander".

Nearchos of Androtimoy: personal and trusted friend of Alexander. He was one of the major partners and Admiral from the 325 as the death of Alexander (323). His memoirs were titled "Paraploys" and became one of the main sources of Arrianoy.

Onisikritos from astypalaia: He was a pupil of cynical philosopher Diogenes, He took part in the campaign and even before he died, Alexander, He began to write his story, in which, according to all indications showed him with philosophical, especially cynical, features. The history is not saved to our days, but it was well known to the ancient. Started by Alexander's childhood, told the campaign and described in particular the peoples of India, as the little excerpts, rescued. However, since these, describing seemed oddly to contemporaries, the described novelist and haven't had any unfair. He recorded himself as Admiral, While Nearchus the recorded as Governor triiroys and in addition the featured (neither more nor less) as a Butthead. After the death of Alexander the Onesicritus had the audacity to read on Lysimachus (now King of European territories) the fourth book of the campaign, where the mytheyma for the chondroeidestato 13 Alexander's amorous paralysies days with the Queen of the Amazons. Then lysimachus in filodwrise with the ironic comment: "Well, and I where I was then;».

Ptolemy of Lagoy: He wrote when he was no longer King (Pharaoh) of Egypt, apparently towards the end of his life (Perhaps among 300 and 283 e.g.). "The rumor was received by these lies, who said the first, the rescued as nowadays and will continue to spread in the future, If you don't stop this textbook "wrote angry Arrian (F. 11.) and probably equally angry and Ptolemy wanted to confront them, He knew first hand, in what were already as Alexander's story. In addition to eyewitness and aytikoos martyr or protagonist in specific facts, Ptolemy as Chief Executive Officer had at his disposal the Basileies newspapers. His work is not rescued until our days in its entirety, but only a few excerpts, We find in his "Ascent" Alexander Arrianoy. By Arriano we get the impression that the work of Ptolemy was aprokatalipto and that it contained enough valid ethnologikes and geographical information.

Through the Mytilinaioò: He took part in the campaign as Prosecutor (Master of ceremonies) and the surviving fragments of his work does not permit a comprehensive assessment of.

Not only are the above all who have written history to Alexander's campaign and ultimately is not terrible an exaggeration to say that anyone who knew Scripture and followed from any distance and position of Alexander's campaign, wrote a book. In ancient literature recorded the names and other authors, While in some cases detected and excerpts of their work in the works of writers, from whom is referred. Usually we only know the name of these historical and in a few rare cases we can understand some of the fundamental characteristics of their project. So, It remains open a field very interesting for specialists, trying to identify which older and non-rescued source comes the one or other information each test author.

The Lampsakinos Anaximenes: It was extreme representative of rhetorical historiography. According to some scholars it is the real author of "Alexandron" Rhetoric in, attributed to Aristotle, due to a spurious letter inline. Interestingly, another project of the «Trikaranos», which he has attributed to Anaximenes Theopompo, to expose. Wrote and for Alexander, but there are little snippets of his work.

Duris: the work of the ("Histories" or maybe "Macedonian") must begin with the death of Amynta (359), Philip's father, and reached pyrrhus of Epirus (318-272). It belongs to the authors, you have chosen their narratives illustrated by means of tragic art, to the point that they don't stand out the creation of the historiography. Typical is the category of Douridos against the Superintendent and Theopompoy that "failed most elements of creation, because it is not used nor dramatizations nor pleasant formalities, but dealt only with recording [of events]».

On horseback the Olynthios: He was a contemporary of Alexander, probably took part in the campaign and the surviving fragments of his work show that made vehement criticism to Alexander.

Kleitarchos: It took part in the campaign and seems to co-authored between 323 and 300 e.g., i.e. after the death of Alexander, and probably before Ptolemy. Rhetorical and tragically wrote, his work began with the rise of Alexander on the throne of Macedonia (336) and end with his death. Seems to have obtained his information from Herodotus, Thucydides and the Theopompo, especially on ethnographic and geographical descriptions of Persia and India. Is the pre-eminent representative of folk tradition (vulgata) with the features fictionalized narrative.

Marsyas the Pellaios: contemporary of Alexander and brother of Antigonus. To the extent, You can evaluate the project's clips of salvaged («Macedonian») It seems that he wrote from traditional Macedonian view, that is not shared by the deification of Alexander.

Megasthenes: He lived in the late 4th and early 3rd BC. century. He made many trips as Ambassador in Sandrakoto, King of Praisiwn. The work of "Hindi" in 4 books were generally ethnographic with important information about geography, the fauna and flora of India, life, the morals and traditions of the inhabitants, for which accused anemixe Greek and foreign Fables. Summary of his book gives us Diodorus, While extracts found in Strabo and Arriano.

Trogos (Pompeius Trogos): It was Latinized Gaulish and born in Narbwniki Gaul (about today's Provence France), Perhaps the most important city of the Basion (Baizon la Romain, in the NE of Orange). The time of Augustus (64 BC-14 ad) co-authored a world history with the paradoxical title "Filippikes stories" (Perhaps mimicking the Theopompo), where included on Alexander and his campaign. His work was lost in its entirety and rescued only an epitome by Justin.

Fylarchos: flourished between 200 and 250 e.g.. Polybius and Plutarch accuse him that rather than deal with the finding and transmission of truth, as it should do a Renaissance period, He served the sensationalistic at all costs, in order to achieve the effect on sentiment. He is a typical representative of the folk tradition, i.e. it belongs to the authors, you have chosen their narratives illustrated by means of tragic art, to the point that they don't stand out the creation of the historiography.

Pseydokallisthenis: "The novel of Alexander", that falsely attributed to the Kallistheni first appears in different variations of the Hellenistic period. These incorporated to a greater or lesser extent imaginary letters of Alexander especially for the Olympiad and Aristotle, and other writings, as for the supposed Alexander's dialogue with the gymnosophists and the last days of his life. All this has come together into a single novel to amalgamate rather the 3rd a.d. century and is incredibly errors and excesses, But even more unbelievable is the (known) number of languages, This has resulted in. This has resulted in very early Latin, Ethiopian, palaiopersika, in various languages of India, Malaysia and Java, and most important of all was the Armenian translation. From the Greek ' original ' emerged in the years of Byzantium variants in Bulgarian, Serbian, Russian, Georgian, Czech, Polish and Romanian language. From the Latin translation in the middle ages arose the remixes in Provençal, English, Flemish, German, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, Danish and Icelandic language. As the principles of modern times "the novel of Alexander" never stopped being translated, be amended and to formulate universally popular image of Alexander. During the period of Ottoman rule in Greece's favorite reading was entitled "the Hero of Megalexantroy».

Here it is worth making a brief reference to the most important Persian sources for Alexander.

Firntoysi or Firntoyzi: He was born in 932 and died 1025. It was the largest Persian poet and is for the Persians as,What Homer for Greeks. He entered the Courtyard of Sultan Mahmud Sempoytekin and took up writing poetry on the deeds of the ancient Persians Kings. 30 years later he completed the 60.000 lyrics of "Shah-Obligation» (Book of Kings), where do reason Sikantar (Alexander). The presents but as a son of Persian King and Greek and half-brother of Ntara (Darius).

Nizami: was one of the greatest Persian poets. He was born in 1141 in the Atropatinis Gkentze Midias (Azerbaijan) and died 1203, a year after completing the «Sikantarnama» (Alexander's book), divided into two parts, the e bar "Sikantarnama" (Alexander's book on land) and the "Sikantarnama e mpachr" (Alexander's at-sea book).

In conclusion, the extant ancient sources are indeed few and often provide incomplete or conflicting information, While there are doubts even for the name the persons concerned. For example, the last wife of Philip maybe called Cleopatra Eurydice or perhaps responsible for the basileies newspapers elsewhere referred to as Eumenes and elsewhere as a Propitious. The problem of discrepancy of the sources is starkest in India, where almost every ancient author mentions peoples unknown to other authors. End, the ancient sources provide equally conflicting or incomplete information and dating issues, While the deeper in Asia follow Alexander, the harder it becomes to identify the ancient place names with the current.

However all of the above problems do not render impossible the reconstruction of events. This is because we must not forget, that even the four Gospels have accepted differences between them, that the life of Jesus there is a vast chronological gap and that historical verification from non-Christian sources of supplied has yielded very poor results. And of course none of this prevented the creation of the major monotheistic religion.

So, for the formation of the full image and filling the gaps in the story of Alexander necessarily combine information from all saved historical, regardless of compatibility between them. We just have to bear in mind that the picture, to compile this way, Perhaps looks less to Alexander and more in Frankenstein or Munchausen. Of Course, the major problem is that everyone has created in the mind of the one particular and completely uncompromising picture of Alexander and selectively looks for, When in a and when another author, the "evidence" that his Alexander is the real.


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