About the Book
An illustrious scholar presents an elegant, concise, and generously illustrated exploration of Alexander the Great’s representations in art and literature through the ages
John Boardman is one of the world’s leading authorities on ancient Greece, and his acclaimed books command a broad readership. In this book, he looks beyond the life of Alexander the Great in order to examine the astonishing range of Alexanders created by generations of authors, historians, and artists throughout the world—from Scotland to China.
Alexander’s defeat of the Persian Empire in 331 BC captured the popular imagination, inspiring an endless series of stories and representations that emerged shortly after his death and continues today. An art historian and archaeologist, Boardman draws on his deep knowledge of Alexander and the ancient world to reflect on the most interesting and emblematic depictions of this towering historical figure.
Some of the stories in this book relate to historical events associated with Alexander’s military career and some to the fantasy that has been woven around him, and Boardman relates each with his customary verve and erudition. From Alexander’s biographers in ancient Greece to the illustrated Alexander “Romances” of the Middle Ages to operas, films, and even modern cartoons, this generously illustrated volume takes readers on a fascinating cultural journey as it delivers a perfect pairing of subject and author.
John Boardman is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Beazley Archive. He is Professor Emeritus of Classical Art and Archaeology at Lincoln College, Oxford, and former Assistant Keeper at the Ashmolean Museum. His many books include The Greeks Overseas, The History of Greek Vases, and The Greeks in Asia.
"Written by a supremely knowledgeable guide, this is a remarkable survey of fascinating lore and legend about Alexander the Great. Whether in Hades or the Blessed Isles, Alexander will surely smile as he reads this tribute to his memory.”—Adrienne Mayor, author of The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World
“A delightful personal exploration of a vast subject, this is a book for everyone who is interested in antiquity and its legacy.”—Richard Stoneman, author of The Book of Alexander the Great
“Boardman relates and confronts, with his usual genial acuity, the ‘traditions’ of Alexander head-on, exploiting and displaying to the full his unrivaled expertise in the cross-cultural melding of post-Alexander visual-artistic currents. He takes his story down well beyond antiquity too, providing something for a wide potential non-classicist readership to get their teeth into.”—Paul Cartledge, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus, University of Cambridge