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Alexander the Great: Book Suggestions

Here are some suggestions for travel books, biographies and sources about Alexander the Great. This is suggested in case you wish to read up prior to your tour. The books are in no particular recommended order.

During our In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great tour in Turkey, your tour guide will have a number of these books with them that will be available for general consumption. This list of books is not required reading!

UK visitors interested in purchasing these books, may click on the main title or picture links. US visitors wishing to buy, please click on ‘(USA)’

Books on Alexander

Alexander’s Path: from Caria to Cilicia (USA) Freya Stark – a look at the area in the 50’s in the footsteps of Alexander.

Alexander the Great. The Hunt for a New Past (USA) Paul Cartledge – Probably the best of the recent books, an up to date biog.

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great: A Journey from Greece to Asia (USA) Michael Wood – Well illustrated and written companion to Wood’s documentary series.

Alexander the Great (USA) Robin Lane Fox – Popular and accessible biography, by the academic who served as the consultant on Oliver Stone’s movie.

The Genius of Alexander the Great (USA) N. G. L. Hammond – A defence of Alexander’s character and greatness, against “detractors” by one of the leading Alexander scholars.

Alexander the Great: Man of Action, Man of Spirit (USA) Pierre Briant – an up-to-date translation of the iconic French original.

Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C. A Historical Biography (USA) Peter Green – Comprehensive and by an eminent scholar.

Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great (USA) A. B.Bosworth – Perhaps the most authoritative scholar currently working on Alexander, and the leading proponent of the “realist” (as opposed to “romantic”) interpretation of Alexander.

The Nature of Alexander (USA) Mary Renault – A popular, illustrated biography, by the celebrated Alexander novelist.

The Generalship of Alexander the Great (USA) J. F. C. Fuller – reprinted Da Capo Press, paperback edition, 1989. The classic account of Alexander’s military campaigns, by a British general and military historian.

Philip II and Alexander the Great (USA) Elizabeth Carney & Daniel Ogden – This collection of previously unpublished articles looks at the careers and impact of father and son together focusing specifically on their relationship to one another.

Ancient Sources

There are five major surviving primary sources on Alexander. English-language translations of Arrian, Plutarch, and Quintus Curtius Rufus are widely available.

The Campaigns of Alexander (USA) Arrian – is considered the most sober, accurate, and sympathetic source for Alexander’s life.

The History of Alexander (USA) Quintus Curtius Rufus – is considered the racy, sensational more tabloid account.

Life of Alexander (USA) Plutarch – The biographer of many of Greece and Rome’s leading lights, Plutarch is full of fascinating stories and insights into his own time as much as Alexander’s character.

Alexander the Great alone (USA) J.C. Yardley – Justin is available in a paperback translation (Books 7-12 cover the reigns of Philip and Alexander).

Library of History (USA) The only translation of Diodorus Siculus covering the whole of Alexander’s campaigns is in the Loeb Classical Library vol.8.

General Books on Turkey

For suggested books on Turkey, its history and culture, please see one of our regional reading lists such as our Carian Turkey reading list

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