Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend, By Richard Stoneman

Christopher Hirst
Friday 16 April 2010 00:00 BST

First the Life. Born in 356BC, Alexander was educated by Aristotle before leading the Macedonian army in three great victories over Persia. His resulting title of Great King was no misnomer since Alexander ruled "the largest empire that the world had ever known", including part of India. Stoneman says he was "perhaps the first human being in recorded history to be seized by the romance of the east".

Alexander died in Babylon at the age of 33. Then came the legend. As if his real achievements were not sufficient, he was accorded a prodigious imaginary CV. In this fascinating book, Stoneman explores the various legendary aspects of the general. Stoneman suggests that Alexander "embodies the aspirations of Everyman".

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