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Alexander the Great: Son of the Gods

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Alexander the Great: Son of the Gods . By Alan Fildes and Joann Fletcher. (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2002. 200 color illustrations, Pg. 176.) ISBN: 0-89236-678-8.

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - December 31, 2002

King Alexander III of Macedon was only 32 when he died. Yet in this short period of time he led a seemingly unstoppable army on a spree of conquests that resulted in a wealth of countries falling under King Alexander's sphere of influence. By the time of his death, his empire stretched across three continents. A brilliant leader, tactician, and scholar, King Alexander has come down through history with the moniker, Alexander the Great.

In Alexander the Great: Son of the Gods, Alan Fildes and Joann Fletcher have presented a compelling biography of this amazing soldier king. The text is enhanced by over 150 breathtaking illustrations, plus colored maps, charts, and artwork.

This book takes a comprehensive look at the full scope of Alexander's life, and the impact that he had, both during his life and afterwards. The text takes chronological approach in telling Alexander's story, covering his early life and the role his family had on his development. Also covered in detail are his first years on the throne, and his amazing military exploits, through Egypt, Persia, India, and beyond. The text covers the 'facts' know about Alexander, as well as the wealth of legends that developed during, and after, his reign.

Throughout the text is spiced with maps, excerpts from historical texts, and informational boxes that expound upon the text by elaborating on such topics as 'Customs of the Persian Court' and 'Medical Care.' The text is also enhanced by the inclusion of a genealogical chart and a listing of the major characters in Alexander's life.

Although written primarily for a general audience, this book will also be of interest to historians. In part because it is simply a fascinating, well-written book. But also because it presents a well researched and well-rounded survey of Alexander's life. The text is not, however, footnoted.

Alexander lived a life of epic proportions, and this retelling of his life aptly meets the task of telling this epic tale. Alexander the Great: Son of the Gods is a perfect book for the general reader wanting an overview on Alexander and the events he set into motion. It will also be of interest to students seeking a comprehensive, readable, account of this great man's life and exploits.

Related Reviews:

Egypt - From Alexander to the Early Christians, edited by Roger S. Bagnall and Dominic W. Rathbone.
An Archaeological and Historical Guide to Egypt - covering the period from Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C. through the Arab conquest of Egypt in A.D. 641.

Panorama of the Classical World, by Nigel Spivey and Michael Squire.
A general overview of the history of the classical world, arranged thematically. Amply illustrated.

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