Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The History of Alexander by Curtius Rufus


Quintus Curtius Rufus lived in the Roman Empire of the first century and is the author of this History of Alexander (ISBN 0674994078 and ISBN 0674994051).

It makes good reading for his style is that of what we would call today a journalist. He loves to elaborate and embellish the stories he apparently found in his main source of Cleitarchus, so be aware to keep a critical eye on the events he is describing.

Basically any story about Alexander the Great that has come to us has a core of truth and Curtius’ story is no exception. However most critics seem to accept him as a reliable informant when it comes to geography, so there is definitely enough merit to spend time reading his work.

All in all Alexander’s history was spread over ten books, eight of which have generally survived except for some material from books 5, 6 and 10. Unfortunately the two missing books are the first two and we only pickup Alexander’s life story with the events of 333 BC.

My copy is an edition from the Loeb Classical Library (containing also the original Latin text) in a translation by John C Rolfe, published in two volumes: Books I-V and Books VI-X. It contains a rather general (tiny) map of Alexander’s conquests but an extensive Index at the end of the second volume, which is extremely useful when doing specific research.

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