Strangely enough, Conquest and Empire. The Reign of Alexander the Great by A.B. Bosworth (ISBN 0-521-40679-X) is on my bookshelves for years and it is one of those books that I consult on a pretty regular base when I need to elucidate a particular aspect of Alexander’s life. High time to add it to my blog-library!
The book is in fact split in two distinct sections.
The first part The Gaining of empire (336-323 BC) tells us about Alexander from his accession to the throne to his final year, i.e. his death. It is written in Bosworth’s unique style, crisp and clear, using sentences in which each word plays its role avoiding confusing or superfluous adjectives or descriptions.
The second half of the book, which appears under the title Thematic Studies, gives a detailed and extremely useful analysis of Alexander’s campaigns and the many facets of his life that have to be taken into consideration. Bosworth has divided these studies into four separate chapters:
in Alexander’s reign, generally covering the events in while the king is marching
B. Alexander and his Empire, shedding some light on the financial administration and the government of his newly acquired empire;
C. Alexander and the Army, concentrating on the changes he has to implement in his armed forces as the clashes with the enemy move from organized battle formations to guerilla warfare;
D. The divinity of Alexander, discussing divinity as perceived by the Greeks in general as well as Alexander’s self-proclaimed divinity.
Speaking for myself, I widely use this book as reference material and I’ve never been disappointed by Bosworth’s expert explanations and background research. Everybody wanting to learn more about Alexander than a mere succession of fights and battles should get a hold of this quality reading material.