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 Dragiana/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)

Monday, January 1, 2018

De Griekse Oudheid in Vijftig Levens (A History of Ancient Greece in Fifty Lives) by David Stuttard

Flipping through a book at a shop – in this case the bookshop of the Archaeological Museum of Leiden (Netherlands) - is quite different from buying one via the Internet. Actually holding it in my hands and marvelling at the pictures and the many familiar names made me fall in love with this book and I’m certain this would not have happened clicking through the page on the internet. There is that extra dimension like when holding a paper book as opposed to an eBook.

This is how I ended up buying this Dutch translation of A History of Ancient Greece in Fifty Lives by David Stuttard (ISBN 978-0500252055). Yet the language is not important, it all is about the book’s contents.

Stuttard starts with a chapter Of Gods and Heroes without whom Greece could not exist. Next, he tackles the many men (and one woman, Sappho) who made Greece great working chronologically and putting them in their own historical context: The Era of the Tyrants, Greece in Peril, the Age of Pericles, World War, Fallout, The Age of the Dynasts, In the Shadow of Rome and finally Lives in a Mirror.

Instead of relating the history through battles and dates, he selects key figures from each era and through them projects Greece’s rich past using the views and contributions of politicians, philosophers, kings, artists, generals, etc. The result is a most comprehensive and easy to read history of Greece, taking it to a human scale.

Great care has been given to the presentation of this book, with occasional inserts and appropriate pictures. It makes very captivating reading.

Unfortunately I cannot recommend the translation in Dutch, "De Griekse Oudheid in Vijftig Levens" (ISBN 9-789401-905725) where words have been mistranslated (speaking of Spaniards instead of Spartans, for instance) and sentences have been twisted to mean the opposite of what is intended. I discovered most of these errors in the chapter on Alexander the Great, which makes me wonder in how much the rest of the book is trustworthy. 

David Stuttard has been informed of this unfortunate situation and is taking action.

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