Searching for the source

Sat Jul 25 23:29:28 2009
I really felt that this was the first thing I wanted to know before reading the texts. There are so many sources for Alexander that I think it is important to understand the relationship between them before making any judgments about them. I wanted to make a chart, but have not had the time this week. Hopefully this outline will help.

Surviving sources (all late, all based on earlier lost sources):

Arrian-Anabasis, Indike (sources: Ptolemy-Memoirs, Aristobulus, Nearchus-Indike)

Plutarch-Life of Alexander, Fortune and Virtue of Alexander (sources: Ptolemy-Memoirs, Marsyas-Alexander’s Education, Cleitarchus-History of Alexander)

Curtius Rufus-History of Alexander (sources: Ptolemy-Memoirs, Aristobulus, Cleitarchus-History of Alexander)

Diodorus-Library of World History (sources: Cleitarchus-History of Alexander, Ephorus-History, Hieronymus)

Second Generation Sources (all except Cleitarchus were participants in the expedition, all lost):

Ptolemy-Memoirs (source: Callisthenes-Deeds of Alexander)

Cleitarchus-History of Alexander (sources: Nearchus-Indike;
Onesicutus-Memoirs, Education of Alexander; )

Onesicritus-Memoirs, Education of Alexander (source: Callisthenes-Royal Diaries)


Marsyas-Alexander’s Education


First Generation Sources (The official accounts by Alexander’s historian, all lost):

Callisthenes-Deeds of Alexander, Royal Diaries

As you can see, Alexander’s official account by Callisthenes was highly influential on almost everybody that wrote about Alexander. The second generation of writers all went along and while there were differences of opinion we can still be sure that they all had some kind of interest in preserving the mythos and legitimacy of Alexander. It is those differences that give us some clues as to what might be behind all the propaganda.


~ by severalfourmany on July 25, 2009.

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