East Carolina University
 
Classical Studies: Alexander the Great


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Prof. Peter Green

HIST 5005 Section 001, Spring 2006
 
Selected Topics in History: Alexander the Great
with The David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professor of Classics and History, Peter Green
TTh 11-12:15, Brewster B204
Office: Brewster A-342; Office hours: TTh 2-3 and by appt.

 

This course will examine the life, career, character, military achievements and personal beliefs of King Alexander III of Macedon. It will also investigate his ancestry and Macedonian background, and follow the extraordinary, and persistent, myth that developed in his lifetime and flourished undiminished-with interesting changes of emphasis-down to our own day. Reading will concentrate chiefly on the main surviving texts in translation, though some recent modern scholarship will also be studied. Instruction will be by lectures and discussion; students will also have regular one-on-one conferences with the instructor (who will have several Alexander DVD's, including the director's cut of the Stone movie, for students to look at). There are no formal prerequisites except enthusiasm and an open mind.


Syllabus:


Required Texts: The following will be needed by all students throughout the course:-

  • Winthrop Lindsay Adams: Alexander the Great: Legacy of a Conqueror. Pearson/Longman, 2005. [abbr. "Adams"].
  • Richard Stoneman: Alexander the Great. 2nd ed. Routledge 2004 [abbr. "Stoneman"].
  • A. de Selincourt: Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander. Introd. J. R. Hamilton. Penguin 1971. [abbr. "Arrian"].
  • John Yardley, W. Heckel: Quintus Curtius Rufus: The History of Alexander. Penguin 1984. [abbr. "Q. Curtius"].
  • Ian Scott-Kilvert: The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives by Plutarch. Introd. G.T. Griffith. Penguin 1973.[abbr. "Plut. Alex."].
  • There are also two duplicated course packets: (a) Justin, Epitome Book 12, trs. J. Yardley, W. Heckel [abbr. "Justin"]; and (b) Diodorus Siculus, Book 17, trs. P. Green [abbr. "DS"]. All these titles can be obtained from the Student Bookstore.

Reading:

The plan of this course is to take students, step by step and chronologically, through Alexander's short life and meteoric career, rather than to follow the currently popular (but highly confusing) approach of coming at him in a series of theme-park essays. To do this the basic narrative is supplied by two excellent, up-to-date, and contrasting accounts (Adam and Stoneman). At the same time students will also study and compare the actual main sources of ancient evidence on which those narratives depend (like modern scholars, they often contradict each other), and have a chance to make up their own minds on the evidence, in both class discussions and exam essays.

The Optional Readings are designed to help those interested in exploring the subject in greater depth. Items so listed will be found in the Bibliography at the end of this Syllabus. Those on reserve are marked with a star (*). Those marked with a dagger (†) are my personal copies, that will be loaned out on the same terms as the texts on reserve. A useful general resource is the Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed. 1996.

1. Tues. 10 Jan.: Introduction: Getting to know the sources. Reading for 2: Stoneman 1-11, Adams 1-11, 21-46, 155-165. Optional: Borza*, esp. chs. 1, 9, 12; Hammond (1989) ch. vi; Roisman* 3-29; Q. Curtius 1-15, Arrian 13-34; Stewart 9-21.
2. Thurs. 12 Jan.: Sources (cont'd); The Macedonian background. Reading for 3: Plut. Alex.1-9 (pp.252-61), Stoneman 12-17, Adams 47-54. Optional: Bosworth (1988)* 19-23, Roisman 69-98, Stewart 341-358, Borza*198-225, Carney 3-37, Worthington* 30-38, 299-303.
3. Tues. 17 Jan.: Young Alexander: the making of a Crown Prince. Reading for 4: Adams 54-58; Stoneman 18-21; DS 16.91-95 (handout); Plut. Alex. 9-10 (pp. 261-3). Optional: Borza* 225-30; CAH VI* 785-90; Cawkwell* 177-183; Hammond (1994)≸ 165-177; Hammond & Griffith 675-698; Worthington* 38-43.
4.Thurs. 19 Jan.: 11-11.30: Practice Test I. A marriage and a murder: Alexander's accession as king. Reading for 5.: Stoneman 22-26; Adams 58-64; Justin 1-5 (pp. 43-46); Arrian 1.1-11 (pp. 41-65); Plut. Alex. 11-14 (pp.263-7); DS 17.2-4 (pp. 1-4). Optional: Bosworth (1988)* 25-34; Hammond (1981)* 35-64; CAH VI* 791-7; Worthington* 44-65.
5.Tues. 24 Jan.: Starting as he meant to go on: Thessaly, Thrace, Illyria, Thebes. Reading for 6: Adams 64-79; Stoneman 27-32; Arrian 1.11-17 (pp. 65-76); Plut. Alex. 15-16 (pp. 267-70); Justin 5-6 (pp. 46-47); DS 17. 17-21 (pp.13-17). Optional: CAH VI* 797-801; Bosworth (1988)* 35-44; Hammond (1981)* 65-77; Worthington* 66-78.
6. Thurs. 26 Jan.: The Persian empire and the start of the Asiatic campaign. Reading for 7: Stoneman 32-37; Adams 79-85; Arrian 1.17-2.4 (pp. 76-107); Plut. Alex. 17-19 (pp. 270-3); Justin 7-8 (pp.47-49); DS 17.22-27 (pp. 17-22). Optional: Q. Curtius 3.1-6 (pp. 26-36); CAH VI* 801-4; Bosworth (1988)* 44-55; Hammond (1981)* 77-92; Worthington* 79-95.
7. Tues. 31 Jan.: From Miletus to Tarsus: the occupation of Asia Minor. General Review for Pre-Midterm Exam. Reading for 9: Adams 85-91; Stoneman 36-43; Q. Curtius 3.7-4.38 (pp. 36-53); Arrian 2.4-13 (pp. 107-124); DS 17.29-40 (pp. 22-32); Plut. Alex. 20-21 (pp. 273-6), 24 (pp. 278-9); Justin 9.1-10.9 (pp. 49-51). Optional: CAH VI* 805-8; Bosworth (1988)* 55-64; Hammond (1981)* 93-112; Worthington* 95-105.
8. Thurs, 2 Feb.: PRE-MIDTERM EXAM.
9. Tues. 7 Feb.: The Battle of Issus: Alexander's advance through Phoenicia. Reading for 10: Adams 91-95; Stoneman 43-47; Q. Curtius 4.1-7.4 (pp. 50-67); Arrian 2.14-3.1 (pp. 125-149); DS 17.40.2-47, 48.6-49.2 (pp. 31-38, 39); Plut. Alex. 24-25 (pp. 278-281); Justin 10.10-11.1 (pp. 50-51). Optional: CAH VI* 808-10; Bosworth (1988)* 64-68; Hammond (1981)* 112-122; Worthington* 105-116.
10. Thurs. 9 Feb.: The sieges of Tyre and Gaza: the advance to Egypt. Reading for 11: Adams 95-97; Stoneman 47-51; Q. Curtius 4.7.5-4.8.16 (pp. 66-70); Arrian 3.2-6 (pp. 149-155); DS 17.49.2-52.7 (pp. 39-42); Plut. Alex. 26-27 (pp. 281-4); Justin 11-12 (pp. 51-53). Optional: CAH VI* (810-12); Bosworth (1988)* 68-74; Hammond (1981)* 123-131; Worthington* 116-122.
11. Tues. 14 Feb.: The foundation of Alexandria and the visit to the oracle of Zeus-Ammon at Siwah. Reading for 12: Adams 99-104; Stoneman 51-58; Q. Curtius 4.9.1-16.31 (pp. 70-91); Arrian 3.6-16 (pp. 155-172); DS 17.53.1-61.3 (pp. 42-49); Plut. Alex. 29-33 (pp. 285-291); Justin 12.1-14.7 (pp. 52-54). Optional: CAH VI* 812-5; Bosworth (1988)* 74-85; Hammond (1981)* 131-149; Worthington* 123-136.
12. Thurs, 16 Feb.: 11-11.30: Practice Test II. The march to the Tigris and the battle of Gaugamela. Reading for 13: Adams 104-7; Stoneman 58-61; Q. Curtius 5.1.1-7.12 (pp. 92-108); Arrian 3.16-19 (pp. 172-179); DS 17.62-72 (pp. 49-58); Plut. Alex. 34-38 (pp. 291-5); Justin 14.8-12 (p. 54). Optional: CAH VI* 815-7; Bosworth (1988)* 85-94; Hammond (1981)* 163-8; Worthington* 136-151.
13. Tues. 21 Feb.: From Babylon to Persepolis. Reading for 14: Adams 107-8; Stoneman 61-67; Q. Curtius 5.8.1-6.6.35 (pp. 108-131); Arrian 3.19-25 (pp. 179-190); DS 17.73-78 (pp. 58-62); Plut. Alex. 42-47 (pp. 299-304); Justin 15.1-15 (pp. 54-56). Optional: CAH VI* 817-9; Bosworth (1988)* 94-100; Hammond (1981)* 168-180; Worthington* 151-154.
14. Thurs. 23 Feb.: The pursuit of Darius. Reading for 15: Stoneman 67-69; Adams 114-5; Arrian 3.26-27 (pp. 191-3); DS 17.79-80 (pp. 62-64); Plut. Alex. 48-49 (pp. 304-6); Justin 12.3.1-5.8 (pp. 58-60); Q. Curtius 6.7.1-7.2.35 (pp. 131-153). Optional: CAH VI* 819-20; Bosworth (1988)* 101-4; Hammond (1981)* 180-5; Worthington* 164-170.
15. Tues. 28 Feb.: The (alleged) conspiracy of Philotas. General Review for Midterm Exam. Reading for 17: Stoneman 69-70; Adams 108-110; Arrian 3.28-30 (pp. 194-9); Q. Curtius 7.3.1-7.6.27 (pp. 153-164); DS 17.81.83.9 (pp. 64-66); Justin 12.5.9-13 (p. 60). Optional: CAH VI* 820-3; Bosworth (1988)* 104-9; Hammond (1981)* 185-190; Worthington* 170-177. Background: Holt (1988)†.
16. Thurs. 2 Mar.: MIDTERM EXAM.
17. Tues. 7 Mar.: Into the land of bones: across the Hindu Kush to Bactria. Reading for 18: Stoneman 71; Adams 110-112; Arrian 3.30-4.8 (pp. 199-213), 4.16-18 (pp. 231-2); Q. Curtius 7.7.1-11.27 (pp. 164-175). Optional: Holt (2005) for modern parallels; CAH VI* 190-194; Worthington* 177-184.
18. Thurs. 9 Mar.: From Maracanda (Samarkand) to Zariaspa: the guerilla campaign by Spitamenes. Reading for 19: Adams 112, 115-7; Stoneman 71-72; Arrian 4.8-9 (pp. 213-7), 4.18.20 (pp. 233-5); Plut. Alex. 50-52 (pp. 307-310); Q. Curtius 8.1.1-4.29 (pp. 176-187); Justin 12.6.1-18 (pp. 60-61). Optional: CAH VI* 824-5; Bosworth (1988)* 114-7; Hammond (1981)* 194-6; Worthington* 184-190.
12-19 Mar.: SPRING BREAK.
19. Tues. 21 Mar.: Another murder, another marriage: Kleitos the Black and Roxane. Reading for 20: Adams 117-8; Stoneman 72-74; Arrian 4.9-15 (pp. 217-227); Plut. Alex. 53-55 (pp. 310-313); Q. Curtius 8.5.1-8.8.23 (pp. 187-195); Justin 12.7.1-3 (p. 62). Optional: CAH VI* 825-6; Bosworth (1988)* 117-9; Hammond (1981)* 196-199; Worthington* 190-195.
20. Thurs. 23 Mar. Proskynesis and the Pages' Conspiracy: being all things to all men. Reading for 21: Adams 118-121; Stoneman 75-83; Arrian 4.22-5.19 (pp.239-281); Plut. Alex. 57-61 (pp. 314-319); Q. Curtius 8.9.1-14.46 ((pp. 196-211); DS 17.85-89.3 (pp. 68-71); Justin 12.8.1-7 (p. 63). Optional: CAH VI* 826-832; Bosworth (1988)* 119-130; Hammond (1981)* 199-212; Worthington* 195-213.
21. Tues. 28 Mar.: The invasion of India: the battle of the Hydaspes (Jhelum). Reading for 22: Review for Pre-Final Exam. Reading for 23: Adams 121-126; Stoneman 83-89; Arrian 5.19-6.21 (pp. 281-329); DS 17.89.4-104.2 (pp. 71-82); Plut. Alex. 62-65 (pp. 319-323); Q. Curtius 9.1.1-9.9.27 (pp. 212-235); Justin 12.8.8-10.6 (pp. 63-65). Optional: CAH VI* 832-4; Bosworth (1988)* 130-139; Hammond (1981)* 212-7; Worthington* 213-224; in-depth background: Bosworth (1996).
22. Thurs. 30 Mar.: PRE-FINAL EXAM.
23. Tues. 4 Apr.: Mutiny at the Hyphasis (Beas); the campaign agaionst the Brahmin cities. Reading for 24: Adams 126-8; Stoneman 89-94; Arrian 6.21-7.4 (pp. 330-353); DS 17.104.3-107.5 (pp. 83-86), 108.6-8 (pp. 86-87); Plut. Alex. 66-69 (pp. 323-327); Q. Curtius 9.10.1-45 (pp. 235-241); Justin 12.10.7-8 (p. 65). Optional: CAH VI* 834-840; Bosworth (1988)* 139-155; Hammond (1981)* 227-241; Worthington* 225-240.
24. Thurs. 6 Apr.: The Gedrosian Desert and the satrapal purges. Reading for 25: Adams 128-134; Stoneman 94-101; Arrian 7.4-12 (pp. 353-366); DS 17.107.6-110.3 (pp. 86-88); Plut. Alex. 70-71 (pp. 327-9); Q. Curtius 10.1-4 (pp. 241-5); Justin 10.9-12.10 (pp. 65-66). Optional: CAH VI* 840-2, 871-5; Bosworth (1988)* 156-161, 220-8; Hammond (1981)* 242-6, 252-5; Worthington* 240-251.
25. Tues. 11 Apr.: The mass marriages, the exiles' decree, and the "Opis mutiny". Reading for 26: Adams 134-6; Stoneman 101-4; Arrian 7.12-19 (pp. 367-380); DS 17.110.3-112.6 (pp. 88-90); Plut. Alex. 73 (pp. 330-1); Justin 12.12.11-12.6 (pp. 66-67). Optional: CAH VI* 842-3; Bosworth (1988)* 161-166, 278-290; Hammond (1981)* 246-7; Worthington* 252-6.
26. Thurs. 13 Apr.: The death of Hephaestion and the return to Babylon. Reading for 27: Adams 136-8; Stoneman 104-7; Q. Curtius 10.5 (pp. 245-8); DS 17.113-118 (pp. 90-95); Arrian 7.19-28 (pp. 380-395); Plut. Alex. 75-77 (pp. 331-4); Justin 12.13.7-15.13 (pp. 67-69). Optional: CAH VI* 843-5; Bosworth (1988)* 166-173; Hammond (1981)* 247-8; Worthington* 257-272.
14-16 April: EASTER HOLIDAY.
27. Tues. 18 Apr.: Plans for the future: the riddle of Alexander's death. Reading for 28: Adams 138-154; Stoneman 107-117; Plut. Alex. 21-23 (pp. 275-8), 28 (pp. 284-5), 39-42 (pp. 296-9); Q. Curtius 10.6-20 (pp. 248-257); Arrian 7.28-30 (pp. 395-8); Justin 12.16 (pp. 69-70). Optional: Hammond (1981)* 150-163, 255-269; Worthington* 273-298; Bosworth (1988)* 174-181; detailed account of the early Successors in Bosworth (2002).
28. Thurs. 20 Apr.: The Successors and the myth. Reading: General Review for Final Examination.
Mon. 24 Apr.: CLASSES END.
Mon.-Tues. 25-26 Apr.: READING DAYS.
Thurs. 27 Apr.: 11.00-1.30: FINAL EXAMINATION.
Sat. 6 May: COMMENCEMENT.

 

Grading Policy

Grading is on the scale of A-D: out of 100 possible points, 97-100 = A+, 93-96 = A, 90-92 = A-, and so on for each letter (e.g., 87-89= B+, 83=86 = B, 80-82 = B-). Of the various components of this course, the Practice Tests will count for 5% each (10%); the Pre-Midterm, Midterm, and Pre-Final Exams for 15% each (45%); Class Discussion for 15%, and the Final Examination for 30%. Provided all prior tests and exams have been satisfactorily completed, no course grade will be lower than the Final grade (though it may be higher).

Any graduate student who takes the course will be further required to write a term paper, topic to be determined not later than the date of the Mi dterm Exam, and paper to be submitted by the first day of Final Exams (Thurs. 27 April). This paper will get a letter grade, and its numerical percentaqge value will be combined with the student's other grades in the course to determine his or her final grade.

 

Extra Credit

Students with a knowledge of Greek or Latin may take translation tests from Arrian and/or Q. Curtius Rufus for extra credit. Other students may propose a term-paper topic, on the same basis as graduate students (see above). However: no candidate will be allowed to take work for extra credit until after the Midterm Exam, and only then if maintaining at least a B+ average. This option is for exceptional students, not for those who hope to improve a poor grade, and are better occupied mastering the prescribed material.

 

Attendance Policy

Every class-day will bring important new material: absences thus impose their own penalty, and formal sanctions are not needed. students with genuine problems necessitating absence from one or more class sessions should come and see me in advance to arrange make-up details, not hopefully let things slide till crisis-time comes round.

 

Bibliography

(*) = on reserve, (†) = text available from the instructor. Call-numbers: Joyner Library.

Elizabeth Baynham, Alexander the Great: The unique history of Quintus Curtius. DF 234. B356. 1998.
E. N. Borza, In the Shadow of Olympus.* DF 261. M2 B67. 1990.
A. B. Bosworth, Commentary on Arrian's History of Alexander. 2 vols. DF 234. A773 B67. 1980, 1995.
A. B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great.* DF 234. B66. 1988.
A. B. Bosworth, Alexander and the East. DF 234.6 B67. 1996.
A. B. Bosworth, The Legacy of Alexander. DE 86. B67. 2002.
Cambridge Ancient History, 2nd ed. Vol. VI [CAH]. REF. D 57. C252 1982.
E. D. Carney, Women and Monarchy in Macedonia. DF 233.2 C37. 2000.
Paul Cartledge, Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past. DF 234. C285. 2004.
G. Cawkwell, Philip of Macedon. DF 233. C38. 1978.
S. K. Eddy, The King is Dead. Studies in the Near Eastern Resistance to Hellenism, 334-31 B.C. DS 62. E3 1961.
D. Engels, Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army.* DF 234.2 E53x. 1978.
R. M. Errington, A History of Macedonia. DF 261. M2 E7713. 1990.
P. M. Fraser, Cities of Alexander the Great. DF 234.2 F73. 1996.
P. M. Green, Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C. DF 234. G38. 1991.
N. G. L. Hammond, Alexander the Great: King, Commander and Statesman.* DF 234.H323. 1981.
N. G. L. Hammond, The Macedonian State. DF 261. M2 H35. 1989.
N. G. L. Hammond, Philip of Macedon. DF 233.8 P59 H35. 1994.
N..G.L. Hammond & G. T. Griffith, A History of Macedonia. Vol. II. DR 701. M2 H35 1979.
Waldemar Heckel, The Marshals of Alexander's Empire (1992). †
Waldemar Heckel, The Wars of Alexander the Great.* DF 234. H43 2003.
Waldemar Heckel & John Yardley, Alexander the Great: Historical Sources in Translation (2004). †
Frank Holt, Alexander the Great and Bactria (1988) †.
Frank Holt, Into the Land of Bones. DF 234.57 H65. 2005.
C. Mossé, Alexander: Destiny and Myth (2004).
J. M. O'Brien, Alexander the Great: The Invisible Enemy. DF 234. O27. 1992.
Lionel Pearson, The Lost Histories of Alexander (1960). † On library order.
J. Roisman (ed.), Brill's Companion to Alexander the Great.† (2003). On library order.
C. A. Robinson Jr. The History of Alexander the Great. Vol. I (1953).†
Andrew Stewart, Faces of Power: Alexander's Image and Hellenistic Politics. DF 234.2 S74 1993 and online.
Michael Wood, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great.* DS 10. W62. 1997.
Ian Worthington, Alexander the Great: A Reader (2003).
Ian Worthington, Alexander the Great: Man and God.* DF 234. A4894. 2004.