Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire

Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire

Alexander the Great, perhaps the most commanding leader in history, united his empire and his army by the titanic force of his will. His death at the age of thirty-two spelled the end of that unity.

The story of Alexander's conquest of the Persian empire is known to many readers, but the dramatic and consequential saga of the empire's collapse remains virtually untold. It is a tale of loss that begins with the greatest loss of all, the death of the Macedonian king who had held the empire together.

With his demise, it was as if the sun had disappeared from the solar system, as if planets and moons began to spin crazily in new directions, crashing into one another with unimaginable force.

Alexander bequeathed his power, legend has it, 'to the strongest,' leaving behind a mentally damaged half brother and a posthumously born son as his only heirs. In a strange compromise, both figures, Philip III and Alexander IV, were elevated to the kingship, quickly becoming prizes, pawns, fought over by a half-dozen Macedonian generals. Each successor could confer legitimacy on whichever general controlled him.

At the book's center is the monarch's most vigorous defender; Alexander's former Greek secretary, now transformed into a general himself. He was a man both fascinating and entertaining, a man full of tricks and connivances, like the enthroned ghost of Alexander that gives the book its title, and becomes the determining factor in the precarious fortunes of the royal family.

James Romm, brilliant classicist and storyteller, tells the galvanizing saga of the men who followed Alexander and found themselves incapable of preserving his empire. The result was the undoing of a world, formerly united in a single empire, now ripped apart into a nightmare of warring nation-states struggling for domination, the template of our own times.

Title:Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780307271648
Format Type:

    Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    “There are no more worlds to conquer!” ― Alexander the Great Mosaic of Alexander the Great discovered at the House of the Faun in PompeiiIn 323 BC when Alexander the Great died, (from what som...

  • Andrew

    Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire, by James Romm, is a quick study of the immediate aftermath of Alexander the Great's death in Persia in 322. His ...

  • Nicky

    Ghost on the Throne is a pretty in-depth analysis of the years after the death of Alexander the Great, and the struggles of those close to him to maintain the empire he built and become his successor....

  • Ray

    Alexander the Great was the greatest general the world has ever known. He took on the superpower of his time and utterly destroyed it. He marched his troops to the ends of the earth, only turning back...

  • Michael Kotsarinis

    A book about the events that followed Alexander the Great's death and led to the break up of his conquests and the establishment of the Hellenistic kingdoms of the Diadochi (Successors).The book illum...

  • Leonard Mokos

    How good is this? How good is cake?I am always amazed that so many know so little about Alexander the Great or the Wars of the Successors. Probably Arrian's Anabasis is a good place to start - doesn't...

  • Christian Olson

    Good book. History books in general are not that well paced, but this one was written in a style that held my attention, plus the source material is full of plots and intrigue, which makes this a far ...

  • Martin

    This book was on the reading list for Goodread’s history reading group. I am not sure when it meets to discuss the book.This book is about what happened after Alexander the Great died. The time span...

  • Caroline

    This is effectively the non-fiction version of Mary Renault's Funeral Games. It follows the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire following his unexpected death at the age of 32, the bitter faction...

  • T.L.

    This is a good book. Well-researched and thorough. It really does an excellent job explaining the fallout of Alexander's death. Why only three stars? Well.There's a bit of repetition, I think to keep ...