Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death

Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death

What can we learn from the stunning rise and mysterious death of the ancient world's greatest conqueror? An acclaimed biographer reconstructs the life of Alexander the Great in this magisterial revisionist portrait.

"Reads as easily as a novel . . . Nearly unparalleled insight into the period and the man make this a story for everyone."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

More than two millennia have passed since Alexander the Great built an empire that stretched to every corner of the ancient world, from the backwater kingdom of Macedonia to the Hellenic world, Persia, and ultimately to India--all before his untimely death at age thirty-three. Alexander believed that his empire would stop only when he reached the Pacific Ocean. But stories of both real and legendary events from his life have kept him evergreen in our imaginations with a legacy that has meant something different to every era: in the Middle Ages he became an exemplar of knightly chivalry, he was a star of Renaissance paintings, and by the early twentieth century he'd even come to resemble an English gentleman. But who was he in his own time?

In Alexander the Great, Anthony Everitt judges Alexander's life against the criteria of his own age and considers all his contradictions. We meet the Macedonian prince who was naturally inquisitive and fascinated by science and exploration, as well as the man who enjoyed the arts and used Homer's great epic the Iliad as a bible. As his empire grew, Alexander exhibited respect for the traditions of his new subjects and careful judgment in administering rule over his vast territory. But his career also had a dark side. An inveterate conqueror who in his short life built the largest empire up to that point in history, Alexander glorified war and was known to commit acts of remarkable cruelty.

As debate continues about the meaning of his life, Alexander's death remains a mystery. Did he die of natural causes--felled by a fever--or did his marshals, angered by his tyrannical behavior, kill him? An explanation of his death can lie only in what we know of his life, and Everitt ventures to solve that puzzle, offering an ending to Alexander's story that has eluded so many for so long.

Title:Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780425286524
Format Type:

    Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death Reviews

  • Jaidee

    4.5 "immersive, substantial, exciting" stars !!2020 Honorable Mention Read Many of you won't know this. I have been campaigning with Alexander the Great since August 2019.Mr. Everitt, an academic hist...

  • Faith

    I’m afraid that this book was not for me. It was well written but I’m just not interested in military history. The planning and execution of military campaigns bore me. Unfortunately, that is what...

  • Carlos

    I always like reading a book about Alexander the Great, this one is a good one because it takes you from his childhood and the culture (Macedonia) that made someone like him possible, it focuses on hi...

  • Daniel Ligon

    Anthony Everitt's new biography of Alexander the Great is excellent, though I think it is probably less revisionist or groundbreaking than the description would indicate. Though the title makes much o...

  • Bryan Alkire

    Good biography. Alexander the Great is one of the most written about figures in history, so there’s probably nothing new here. I just bought the book because I wanted to read a modern biography of t...

  • Charles J

    Different eras view Alexander III of Macedon differently. Though always honored as a hugely successful military leader and conqueror, in the ancient world, he got mixed press, seen as a blend of virtu...

  • Denise

    How many more books about Alexander the Great could I possibly read? Well... all of them, duh. The topic never ceases to fascinate me. This 2019 publication offers a detailed, interesting, well-writte...

  • ThereWillBeBooks

    Alexander the Great remains fascinating for a number of reasons, but I think the root of his hold on our collective imagination is in the way his legend straddles the border of myth and historical fac...

  • Kerrie

    I learned a lot from reading this book because I really didn't know that much about Alexander the Great. I believe the author spent a lot of time researching and trying to piece together the life of A...

  • Julia Simpson-Urrutia

    Nothing dry in THIS history book! I love the way Everitt tackles his subject matter: First off, he starts with the unusual death of Alexander, so odd and peculiar on so many fronts that he sent me on ...