Professor Ernst Badian (1925-2011) was one of the most influential Alexander historians of the twentieth century. His first articles on the subject appeared in 1958, and he continued for a full fifty years to reshape scholarly perception of the reign of Alexander the Great. A steady output of articles was reinforced by lectures and reviews in his own formidable style. Badian's earliest work transformed understanding of aspects of the Roman Republic, and he continued to work on that area throughout his career; but his series of studies of Alexander the Great (which he deliberately never summed up in a synoptic work) demolished the hero of his predecessors such as Droysen and Tarn, whom he regarded as starry-eyed hero-worshippers, and created an Alexander on the model of a twentieth-century tyrant. The Alexander who was a ruthless killer of his rivals and those who disagreed with him, a mass-murderer in his conquests, and perhaps even an incompetent imperialist, has superseded the Alexander whose mission it was to bring Greek civilization to the ends of the earth. These essays and articles provide a new layer in the interpretation of a figure who has not ceased to fascinate since his death in 323 BC.
Many of these articles were published in out-of-the-way journals and conference volumes, and are brought together here for the first time in a collection which will provide student and scholar with a view of the full range of Badian's work on Alexander. Certain ephemeral pieces and all reviews except one have been excluded, by the wish of the author. The twenty-seven articles included were all revised by the author before his death, but there has been no other editorial intervention. The volume also includes a portrait, and an introduction by Eugene Borza surveying Badian's career and contribution. No one who works on Alexander the Great can afford to be without this book.
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Ernst Badian was John Moors Cabot Professor of History (Emeritus) at Harvard University, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1999 he received the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art. In 1974 he was instrumental in founding the Association of Ancient Historians, the largest and most influential society for the study of ancient history in North America.
Eugene M. Borza is Professor Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, USA.Review:
"Lucidly written, incisively argued, but still accessible to students, these papers are ancient history at its best. A mandatory companion to biographies of Alexander. Summing Up: Essential."
– S. M. Burstein, emeritus, California State University, Los Angeles, in CHOICE
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