Sources for Alexander the Great : an analysis of Plutarch's Life and Arrian's Anabasis Alexandrou / N.G.L. Hammond. Hammond, N. G. L. (Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière), 1907-2001.
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993.
xvi, 345 p. ; 22 cm.
Plutarch and Arrian have contributed more than any other ancient authors to our picture of Alexander the Great, but since they wrote four or more centuries after his death the value of what they said depends upon the sources of information on which they themselves drew. In this book the attempt is made (surprisingly for the first time) to define and to evaluate those sources in a detailed study, analysing the historians' works section by section and comparing them with other accounts of the same episodes. Plutarch and Arrian rank among the finest writers of antiquity, and their charm is not ignored in this appreciative study. Professor Hammond maintains that a close analysis of the sources is essential for a balanced view of the history of Alexander the Great. After writing his Alexander the Great: King, Commander and Statesman (1980; 2nd edn 1989) he published Three Historians of Alexander the Great on Diodorus, Justin and Curtius (Cambridge University Press, 1983). The present book completes his study of the five Alexander-historians and lays a new basis for work in this area. This book will be of particular value to ancient historians but also has much to offer to anyone seriously interested in the life of Alexander the Great.