Author(s): Norman F. Cantor
"Alexander's behavior was conditioned along certain lines -- heroism, courage, strength, superstition, bisexuality, intoxication, cruelty. He bestrode Europe and Asia like a supernatural figure." In this succinct portrait of Alexander the Great, distinguished scholar and historian Norman Cantor illuminates the personal life and military conquests of this most legendary of men. Cantor draws from the major writings of Alexander's contemporaries combined with the most recent psychological and cultural studies to show Alexander as he was -- a great figure in the ancient world whose puzzling personality greatly fueled his military accomplishments. He describes Alexander's ambiguous relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedon; his oedipal involvement with his mother, the Albanian princess Olympias; and his bisexuality. He traces Alexander's attempts to bridge the East and West, the Greek and Persian worlds, using Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, as his model. Finally, Cantor explores Alexander's view of himself in relation to the pagan gods of Greece and Egypt. More than a biography, Norman Cantor's "Alexander the Great is a psychological rendering of a man of his time. Relying on four biographies of Alexander's contemporaries, combined with modern psychiatric and cultural studies, Cantor describes Alexander's relations with his parents, his Oedipal complex and his bisexuality. At the center of the book are Alexander's attempts to bridge the East and West, the Greek and Persian worlds, especially his using Achilles, the hero of the Trojan War, as his model. Finally, Cantor explores Alexander's view of himself in relation to the pagan gods of Greece and Egypt. The result is a psychological and cultural study of a great figure of the ancient world whose often puzzling personality had so much to do with his career. 3 maps. 1.19 cms H x 20.42 cms L x 13.72 cms W (0.15 kgs) 180 pages First published 2005.