Alexander, the man and the literary figure

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Alexander the Great is one of the most widely mythologized figures of Antiquity, who built one of the biggest empires of ancient times. His mother claimed that he was descended from Achilles, which gave him virtually divine status. When, in 336 B.C., he became king of the Macedonians, he not only confirmed Macedonian power over his neighbors, but proceeded to a series of conquests throughout the East Mediterranean and beyond, which only ended with his death. Who was this man? What is it that he actually achieved? What were his goals? This paper will examine the uses made by Mary Renault in The Young Persian of the evidence provided by his historians. The English novelist’s portrait is given from the point of view of a Persian eunuch, offered to Alexander by one of the murderers of Darius, the Persian king he defeated. His perspective shifts from a negative view of Alexander as an invading barbarian to one of admiration for a brave and fearless general who in becoming the Great King creates a new empire, uniting Greek and Persian values.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015
EventNa Fronteira entre o Mito e a História: representações do espaço e do poder na Antiguidade - Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 23 Apr 201524 Apr 2015


ConferenceNa Fronteira entre o Mito e a História


  • Alexander
  • Historians of Alexander
  • Mary Renault


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