ALEXANDER THE GREAT
As an accomplished and renowned historian, Norman Cantors writes exemplary of biographies of historic mythic figures from the past. Throughout his writing work Cantors provides history books, which are light and summary in nature. He provides historical information to people who are not professional historian in a simple and engaging writing style. His work in non-fictional in nature and it provide the correct information on what was happening a long time ago. In his book, “Alexander the Great: Journey to the End of the Earth”, Norman Cantor describes the life of Alexander the Great in all aspects including military conquests ...view middle of the document...
The author clearly shows the nature of Alexander the Great as a man who was greatly associated with the ancient Greek culture. He combined rational philosophical cultures of Athens and harsh ethos that the heroes from Sparta possessed. This strong personality of Alexander the Great makes him a man who would conquer the world and be responsible for the death of thousands of people in the future.
Being a student of Aristotle Alexander the Great learns fundamental skills and knowledge from this great philosopher. Aristotle taught Alexander the Great poetry, politics, science, drama, and philosophy. The lessons he learnt from Aristotle uplifted his ambitions of ever becoming heroic warrior. Historical sources indicate that, it was Aristotle who designed an abridged version of the tome that Alexander always carried in his military campaigns. In addition, the education from the Aristotle helped him conquer his enemies and the befriending them.
Cantor clearly describes the assassination of Alexander’s father, King Philip of Macedonia. Alexander’s father assassination occurred after uniting the city-states of Greek and was about to invade Persia. Cantor psychoanalyzes Alexander and speculates that he had played a role in the assassination of his father. The suggests that the reason why Alexander might have killed his father is because King Philip had divorced his mother and this made Alexander feel that he is not going to be the next king of Macedonia. The author suggests that young Alexander had Oedipus complex and had a cordial relationship with his father. The author believes they both plotted the death of King Philip. This kind of information was speculative and not always supported by the evidence.
The author clearly explores the bisexual life of Alexander. Alexander the great had controversial sex life where he was a homosexual and at the same time heterosexual. According to this biography, he married five times, and he had a love affair with a man who was his top general, Hephaistion. This indicates that homosexuality was acceptable in ancient tradition. Cantor states, “Homosexual liaisons were common, even accepted, in the ancient Greece and Rome.” (86) This changed after the emergence and dominance of Christianity that deemed homosexual as wrong and unacceptable in the society. Cantor entertains the reader with racy tales about personal life of Alexander the Great. For instance, he clearly describes the night when Alexander got drunk with a whore from Greek, and they both torched a Persian palace.
Cantor presents Alexander the Great as a brilliant man who never lost any war. As a military commander, he never lost war even when outnumbered by his enemies. The author presents him as brilliant and tactical commander who made use of cavalry tactics, terrain, bold strategy, phalanx, and fierce loyalty of his trips. These tactics enabled Alexander to defeat the Persian forces after the death of his father, Philip II. In addition, the moment he...