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The Death of Alexander the Great: What-or Who-Really Killed the Young Conqueror of the Known World? Hardcover – August 31, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (August 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786713402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786713400
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,937,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alexander of Macedonia, student of Aristotle and conqueror of an empire that reached to Asia and Persia, vacillated often between cynicism and superstition. While distrustful of many of his companions, he believed that most of his misfortunes during the last decade of his life were "caused by the anger of the god Dionysus who wished to avenge the total destruction of his favorite city" of Thebes. It soon becomes clear from this analytical examination of Alexander’s path to death, however, that the conqueror committed many merciless acts that may have angered the gods—and several of his own acquaintances—to the point of revenge. Doherty (The Mysterious Death of Tutankhamun; The House of Death) starts out by giving readers a detailed lesson on Alexander’s life, and spends the latter half of the book examining whether or not it was the gods or royal competitors such his general Ptolemy or Macedonian co-regent Antipater who poisoned Alexander. In 323 B.C., Alexander fell ill during a feast in Babylon and, according to the varying historical accounts, died either from too much wine, too little rest or too many enemies. The latter seems to be supported by the bad omens Alexander received during his campaigns in India, where he faced mass mutiny among his troops, and in Persia. Doherty’s account of the young warrior’s day of reckoning reads like a dry mystery, expertly researched but written more like the summaries found in a detective’s case files than an engrossing yarn. He does a fine job, however, revising the statesman-like image of Alexander propagated by 19th-century historians and thoroughly reconstructing Alexander’s final nights.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.E.) was king of Macedonia and conqueror of Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Babylonia, and Persia, and his reign marked the beginning of the Hellenistic Age. Doherty's scrupulously researched and immensely readable book focuses on Alexander's final days and his sudden and mysterious death at the age of 33. The author concludes that Ptolemy, the king's personal bodyguard, was the main culprit in Alexander's murder. "The circumstances surrounding Alexander's death appear to be permeated with a deliberate theater, full of drama of events being arranged by a stage manager. Who better fits that role than Ptolemy, the companion entrusted with guarding the door to the royal chamber," Doherty posits. He insists that Ptolemy used his position of trust, his closeness to the king, to mix the fatal poison, arsenic, in Alexander's wine; and he backs up his conclusion believably. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Levy on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This important and complex topic deserves ongoing analysis and research and this book is a good contribution with some well thought out hypotheses and ideas. However, the book needed better editing - sections appear repetitive and some arguments are not fully constructed and concluded. If you are an Alexander-phile, you may find this enjoyable, but not fully satisfying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Perz on May 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a little cautious about the author. I have seen the name Paul Doherty on other books but I'm not sure he is an historian on the same level as a Bosworth, Tarn, or Peter Green. Still, the book is interesting. Some theories seem more plausible than others. If you are interested in this particular topic, then this book would be a good start (but I wouldn't stop there).

Recommended.
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By Fred Winhusen on July 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
good read
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MARTHA A. DELRIO on March 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alexander the Great is an appealing figure to most of us. This book really makes you wonder what actually happened to this amazing historical king. There was plenty of research that went into this book. Paul Doherty is an excellent writer.
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