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Darius in the Shadow of Alexander (Pierre Briant Jane Marie Todd (trans)) Hardcover Book, (Harvard University Press, 2015) 9780674493094
Darius in the Shadow of Alexander (Pierre Briant Jane Marie Todd (trans)) Hardcover Book, (Harvard University Press, 2015) 9780674493094
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Title: Darius in the Shadow of Alexander

Author: Briant, Pierre Jane Marie Todd (trans)

Publisher: Harvard University Press; Publication Date: 2015

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780674493094

Volumes: 1; Pages: 608

List Price in Cloth: $39.95 Our price: $31.99

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The last of Cyrus the Great's dynastic inheritors and the legendary enemy of Alexander the Great, Darius III ruled over a Persian Empire that stretched from the Mediterranean to the Indus River. Yet, despite being the most powerful king of his time, Darius remains an obscure figure.As Pierre Briant explains in the first book ever devoted to the historical memory of Darius III, the little that is known of him comes primarily from Greek and Roman sources, which often present him in an unflattering light, as a decadent Oriental who lacked the masculine virtues of his Western adversaries. Influenced by the Alexander Romance as they are, even the medieval Persian sources are not free of harsh prejudices against the king Dara, whom they deemed deficient in the traditional kingly virtues. Ancient Classical accounts construct a man who is in every respect Alexander's opposite - feeble-minded, militarily inept, addicted to pleasure, and vain. When Darius's wife and children are captured by Alexander's forces at the Battle of Issos, Darius is ready to ransom his entire kingdom to save them - a devoted husband and father, perhaps, but a weak king.While Darius seems doomed to be a footnote in the chronicle of Alexander's conquests, in one respect it is Darius who has the last laugh. For after Darius's defeat in 331 BCE, Alexander is described by historians as becoming ever more like his vanquished opponent: a Darius-like sybarite prone to unmanly excess.Table of Contents III. Reluctance and Enthusiasm 7. Upper King and Lower King 8. Iron Helmet, Silver Vessels 9. The Great King's Private and Public LivesIV. Darius and Dara 10. Dara and Iskandar 11. Death and TransfigurationV. A Final Assessment and a Few Proposals 12. Darius in Battle: Variations on the Theme "Images and Realities"AbbreviationsGreek and Roman SourcesGeneral BibliographyNotesThematic Notes by ChapterIllustration CreditsIndex
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