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The Resource Ghost on the throne : the death of Alexander the Great and the war for crown and empire, by James Romm

Ghost on the throne : the death of Alexander the Great and the war for crown and empire, by James Romm

Label
Ghost on the throne : the death of Alexander the Great and the war for crown and empire
Title
Ghost on the throne
Title remainder
the death of Alexander the Great and the war for crown and empire
Statement of responsibility
by James Romm
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
Alexander the Great, perhaps the most commanding leader in history, united his empire and his army by the titanic force of his will. His death at the age of 32 spelled the end of that unity. The story of his conquests is known to many readers, but the saga of the empire's collapse remains virtually untold. Alexander bequeathed his power, legend has it, "to the strongest," leaving behind a mentally damaged half brother and a posthumously born son as his only heirs, who quickly became pawns fought over by the Macedonian generals. Meanwhile, Alexander's former secretary, Eumenes, a man full of tricks and connivances, became the determining factor in the precarious fortunes of the royal family. Classicist James Romm tells the story of the men who followed Alexander and found themselves incapable of preserving his empire--a world formerly united, now ripped apart into a nightmare of warring nation-states struggling for domination, the template of our own times.--From publisher description
Pace
Writing style
Review
  • In this fast-paced and absorbing account, Bard College classics professor Romm chronicles the political intrigues and military conflicts of the half-dozen generals who struggled for power after Alexander the Great's death in 323 B.C.E. The goal for each was control over an empire stretching from the Danube to the Indus. Because Alexander left no will or obvious successor, his seven closest friends—the Bodyguards—fought not only to preserve Alexander's Macedonian empire but also among themselves to mark out territory to rule. Drawing deeply on sources such as Plutarch's Lives and the anonymous The Lives of the Ten Orators, Romm brings to life the Bodyguards and their struggles to maintain their territories. As Romm points out, five of the Bodyguards placed crowns on their own heads, creating five royal dynasties to replace the one they had lost. A decade after Alexander's death a new multipolar political order had emerged, one marked by rivalry, shifting alliances, and long-running, small-scale conflicts. Romm's captivating study stands alongside Robin Waterfield's engaging recent Dividing the Spoils as a sterling account of a little discussed era in ancient history. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed August 1, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 31, p)
  • When Alexander the Great died at a relatively young age and faraway from Macedonia, determining his successor threw much of southern Europe, central Asia, and northern Africa into disarray. Romm (classics, Bard Coll.; The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought ) details the first decade of the wars and intrigues among Alexander's generals and family as they fought to maintain their right to rule the empire. The "ghost" of Alexander was still in control; his physical body was held ransom for political gain, and his spirit was evoked, although his successors lacked his charisma and skill. Given the number of characters and the vast distances involved, this is a complex story to tell; Romm's rhetorical flourishes and chapter labeling help. VERDICT Similar to Robin Waterfield's recent Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great's Empire , this book focuses in much more detail on the first decade after Alexander's death. This should be fascinating to fans and students of Alexander the Great and his legacy.— Margaret Heller, Dominican University Lib., River Forest, IL --Margaret Heller (Reviewed September 1, 2011) (Library Journal, vol 136, issue 14, p119)
  • Scholarly but colorful account of the toxic fallout from the untimely demise of a continent-striding conqueror. Alexander the Great dreamed of "a single world-state stretching from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean," but died of a mysterious fever (possibly poisoned) on the eve of his campaign against the Arabs in 323 BCE. His inner circle of trusted military men were soon dividing the empire among them; Perdiccas, the senior officer to whom Alexander had passed his signet ring, hoped that he could maintain an equilibrium by giving grizzled veterans Craterus and Antipater control of Europe, while he oversaw Asia from Babylon, sidelining his main rival Ptolemy in Egypt (to which Ptolemy deftly hijacked Alexander's legacy-imprinting corpse). Alas, writes Romm (Classics/Bard Coll.; Herodotus, 1998, etc.), "Alexander had...nurtured in his staff an endless appetite for command and conquest." Allegiances changed rapidly, and the leaders' fortunes depended largely on the erratic loyalty of Alexander's soldiers, in particular the famed Silver Shields, who were capable of fighting a battle on one side, then abandoning their general to join the victor. To this volatile mix were added several strong-minded women: Alexander's mother Olympias, scheming to marrying his sister Cleopatra to a general who could protect them, and his niece Adea, wife of his mentally deficient half brother Philip. As soon as word of Alexander's death got out, Greek city-states led by Athens revolted, war-weary troops in Bactria (northern Afghanistan) mutinied and chaos threatened everywhere. The names can be as hard to keep straight as the marital and military maneuvers, but Romm paints a vivid portrait of ancient politics, which were highly personal and extremely deadly. The murders of Olympias, Cleopatra, Philip and Adea, as well as Alexander's Bactrian widow and their son, put an end to Macedonia's Argead dynasty and signaled the arrival of "a multipolar world marked by rivalry, shifting alliances, and long-running small-scale conflicts—in many ways, a world like our own." Best appreciated by readers with some grounding in ancient history, but lively enough to engage newbies as well.(Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10020282
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Romm, James S
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Alexander
  • Greece
  • Macedonia
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the death of Alexander the Great and the war for crown and empire
Label
Ghost on the throne : the death of Alexander the Great and the war for crown and empire, by James Romm
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
837945
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxii, 341 pages
Isbn
9780307271648
Lccn
2011008657
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780307271648
  • (OCoLC)699763975
Label
Ghost on the throne : the death of Alexander the Great and the war for crown and empire, by James Romm
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
837945
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxii, 341 pages
Isbn
9780307271648
Lccn
2011008657
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780307271648
  • (OCoLC)699763975

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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