Polybius and Alexander Historiography
Few, if any, persons in the ancient Graeco-Roman world have inspired as much writing, by both ancient and modern authors, as Alexander the Great of Macedon. A prominent feature of modern Alexander scholarship is analysis of and/or commentary on the ancient writers about Alexander. Modern scholars concerned with Alexander source criticism have concentrated their efforts on the so-called ‘Alexander historians’, the biographers, memoirists, and pamphleteers who centred their works on the person of Alexander himself. Largely overlooked, as a result, are the works of broader-ranging historians, memoirists, and pamphleteers who, while not focusing their works around the career and personality of Alexander, nevertheless certainly had a good deal to say about that redoubtable individual. This chapter reviews what Polybius of Megalopolis, the only surviving primary Hellenistic historian, had to say about Alexander, and what can be learned from Polybius about the views of such contemporaries of Alexander as Demetrius of Phalerum and Hieronymus of Cardia.
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