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Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction$
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A. B. Bosworth and E. J. Baynham

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198152873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198152873.001.0001

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Alexander the Great and the Kingship of Asia

Alexander the Great and the Kingship of Asia

(p.136) 5 Alexander the Great and the Kingship of Asia
Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction

Ernst Fredricksmeyer

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Alexander the Great's kingship of Asia, as proclaimed in 331 BC, did not mean, as is often thought, the Persian kingship, but was a unique creation of Alexander himself. In addition, Alexander's Persian innovations after the death of Darius in 330 were not primarily designed, as is widely believed, to establish Alexander as Great King, but rather were meant to reform Alexander's kingship by addition of the Persian component, and to establish Alexander, ultimately, as an absolute monarch. According to Plutarch, by Alexander's conquest of Darius at Gaugamela in October 331, the empire of Persia was thought to be completely destroyed, and a few days later, at the nearby village of Arbela, Alexander was proclaimed ‘King of Asia’. Although Plutarch is the only source to provide this information, it is accepted by virtually all historians as historical. Only Franz Altheim and Paul Goukowsky are known to have rejected it.

Keywords:   Alexander the Great, Asia, kingship, Persia, Persepolis, Darius, wars, Plutarch, Macedon

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