The Roman Alexander: Reading a Cultural Myth Diana Spencer
This book seizes on one of the eternal objects of widespread attention in Ancient History and turns the tables on the scholarship that has shaped and dominated the field. Instead of scrutinising the documents in order to reconstruct the biography and assess the historical significance, Diana Spencer traces the deployment and development of the mythical figure of Alexander. She explores and synthesises a selection of Latin texts, from the Late Republic to Hadrian, to form a series of themed discussions which investigate the cultural significance of Alexander for Rome. The selected texts - drawn from verse and prose, history, epic and oratory - are presented alongside their English translation, and provide an insight into a world where to think about Alexander was to engage with the burning ideological issues of Rome during a period of intense and often violent political and cultural change. The book makes clear how particular texts and issues may be readily accessed, providing a valuable resource for teachers and their students, whilst also offering a new approach to cultural histories of Rome and Alexander.