Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Death of Alexander the Great. A Reconstruction of Cleitarchus. By A. Chugg

A titanic job, nothing less. What Andrew Chug has done in this book A Reconstruction of Cleitarchus (ISBN 9780955679025) is comparing the surviving texts from Curtius, Diodorus and Justin to filter out the original work these authors have used themselves to filter out what was written by Cleitarchus of Alexandria. To a lesser extent Chugg also includes Arrian, although this author mainly based his book on the texts left by Ptolemy, and the Metz Epitome. A very handy drawing with the links used by each and every author in antiquity is quite revealing.

Cleitarchus, son of Deinon wrote his account in the decades following Alexander’s death and most of the surviving ancient texts were more or less based upon his work, although not a single copy has come to us since they all were destroyed or discarded at some time or another.

Chugg manages to pinpoint which texts or phrases are used commonly by Curtius and Diodorus, with eventually an addition when Justin uses the same words. A Table overview accounting for the matches is very helpful. And so is the Table showing the first division of the Satrapies soon after Alexander’s death in Babylon listing each territory with the name of the appointed governor (satrap) as given by Diodorus, Justin, Curtius, Cleitarchus himself, as well as separately by Arrian, Dexippus and the Metz Epitome. Sounds all very technical but it becomes quite interesting when in the end we are able to read this part of Alexander’s history as it was presumably put down by Cleitarchus in the first place. A daring undertaking but a highly interesting one.

Most of Chugg's book is centered around Cleitarchus' Book 13, covering the period from July 324 BC to July 323 BC and beyond, i.e. the very last year of Alexander’s life. The subjects treated here are many: the Flight of Harpalus; the Exiles Decrees, the Mutiny at Opis; Death of Hephaistion; The Cosseans; Death in Babylon; Aftermath and Entombment. After a detailed comment and investigation of each chapter, one can read the full text as it may have been put down by Cleitarchus initially. A captivating story, especially since certain paragraphs have been put back in their original sequence ensuring the continuity of events.

The book ends again with a Table giving for each episode in Cleitarchus' terms the corresponding sources and references with additional comments in the last column. If after all that you still have questions, please do get in touch with Andrew Chugg in person.

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