Under the original title “Alexander de Grote. De ondergang van het Perzische rijk” (ISBN 9025331440) Jona Lendering is about the only author to have written a book about Alexander in Dutch. There are less than a handful of books available in Dutch translation and even less written by Dutch authors, so it is evident that his book is a valuable contribution for those who do not read in another language.
The great merit of this book is that the author also includes information that has been made available from Babylonian and Persian clay tablets, contributing to a more complete historical picture.
He sketches the situation in Greece and Macedonia during the reign of King Philip II, Alexander’s father, down to the events leading to his murder and Alexander’s accession to the throne. He then takes the reader step by step through the foreign lands as Alexander marches east clarifying many cultural backgrounds of the people he conquered on the way. The book ends obviously with the death of Alexander in Babylon and the ensuing civil war over his succession.
The book contains good local maps of the king’s campaigns, which are a great help to better understanding the vast complexity of each battlefield and the demands of each and every siege of the key cities and sites.
It is written in a simple style which greatly helps the novice to follow Alexander’s path and to assimilate the huge amount of information that inevitably is involved.