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Alexander the Great: History and Legend
CCIV 122
Spring 2011
Section: 01  

Alexander the Great, King of Macedon (356-323 BCE) is one of the most famous, and complex, figures of Greek antiquity. Bringing under his rule virtually all of Greece as well as the continent of Asia from the Aegean coast to the Indus River in modern Pakistan, the power he achieved in his 13-year reign was unrivalled, and the world he left behind him was dramatically altered. In the process of creating his vast empire, he fought, bargained, drank, and talked with Greeks, Macedonians, Egyptians, Persians, Jews, and Indians. In this course we shall read the ancient Greek accounts of his life, death, and deification; toward the end of the semester we shall turn our attention to three medieval versions of Alexander's life, part of the tradition known as the "Alexander Romanc", written by a Persian, a Jewish, and a French author, respectively. In this tradition Alexander explores Africa and visits the very gates of the Garden of Eden, becomes a deep-sea diver, and a cosmonaut. We shall consider history, biography, portraiture, myth and fiction as many different modes of recording and thinking about the past and explore the ways in which Alexander's brief imperial reign affected the lore and memory of numerous non-Greek peoples more than a millennium after it had drawn to a close. No previous knowledge of ancient history is assumed. The course has three main goals: to study in-depth the history of Alexander's life and accomplishments; to analyze the generic distinctions between history, biography, myth, and fiction and to think about the different needs they serve; and, finally, to develop the ability to read and compare sources with a critical eye.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CLAS
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-13-2024
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