Alexander the Great: Journey to the End of the Earth

Alexander the Great: Journey to the End of the Earth

Norman F. Cantor Dee Ranieri / Apr 05, 2020
Alexander the Great Journey to the End of the Earth Alexander s behavior was conditioned along certain lines heroism courage strength superstition bisexuality intoxication cruelty He bestrode Europe and Asia like a supernatural figure In this suc
  • Title: Alexander the Great: Journey to the End of the Earth
  • Author: Norman F. Cantor Dee Ranieri
  • ISBN: 9780060570125
  • Page: 234
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Alexander s behavior was conditioned along certain lines heroism, courage, strength, superstition, bisexuality, intoxication, cruelty He bestrode Europe and Asia like a supernatural figure In this succinct portrait of Alexander the Great, distinguished scholar and historian Norman Cantor illuminates the personal life and military conquests of this most legendary of m Alexander s behavior was conditioned along certain lines heroism, courage, strength, superstition, bisexuality, intoxication, cruelty He bestrode Europe and Asia like a supernatural figure In this succinct portrait of Alexander the Great, distinguished scholar and historian Norman Cantor illuminates the personal life and military conquests of this most legendary of men Cantor draws from the major writings of Alexander s contemporaries combined with the most recent psychological and cultural studies to show Alexander as he was a great figure in the ancient world whose puzzling personality greatly fueled his military accomplishments.He describes Alexander s ambiguous relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedon his oedipal involvement with his mother, the Albanian princess Olympias and his bisexuality He traces Alexander s attempts to bridge the East and West, the Greek and Persian worlds, using Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, as his model Finally, Cantor explores Alexander s view of himself in relation to the pagan gods of Greece and Egypt.More than a biography, Norman Cantor s Alexander the Great is a psychological rendering of a man of his time.
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    About "Norman F. Cantor Dee Ranieri"

      • Norman F. Cantor Dee Ranieri

        Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Cantor received his B.A at the University of Manitoba in 1951 He went on to get his master s degree in 1953 from Princeton University and spent a year as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford He received his doctorate from Princeton in 1957 under the direction of the eminent medievalist Joseph R Strayer.After teaching at Princeton, Cantor moved to Columbia University from 1960 to 1966 He was a Leff professor at Brandeis University until 1970 and then was at SUNY Binghamton until 1976, when he took a position at University of Illinois at Chicago for two years He then went on to New York University, where he was professor of history, sociology and comparative literature After a brief stint as Fulbright Professor at the Tel Aviv University History Department 1987 88 , he devoted himself to working as a full time writer.Although his early work focused on English religious and intellectual history, Cantor s later scholarly interests were far diverse, and he found success writing for a popular audience than he did engaging in narrowly focused original research He did publish one monograph study, based on his graduate thesis, Church, kingship, and lay investiture in England, 1089 1135, which appeared in 1958 and remains an important contribution to the topic of church state relations in medieval England Throughout his career, however, Cantor preferred to write on the broad contours of Western history, and on the history of academic medieval studies in Europe and North America, in particular the lives and careers of eminent medievalists His books generally received mixed reviews in academic journals, but were often popular bestsellers, buoyed by Cantor s fluid, often colloquial, writing style and his lively critiques of persons and ideas, both past and present Cantor was intellectually conservative and expressed deep skepticism about what he saw as methodological fads, particularly Marxism and postmodernism, but also argued for greater inclusion of women and minorities in traditional historical narratives In both his best selling Inventing the Middle Ages and his autobiography, Inventing Norman Cantor, he reflected on his strained relationship over the years with other historians and with academia in general.Upon retirement in 1999, Cantor moved to Miami, Florida, where he continued to work on several books up to the time of his death.

    264 Comments

    1. Several reviews have criticized this book for adding nothing new to the field of Alexander scholasticism To them, I would counter with this I wanted a brief overview of who Alexander was and what he did This book was exactly that, plus an excellent summation at the end of Alexander s influence on history If Cantor has extrapolated or inferred at a few points, I m fine with that I didn t come here for exhaustive minutia I have other books on Alexander tagged for deeper reading Rather, Cantor pain [...]


    2. Alexander the impulsive, Alexander the ambitious, Alexander the ruthless, Alexander the vicious, Alexander the megalomaniac, the warlord, the daring, the bisexual, the drunkard And some call him the Great.But was Alexander truly great or merely bloodthirsty The whole point fades to nothingness when you consider that in those times bloodthirstiness WAS greatness Born to Philip II of Macedon, who was a powerbroker and essentially set the base for Aexander s empire and a mother, Princess Olympias o [...]


    3. Good introduction to the not so great Alexander, who you learn throughout the book might not be such a great guy to be friends with As I was reading this I wondered how much of this ancient history did George RR Martin draw on to create the Game of Thrones world This is a very good overview of Alexander s march to India and a good bibliography is supplied for further reading if you want to go deeper into Alexander s world.


    4. Good, clear and concise presentation of Alexander the Great in his historical context Cantor does not romanticize, nor is his tone critical He explains that people with a worldview shaped by principles of Christianity have a hard time understanding the world of Ancient Greece, which taints their perspective on Alexander in one way or another He finishes with a good discussion on what sense in which Alexander was great.


    5. Just when I thought the introduction was over, the book ended Way too short considering the legendI learned he practiced homosexuality and killed Darius


    6. A textbook or scholarly writing on Alexander the Great A bio and an attempt to answer the question was he great It would have helped if the author defined what it means to be great and hence create a measuring stick He doesn t do that He simply summarizes why he may or may not be considered great Again, whatever that may be.I didn t find anything new in this text.What I found most interesting was the impact of christianity on modern western society and how that frames our views on the Greeks of [...]


    7. This would have been a lot better if 50 some pages were not taken up by information that had nothing to do with anything I have always been interested in Alexander and his family I felt while this book was very informative, could have been written better and in an actual time line style Instead the author skipped all over the place and i had to re live Alexanders death in 4 different chapters.



    8. i strongly recommend this book for those who want to learn about alexander the great and are only just starting out the author builds a solid foundation of alexander the great, his life, and his conquest but you shouldnt expect to learn than the basics this was a leasure read and i liked the bits of comedy the author put in to move the stories alonge author also includes resources you can check out if and when you decide to do serious research on alexander the greatis book is for the general pu [...]


    9. There was some very interesting information contained in the book, but that is because Alexander the Great did some interesting things The writing itself was dull It read like a term paper written for the benefit of Cantor s colleagues, not a book that would spark interest in a reader wanting to learn about Alexander the Great I enjoy books based on fact and appreciate having various thoughts and theories being explained, but all of that can be written in an interesting fashion I am thankful th [...]


    10. A good, concise history of Alexander the Great for those who don t want the gory details of a pagan society and war I appreciated how the author set the stage by describing the Greek world that Alexander was born into Also of interest was Alexander s posthumous influence Some examples are bringing spices from India in the bland European diet and influence in the coronation ceremonies of British Monarchy.


    11. A good introduction to Alexander that is at times both detailed and broad in ways that made me question the credibility of certain parts of the narrative Although I don t doubt there is any false information, the conjectures and conclusions seem hyperbolic However the book is neither fawning nor overly critical, so I do trust that Cantor is looking at the sources with an unbiased eye Good for an overview of Alexander s life and conquests, but not for the informed reader.


    12. I liked two things about this book First, there really aren t all that many biographies, scholarly or otherwise, about Alexander the Great, and that fact is a small section of this book Cantor or Dee Ranieri Whoever Dee is went through each of these books, what was bad and good about each I thought that was fascinating, actually sort of meta And two, Cantor calls a spade a spade He comes down on the ancient Greeks for their pedophilia such an unpleasant and weird juxtaposition, the men who inven [...]



    13. I wanted a brief history and biography or Alexander the Great and I got it Just didn t expect it to be this short Nonetheless, I found this to be a solid, little primer on the man.



    14. Cantor provides a brief history of Alexander s campaign to conquer the world as well as some insight into the facets of his persona which created this drive to take on such a grand mission Starting with his consolidation of the Greek city states under his rule with the exception of those Spartans who bow to no one , Alexander proceeds to make an example of those who defy him Those who defied him were were burnt to the ground with their women and children sold into slavery.After consolidating pow [...]


    15. I picked up this book expecting it to be an interesting and light introduction to Alexander the Great A few pages in, I encountered too many obvious errors to continue On page 3, Cantor summarizes the period of classical Greece, describing how the Greek city states were in a state of perpetual war He then points out some exceptions to this general rule, saying that, One was the period in the later fifth century BC when Athens and Sparta united during the Peloponnesian War against the menace of t [...]


    16. It s kind of hard to pin down exactly what this book is attempting to do and who it is aimed at Relating to the former, he doesn t really have a clear thesis, he just kind of rambles on about Classical Greece and Alexander s life In some places it is a character study, analyzing Alexander s motivations for doing what he did In other places, it attempts to debunk some of the myths surrounding his life In other places, it s basically a historiography of previous scholarship on Alexander In places, [...]


    17. Very short summary of Alexander the Great s life, focusing on family dynamics, politics, and cultural norms This could have been titled Alexander the Not So Great The author tries to argue against any assumption he feels the evidence calls into question Is he right Sadly, I only know what I read in books and am hardly in a position to know if his version holds water or not Robert Garland, who has studied Alexander s life in depth, would probably argue at least some of the points presented in thi [...]


    18. i learned a lot of war strategy reading this book I also learned a lot about persian and ancient greek culture It was very easy to read, and was even great to read aloud to friends on a camping excursion Norman Cantor put this together wonderfully because it wasn t a long ass biography full of crap no one cares about it took pieces from those biogrpahies written by other scholars and just explained the interesting stuff for someone like me who is not a huge history buff this was great If you hav [...]


    19. Ancient cultures have been my thing since i began to read History books, I was fascinated by the Heroism and incongruous character of the Greeks I suppose this was also an off shoot from my great interest in Ancient Egypt During my first year at the university, Norman Cantor s Inventing the Middle Ages was introduced to me by a particularly erudite English professor Since then, I ve ben trying to obtain copies of his books few are sold in local bookstores, or none at all Cantor s writing style i [...]


    20. Homer 800BC honor and culture, athens the democratic republic with noisy politics as today, sparta the military state, the faults of hubris pride arrogance, Socrates Plato Aristotle Alexander, reason over emotion, why believe what believe socratic method, Plato dialogues the academy for science and philosophy, snake woman and abuse of 13 year old boys, Alexandria of 750K under water, jews were strong and dominant influence then and till 400AD, Caesar to Gaul move to politics, Phillip loved and A [...]


    21. The book is a bit like taking a short lecture series from a recognized scholar An entertaining and opinionated overview of the life of Alexander the Great Cantor attempts to counteract two millennia of propaganda and give us a realistic view of Alexander, and he mostly succeeds and succinctly , though he occasionally drifts a bit too far into the negative, as in the last chapter, How Great Was Alexander


    22. Yeah, I didn t finish this one there are much better books available on the subject Cantor didn t really tell me anything new or in any sort of an interesting way And the narrator of the audiobook version I was listening to had this annoying habit of whispering everything, like it was all a big secret Beh.


    23. Almost a psychological study of a complicated man who was a hero in his time A brilliant military strategist, at times compassionate, and then horrendously ruthless born into a pagan, pre Christian world He was courageous, cruel, superstitious, bisexual, and ultimately a somewhat mad alchoholic at the end.


    24. Might be a decent introduction for those new to the topic of Alexander the Great, but for people already familiar with his life and achievements, this book offers nothing new Some of the details Cantor presents here as facts are pure conjecture, others simply inaccurate Ultimately, this was not bad, but there are much better biographies out there.


    25. For such a short book, it s packed with a multitude of cultural, social, economic, and anthropological detail so much so that you can t quite believe it s all been successfully compressed into such a compact work Neverthess, this a book that every student of antquity shouldn t do without and it s easily my favourite Norman Cantor book to date.


    26. While this book was informative, particularly for someone who knew as little as I did about the man as I went into it, I thought it was a bit all over the place chronologically and thematically Also, it got repetetive at times Still, I enjoyed it as a straightforward biography so long as one doesn t expect that much from it.


    27. This is a very accessible introduction to Alexander the Great Norman provides a basic biography, overview of Alexander s conquests, context of why he did what he did and an assessment of his impact on western history and civilization.


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