Saturday, June 05, 2021

Review: Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors

Philip and Alexander: Kings and ConquerorsPhilip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors by Adrian Goldsworthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the book, but it wasn't ultimately what I was hoping for. There is far too much focus on the particulars of battles and military maneuvers. Of course, that's to be expected in any history of Philip and Alexander. Especially for Alexander, war and battle make up so much of his life. Still I would have liked more focus into the individuals, their relationships, and even more so, on the impact they had on those around them and the ancient world. The book doesn't ignore these, but the spotlight is more on the battles than the influence/impact. I found myself drifting in the battle descriptions, but piqued by the descriptions of the various cities and cultures Alexander encountered (and conquered). In some ways the focus on Philip in the first part of the book was more interesting: in part maybe because it was more novel, but also because there was more focus on how Philip managed his relationships with the surrounding cities and southern Greece.

I appreciated that the author was careful about the claims being made: the sparsity of evidence that supported them and the conflicting interpretations of that evidence.

For those who listen to the book as I did, the reader was excellent. Good pacing, no distracting mannerisms.

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