The first European : a history of Alexander in the age of empire

by Briant, Pierre,

Format: Print Book 2017
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction DF234.2.B74713 2017
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  DF234.2.B74713 2017
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 938.08 BRI
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  938.08 BRI

The exploits of Alexander the Great were so remarkable that for centuries after his death the Macedonian ruler seemed a figure more of legend than of history. Thinkers of the European Enlightenment, searching for ancient models to understand contemporary affairs, were the first to critically interpret Alexander's achievements. As Pierre Briant shows, in the minds of eighteenth-century intellectuals and philosophes , Alexander was the first European: a successful creator of empire who opened the door to new sources of trade and scientific knowledge, and an enlightened leader who brought the fruits of Western civilization to an oppressed and backward "Orient."

In France, Scotland, England, and Germany, Alexander the Great became an important point of reference in discourses from philosophy and history to political economy and geography. Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Robertson asked what lessons Alexander's empire-building had to teach modern Europeans. They saw the ancient Macedonian as the embodiment of the rational and benevolent Western ruler, a historical model to be emulated as Western powers accelerated their colonial expansion into Asia, India, and the Middle East.

For a Europe that had to contend with the formidable Ottoman Empire, Alexander provided an important precedent as the conqueror who had brought great tyrants of the "Orient" to heel. As The First European makes clear, in the minds of Europe's leading thinkers, Alexander was not an aggressive militarist but a civilizing force whose conquests revitalized Asian lands that had lain stagnant for centuries under the lash of despotic rulers.

Additional Information
Subjects Alexander, -- the Great, -- 356 B.C.-323 B.C.
Hellenism -- Influence.
Hellenism -- Historiography.
History, Ancient -- Historiography.
Europe -- Intellectual life -- 18th century.
Greece -- History -- Macedonian Expansion, 359-323 B.C. -- Historiography.
Publisher Cambridge, Massachusetts :Harvard University Press,2017
Other Titles Alexandre des lumières.
Contributors Elliott, Nicholas, translator.
Language English
In English, translated from the French.
Notes Translation of: Alexandre des lumières : fragments d'histoire européenne.
Description viii, 482 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 349-409) and index.
ISBN 9780674659667
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