Bibliography

At some point in the future, I'll include a more traditional bibliography for those who'd really like to plumb what's out there on Alexander and ancient Macedonia, but in the meantime, what follows is from the author's note at the back of Book 2: Rise.


It would be both impractical as well as pretentious for a work of fiction to include a bibliography. Nonetheless, some readers may wonder what material was most influential.

First, we should name our original sources: Diodorus, Plutarch, Curtius, Arrian, and Justin (more or less in chronological order, recognizing dating disputes). Each has his own biases, virtues, and drawbacks, and it’s no longer fair to call Arrian superior to the “vulgate” of Diodorus, Plutarch, and Curtius. We must also remember that none of these sources was a contemporary (all those have been lost), and even the earliest (Diodorus) dates to the first century BCE, about 200 years after Alexander lived. Some additional material on Macedonia and Alexander exists in other original sources from Herodotus and Thucydides to Athenaeus, Plutarch, and Polyaenus.

Given the small cottage industry in publishing about Alexander, pointing to a handful of books or significant articles is simply impossible. Ancient Macedonia by Carol J. King (2016) offers a recent summary of the state of the field in English, albeit missing newer archaeological material mostly published in modern Greek. Earlier work on ancient Macedonia involves certain well-known names: Edson, Dell, Hammond, Griffith, Walbank, Badian, Borza, Bosworth, Ellis, Green, Cawkwell, Errington, Andronikos, Hatzopoulos, Tataki, Carney, Palagia, Heckel, Adams, Greenwalt, Anson (for the elder generation, not in any real order). Macedonian Studies ballooned after the 1990s, making it impossible to name all current scholars in the field my age and younger. Recent collections include Wiley-Blackwell’s A Companion to Ancient Macedonia (2010), and Brill’s Companion to Ancient Macedon (2011). If such are now all the rage and chapter quality can vary, they still make a good general introduction to the field with important bibliography.

Discoveries at Vergina in 1977 by Manolis Andronikos, followed by excavations at Pella, Aegae, Aiani, Archontiko, Methone, and elsewhere in Macedonia have called into question previous views of Macedonia as “backward.” The Pella palace was the size of two football fields placed end-to-end, and recent excavations at the Archaic cemeteries of Pella-Archontiko, Aiani, Vergina, Veroia, and Sindos, plus work at ancient Methone, suggest we must entirely rethink the organization and sophistication of the Macedonian kingdom not just of Philip II, but all the way back to Alexander I and prior. Some of the graves at Archontiko date to 650 BCE and finds at coastal Methone rival the earliest Greek writing heretofore known. As the original version of this novel was completed well before Archontiko or Methone were significantly excavated, never mind material published, I couldn’t include much, although I did attempt to reference new ideas.

For Philip’s death, I mostly follow Carney, although I think Amyntas culpable. I also take into account French and Dixon’s objections to common renditions of the Pixodarus Affair, but don’t follow their arguments in toto. Waldemar Heckel and his students, Ryan Jones, Carolyn Willekes, and Gahram Wrightson must be credited for my descriptions of how the Macedonian phalanx and cavalry worked at a practical level. I thank Graham for letting me hold a sarissa, and Carolyn for checking and correcting horse stuff, but don’t blame her for my errors.

Dover’s Greek Homosexuality and Winkler’s The Constraints of Desire, supplemented by Davidson’s Courtesans and Fishcakes, have informed my views on Greek homoeroticism.

For Macedonian religion, recent archaeology is enlightening, and for Hephaistion, I use my own research (see my website) as well as that of my dear colleague, Sabine Müller. While we don’t agree on everything, like me, she believes Hephaistion underappreciated (“Hephaistion: a Reassessment of His Career” [2018]), and floated the idea that Hephaistion and Ptolemy were friends in “Ptolemaios und Die Erinnerung an Hephaistion” (2012). If I made Ptolemy a family friend here well before reading her article, her analysis cemented my gut instinct that they were close.

If a curt and rather arbitrary survey of available secondary literature, this should give some insight into my choices. None of these scholars, however, should be saddled with either my errors, or my deliberate fictional changes. Additionally, all ancient quotes in the book are my translations from the original Greek.


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