Alexander the Great: Man, Hero and Myth with Andrew Roberts - Context Travel

Alexander the Great: Man, Hero and Myth with Andrew Roberts


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A dashing young prince inherits a small kingdom at the age of twenty, and through a precocious intellect and rash bravery, conquers the Persian empire by the age of 30. After bouts of paranoia and rage where he murders colleagues and friends, increasingly drunk, he is dead at 33 amidst the stench of foul play. Join a specialist on Alexander the Great to trace the short, yet eventful life of this interesting character.

The story of Alexander III of Macedon (356-323 B.C.E) is often told as one of a singular genius and an exceptional achievement. As a result Alexander has been a touchstone in discussions of success and virtue for over 2300 years, inspiring countless retellings in art and literature, and a plethora of imitators from Julius Caesar to Napoleon. This conversation will introduce some of the crucial moments in his life and campaigns,  examine how his legacy was born, and look afresh at Alexander's claim to greatness. We will consider the opening years of his life, his inheritance as king of Macedonia, and the breath-taking victories that shook an empire. Far from credulous about his reputation, at each stage, we will discuss how his reputation was carefully cultivated by his court and biographers, and also how his legacy has since shaped discussions of virtue, conquests, and masculinity. 

Led by historian Andrew Roberts, an expert in the legacy of Alexander the Great, this conversation will explore the nature of ancient historical writing, consider how to think critically about the ancient past, and analyze how the reputations of historical figures are forged according to the needs of the present.

Photo credit: Eric Gaba – Wikimedia Commons user: Sting

Andrew completed a PhD in Classics at King's College London where he specialized in how the Classical world shaped British politics and culture. His research interests range from Ancient Greece to the British empire, and he has tutored secondary school children in everything from Tudor England to the Second World War. Andrew especially loves the eclectic historical landscape of London which allows one to find ancient ruins or historic pubs amongst the modern city. He teaches ancient history to undergraduates at King's College London and is a keen cyclist and runner.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
70%
(16)
17%
(4)
0%
(0)
9%
(2)
4%
(1)
K
K.B.
Excellent, Informative.

Andrew Roberts' presentation was excellent, well organized. His maps of Alexander the Great's military campaigns from Asia Minor to Afghanistan & India were essential to the clarity of his narrative.

V
V.
Outstanding Seminar!

There was a lot to cover in just one hour so this seminar started out feeling like a rush through dates, names, places, but within ten minutes we were past that and the seminar began to become deeper and richer, something that continued till the end. By halfway through I was hanging on to every word, aware that I was in the presence of an incredibly knowledgeable, insightful, and brilliant guide to Alexander the Great. The seminar was so very good that I cannot wait to take more seminars from Dr. Roberts and I eagerly await the multi-session course he said he is developing for Context on Alexander the Great. It was evident by the end of this seminar that many others attending it also had their breath taken away by Dr. Robert's fascinating telling of history.

K
K.
Excellent talk

Easily one of the best Conversations I've seen so far - expert knowledge provocatively presented

K
K.
Alexander the Fierce

Learned a great deal about the tenacity and fierceness
of our ancient hero. History calls him great but what did
he do that we would truly consider great?

P
P.
Alexander the Great

Excellent talk, very well-organized.

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
70%
(16)
17%
(4)
0%
(0)
9%
(2)
4%
(1)
K
K.B.
Excellent, Informative.

Andrew Roberts' presentation was excellent, well organized. His maps of Alexander the Great's military campaigns from Asia Minor to Afghanistan & India were essential to the clarity of his narrative.

V
V.
Outstanding Seminar!

There was a lot to cover in just one hour so this seminar started out feeling like a rush through dates, names, places, but within ten minutes we were past that and the seminar began to become deeper and richer, something that continued till the end. By halfway through I was hanging on to every word, aware that I was in the presence of an incredibly knowledgeable, insightful, and brilliant guide to Alexander the Great. The seminar was so very good that I cannot wait to take more seminars from Dr. Roberts and I eagerly await the multi-session course he said he is developing for Context on Alexander the Great. It was evident by the end of this seminar that many others attending it also had their breath taken away by Dr. Robert's fascinating telling of history.

K
K.
Excellent talk

Easily one of the best Conversations I've seen so far - expert knowledge provocatively presented

K
K.
Alexander the Fierce

Learned a great deal about the tenacity and fierceness
of our ancient hero. History calls him great but what did
he do that we would truly consider great?

P
P.
Alexander the Great

Excellent talk, very well-organized.