11 Dec 2011: Alexander of Macedon: an exercise in perspective by Warwick Ball

Warwick Ball

Name of speaker and subject:
Warwick Ball
Title of talk:
Alexander of Macedon: an exercise in perspective
Bullet points of what you would like to cover:

  • Alexander: a European icon?
  • Greek or Macedonian?
  • What is the evidence?

Suggested you-tube links, websites and / or texts where
further information may be found:

No particular link or text and the literature relating to Alexander would fill a library but a very rough knowledge of who he was and his conquests can be an advantage.

A few words about you and your passion:
Former Near Eastern archaeologist who has worked mainly in Iran. Afghanistan, Jordan and Iraq and travelled in most countries between and beyond. Author of many books on the archaeology of the region, the latest being a quartet ‘Asia in Europe and the Making of the West’ which looks at the interactions between the civilisations of the East and West.
A few lines about the history of your subject:
More than any other single figure in history, Alexander has become the ultimate European hero who is seen to symbolise all that Europe stands for: he is viewed as the ultimate product of Greek civilisation, a great and liberal conqueror, a disseminator of European values and ideas. We look at the facts – or lack of them – underlying these perceptions and ask why?

Warwick did his talk in the Meadows Bar explaining that Alexander the Great was one of the singularly most destructive dictators and that his memory seems to have been scoured from history before being rewritten.  This is of course flattening the finer points Warwick was sharing.  He has very kindly shared his work on this subject which you can read here:

Alexander: Demon King by Warwick Ball