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Alexander the Great$
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John Boardman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181752

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181752.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Alexander the Great

John Boardman

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter outlines a selection of the stories about Alexander the Great that were invented and circulated after his death, and to the ways he has been treated by authors and artists ever since. There was something superhuman about the man, and soon after his death stories were circulating about his life and afterlife, which drew heavily upon existing legends of the mysterious east. Whether he was truly exceptional, physically or intellectually, is a matter for dispute. The chapter shows how his image remained truly iconic to the present day. In addition, there has long been a mystic quality about him—even association with Christ in that both died at the alleged mystic number of years—thirty-three.

Keywords:   Alexander the Great, icon, afterlife, mysterious east, Christ

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