THE IDEA OF MAN AND DIVINITY IN ANTIQUITY PART I: Xenophon’s Cyrus, Alexander φιλόκυρος. How carefully did Alexander the Great study the Cyropaedia?

Bogdan Burliga 1
1 - Uniwersytet Gdański; filbb@ug.edu.pl
MAeS
2014; 15 (3):
ICID: 1134338
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
 
It is well known that for Alexander the Great the Persian dynast Cyrus (559–530 BC) was an object of imitation; there was a tradition in antiquity that Alexander was “fond of Cyrus” (φιλόκυρος; philokyros). The purpose of this paper is to examine what kind of imitation it actually was, and how serious Alexander’s following of the Persian ruler was: did the famous Cyropaedia (The Education of Cyrus), a Greek tale of the Achaemenid king, play an important role as a source in Alexander’s calculations and actions or in his notions of how his own kingdom would look? It is argued that in this case the influence of Xenophon’s major work must have been intense, but that one should not seek it everywhere when examining Alexander’s expedition, or to understand such influence too literally, though there were a few cases where Alexander seems to have purposefully and publicly emphasised his close connection to Cyrus.
DOI: 10.5604/20842937.1134338
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