Chapter One 021-022
Posted July 21, 2021 at 12:05 am

This is the most detailed spread I've illustrated since I completed The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya 3 years ago. 😰


Some interesting objects and people you might like to see, which I've either used as loose inspiration or direct reference to their counterparts on this spread. Note: there's usually more than one of these objects in the same museum or other museums.

  1. Duck-headed ladle
  2. Eye-cup
  3. Gold jug from the Oxus tresaure collection
  4. Mesopotamian silver drinking bowl with gold appliques
  5. Mesopotamian musicians and their instruments

Food on the table (that's visible), in case you want to mimic this dinner party:

  1. A slab of beef
  2. Flatbread
  3. Dried dates
  4. Pheasant with quince
  5. Babylonian meat stew, or Tu'hu (here's a recipe you can follow from Tasting History)

The couch that Alexander's sitting on is entirely made-up. I based the decoration off the Golden Vine and Golden Tree, which Alexander may have encountered, in real life and in legend.

"The Persian kings had come to such a pitch of luxury, that at the head of the royal couch there was a supper-room laid with five couches, in which there was always kept five thousand talents of gold; and this was called the king's pillow. And at his feet was another supper-room, prepared with three couches, in which there were constantly kept three thousand talents of silver; and this was called the king's footstool. And in his bed-chamber there was also a golden vine, inlaid with precious stones, above the king's bed." (Alexander's chamberlain Chares, as quoted by Athenaeus, taken from page 45 of Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend by Richard Stoneman)

The golden tree design is pulled from this Assyrian relief, which features the tree of life motif, and the golden vine from this other relief.

For description and sources for Alexander's Persianised royal outfit (basically: a purple tunic with a white middle) - The Royal Costume and Insignia of Alexander the Great (2012), Andrew W Collins.

Regarding Alexander's character design, including the heterochromia, I talk about it more in this process post. This footnote is almost a mile long already!

Support me on Ko-fi Get the book and merch here


Follow the 21st century graphic novel retelling of the Alexander Romance, a historical-fantastical account about the life, deeds and legends of Alexander the Great. Never miss a single update.

Privacy policy