Recommendations

Books and websites I’d recommend for newcomers to the real and legendary lives of Alexander the Great. As well as some good history comics and material online.

Books

Core books

The books that form the primary texts for Alexander, The Servant & The Water of Life.

  1. The Greek Alexander Romance (Richard Stoneman)
    English translation of one of the versions of the original Alexander Romance, by an author known as Pseudo-Callisthenes.
  2. Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend (Richard Stoneman)
    An overview of the motifs and stories in most of the Alexander Romance mythology. This is a dense read, but written in an accessible voice. I consider this book the most important if you want the full context of my graphic novel.
  3. By the Spear (Ian Worthington)
    A duo-biography of Philip II and Alexander. I found this useful for putting Alexander into context, since his father laid the political and financial foundation for Alexander’s conquests. (I’d recommend reading other Alexander biographies for a more nuanced understanding.)
  4. Olympias, Mother of Alexander the Great (Elizabeth Carney)
    A biography of Olympias, an often-misunderstood and put-in-the-sidelines person despite her influence on Alexander. A companion book by the same author is Women and Monarchy in Macedonia.

Supplementary books

If you’re really, really interested in Alexander’s life and legacy. This section includes scholarly texts and primary sources.

  1. The Anabasis of Alexander (Arrian) (available online for free)
    One of the primary sources of Alexander’s biography, and apparently the most reliable. This text has a high focus on military campaigns, and begins right after Alexander claimed the throne.
  2. The Book of Alexander the Great, The Phyllada (Richard Stoneman)
    English translation of the 17th century modern Greek retelling of the Alexander Romance. I personally think this retelling is the most clear and lucid out of all the others, so I’d recommend this for first time readers of the Romance.
  3. The Alexander Romance in Persia and the East (several authors)
    An anthology of academic journals focused on the Eastern and Persian branches of Alexander Romance – from Persia to Japan. The book explores a wide range of topics, from motifs in a particular book to representations of Alexander after his death.
  4. Legends of Alexander the Great (Richard Stoneman)
    A collection of Greek and Latin tales focused on Alexander’s meeting with the Brahmins/monks/philosophers and his adventures into strange lands. This is a good book for understanding Act II of my graphic novel.


Websites

Alexander is in the world wide web! Some websites that focus on Alexander, the Romance and the Macedonian world.

  1. The Alexander Romance, by Pseudo-Callisthenes (attalus.org)
    A complete lifesaver of a website, providing several versions and translations of the original Alexander Romance.
  2. Pothos (pothos.org)
    First website dedicated to Alexander. Runs a semi-active forum.


Other History Things

The internet is a wonderful place to learn history, especially niche content! Here are some of my favourites:

  1. Ask a Mortician
    Youtube channel run by mortician Caitlin Dougherty, about the death industry; attitudes towards grief, dying and mourning; and strange, macabre events in the past and present. There’s also a podcast: Death in the Afternoon
  2. Tasting History
    Youtube channel run by Max Miller. Every week Max cooks something from a historical recipe and explains the history of the food and the culture/society that made it.
  3. Down the Rabbit Hole
    Youtube channel run by Fredrik Knudsen. Documentary-style videos about strange things, primarily focused on internet history.
  4. Atrocity Guide
    Similar to Down the Rabbit Hole, with an interest in alternate reality games, online and off.
  5. Philosophy Tube
    Youtube channel run by Abigail Thorn. Video essays on a variety of philosophical ideas and ethical questions.
  6. Eidolon
    Currently retired.
  7. Aeon
  8. Spirits Podcast
    A boozy dive into folklore and mythology.
  9. Tales of Times Forgotten

WHAT IS THIS?

The 21st century graphic novel retelling of the Alexander Romance, a historical-fantastical account about the life, deeds and legends of Alexander the Great.

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