Research Programs: Public Scholars

Period of Performance

9/1/2019 - 8/31/2020

Funding Totals

$60,000.00 (approved)
$60,000.00 (awarded)

The Nine Lives of Alexander the Great

FAIN: FZ-266641-19

Elizabeth D. Samet
United States Military Academy (West Point, NY 10996)

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), as he has been interpreted in history and literature from antiquity to the present.

The Nine Lives of Alexander explores the many-sided myth of the man known as Alexander the Great. It departs from traditional representations of Alexander’s life as a tragic arc of derailed greatness to examine the condition of unceasing war to which he committed the known world. Whether biographies cast him as a philosopher-king or a monstrous destroyer, most turn on the question of greatness and measure his career against some idealized template of success. I attempt to subvert this narrative by tracing not that career but the versions of Alexander that materialize in unpredictable places within a range of cultures, contexts, and periods. Today, when the condition of war-without-end has become the norm, a deep antecedent can be found in Alexander’s vision.