Arrian’s preface to the
is ‘an honourable exception’ in the ancient historiography, since in the first few lines of his history of Alexander, the Nicomedian historian openly gives his sources and reveals his methods of his source-criticism for the reader. Nevertheless, the opening of the
is noteworthy not only because it is an honourable exception, but it provides for modern readers some important information about the nature of ancient historiography. It points out how historiographical traditions might have influenced the historian’s approach while he was selecting his sources.
In 335 BC the young Macedonian King, Alexander III with his Greek allies besieged Thebes and razed it to the ground. The Nicomedian Arrian provides a detailed account on the event that shocked the Greek world, but he, unlike the other historians (Diodorus, Plutarch), tries to exonerate Alexander from the responsibility for the devastation of the city. On the one hand, the present paper makes an attempt to display the sophisticated methods of Arrian with which he manipulates his readers by stealth, on the other hand seeks the answer to the question why it may have been important to the Nicomedian historiographer to gloss over Alexander’s deeds in Thebes.
Breckle, S.-W. (2000): Ionen- und Wasserhaushalt von Anabasis articulata in Sanddünen der nördlichen Negev-Sinai-Wüste. - In: Breckle, S.-W., Schweizer, B. and Arndt, U. (Hrsg.): Ergebnisse weltweiter ÖOUkologischer Forschung. Verlag Günter Heimbach
Berlin, Hrsg., Schriften und Quellen der alten Welt, Bd. 21, S. 1-4).
Arrian: Flavius Arrianus, Anabasis. In: Roos, A. G. (Hrsg.) (1907/1928): Flavii Arriani quae ex-stant omnia. Leipzig (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et
that birds appeared, whose actions were then interpreted as omens in favour of Alexander. In the Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian there are several of these episodes, and it is useful to examine some of them. As the Macedonian king fleet was moored at
brought low,” there emerged several serious domestic and foreign concerns that stifled the momentum of the Parthians in the 120s BCE. 10 Like the consequences of Demetrius II’s anabasis ten years prior, Antiochus VII’s invasion had ravaged and destabilized
This English translation is mine, after the Romanian translation of Professor Radu Alexandrescu from the Greek text of Arrian’s Anabasis Alexandri (the Romanian edition of Arrian’s Anabasis , Bucharest 1966): Arrianus, Expediţia lui Alexandru cel
clearly prevent us from considering that the comic element of this passage arises from the presentation of this belief. Indeed, in the Anabasis , the soothsayer Euclides explains to Xenophon that the reason he does not have any money is that Zeus