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Memory as History: The Legacy of Alexander in Asia
Author Name :
Himanshu Prabha Ray & Daniel T. Potts
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Rs. 2500
 $ 62.50
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Physical Description Pp.xvi+264: Size 22 cm X 31 cm; Illus. col. 34, b/w 26; Index
Synopsis Description
This volume examines the legacy of Alexander, the Macedonian, as it survived and transformed itself in literature, the arts and archaeology in Asia. The tendency to idealise Alexander began in antiquity and by the Roman period, a body of romance had grown around him, which continued to expand in almost every language from Scotland to Mongolia. The portrait of Alexander as the universal conqueror who was also the civiliser and benefactor of mankind owes its origin to Plutarch who wrote in the early centuries AD and has been extraordinarily potent in shaping modern views of Alexander. The legacy itself has been surprisingly tenacious and continued well into the present, as it became the guiding star of nineteenth and twentieth century British archaeologists in the Indian subcontinent, such as Alexander Cunningham, John Marshall, etc. in their search for cities established by Alexander and of the entire development of Gandharan art, which was considered Buddhist in nature, but Greek in form. The larger question that this book addresses is the creation of cultural memory and its persistence or appropriation through time as it establishes an almost parallel perspective on the past. The book will be of interest to historians, archaeologists, art historians and all those interested in Alexander's journey through Asia.

Himanshu Prabha Ray teaches at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University and her present research interests include the history of archaeology in India and the archaeology of religion, while her earlier work has been on Maritime History and Archaeology of the Indian Ocean. Amongst others, her books include Colonial Archaeology in South Asia: The Legacy of Sir Mortimer Wheeler, (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, forthcoming 2007); Archaeology as History in Early South Asia, co-edited with Carla Sinopoli (ICHR and Aryan Books International, 2004); The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003).
Daniel T. Potts is Edwin Cuthbert Hall Professor of Middle Eastern Archaeology, University of Sydney since 1991 and is the founding editor-in-chief of Arabian Archaeology & Epigraphy. In 1994 he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Society of Antiquaries (London). He is the author of numerous books including The Arabian Gulf in Antiquity (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1990); Mesopotamian Civilization: The Material Foundations (Athlone Press, London, 1997); The Archaeology of Elam (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999).
Table of Content
Preface, List of Illustrations, List of Contributors, I. INTRODUCTION : 'Wild Follies and Ostentatious Displays': Reflections on Alexander the Great in India and the Question of Collective Memory - Stephen Garton THE EVOLUTION OF THE LEGEND II. Alexander's Historians and the Alexander Romance: A Comparative Study of the Representation of India and Indians - Ioannis Xydopoulos III. Alexander's Mythic Journey into India - Alastair J.L. Blanshard IV. Alexander and the Virtuous Indians - Andy T. Fear V. The Syriac Sources of the Early Arabic Narratives of Alexander - Kevin van Bladel VI. Visual Illustrations of the Life of Alexander in Persian Manuscripts - Nasim Akhtar VII. Alexander and Asia: Droysen and Grote - Phiroze Vasunia THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE GREEKS VIII. Alexander's Campaign (327-326 BC): A Chronological Marker in the Archaeology of India - Himanshu Prabha Ray IX. Differing Modes of Contact between India and the West: Some Achaemenid and Seleucid Examples - Daniel T. Potts X. Recent Discoveries of Buddhist Manuscripts from Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Heritage of the Greeks in the North-west - Mark Allon XI. Alexander's Lost Kingdom: From Diodotus to Strato III - Robert Bracey XII. Travelling to India without Alexander's Log-books - Jean-Francois Salles XIII. Hellenism in an Afghan Context - Grant Parker XIV. Creating Alexander's Legacy in Egypt - Marie-Francoise Boussac XV. Not Just a Pretty Face: Interpretations of Alexander's Numismatic Imagery in the Hellenic East - Shailendra Bhandare Index
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