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Memory As History: The Legacy of Alexander in Asia

Himanshu Prabha Ray (Editor) Daniel T. Potts (Editor)

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.

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About the authors

Himanshu Prabha Ray

Himanshu Prabha Ray is associate Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, where she has taught since 1980. Her publications include Monastery and Guild: Commerce under the Satavahanas, Oxford University Press, 1986; The Winds Change: Buddhism and the Maritime Links of Early south Asia, Oxford University Press, 1994 (reissued as Oxford India Paperbacks, 1998); The Archaeology off Seafariing in Ancient South Asia, Cambridge University Press, 2003. In 1996, she jointly edited with Jean-Ffrancois Salles a volume titled, Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean, Manohar, 1996. another volume Archaeology of Seafaring: The Indian Ocean in the ancient Period, was published in the Indian Council of Historical Research Monograph Series I, New Delhi, 1999.

Daniel T. Potts

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).

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Bibliographic information

Title Memory As History: The Legacy of Alexander in Asia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 26.03.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173053252
length xvi+264p., 34 Colour & 26 B/w Plates; Bibliography; Notes; Index; 31cm.