Alexander the Great and the Iranians

Alexander the Great and the Iranians

Course Description: As Alexander the Great conquered and imposed his authority over the Persian Empire, he and his Greek and Macedonian followers struggled to find a way to coexist with the Iranian aristocracy that had governed the empire on behalf of the Persian Great Kings for more than two hundred years. In this course, we will explore what the ancient sources tell us about Alexander’s relationships with this aristocracy; what they tell us about Alexander’s evolving sense of his own role in his new empire; and how modern historians craft narratives about the ancient past.


Level: This course is designed to offer anyone interested in ancient history a focused introduction to selected problems in the history of Alexander the Great. No previous background in the subject is necessary, nor is knowledge of ancient Greek.

Textbook:The instructor will provide electronic copies of key readings, but students should consider purchasing (1) Quintus Curtius Rufus, “The History of Alexander” (trans. John Yardley) and (2) Arrian, “The Landmark Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander” (trans. Pamela Mensch). Martin Hammond’s translation of Arrian (“Alexander the Great: The Anabasis and the Indica”) lacks the detailed maps found in “The Landmark Arrian”, but may be preferable for students who prefer to purchase e-books.

Sections capped at: 5 students. If the course is sold-out, please fill out this waiting-list form.

Mondays, 8:00p.m. EST


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Cameron Hawkins

Cameron Hawkins worked as an ancient historian for 17 years before embarking on a new career in the non-profit world. He has led courses for undergraduate and graduate students on a wide range of topics in ancient Greek and Roman history. Most of his published work focuses on ancient Rome—including his book, “Roman Artisans and the Urban Economy” (2016)—but his heart belongs to Greece.