King of the world: Alexander and Persia

Hugh Bowden

in Alexander the Great

Published in print July 2014 | ISBN: 9780198706151
Published online July 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191780028 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions

King of the world: Alexander and Persia

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  • Classical Studies
  • Classical History
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‘King of the World: Alexander and Persia’ examines where the title ‘King of the World’ to describe Alexander came from and his image as a ‘King of the World’. It first appears in the narrative of Alexander's campaign in the story of the Gordian knot. Babylonians had no distinct concept of ‘Asia’, and ‘King of the World’ may have been a Babylonian way of rendering the term ‘King of Asia’. The issue that most concerned ancient writers, and many modern scholars, is the question of whether Alexander wanted his companions to prostrate themselves in his presence. Alexander historians seem to have believed that it was normal for Persians to do so, but in fact only defeated enemies were required to do this.

Keywords: Alexander; Alexander the Great; Artaxerxes II; Artaxerxes III; Artaxerxes IV; Asia Minor; Curtius Rufus; Darius III; Persia; Philip II; Scipio Africanus

Chapter.  3668 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical History ; Military History

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