5 History Books About Alexander The Great

History Of Alexander The Great

Step into the world of ancient empires, epic battles, and unparalleled ambition by exploring books about Alexander the Great. Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of epic tales, or simply curious about the man who conquered the known world before his 30th birthday, you’re in the right place. Alexander III of Macedon, known to us as Alexander the Great, remains a figure of fascination and intrigue centuries after his death. His legacy of military genius, complex relationships, and a quest for eternal glory has inspired countless authors to recount his life and adventures.

In this post, I’ll guide you through a selection of must-read books that show the life, legend, and legacy of Alexander the Great. From meticulously researched biographies to captivating novels that breathe life into ancient history, prepare to be transported back in time to walk in the footsteps of a man whose dreams reshaped the world.

5 Books About Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great’s life story reads like an epic saga, filled with dramatic battles, political intrigue, and personal triumphs and tragedies. Books about him provide a fascinating glimpse into the ancient world and the tumultuous events that shaped it. These books represent his leadership style, military strategies, and the factors that contributed to his success, offering valuable insights into the art of leadership and warfare.

If you want to learn about Alexander the Great’s life, I will discuss the top five books for you. They inspire you to reflect on your aspirations and goals, prompting questions about leadership, ambition, and the nature of power. Let’s go!

NameKey FocusRating (Goodreads)
The Life of Alexander the Great by PlutarchAlexander’s leadership qualities and his traits for leadership.3.9/5
The Generalship Of Alexander The Great by J. F. C. FullerAlexander’s career, conquests, and early life with detailed maps and pictures.4.1/5
Alexandros Trilogy by Valerio Massimo ManfrediThe whole life of Alexander: education by Aristotle, conquests, and romance.4.3/5
The Campaigns of Alexander by ArrianAlexander’s upbringing with real maps of Alexander’s campaigns.4.1/5
Alexander The Great by Philip FreemanThe main points of Alexander’s life separate a little bit of fact from fiction.4.1/5
Books About Alexander The Great

1. The Life of Alexander the Great

Since my childhood, Alexander the Great was a big figure during those times. So, I was fascinated by how he conquered so much of the world back then and inherited most of ancient Greece. His empire stretched from Egypt in the West to India, East, Arabia, and Central Asia to the north. So, it was a huge empire that the author describes smoothly with reference.

The book is a classic traditional biography of Alexander the Great that scholars and professors would look at and study as a source. That was close to when it happened, even though Alexander the Great died 300 years after the author (Plutarch) wrote this book. So, Plutarch had access to many primary sources we do not have today.

Also, this book is very inspiring because Alexander the Great was known for his leadership qualities and traits. So, people who want to succeed in life should study the lives of successful people. Though he has passed away over 2000 years, he has always been known as a man of outstanding achievement. I recommend you study the lives of great people, including Alexander the Great, because he was one of the greatest and most successful people ever.

The translation I read was by John Dryden, a 17th-century English writer. So, the English in the book is older, and it’s not as easy to comprehend, but it’s still easy to read. It’s only structured differently, and the word choices differ, although it’s still the same vocabulary we use today. But John Dryden uses words that we often don’t use today. So you could finish it in a day. But if you want to enjoy the book and absorb it thoroughly, I suggest you take your time to read it because it is a form of older English.

Author: Plutarch
Publisher: Modern Library
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Tropes: Historical Greece Biographies, World History
Number Of Pages: 96
Item Weight: 3 ounces
Dimensions: 5.19 x 0.2 x 7.94 inches
Available: Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

2. The Generalship Of Alexander The Great

The book was first published in 1960 and is the best book about Alexander the Great I have ever read. It’s divided into two parts. The first one is called The Record, which covers Alexander’s career. It’s a condensed version of his career as a statesman and general.

Fuller also details how Philip, the second Alexander’s father, united Greece under the Macedonians, setting up the conquest of Persia perfectly. That’s because it sped up Alexander’s timeline by quite a bit.

Part two, called The Analysis, goes over Alexander’s conquests. The book shows all the detailed maps, diagrams, and pictures. As Fuller was a major general in Great Britain, he can provide this unique perspective on Alexander’s conquests and military history. So, I found it quite refreshing because he’s not a classical scholar.

Fuller does not have a Ph.D. in ancient history but knows much about war. He can use knowledge from these sources, put it all together, provide insight, and create a brilliant book. So, if you have watched a documentary on Alexander or read some things online, this book is excellent because it enhances your knowledge.

Another positive about this book is that it dispels many myths about Alexander the Great. So there’s a viral film called Alexander, which came out in 2004, and many things in that film are wrong. Even back when this book was published, one of the big ones that was still big was whether Alexander was a heterosexual or not. There was a big debate about his sexuality in the film.

Fuller goes into great depth on dispelling some of these myths. However, the negative view is that Fuller’s biases made the book debated. Overall, I enjoyed this book because it’s direct. I highly recommend that you pick this book up and reread it.

Author: J. F. C. Fuller
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Tropes: Military Strategy, Ancient History, Greece Culture
Number Of Pages: 352
Available: Paperback | Hardcover | Mass Market Paperback

3. Alexandros Trilogy

Author Valerio Massimo Manfredi is an archaeologist and essayist. He’s written dozens of books on various historical and archaeological themes. Alexandros is his most famous book. The first of these (Alexander: Child of a Dream) was published in 1998, and the second and third followed.

So these books follow the entire life of Alexander from his birth, his education by Aristotle, and then his conquests, first of the Anatolian peninsula of Egypt and following to India. The three books are divided chronologically as follows. Child of a Dream follows his birth and early education and ends with the death or assassination of Philip.

The second book (The Sands of Ammon) begins with his invasion, the beginning of his expeditions in Asia, his crossing of the Bosporus and entry into Asia, and then conquering the cities there, including Halicarnassus. It shows how Alexander becomes increasingly brutal as the expeditions go on, and he destroys the entire city. Then, it follows his invasion into Egypt and ends very abruptly with Philip’s death, and Ammon’s sons begin abruptly with the invasion of Asia.

The third book is The Ends of the Earth. That is where things begin to get interesting, and that is the best book of this trilogy. So, if you’re looking for one good book to read, you can skip the first two books and move straight to the ends of the earth. The first two books do introduce some interesting subplots. They present Alexander’s mother, an important character, a worshiper of the secret cults, and dreams for Alexander.

The character of Aristotle is something the author has fictionalized, but it makes for an exciting addition to the story. What the author hasn’t done justice to is the character of Philip. Philip was a lot more than the person you see in these novels. But there is some softness, some tenderness in the relationship between Alexander and Philip, which the author explores.

That is a better way to understand the relationship, rather than seeing them as rivals with some other fiction about Alexander’s early life tends to do with his concerning his relationship with his father. But then, the novel moves through these scenes in Alexander’s life rapidly, and some of the dialogue is bad. That could result from translating Italian into English, but it is poorly written.

The third book is a great work of historical fiction. It introduces the world, the military strategy, and the complexity of taking on these new roles that Alexander has to deal with. The writing is much better, combining Alexander’s life alongside the romance.

So, I have seemed very critical of the first two books only because I expected more and was disappointed. I do recommend the entire trilogy. It is an excellent introduction to Alexander’s life. It has a lot of memorable passages written very well, which tell us about the psychology of these great personalities of the past. The hardcover quality is poor, but the paperback is awesome with fonts and color combinations.

Author: Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Narrator: Jordi Salas
Publisher: Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Tropes: Italian Literature, Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle

4. The Campaigns of Alexander

This book has long been known as one of the most essential and reliable accounts of Alexander the Great’s reign. So it begins when Alexander takes over as King of Macedon. The author presents Alexander’s upbringing. Alexander became king of Macedon in 336 B.C. when Macedon was a kingdom north of Greece.

Although the Macedonians were considered a separate ethnic group, Alexander the Great’s father, Philip, he has also subjected the Greek city-states. Also, Philip planned to invade the Persian Empire, which was the great superpower. Later, Alexander defeats the Persians, Darius, at the Battle of Gaugamela. The Battle of Gaugamela is the central battle where Darius’s power collapsed. Then Alexander entered the Persian Empire’s capital, Persepolis, Babylon, and Susa.

The translation is good, and this volume has copious footnotes and maps. So, you can see the real maps of Alexander’s campaigns. There are diagrams of battles, exciting locations, and little blurbs beneath them to tell you what they are. That makes it easier to understand what’s going on in the battle. I highly recommend this volume if you’re going to read Arrian.

Author: Arrian
Narrator: Andrea Giordani
Publisher: MuseumAudiobooks.com
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Tropes: Ancient & Classical Greek History, Military
Number Of Pages: 430
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

5. Alexander The Great

Philip Freeman does an excellent job of taking the life of Alexander the Great and building a narrative from beginning to end, smoothly hitting the main points of his life and separating a little bit of fact from fiction.

Alexander the Great, many legends go along with it. So, the book was written very well and achieved a best-seller award. People reference him as one of the greatest conquerors ever to have lived, and so on. I strongly recommend this book.

Author: Philip Freeman
Narrator: Michael Page
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Tropes: Ancient & Classical History
Number Of Pages: 430
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

Last Words

The books we’ve explored together offer a panoramic view of a man who was both a ruthless conqueror and a visionary leader whose ambitions knew no bounds. Through the eyes of historians and storytellers, we’ve traveled across battlefields, entered the heart of ancient cities, and witnessed Alexander’s personal trials and triumphs.

Whether these narratives have sparked a newfound interest in ancient history or deepened your appreciation for the complexities of historical figures, the legacy of Alexander the Great continues to captivate and inspire. May your exploration of Alexander’s world inspire you to seek out more stories of courage, ambition, and the relentless pursuit of greatness. Here’s to the next book that will transport you back in time, offering a glimpse into the lives of those who shaped our world.

Read more historical legend books:

5 Books About Helen Of Troy

5 Egyptian Legend Books About Cleopatra

Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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