• Alexander the Great

  • By: Arrian
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-29-04
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audio Connoisseur
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (298 ratings)

Regular price: $38.50

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Publisher's Summary

This is the incredible story of the world's greatest conqueror, a man who single handedly changed the course of history...and who was worshipped as a god. There have been many attempts in the 2,300 years since Alexander's death to tell the epic story of this enigmatic soldier. His deeds read like the stuff of legends. Of all the chroniclers of Alexander, and there have been many famous ones, including Plutarch and Ptolemy, none have given us a clearer and truer account than the one by Arrian.
Writing 450 years after Alexander's death, Arrian had the advantage of hindsight and the unique ability to sift through important historical material which is now lost. He was able to judge the motives of many of the detractors of Alexander and to set the record straight in many instances. Alexander's aims have always been a topic of intense debate and this history will tell you what this brilliant tactician was trying to accomplish and why. From his first encounter with the Persians at the Battle of the Granicus to his last battle on the banks of the Indus River, thrill to the extraordinary exploits of Alexander the Great as he turns the ancient world upside down. After his passing, nothing would ever again be the same....
Lucius Flavius Arrianus, or Arrian (circa A.D. 85 to 90 - circa 146) was born in Nicomedia, a Greek town which at the time was a part of the vast Roman Empire. It is fairly certain that Arrian's ancestors had been citizens for some time because his family was prominent, and he himself seems to have held an important priesthood as a young man. Arrian studied Stoic philosophy with the famous Epictetus and has left us an excellent book on the subject based on his notes. One of his fellow students was the future emperor, Hadrian, whose close friend he remained in later life. Arrian was a wealthy man with a great sense of responsibility. He put his considerable abilities to work on behalf of society and served with distinction as a senator and as a military commander. In fact, he was the first Greek ever to command Roman legions. He later served as governor of Cappadocia. In his spare moments, Arrian wrote many important books, of which his Anabasis of Alexander is by far the most popular.
(P)2004 Audio Connoisseur
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Theresa on 02-23-04

A Superb Chronicle of Alexander

This was a very good overview of Alexander of Macedon and the material was very well organized and presented. It begins with a short biographical sketch that brings us up to date on Alexander's youth, as this is missing from the account by Arrian. Arrian's writing is quite easy to digest and I had no problems understanding the chronology of events and the sometimes complex battle tactics. All in all, except in a few places, the action moves ahead briskly. The end of this recording is quite nice, as we are treated to several essays which successfully summarize and give us a greater perspective of Alexander and his time. The piece by Mary Reynault is particularly poignant. I was impressed by the narration, and the production values are extremely good.

If you don't know a thing about ancient history, this is probably not a good choice for you. However, if you have prepared yourself by doing some other readings (listenings) on ancient Greek and Near Eastern history, you will find this recording to be of excellent value and quite entertaining.

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37 of 37 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Allan on 03-12-05

This book is a time capsule, a peek into history

This audio book may not be for every one, but I thought it was fantastic. I liked the tone and speech of the narrator, the word usage of the translator and the style of the author. I listened to it several times and most likely will again. It is good history and a great story with very interesting accounts of incredible feats like capturing the Island City of Tyre, which had been unconquerable for centuries. I loved Alexander's response to the request of Darius (the king of Persia) to get his mother released, "If you want your mother, your wife and your children back, stand and fight for them and do not run away." As a leader of men, the only other person I would put in his league is George Washington.

What really stood out to me the most was the words and the way Arrian described Alexander's advance. Through out the book he emphasizes the speed with which Alexander moved from battle to battle. Sentences like "upon hearing this news Alexander was on the march again with greater rapidity than ever." Of the Persians you hear sentences like "when they saw that it was Alexander himself that was upon them, they incontinently fled." This exactly fits the "he goat which came from the west on the face of the whole earth and touched not the ground" of Daniel's vision. "There was no power in the ram (Persia) to stand before him. There was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very strong; and when he was strong, the great horn was broken." Alexander died within a year or two after conquering the world.

The writer of the appendix, much of which I did not agree with, was right in pointing out how Alexander's conquest, by giving the world a common language, prepared it for the introduction and spreading of the good news about God's salvation through Jesus Christ.

How could you not be amazed?

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lance Johnson on 12-29-16

A well written and performed story!

Where does Alexander the Great rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Up high

What was one of the most memorable moments of Alexander the Great?

The speech Alexander gives to his men at the end of the story, when his men were upset of adopting Persian dress and culture. He talks about how his father and he had taken the Macedonians from the fields, took them to be the world's greatest armies.

Have you listened to any of Charlton Griffin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

He was so good, I decided to get his narration of Plutarch's lives. Very easy listen.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

One of histories greater conquerors.

Any additional comments?

I first became interested in Alexander the Great watching the BBC TV mini series "In the footsteps of Alexander the Great" where a historian retraces the steps of Alexander the Great on the ground, going to old battle sites and towns. It was here I was introduced to Arrian, even purchasing the book - but I never had the time to read it. So eventually being a long term Audible member, I overcame listening to some of the mundane books on Audible to finally come rest at the foot of this audiobook. I was very much dazzled with the book, in particulars with how it married up with the tv series. As the book went on, I would often Wikipedia or Googled elements of the stories to get a understanding of the people and place of Alexander. I drove my car 2 hrs in total in day, and listened to this book in part, however, and looked up parts of the story as I went along. I highly recommend this book, it was written by a Roman of Greek Origin at least several centuries after Alexander but he had direct access to Ptolemy's book on the history of Alexander, Ptolemy being one of Alexander's general. Unfortunately this book by Ptolemy has not survived. In the book Arrian not only writes, but critically analyses some of the legend of Alexander, reassuring the reader that what we get has some good element of fact on Alexander life story.

I would highly recommend this book to all, but to make the book an easier listen, I would recommend watching the TV series "In the footsteps of Alexander" which u can watch online for free. Then please come to this book, in particular this narrator, who does a fantastic job of capturing the character of the author, Arrian.

I would then recommend only after listening this book, the lectures by Professor Harl on Alexander the great available in Audible, which I am currently listening to.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Mr D J Mannion on 08-01-15


Would you listen to Alexander the Great again? Why?

There was so much to take in

What was one of the most memorable moments of Alexander the Great?

His ironic death

Which scene did you most enjoy?

battle with the egyptians

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Too many to mention

Any additional comments?

Very interesting story

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