Re-Writing the History of the Campaigns of Alexander the Great in India

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Painstaking detective work has unmasked Cleitarchus as the perpetrator of the most influential account of Alexander the Great by reconstructing his version of the king's campaigns in India. The new research shows that Cleitarchus penned his historical masterpiece in Alexandria around 280BC, nearly half a century after Alexander's death. It reveals for the first time that Cleitarchus wrote one book for each year of Alexander's reign, that he had a pile of memoirs of Alexander's friends and officers before him as he worked and that he was influenced by the cynical philosophers to find wry and ironical angles on the monumental deeds of the king. In its scope and depth the new research amounts to an archaeology of the mind of Cleitarchus.

Painstaking detective work has unmasked Cleitarchus as the perpetrator of the most influential account of Alexander the Great by reconstructing his version of the king's campaigns in India. The new research shows that Cleitarchus penned his historical masterpiece in Alexandria around 280BC, nearly half a century after Alexander's death. It reveals for the first time that Cleitarchus wrote one book for each year of Alexander's reign, that he had a pile of memoirs of Alexander's friends and officers before him as he worked and that he was influenced by the cynical philosophers to find wry and ironical angles on the monumental deeds of the king. In its scope and depth the new research amounts to an archaeology of the mind of Cleitarchus.

The new investigation shows that a tenth century manuscript destroyed in an Allied bombing raid on Nazi Germany in 1944 held the key to many of Cleitarchus' secrets. Fortunately, several transcriptions were made before its incineration, for it has proved instrumental in providing evidence for the reconstruction.

As Easter approaches, it is especially interesting that Cleitarchus may have provided some of the earliest mentions of the use of crucifixion as a means of capital punishment. For example, he appears to have recorded that Alexander crucified an Indian king named Musicanus after he had first accepted and afterwards revolted against Alexander's rule in 325BC.

A full account of the new research and a complete reconstruction of Cleitarchus' account of Alexander's three years in India are given in a new book entitled Alexander the Great in India: A Reconstruction of Cleitarchus by Andrew Chugg. See also Andrew Chugg's website at http://www.alexanderstomb.com with further details of the new book plus a sample chapter containing the reconstruction of the third year of the Indian campaign.

About the Author:

Pursuing a life-long interest in the subject of Alexander the Great, Andrew Chugg has been actively publishing on the subject for the past 8 years. He is the author of three previous books on Alexander: The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great (2004); Alexander's Lovers (2006); The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great (2007). Appearances on the BBC Radio 4 Today program and a National Geographic documentary were associated with the first book in 2004. More recently, Andrew presented his theory of the location of Alexander's tomb in Alexandria in the Atlantic Productions documentary on "Alexander's Lost Tomb" (shown on National Geographic's channel in the USA in November 2008 and on Channel 5 in the UK in January 2009). Andrew has also had academic articles on Alexander and his tomb published in the classics journal Greece & Rome, the American Journal of Ancient History and the Ancient History Bulletin and he has also written pieces on the theme for numerous magazines. Andrew read Natural Sciences at Trinity College in the University of Cambridge in the UK, graduating with honours in 1985. He currently works as a Technical Expert in Bristol in SW England.

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