Historical Greek Biographies - Which Ones Are the Most Interesting?
If you're a student of the history of the classical world, you've probably read at least a few Historical Greek Biographies. Most of them will cover the great figures from the Greek past. Some of these men are Peter Green of Macedon, Alexander of Macedon, Artaxerxes II, Galba, and many others. But which ones are the most interesting? Let's look at a few of them and find out!
Alexander of Peter Green of Macedon
The Alexander of Peter Green of Macedon in Historical Greek Biographies is a literate account of the life and times of the great king. In the first person, Green depicts Alexander as an incomparable general and true genius. His eloquent and compelling prose combines a sense of humor with a thorough knowledge of history. Alexander's enduring popularity has led to a proliferation of histories on the life and times of Alexander.
Alexander's time in Greece was short and bitter, but not without a good deal of accomplishment. His army surpassed all other ancient Greek armies, and his troops commanded the greatest number of soldiers in history. In the process, he also defeated the Persians. However, his legacy will be hard to measure. His peripatetic campaigns would include invading the Arabian Peninsula, moving west to Spain and North Africa, and acquiring the knowledge needed to conquer the other Greek lands.
While Green's descriptions of Alexander's early life do not contradict traditional accounts of major battles, modern archeologists do differ on his education. Modern scholarship places Alexander's education in a gymnasium, where he would learn how to fight. Green's description, however, is the only one that mentions the importance of learning to fight, which was more than a decade before his death.
The Historical Greek Biographies of the Persian king Artaxerxes II include his reign in the fourth and late fifth centuries B.C. There is some debate as to the connection between Artaxerxes and the history of Ezra, the king of Babylon. Nevertheless, the facts seem to be pretty clear. The Persian king was a member of the Achaemenid line.
He ruled the Achaemenid Empire from 404 to 358 BCE. He is most famous for his victory over the Greek army at the Battle of Cunaxa in 401 BCE. In fact, he is the ninth most well-known politician in history. But he is less well-known than his Persian cousin, Darius I. As a result of his greatness, many historians have given little attention to Artaxerxes' life and accomplishments.
The Persian king was known for his military prowess, but his military might not have been as successful. He had difficulty with the Egyptians, but was ultimately successful against them. He defeated a joint Egyptian-Spartan attempt to conquer Phoenicia, and quashed the Revolt of the Satraps in 372 BC. Artaxerxes II had a variety of wives, including Stateira, who was poisoned by her mother Parysatis in 400 BC. Aspasia, however, was not the same woman who was concubine to Pericles. Artaxerxes was said to have had 115 sons by these concubines, including Pericles's son.
Aratus is one of the most influential figures in the history of philosophy. His Phaenomena, a long poem of over a thousand lines, combines interpretations of Hesiodic poetry with material from astronomical treatises and constitutes a model for didactic literature. It takes the form of a hymn to Zeus. In Historical Greek Biographies, Aratus was referred to as a "Painter of Time," and is sometimes mentioned in the context of Plato.
Aratus is perhaps best remembered for his role in defeating the Argonian city-state of Sicyon in the Peloponnesus. He also led the Achaean League to its zenith in Peloponnesus. Although his life is not well documented, his many accomplishments deserve a place in the history of historical Greek Biographies. The following information about Aratus will help you learn more about him.
Aratus is credited with several poetical works and prose epistles. His major work, the Phenomena, is a hexameter poem that is set in the context of a lost work by Eudoxus of Cnidus. The poem describes celestial phenomena, primarily weather lore, and is popular in both the Greek and Roman worlds. Numerous commentaries have been written on Phenomena, including several Latin translations.
In his first recorded biography, Galba was an unpopular slave of Otho. When the emperor was condemned to death, Galba was sent to the Sessorium, a place where the condemned were thrown to die. He died there and was buried there. His last wife, Semilia Lepides, was believed to be a homosexual, but she died. Galba was also a widow, and she remained a slave of Otho.
While many historical accounts attribute Galba's death to an illness, he was not the actual cause of his death. A subsequent rebellion by the people of Africa resulted in the death of many Roman citizens. Galba's soldiers declared him emperor abroad, which led to political upheavals during the years 68-69. Although the uprising worked to his benefit, it was ultimately overthrown after seven months.
When the entrails were discovered, Galba was in the Palatium. Though he was still holding the entrails, even the most sceptical men were confounded by this divine portent. As the news spread, a motley crowd began to pour out of the forum. Vinius and Laco, two powerful men in the court, stood by Galba brandishing naked swords. Piso held a conference with guards in the court, and Marius Celsus was sent to secure the allegiance of the Illyrian legion in the Vipsanian portico.
Otho is a minor character in the Daughters of Rome series of books. Set in the Year of the Four Emperors, the book describes Otho's career as a cunning, scheming man. In the end, his suicide is portrayed as a noble sacrifice. However, his life was not without tragedy. A plague struck Athens during Otho's reign, and he was forced to flee the city with his army.
As a governor of Lusitania, Otho never forgiven Nero for marrying Poppaea, and therefore, allied himself with Galba, the consul-designate of the emperor, during the 68-68 A.D. He later accompanied Galba to Rome in October 68, where he led an army against Nero's legion.
Otho's political policy was checked after he read Galba's private correspondence. The emperor realized that a revolution was in full swing in Germany, and several legions had already declared allegiance to Vitellius. However, Vitellius was already advancing on Italy, and Otho offered him a portion of his Empire. His military prepared for war with unusual vigor. Otho was unaware of the help he would receive from remote provinces. However, his Praetorian cohorts were a formidable force. In addition to this, Otho was a master of the Italian seas.
Homer was a major figure in ancient Greek literature and has been regarded as the greatest poet of classical antiquity. His works, the Iliad and the Odyssey, survive in extensive numbers of manuscripts, but there is much controversy surrounding Homer's authorship. Despite these differences, Homer's work continues to be an important piece of Western literature. Despite its controversy, it remains one of the world's most popular epics.
Though the story begins in the eighth century BC, Homer's time span is difficult to estimate. While his work is based on stories from earlier periods, there is little written evidence to support that these tales are true. The myths of the Trojan War are based on a variety of cultures, but Homer is among the most widely known. Homer's epics are widely read, especially in the educated classes.
The epics were largely passed down orally, and were influenced by events in Troy. This process had an affect on Homer. His work was passed on orally for centuries, and when he wrote down the stories, he refined what he had inherited. But the myths of Homer are the earliest extant evidence of human emotion, and they are a vital part of Greek culture.
Among the earliest medical texts, Hippocrates is credited with writing a large number of the oldest medical texts, including the Hippocratic Corpus (also known as the Hippocraticum). The texts were written in Hellenistic and Ptolemaic Alexandria, and are the result of a number of authors. While they differ from one another in length and quality, all have in common the basic assumptions about the body and its functions.
The surviving biographical accounts for Hippocrates include the Lives of the ancient Greek physician and his son, Protagoras. These are both short and late, but contain conflicting information. Furthermore, the texts are corrupted by legend, which led to divergent views. Historians must separate fact from fiction, and compare what we know from ancient writings to what we know.
The information that we have about Hippocrates comes from several sources, some of which are more reliable than others. The Soranos of Ephesus, for example, is considered to be the most reliable source, though the letter from Roman times is suspect. However, the Greeks regarded Hippocrates as one of the greatest physicians of all time, and he was a member of the Asclepiad family.