The Anabasis of Alexander
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The Anabasis of Alexander (Latin: Anabasis Alexandri; Greek: Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἀνάβασις, Alexándrou Anábasis), also known as the History, Campaigns, or Expeditions of Alexander (De Expeditione Alexandri, abbr. De Exp. Alex.; Ἱστορίαι Ἀναβάσεως 'Αλεξάνδρον, Historíai Anabáseōs Alexandron), was a history of the campaigns or expeditions ("anabasis") into the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great. It was composed centuries after the fact by the historian Arrian. This work consists of seven books and was Arrian's most important work.
It is one of the few surviving complete accounts of the Macedonian conqueror's expedition. It is primarily a military history and has little to say about Alexander's personal life, his role in Greek politics or the reasons why the campaign against Persia was launched in the first place. Arrian was able to use sources which are now lost, such as the contemporary works by Callisthenes (the nephew of Alexander's tutor Aristotle), Onesicritus, Nearchus, and Aristobulus, and the slightly later work of Cleitarchus. Most important of all, Arrian had the biography of Alexander by Ptolemy, one of Alexander's leading generals and possibly his half-brother.
The work was written in the second century AD (ref.- p.xiii), and pertains to the life of Alexander III (ref. - p.xi), who died in 323 BC (ref. - p. 389), of which Arrian's account of the life of him is the best extant, in that it is the most complete and reliable (E. Borza).
A structural analysis shows the work to be divided in one case, into seven books. Book one has twenty chapters, book two has twenty-seven chapters, book three has thirty chapters, book four has thirty chapters, book five has twenty-nine chapters, book six has thirty chapters, book seven has thirty chapters. In another case the work is divided into twelve books.
According to the Smith division, he further states that all twelve books survived apart from a gap in the twelfth chapter of the seventh book, a factor which is present in all extant MSS.
J.R.Hamilton's analysis of the text of the Anabasis faults Arrian for two things: a tendency to be narrow and to omit the details of Alexander's activities, specifically where they were less promoting of his subject; and a failure to mention the leader's intentions.
History of transmission & editions
The earliest extant copy is from about 1200 CE (CA Evans 2011).
Further editions of the History  were made by Gerbel (1539), an edition was translated into Italian by Leo of Modena and printed within Venice in 1554, H.Stephens edition was printed in Paris 1575, Claudius Vitart translated the History into French which was printed in Paris in 1581, and additionally a version reprinted three times was made by Ablancourt.
It has four Latin translations, the first by Nicolaus Saguntinus, the second by Petrus Paulus Vergerius, the third by Bartholomæus Facius, the fourth by Bonaventure Vulcanius. The Vulcanius edition was most highly esteemed according to Rooke.
Arrian stated Ptolemy son of Lagos (a commander in Alexander's army ) and Aristobulus son of Aristobulus (an architect ) as the primary sources for information for the contents of the piece (DL Smith 2012), both of these accompanied Alexander on the anabasis.
Arrian was comptemtuous of Callisthenes account of Alexander, because he conceived him a 'flatterer' of Alexander, and he criticized him because of his stating he would make Alexander great through his writing rather than Alexander had already done through his own acts, for he held self-promotion to compromise an authors abilities to write truthfully, producing distortions in any account written about Alexander.
Was a friend during childhood, and both were educated by Aristotle.
He was from Cassandreia.
Other sources were Diodotus of Erythrae, Eumenes of Cardia (who kept a so called royal diary ), Nearchus of Crete, Megasthenes, Eratosthenes, Aristus, and Asclepiades[disambiguation needed]. He also made use of the letter's of Alexander.
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- In full, De Expeditione Alexandri or Expeditionis Alexandri Libri Septem (Seven Books on the Expedition of Alexander), although the last part of the title is typically omitted. The Latin abbreviation is more common in older works and has generally fallen out of use.
- "Anabasis", Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
- An "anabasis" is more specifically an expedition upwards into the interior of a country, as from the coastline.
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- Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt, Penguin Classics, 1958 and numerous subsequent editions.
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- Arrian, (1884). The Anabasis of Alexander. Hodder and Stoughton. Wikisource.
- Greek Wikisource has original text related to this article: Ἀλεξάνδρου ἀνάβασις
- Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri, translated by E.J. Chinnock (1893)
- Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri, (section 1.13-16) (pp. 18-19),[dead link] Battle of the Granicus, from the Loeb edition.
- Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri, (section 4.18.4-19.6), Sogdian Rock, translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt