Non-Fiction Books:

Alexander the Great: The Invisible Enemy

A Biography



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Alexander the Great: The Invisible Enemy by John Maxwell O'Brien

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Alexander and Dionysus:The Invisible Enemy differs from other biographies of Alexander in its assessment of the role of alcohol in his life. O'Brien uses the the figure of Dionysus as a symbol of the destructive effects of alchohol on Alexander's psyche. The deity serves as an agent through whom a cluster of ambivalent considerations is explored: the heroic and the Dionysiac, the rational and the irrational, male and female, sanity and madness. Alexander's story unfolds as a tragedy in the Aristotelian sense of the word. Alexander is treated from birth to death as a total personality. His culture, his gods, his parents, his tspirations, his exploits, his fears, his insecurities, his sexuality, his drinking, and the psychology of alcoholism are examined from an interdisciplinary perspective. The book utilises recent discoveries in archaeology and incorporates new interpretations from anthropology, psychology, mythology, philosphy and literature. The historical context provides a structure for these diverese insights. Key passages in the narratvie are illuminated by telling quotations from Homer and Euripides, the authors known to have constituted Alexander's favourite reading. John Maxwell O'Brien is thus also able to delineate broadly the thought processes of Greek antiquity.
Release date NZ
August 20th, 1992
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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