Alexander, the King in Shining Armor


  • Victor Alonso Troncoso Universidad de La Coruña


This paper deals with an aspect of Alexander the Great's representation that had not been systematically studied by the modern scholars as yet, the refulgent panoply of the Macedonian king in combat. The author collects the passages where this motif appears, examines the sources and presents some parallels in the Greek literary and iconographic tradition.


Alexander the Great, shining armour, source criticism, epic tradition, iconography


Alonso Troncoso, V., Anson, E. M. (2013) After Alexander: The Time of the Diadochi, Oxford, Owbow.

Anson, E. M. (2010) The Asthetairoi: Macedonia's Hoplites. In E. Carney and D. Ogden (eds.) Philip II and Alexander the Great: Father and Son, Lives and Afterlives, 81-90. Oxford, OUP.

Atkinson, J. E. (1980) A Commentary on Q. Curtius Rufus' Historiae Alexandri Magni: Books 3 and 4. Amsterdam, J. C. Gieben.

Babbit, F. C. (ed.) (1972) Plutarch's Moralia IV, 263 D - 351 B. London, Heinemann & Harvard Univ. Press.

Baynham, E. (2015) Why the Devil wears Prada: The Politics of Display in Military Kit in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC. In P. Wheatley and E. Baynham (eds.) East and West in the World Empire of Alexander. Essays in Honour of Brian Bosworth, 53-64. Oxford, OUP.

Bergmann, M. (1998) Die Strahlen der Herrscher. Theomorphes Herrscherbild und politische Symbolik im Hellenismus und in der römischen Kaiserzeit, Mainz, Philipp von Zabern.

Borza, E. (1987) The Royal Macedonian Tombs and the Paraphernalia of Alexander the Great. Phoenix 41, 105-121.

Bosworth, A. B. (1980) A Historical Commentary on Arrian's History of Alexander, I. Oxford, Clarendon.

Cartledge, P. (2004) Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past. London, Macmillan.

Chaniotis, A. (2011) The Ithyphallic Hymn of Demetrios Poliorketes and Hellenistic Religious Mentality. In P. Iossif, A. S. Chankowski and C. Lorber (eds.) More than Men, less than Gods: Studies in Royal Cult and Imperial Worship, 157-195. Leuven, Peeters.

Csapo, E. (2008) Star Choruses: Eleusis, Orphism, and New Musical Imagery and Dance. In M. Revermann and P. Wilson (eds.) Performance, Iconography, Reception: Studies in Honour of Oliver Taplin, 262-290. Oxford, OUP.

Dahmen, K. (2007) The Legend of Alexander the Great on Greek and Roman Coins. Abingdon and New York, Routledge.

Gernet, L. (1968) Anthropologie de la Grèce antique. Paris, Maspéro.

Goukowsky, P. (ed.) (2002) Diodore de Sicile. Bibliothèque historique: Livre XVII. Paris, Les Belles Lettres.

Hamilton, J. R. (1969) Plutarch, Alexander: A Commentary. Oxford, Clarendon.

Heckel, W. (2009) The Asthetairoi: A Closer Look. In P. Wheatley and R. Hannah (eds.) Alexander & His Successors: Essays from the Antipodes, 99-117. Claremon, CA, Regina Books.

Holt, F. L. (2003) Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Hornblower, J. (1981) Hieronymus of Cardia. Oxford, OUP.

Kantorowicz, E. H. (1961) Gods in Uniform. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 105, 368-393.

Lendon, J. E. (2005) Soldiers & Ghosts. New Haven and London, Yale Univ. Press.

Liampi, K. (1990) Der makedonische Schild als propagantisches Mittel in der hellenistischen Zeit. In ΠΟΙΚΙΛΑ (Meletemata 10), 157-171. Athens, Grigoris Publications.

Longo, O. (1996) L'héros, l'armure, le corps. Dialogues d'histoire ancienne 22, 25-51.

L'Orange, H. P. (1953) The Iconography of Cosmic Kingship in the Ancient World. Oslo 1953.

Markle, M. M. (1999) A Shield Monument from Veria and the Chronology of Macedonian Shield Types. Hesperia 68, 219-254.

Mørkholm, O. (1991) Early Hellenistic Coinage: From the Accession of Alexander to the Peace of Apamea (336-188 B.C.). Cambridge, CUP.

Ogden, D. (2011) Alexander the Great: Myth, Genesis and Sexuality. Exeter, University of Exeter Press.

Orchard, A. (2003) Pride and Prodigies. Studies in the Monsters of the Beowulf-Manuscript. Toronto, University of Toronto Press.

O'Sullivan, L. (2008) Le Roi Soleil: Demetrius Poliorcetes and the Dawn of the Sun-King. Antichthon 42, 78-99.

Price, M. J. (1991) The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus, I-II. Zurich and London, Swiss Numismatic Society & British Museum Press.

Rutz, W. (1965) Zur Erzählungskunst des Q. Curtius Rufus: Die Belagerung von Tyrus. Hermes 93, 370-382.

Schwartz, E. (1895) Aristobulos. RE II,1, 911-918.

Sekunda, N. (2012) Macedonian Armies after Alexander 323-168 BC. Oxford, Osprey.

Soler del Campo, Á. (ed.) (2010) El arte del poder: la Real Armería y el retrato de corte. Exhibition Catalogue National Gallery of Art / El Prado. Madrid, Tf Editores.

Squillace, G. (2013) Alexander the Great, Ptolemy I and the Offerings of Arms to Athena Lindia. In V. Alonso Troncoso and E. M. Anson (eds.) After Alexander: The Time of the Diadochi, 215-224. Oxford, Oxbow.

Stewart, A. (1993) Faces of Power: Alexander's Image and Hellenistic Politics. Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press.

Stoneman, R. (1991) The Greek Alexander Romance. London, Penguin.

Tsimbidou-Avloniti, M. (2004) The Macedonian Tomb at Aghios Athanasios, Thessaloniki. In D. Pandermalis (ed.) Alexander the Great: Treasures from an Epic Era of Hellenism, 149-151. New York, Onassis Foundation.

Van Thiel, H. (ed.) (1974) Leben und Taten Alexanders von Makedonien. Der griechische Alexanderroman nach der Handschrift L. Darmstadt, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellsachft.

Welles, C. B. (ed.) (1970) Diodorus Siculus: Books XVI.66-XVII. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard Univ. Press & Heinemann.

Yardley, J. C. and Heckel, W. (1997) Justin. Books 11-12. Oxford, Clarendon.




Download data is not yet available.