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When and Why
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cindoo15



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
Posts: 1282
Location: Dallas TX

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:25 am    Post subject: When and Why Reply with quote

Many of us became interested in Alexander the Great because of the film by Oliver Stone. However, I have seen many posts from people who had an interest before the movie came out. My question is this: When and why did you become interested in Alexander the Great?
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Goldsnail



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years ago a friend recommended the Mary Renault trilogy to me. I didn't read it - I devoured it. Then I bought her Alex biography, then the R. L. Fox biography, watched any documentary I could find on TV, chatted with my friend about Alex whenever we could, read some fanfic (which was VERY rare those days) and so on. When I heard that a movie was going to be made I felt a bit like I felt when they announced the filming of the Lord of the Rings - I was excited about the possibility that something I loved would appear on screen, but I also VERY much feared it would be butchered into pieces.
I was very dubious about the Luhrman project because Nicole Kidman and Leo DiCaprio (rumoured actors of Olympias and Alexander) absolutely did NOT do it for me. I was also dubious of the Stone movie because Colin didn't seem the right guy for me - I was proved wrong, and happily so Smile
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tv



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know of Alexander from the movie. In my history course in junior high, we did talk briefly of ALexander The Great, a 20-year old king who conquered the world and died young. That was just about it.

I first saw the trailer of the movie in the ATG official site, and read the hypnosis. The first sight that drew me in was Alexander-Colin. His eyes and his blond hair are so beautiful. I saw the movie and was felt in love with the movie since then. From that moment, I've searching for more info of ALexander, the real Alexander and the Colin-Alexander.
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
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Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexander entered my life (before meeting him in books) thanks to my grandpa. I remember him narrating all of Alexander's achievements. His eyes shone with passion during his narrations. They were magical moments for both of us. We were 'living' them. He was very fond of Alex.He used to say with his impressive voice : "Alèxandros was not a mere conqueror but a real, charismatic leader with IDEAS!" Then I was starting asking him a lot of questions about those 'ideas' of his. He could go on for hours. He seemed to enjoy every minute of it as much as I did. What memories!
Then I remember (very well!) that my mum took advantage of the situatuion.Because I did't have much appetite and was eating very little (I was so skinny! I was. Not any more!), she was saying to me:"Ok.Eat up your food and I'll tell your grandpa to tell you stories of 'Megas Alèxandros'. It always worked! do you think that's why I stopped being skinny?!
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Adriv



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1144
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I was a little girl always loved ancient history - Greek, Egypt, Roman, etc. I have heard stories of Alexander the great and how he conquered the known world at just young age, so that got me curious. Never heard of Hephaestion though. After a while I stop but when I heard of the movie got me back into track, and when I heard stories of Alexander and his beloved Hephaestion got me more interested. And after the movie, it facinated me.

For me, Alexander is the greatest conqueror in history, not matter what other people say, he´s the greatest, the greatest of them all.
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cindoo15



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
Posts: 1282
Location: Dallas TX

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You all have great stories. Thanks, it's been interesting reading them. Mine is quite dull; I knew a little about ATG from school and the history channel but that just mostly discussed him as a conqueror and although I found his acheivements amazing I wasn't really struck with a great interest until after I saw the film. Now, I can't get enough. He is the most fascinating man who ever lived; his story is so interesting, filled with intrigue, love, adventure, pothos - desires for discovery and unification of peoples, and of coarse his amazing military acheivements. I'm sure I've left much out but that's just off the top of my list; oh yes, founding of cities, intrest in arts and olympic style games.... So I am now trying to devour as much information on him as I can.

Adriv, you said that Alexander was the greatest conqueror of all and that it doesn't matter what other think. I must say that I believe most people would agree especially when looking at his military achievement. I know I certainly agree with you.

Joanna - the story about your grandpa was very touching. I hope you have continued the tradition with your son. BTW, did you ever get him the armour?

tv; I must agree tht Colins beauty when portraying Alexander was the first thing that drew me to ATG; he was amazing. I was then glad to see so many statues of Alexander that show he had true physical beauty too.

Goldsnail - I have read two of the Renault books (absolutely fabulous) but had not read The Persian Boy. I've been concerned that it would upset me to see Hephaestion put aside although, I don't know that is what happens.

Thanks all for responding. I'm waiting to hear from the rest of you!
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Catherine X



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have quite a simple reply to your question: I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in Alexander before the film! If I ever thought about him, I just thought he was some great general who was constantly fighting battles and so of no interest to me at all. My husband is always watching programmes about battles/ weapons and I am completely bored of the subject.

When I saw this film and saw Alexander as a real man with feelings, problems, parents, lovers etc. I suddenly became more interested. Of course our lovely Colin has played a massive part in getting my attention, if they had chosen a less charismatic actor, e.g. Tom Cruise [No!!] I would not have been so interested! So top marks to Oliver, Colin and co for snaring me with their masculine wiles. Cool

Maybe that was Oliver's intention! Maybe he wanted to get a completely different audience to be interested in Alexander, not just the usual war obsessed men. Aha, now we know! Laughing
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Adriv



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1144
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cindoo15 wrote:
I have read two of the Renault books (absolutely fabulous) but had not read The Persian Boy. I've been concerned that it would upset me to see Hephaestion put aside although, I don't know that is what happens.


Yeah, I personally not a big fan of Bagoas. I don´t know what Alexander was thinking... I prefer strong and beautiful man like Hephaestion.

So many questions..... *sigh*
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is a very interesting question the one Pam has made. When and why did I became interested in Alexander the Great?
Well, I have to say that I have always been interested in historical figures and leaders. When I was a child, my mom used to read to me many legends, tales, and stories about different civilisations and characters of history. I remember I read the Illiad when I was 5 years old. I admired these heroes who achieved their goals and leaded and carried others to follow their projects and dreams. I also knew by that time some things about Alexander, especially how great of a military leader and conqueror he had been, and some episodes about his life like the one with the Gordian knot, Bucephalus, and other things.
Later I became increasingly interested with Ancient History, particularly the Classics, so I started reading a lot more about Rome and Greece. That expansion of power that the Roman Empire could exercise and the elevated culture and intellect developed by the Greeks were to me very fascinating. During high school, I liked to read some biographies about historical figures, especially about their youth (how they had begun their careers), so I could see how they had acted and in that way learn from their failures and successes. There is when I got to read more profound things about Alexander, biographies like the one by Mary Renault or other authors.
It was then last year that I started reading everything I could find about Alexander and, when I heard there were two upcoming films about him, I got fascinated. Needless is to say that despite I had a very strong interest in Alexander before, cinematography has a very reinforcing power for this kind of stories. I think Alexander's story is a very inspiring one!
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cindoo15



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
Posts: 1282
Location: Dallas TX

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice story Alexandros. I am especially struck by the fact that you read the Illiad when you were 5! I recall trying to teach my girls how to read the word 'cat' when they were 5. You must have great things waiting for you in your future; maybe someday you'll be President of Argentina! Wink

You are right about his story being inspirational. I even find at my age that when I am wanting to give up on a certain goal, I think about Alexander and I decide never to quit! When I am really very old and gray I want to look back on my life and know I tried to do the very best that I could. How sad to look back when you're life is almost over and think "If only..."
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Savanna



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 70
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada - USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread topic - these stories are wonderful!

I tried to read the RLFox biography when I was 12, but I kept thinking Olympias was a mountain and getting frustrated whenever he made some historiographic aside or admitted uncertainty about all the important details in the story.. I hadn't read any history before, and when I got to the end I was pretty irritated with Alexander for having lived such an incoherent life. ;) I didn't read the book again until after I saw the movie, and at the time I didn't even remember having read it before - I was just so irritated with Ptolemy's enigmatic tone in the segues that I HAD to figure out what the hell he was getting at, and find out what had happened between the scenes they filmed. I loved the book the second time I read it, and HAD to watch the movie a couple more times just to put it all together. Now I'm just grumpy that O.S. has raised my expectations for action movies to an unreasonably high bar; I never expected to be challenged or intrigued before, but now I'm losing patience with special effects bonanzas that don't have much in the way of development or subtlety in their characters, and don't have an unlimited supply of historical mysteries hanging around them like an inexhaustible treasure trove of subplots, and ... I just don't enjoy going to movies as much lately, even the 'good' ones are disappointing.

Funny that I only went to Alexander wanting to see Bucephalas. I've been in love with him since I saw The Black Stallion.. remember how it opens with the boy's father giving him a trinket and telling him the story of Alexander taming his magical horse? When I saw the elephant and the stallion in the preview and then the movie title, all I could think of was - finally, someone made a movie about Bucephalas!

I didn't find this forum until after I'd seen the movie, but I couldn't resist chiming in anyways...
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cindoo15 wrote:

You are right about his story being inspirational. I even find at my age that when I am wanting to give up on a certain goal, I think about Alexander and I decide never to quit! When I am really very old and gray I want to look back on my life and know I tried to do the very best that I could. How sad to look back when you're life is almost over and think "If only..."


You are right! Respect to when any of us gets "very old and gray", we have to remember that "in the end, all that matters is what you've done."
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allison



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 233
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like some of you, I first got into Alexander by reading Mary Renault's trilogy (and you HAVE to read her 'Persian Boy' - I thought it was the best book of the trilogy, and Hephastian is still in it Smile ). Once I finished, I was hooked. There was a reading list in the back of the book, so I went on to Arrian and Quintus Curtius Rufus, RLF's biog, Mary Renault's biog, Conquest and Empire by Bosworth, the Iliad (had to read the book that influenced him so much). and pretty soon found myself collecting any book I could find on Alexander, his father Phillip, Greek philosophy, the time period in which he lived - I was obsessed for some time before the wave abated (I began Uni and my time was taken up with Assignments, lectures &c). When I heard of the Manfredi books, I had to read them, but the first was such a disappointment - I couldn't bear to start the second. Sad When I heard that OS was making a film, I was disappointed because I thought it would be a typical hollywood blockbuster - all action and special effects with no thought of a plot, and definitely no relationship between Hephastian and Alexander (If Hephastian was in it at all) - I certainly wasn't expecting to see Bagoas! I thought if anyone was going to be adding these elements it would be the Baz Luhmann production (I loved the *** undertones of his Romeo and Juliet, even though he massacred Juliet's bedroom scene before she drank the potion). When I first saw OS's film I was totally blown away by it - it was so much more than I'd ever dared hope to see! Pity it didn't go further - but I was glad it went as far as it did. Cool
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Catherine X



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 814
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cindoo15 wrote:
When I am really very old and gray I want to look back on my life and know I tried to do the very best that I could. How sad to look back when you're life is almost over and think "If only..."


I kind of think the opposite. When I'm old and grey I will undoubtedly be looking back thinking 'if only', I know that already. I will think of Alexander and think 'oh well, at least some people in life manage to do something with their life.'
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cindoo15



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
Posts: 1282
Location: Dallas TX

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catherine X wrote:
cindoo15 wrote:
When I am really very old and gray I want to look back on my life and know I tried to do the very best that I could. How sad to look back when you're life is almost over and think "If only..."


I kind of think the opposite. When I'm old and grey I will undoubtedly be looking back thinking 'if only', I know that already. I will think of Alexander and think 'oh well, at least some people in life manage to do something with their life.'


Catherine - you sound sad. Please don't be. You do wonderful, very meaningful things in your career helping disabled people. There is no way you can look back on that and think you didn't manage to do something important in your life. There is nothing greater than helping people in need (that is why I love being a nurse - I know when I leave work that what I did REALLY made a difference in someones life).

As far as looking back and thinking 'if only...' well, I am sure I will have some of those as well; nobody leads a perfect life where everything turns out exactly as they would have liked. It is only the IMPORTANT decisions I am speaking of. I am sure that even Alexander had some points that he regretted. Let's see, missing Hephaestions death would definitely be one of them. I'm sure that his march through the Makran desert (have to check the spelling on that name) left him with some great 'if only I had done 'such and such' things would have been different' feelings. I am sure he had other regrets as well but I'm running a little slow on thoughts at the moment. My point is, well, please cheer up; hate to see you down on yourself like this. So I'm sending you a great big hug Very Happy Hope it helps.

If that hug fails well then, start speaking in an Irish accent to Carlos and have him chase you around a bit - that should make you feel better!
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