Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The royal hunts of Alexander the Great : engaging with local traditions of kingship throughout his empire
Authors: Mullen, James Stephen
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis considers the role of the royal hunt as a means for Alexander the Great to engage with the varied traditions of kingship and royal ideology throughout his empire. This offers a new approach to Alexander studies which traditionally focus on the king’s attempts to legitimate his rule in the eyes of the Persian nobility. This thesis argues instead that Alexander’s royal hunts served to legitimate his position as king simultaneously within established political frameworks of Macedonian, Greek, Persian, and wider Near Eastern tradition. The Introduction identifies the models of court societies established in modern scholarship, their application to studies of ancient monarchy and the position of the hunt as an extramural royal court. It sets out the basis on which this thesis develops the dominant paradigms of Persianisation and Orientalising for Alexander’s engagement with local elites in his empire and establishes an approach for the examination of multiple types of evidence from chronologically and geographically diverse societies. Chapter 1 examines the palatial imagery and texts of the neo-Assyrian empire as a case study for the significance of the royal hunt in kingship ideologies across Near Eastern societies. Chapter 2 identifies the role of hunting in Achaemenid representations of royal power and conceptions of authority. The combination of evidence, statements of kingship on Achaemenid monuments, glyptic from the Achaemenid heartland and from around the empire, and the Greek accounts of the Achaemenids allows the hunt to be considered confidently within the context of the court. Chapter 3 highlights the traditions in Greece for the hunt as a source of legitimate authority from Homer to the fourth century. It suggests this allowed Alexander to justify his power over Greeks in their own terms. Chapter 4 provides the necessary context for royal hunting in Argead Macedonia to determine whether Alexander adapted his practices to appeal to local traditions throughout his empire. Finally, Chapter 5 examines the evidence for Alexander’s own use of the royal hunt and his development of court hunting practices to engage with the traditions discussed in previous chapters. This thesis concludes it is possible to identify an evolution in Alexander’s royal hunts as he progressed through Asia. These developments began before the adoption of Achaemenid court ceremonial and indicate a broader strategy of appealing to local traditions of aristocratic virtue and royal legitimacy from Macedonia, Greece, Persia and the wider Near East.
Description: Ph. D Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Mullen JS 2019.pdfThesis13.66 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
dspacelicence.pdfLicence43.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.