The new year will bring us “Decapitation in Sources on Alexander the Great” by Marc Mendoza

Good day everyone I’m Elena and thanks to be here on Alessandro III di Macedonia- blog about Alexander the Great and Hellenism. I’m happy to announce that the new year will bring us a new interesting and worth reading book. I’m talking about:

Decapitation in Sources on Alexander the Great

by Marc Mendoza

Palgrave Macmillan (Springer International Publishing)

Publishing date: January 8, 2023

This book explores cases of decapitation found in sources on the reign of Alexander the Great. Despite the enormous literature on the career of Alexander the Great, this is the first study on the characterisation of violent deaths during his hectic reign. This historiographical omission has involved the tacit and blind acceptance of the details found in the ancient sources. Therefore, this book seeks to illustrate how cultural expectations, literary models, and ideological taboos shaped these accounts and argues for a close and critical reading of the sources. Given the different cultural considerations surrounding decapitation in Greek and Roman cultures, this book illustrates how those biases could have differently shaped certain episodes depending on the ultimate writer.

This book, therefore, can be especially interesting for scholars focused on the career of Alexander the Great, but also valuable for other Classicists, philologists, and even for anthropologists because it represents a good case of study of cultural symbolism of violent death, semantics of power, imperial domination and the confrontation between opposite cultural appreciations of a practice.

Marc Mendoza is Associate Lecturer at the University of Lleida, Spain.

ISBN-13: 978-3031191732
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 01/08/2023
Edition description: 1st ed. 2023
Pages: 129
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h)
Price: 42,79 € ( – 49.99 $

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction .- 2. Greeks, Romans and Decapitation .- 3. Non-Curtian Decapitations .- 4. Negotiating Heads .- 5. Punished Heads .- 6. Heads as Trophies .- 7. Conclusions .- 8. Appendices.

I’m sure this book will be interesting and I definitely have to read it, but given its specific theme is aimed at an audience of specialists or great enthusiasts. I’ll update the article if more information comes out! If you want to save a reminder on Google Calendar, you can find it at THIS LINK.

Thank you and have a great week-end,


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