The Life of Alexander the Great
We owe to Plutarch the famous stories about Alexander that have done so much
to enshrine the myth of the near-divine warrior-humanist on his great quest to
bring civilization eastward to the barbarians. The teenaged prince tames the wild
Thessalian horse Bucephalus (“Ox-head”), in between his shady walks and
tutorials with Aristotle. On reaching Cilicia in southern Asia Minor, the young
Alexander impatiently hacks apart the legendary Gordian knot—all the while
sleeping with Homer’s Iliad tucked under the pillow.