Arrian's Scythian logos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arrian is unique in presenting Alexander's invasion of Scythia as a failure. He does so to highlight a change in Alexander's behavior after he has successfully procured sovereignty over Persia and to announce the moral themes of the second half of the Anabasis. To accomplish this goal, Arrian establishes a close intertextual relationship with Herodotus, borrowing vocabulary and narrative techniques from the earlier historian in order to encourage a comparison between Alexander and a series of famous Persian despots. Arrian emphasizes Alexander's transgression of natural boundaries and disregard for divine law, thereby entangling his narrative of Alexander's campaigns with Herodotus' portraits of Darius and Cyrus in particular. By aligning his subject matter with that of Herodotus, Arrian also claims a place in the historical tradition as a new Herodotus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-560
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Alexander
  • Arrian
  • Herodotus
  • Scythia
  • kingship
  • sickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Archaeology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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