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Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian, writing probably during the reign of the Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) or Vespasian. His only surviving work, Historiae Alexandri Magni, is a biography of Alexander the Great in Latin in ten books, of which the first two are lost, and the remaining eight are incomplete. His work is fluidly written, but reveals ignorance of geography, chronology and technical military knowledge, focusing instead on character.

Historical novelist Mary Renault, in the preface to her biography of Alexander "Fire from Heaven", discusses the various sources which she studied in preparation for her work, expressing considerable exasparation with Curtius who "had access to invaluable primary sources, now lost", which in her opinion he misunderstood and garbled.

See also

  • The Roman historian Arrian of Nicomedia wrote Anabasis Alexandri or The Campaigns of Alexander in Greek.
  • The Sicilian historian Diodorus Siculus wrote the Library of World History, of which Book 17 covers the conquests of Alexander.
  • The Greek historian/biographer Plutarch of Chaeronea wrote On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander the Great


  • The History of Alexander, Quintus Curtius Rufus, translated by John C. Yardley, Introduction and Commentary by Waldemar Heckel. Penguin, 2004.
  • Elizabeth Baynham: Alexander the Great: The Unique History of Quintus Curtius, 1998.

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