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Open Seminar: The Self-Identification of Alexander the Great according to the Ancient Sources
Open Seminar: The Self-Identification of Alexander the Great according to the Ancient Sources
12.04.2018 19.00 h
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society - Melbourne


Lecturer: Dimitris Gonis
Entry: FREE


Ancient sources on the Hellenism of the ancient Macedonians are not always clear.  They sometimes paint a picture of people who lived on the fringes of the Greek world, and who were not always considered Hellenes by their southern kin. 

People like Demosthenes called Philip II a ‘barbarian’, while Isocrates referred to him as a man ‘beyond any of the Hellenes’ and a man of the ‘blood of Hellas’.  We have little evidence regarding what Philip exactly thought of himself.  All his actions point to his Hellenic self-identification. However, we do not have the unmistakable declarations we find in Alexander.

Alexander unambiguously self-identifies as a Hellene.  All the sources we have available to us speak of an Alexander who repeatedly affirms his Hellenic roots and intrinsic Hellenism.

This lecture focuses on the self-identification of Alexander the Great as presented in the Hellenistic writings of both Greek and Roman writers.  It also examines Alexander’s self-identification, but also identification by others, in the 3rd century CE folkloric tradition of Pseudo-Callisthenes.


Dimitri Gonis is a freelance writer and poet as well as a translator of academic articles and one book. For the past seven years he has worked as a sessional lecturer at La Trobe University, where he teaches he teaches a number of subjects: ‘Ethnic and Civil Conflict in Southern Europe and in Cyprus’, ‘Transterritorial Hellenism’ and modern Greek. He has recently completed his PhD which is titled: The Politics of Memory and Nationhood: Neo-Macedonism in Australia.


We'd like to thank the following donors: AIMS (Australian Institute of Macedonian Studies).

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice.

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2018 seminars sponsors


The Ithacan Philanthropic Society   -   Website
Level 2, 329 Elizabeth Street
Country: au

In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.

Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.

The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.

Alphington Grammar Koinotika Nea - the Greek Community newsletter Requirements for Greek Citizenship